Cheerleading is an intense physical activity (sometimes a competitive sport) using organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, such as tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games and matches. The person involved is called a cheerleader. The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) is one of the sanctioning bodies for cheerleading in the USA. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains a predominantly American activity, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The growing presentation of the sport to a global audience has been led by the 1997 start of broadcasts of cheerleading competition by ESPN International and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring it On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the rest of the world in countries including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Ali Larter Cheerleader

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Jennifer Love Hewitt Cheerleader

Kristen Bell Cheerleader

Kristin Cavallari Cheerleader

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Cheerleader

Megan Fox Cheerleader

Most American middle schools, high schools, and colleges have organized cheerleading squads made up solely of students. Several colleges that compete at cheerleading competitions offer cheerleading scholarships. School-sponsored cheerleading promotes school spirit and motivate the players and fans. A cheerleading team may compete outside of sporting events (local, regional, and national competitions), and cheer for sporting events and encourage audience participation. Cheerleading is quickly becoming a year-round sport, starting with tryouts during the spring of the preceding school year, organized camp as a team, practices, attendance at various sporting events and ending with National competition season, typically from winter through spring.