Just dance: Cali jerk

By QueJonne Smith, Frederick Douglass Academy High School

There’s a new trend that has skyrocketed in the last few summers: dancing. There has been a host of new dances since the summer of 2009: (different variations of) The Jerk, The Reject, the Spongebob, The Pindrop, the Drop Kick, The Dougie, the D-Town boogie, and a range of other dances that keeps the teenage and juniors crowd interested and engrossed in the growing fashion.

Let me teach you how to jerk.

The Jerk: There are many different ways that people have taken the jerk and made it their own. They have taken the original jerk, where you bend your knees and begin to pop up and down in a jerking motion, and put their own spin on it. They have put different hand motions, flips, head movements, and dropping to the floor and coming back up in order to make the dance better in appearance.

The Reject/ Spongebob: The Reject is the new dance that resembles the backwards “Running Man” has been added to a variety of footwork and drops that make the dance better. The Spongebob is best described as the sideways reject that can be combined with the reject, jerk, and other dances to make the combination appealing to their audience.

The Pin Drop: This dance requires the dancer to place his/her foot behind the knee of the other leg and fall onto that foot in order to pivot and spin around in order to stand back up. This dance can lead into any of these other dances.

The Drop Kick: This dance can be accompanied by a host of footwork that can make the dance a part of another combination.

Combining it all is like a freestyle that you can put together on the dance floor.

Cheerleading: a real sport

imageBy Erdavria Simpson, Hamilton High School

Cheerleaders always feel that they don’t get recognition, always bringing school spirit to games and school events and still get talked down. From administration in schools to students talking about how they are boring. Some of this might be very constructive but most of it hurts since we are still not seen as a sport.

Cheer takes so much out of so many people. No time for the beach-I have cheer practice, no money in my pocket—I have cheer payments, no money in my mom’s pocket—she just paid for cheer camp. “Hey babe can I see you today?” –from boyfriend, a cheerleader’s answer: “I’m sore and sleepy. Catch me tomorrow.”

Even as I write this I’m in pain sore in a chair because of a stunt accident.

We tried a set it up stunt, which included the flyer, me, jumping over her back spot. No one caught me and I landed hard on my left foot and tore a few ligaments in my ankle. So I’m out for a while, but it’s okay because that’s what happens in cheer.

We work hard, practice rough, and always give 100% to everything we do– from stunts to tumbling dance and cheer; we have to be assertive and diligent. I know all of this from experience, I’ve been cheering for the past four years of my high school career at Hamilton High and each year we have been improving constantly.

Yet throughout those years the criticism of the team has been intense. It’s bad enough cheerleaders already have negative stereotypes of which we recognize and try to change. Television has done absolutely nothing to help change them; our effort in school has been completely undermined. Administration blames cheerleaders for lack of school spirit and instead they compare their high school days to ours, when everything has changed since then.

Students just don’t care about school. This generation looks at school for fun and not for education, they would rather chill with their friends than attend or support a pep rally. By trying out to become a cheerleader and effect change it is clear that we understand the lack of school spirit in our high schools.

Students tend to degrade cheer efforts just by spreading false rumors, or constantly complaining about how we are not awesome or don’t do enough “poppin’ cheers.” Our football players say that we don’t support them enough, but while they are on the field we are on the track. If they are playing and it starts to rain we are cheering in the rain.

And then there are the few who make cheer worthwhile, besides the connections you make with other girls and getting cheer sisters, and seeing work effort get paid off in the end with great dances and cheers. You make new friends, get to know and understand your school with a deeper connection by seeing how you could change it and make it better.

So I’m still a cheerleader and always enjoy cheering, dancing, and encouraging a crowd or team with and without recognition—recognition just helps.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons