What’s the first thing anyone thinks of when they imagine a pep rally? The CHEERLEADERS! A pep rally just wouldn’t be a pep rally without the squad leading the cheers from the sideline. But besides the obvious, CHEERING, what other roles do cheerleaders play at pep rallies?
The Eternal Flame
Just like the Olympic torch, a cheerleader's pep must never be extinguished! It is not for the moment (of the pep rally), but for all time that a cheerleader embodies all the zing and pep her school deserves.
For those who don't know the behind-the-scenes magic, it's easy to think a pep rally appears out of thin air. But cheerleaders know better. Cheerleaders don't just work during the pep rally; you're working well before... and afterwards, too!
The most important part of prepping for a pep rally: picking a theme. Because of your large role in the pep rally, your squad might even get to pick it! If you do, be sure to choose something graphically interesting and obvious (neon, camouflage, “white-out”). This will make the whole rally cohesive and save time on decision making down the road. Check out this awesome glow idea:
Once a theme is selected, there is so much work to be done! In the week or so leading up to the pep rally, you and your squad may also be in charge of organizing Spirit Week. This can be a lot of fun! Each day, there is a different theme for everyone at school to dress up and participate.
Super hero day, red white & blue day (after all, pep rallies are a uniquely American phenomenon!), dress your best, throwback Thursday, flannel day - the key to a good spirit week is to pick themes that everyone at school can (at least kind of) throw together a look for. To really build up the crescendo to game day, have the very last day of Spirit Week coincide with the theme of the pep rally. Then the entire school will be on point for game day!
For the rally itself, cheerleaders often create any items that are needed for the rally, such as banners, balloons, or the ever popular spirit stick! It's the job of every cheerleader to hype up the whole school (and it's a lot easier when you've been hyping them up in advance!).
After the rally - win or lose - cheerleaders keep the school spirit. Remember, it's about the work not the win! In addition to post-battle morale, cheerleaders are usually assigned clean-up duty after the rally, too. Maybe silly-string wasn't such a good idea...
During the rally, cheerleaders are not only the gorgeous face, but the ever-busy hands (and feet!). You will be the guardians of the rally, keeping everything on schedule, leading each game/speech/event into the next one smoothly. One might say cheerleaders are the captains of the ship... party captains!
You and your squad will coordinate a hundred moving pieces successfully. Classmates will pour into the stands – some on time, some not! The school band will have songs to play; try practicing alongside them during the weeks leading up to the rally for a coordinated performance. Of course your teachers will have plenty of motivating words to say, but you can try to incorporate the staff into some of the fun activities, too! A dance or cheer where even your principal can participate...now that's something everyone will remember!
If pep rallies were parties, then cheerleaders would be the hosts. And like an actual full-course dinner party, lots of little dishes peppered throughout the pep rally will be appreciated by everyone. Each new segment will rejuvenate the crowd. Remember: if you cater to the person with the shortest attention span, then nobody will be bored!
Pep rallies are, when you get down to it, about the game. As the leaders of the pep rally, you'll probably be introducing the team. Why not learn a little bit about them? It's much more fun to announce “our school's resident Game of Thrones nerd” instead of “the left tackle.”
Some cheer squads will even make little gifts for the players. It can be as simple as homemade cookies, or as elaborate (but easy) as sports care packages, with jerky, foam footballs, or cards personalized with inspiring sports quotes.
Beacon of Positivity
We all know the guy who's too cool for school. For some reason, it's en vogue to be a downer. Maybe it's way easier to tear stuff down than build stuff up, and that's true of school spirit, too. As the cheerleaders of your school, it is your duty to be a paragon of energy, the champion of pep, who will triumph over negativity!
But don't try to actually fight negative people. Instead, remain a BEACON OF POSITIVITY! If you overhear someone complaining about “another dumb school event” don't hesitate to speak up! Talk about what you and the squad have planned for the pep rally, bring up your favorite memory from school so far, or reminisce about last year's pep rally. No one can resist a positive attitude!