Edited by Azizi Powell
[latest revision September 21, 2016]
Within the stomp & shake cheerleading community it apears that some people place a much higher value on being original than on performing a cheer the exact same way or even performing a modified version of another squad's cheers and routines. However, there's no question that a number of cheerleading squads "copy" (or "steal") the words of cheers and those cheer's routines that they see in person or that they watch on YouTube. One cheerleading squad whose cheers and cheer routines are popular with other squads is Winston Salem State University's (WSSU) Cheer Phi (Red & White squads).
This YouTube video summary from the publisher of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEuEBTt5FH8 expresses the negative views that WSSU cheerleaders and their fans have about those cheerleading squads -particularly those university/college level cheerleading squads- who attempt to perform WSSU's cheers:
CheerPhi93, Mar 4, 2013
"WSSU 2013 CIAA* EXHIBITION FRONT VIEW! "HOW COME WHEN WE DO A CHEER,YOU DO THE SAME CHEER?" "HERE IS YOUR CAMERA, PRESS RECORD" LOL! FINALLY THE POINT WAS MADE TO A FEW OTHER SQUADS! NO NEED TO MENTION NAMES! U-KNOW WHO U R!!!!! O'YEA...CHEER-PHI ALUMS ALWAYS SUPPORT OUR BABIES...WE MAKE SURE THEY LOOK ON POINT IN A NEW UNIFORM OR 2 EACH YEAR....ROCK ON!"
That comment was written by a person identifying herself or himself as "ChiPhi93". That name suggests that she or he was a member of WSSU's 1993 squad as "ChiPhi" is the former name for WSSU's cheerleading squads:
This comment from that same video's discussion thread insults another university cheerleading squad for stealing WSSU's cheers and/or routines"
"LOL I SO LOVE THIS VIDEO ITS TO SHADY YOU'RE SITTING RIGHT BESIDE THEM STEALING BLUE CHIPS** IM SURE HE AND THE OTHERS ARE WATCHING TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN STEAL FOR NEXT YEAR EXHIBITION"
*Here's information about CIAA
From https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Central_Intercollegiate_Athletic_Association "The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)...is a collegiate athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. CIAA institutions are affiliated at the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Conference members are primarily located in North Carolina (eight) and Virginia (two). There is also one school from Maryland and another from Pennsylvania....
The CIAA cheering squads practice Stomp 'N Shake that incorporates voice, gymnastics, and dance."
**"Bluechips" is the name of the cheerleading squad from Saint Augustine's University, a historically black college located in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
Although most cheerleader cheers have no known composers, among those familiar with stomp & shake cheers, certain chants and their routines are known to have originated with and are considered signature cheers of specific historically Black (African American) university cheerleading squads. But, is it really stealing when a cheerleading squad noticably modifies another squad's cheers or is that a form of creativity?
And, if cheerleading squads don't want others to perform their cheers, why do they and their fans publish videos of those cheers on YouTube and brag about how popular those videos are?
Here are three comments from http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/484118-Stomp-n-Shake-Cheerleading-!!!-East-Compton-Clovers-Who about other historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) "stealing" Winston Salem State University's cheer/cheer routines:
Topic: "Stomp-n-Shake Cheerleading !!! East Compton Clovers Who?"
"The Real Life East Compton Clovers!!! Yes Gurls Red Team SLAYS every other HBCU Cheerleading team in America!! I love the slander!!!
The "Clovers" was the name of the fictitious predominately Black cheerleading squad from East Compton, California in the 2000 movie Bring It On, the first movie in that high school cheerleader movie series. In that movie members of the "Toros", a suburban, predominately White cheerleader squad weren't aware that a former captain had stolen most of their routines from the Clovers.
"WSSU cheers are stolen right off youtube by cheerleading squads all across america from middle & high school to pop warner and college teams. WSSU also stunts and tumbles but the CIAA banned stunting. The CIAA is famous for it;s Stomp-n-Shake style of cheerleading which is famous in the Carolina's, Virginia, Maryland."
Boobie Miles, 03-05-2013
quote from another commenter: they are talking about how people steal their choreography from Youtube, but everything I just saw in that video was directly inspired from a Black Greek Stepshow... no shadeend of quote
.... "Search for WSSU cheerleaders on twitter and post your results ;-) the CIAA crowd loves WSSU and [they] received the loudest applause at the end of the show."
While WSSU's cheerleading squads and their fans are very critical of others using their cheers/cheer routines, it is factual that they publish a number of videos of their cheers on YouTube and it is also a fact that WSSU cheerleaders & fans are proud that those videos are quite popular. For example, here's an excerpt of an interview with the WSSU Head Cheerleading Coach Joevanne Estrada:
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs039/1102836658889/archive/1110810635530.html "WSSU RAM BITS"
"What are the most popular cheers done by WSSU Cheerleaders?
DO IT, SURVIVAL, SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE, POWERHOUSE, AND ROCK.
How has the WSSU Cheerleading style evolved over the years?*
The WSSU Cheerleaders have mastered incorporating both the "traditional" and "stomp & shake" style in their dynamic show stopping routines. The programs stunt, tumble, and dance program has advanced like no other and continues to dominate all of the HBCU's conference programs. The WSSU cheerleader's routines are the most viewed through internet and social media sites, over 1 million on youtube. as well as imitated by recreation, middle/high schools, and other colleges throughout the nation.
I added italics to highlight that sentence.
