It turns out that cheerleading competition is a bit different that the football routine. Rather than the usual "I believe that we will win" or "we. believe. we believe in Baldwin." chants, they had a series of much more fierce, though still "old fashioned" chants performed sans pom-poms involving the whole group. The cheers seemed like something that could have been taken from the 1950's, though the energy level was much more intense. About halfway through each show (and at a complete surprise to me) the shows suddenly took a more modern turn. A loud, fast-paced, pop-inspired montage of modern music took everyone's intention and the performance suddenly became all about acrobatics, pyramids, people-holding-other-people-up-by-one-leg, and lots of other moves I'm sure to misname. The first time it happened, I was pretty surprised. Also the second time. By the time it was Baldwin's time...I was still surprised, but at least I was bracing myself for it. Things changed a lot when the beat drops.
Since I know nothing about cheerleading, everything impressed me. (I couldn't tell you if the shows were all excellent, good, or slightly off, but they all looked solid to me!) It was interesting how all the groups were able to merge the "legacy" element of the cheerleading along with the more modern gymnastic element. Rather than just trying to spice up older tropes, or ignore modern trends, the shows were able to provide both separately and simultaneously. It's a thin line to walk, between past and present, and most groups struggle with what to preserve and what to leave behind. Is competitive cheerleading a good model? Who knows...but at least they're giving us something to think about.