FOCUS ON THE WSSU CHEER "ROCK" AND COMMENTS ABOUT OTHER SQUADS' CHANTING THAT CHEER AND PERFORMING THE ROUTINE THAT WSSU CREATED
Here's information from this article written by a former member of Winston Salem State University's cheerleading squad that identifies the composer of the cheer "Rock":
-From http://ucdecheerphi.wixsite.com/ucde/cheer-phi-chronicles "WSSU’s Original Cheer Phi" by Wannette Stevens -Fripp, September 2011
"During my junior year the location of the CIAA cheerleading exhibition was not the only changes to our program. The coach that had coached WSSU for 17 years Deborah Rivers had relocated due to her job. DeMonte Cox the creator of the chant “Rock” became our coach and the legacy lived on and I was so happy! DeMonte was an excellent coach. He was so creative. He helped us make up dances, and cheers and chants. He brought stunting ideas and kept us at the top of the cheer tier. Most importantly DeMonte did not show favoritism and didn’t get involved with a lot of the petty arguments"...
Italics added to highlight this information.
Online articles indicate that Deborah Rivers was the WSSU cheerleading coach from 1976 to 1993.
Here's a comment that was posted in the discussion thread for the video given as Example #3 below:
"I will say this....the "Rock" cheer was made up in 1994 by my Cheer-Phi Brother "Jamming-Ra" / roommate whom I watched from start to finish with the words and moves as part of our requirement to bring back 2 new chants before returning for Cheer Camp...Of course, he showed the chant originality to the squad and they perfected it with the infamous "shirt-shaking" and Rock was born.....AND THAT IS A FACT!"...
Given the article written by Wanette-Stevens-Fripp, "Jamming-Ra"'s name is Demonte Cox.
[End of update]
Example #1: WSSU Cheerleaders 10-11/ "ROCK"
Yorztrulie, Uploaded on Oct 10, 2010
Showing all you other squads how to REALLY rock! Get in where you fit in.
I believe that the word "rock" in this cheer means "do something very well" and "move your hips to the beat in a back & forth motion".
Selected comments from that video's discussion thread:
"COULDN'T have said it better in the discription.... but imma POINT EM OUT! THIS VIDEO goes to St. Aug, FSU & u that publicly take cheers knowing you're NOT original! YESSS i said it. So while you're getting your LIFE... GET A LIFE!"
Steave Clements, 2010
"please vsu already fits in.no disrespect..but as for st.aug and fsu.lls.u got a point..an fsu is pretty gud.they actually remind me of wssu"
"VSU" is Virginia State University's cheerleading squad that is known as the "Woo Woos". VSU and WSSU appear to be considered the originators of two different styles of stomp & shake cheerleading.
in reply to Steave Clements
@SAC010 they IMITATE WSSU FOOL... its only right that u like the originators!
Example #2: Wssu cheerleaders 2013-2014 spring open house ROCK
wssu, Published on Jul 22, 2014
Selected comments from that video's discussion thread:
Or Nah, 2014
"Yess the rock chant yassss!!!!!
taurus james, 2014
"What are the words ?"
A blogger who identified herself or himself as a former stomp & shake cheerleader added the words to WSSU's "Rock" [from another video of that cheer] in the discussion thread of a 2011 article that I wrote for a sociological blog*:
upstompjunkie , 2011
Words: The S.U. Rams, Are really hot. And where gonna show you how, How we rock."
*http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/07/21/race-and-the-changing-shape-of-cheerleading/ "Race and the Changing Shape of Cheerleading" by Guest Blogger Azizi Powell, Jul 21, 2011
Example #3: Shaw University Cheerleaders performing at 2011 Pep Rally. part 1
shawcheer, Published on Apr 26, 2012
Shaw University is a historically Black university in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Rock cheer is found at .36-1:04 of this video. Here's my transcription of that cheer:
The Chi chi's
and we’re too hype
[squad- Hype! Hype!]
We’ll show you how to move
[squad- Hey! Hey!]
And how to rock
the chi chis are jamming
And we’re to hype
we’ll show you how to move
and how to rock
Selected comments from that video's discussion thread:
Steave Clements, 2014
"All wssu cheers im over it"
Jane Smith, 2014
"That "Rock" cheer was stolen from WSSU.. Don't be fooled."
"Chi Chi's they say you stole that cheer! All I can say is you WORKED the heck out of it!!! That's right if you are gonna do it, show them how it should be been done! Let's go Shaaaaaw U! Love my chi Chi's!!!"
Jane Smith, 2014
"@ "Evy08" baby girl, clearly you're confused! EVERY school in the CIAA, minus the woo woos, steals from WSSU Cheer Phi, FACT! Shaw, FSU, JCSU, St. Aug. etc constantly steals WSSU cheers. It's actually quite sad. I mean, Where's the originality? You can not tell me you've watched this video and can honestly say that their "rock" cheer wasn't stolen from WSSU.. Yes, slightly modified, but still STOLEN! ...Lol child stop!
Woo Woos - Virginia State University's (VSU) cheerleaders
"You can't be serious. Lol"
Jane Smith, 2014
"I'm very serious! I hate when Shaw, as well as the other CIAA squads, steal from WSSU. Then have the audacity to bash WSSU! Give credit where it's due that's all I'm saying. WSSU is built from Tradition! So it's easy for me to say certain cheers, such as the "rock" cheer, was stolen because it's been apart of WSSU cheer program for decades. There's no way around it."
"To clear the air.....the Chi-Chis did not steal "ROCK" from WSSU. A former WSSU cheerleader works for Shaw University and volunteered to teach the girls a cheer in 2011. The cheer taught was "ROCK". The girls had no prior knowledge of "ROCK" being a WSSU cheer."
"+shawcheer This would be interesting to find out which "former WSSU cheerleader" would break rank and teach material to another squad...Possible but hard to believe. Additionally, even though the team may not have had prior knowledge, this is a technology age and I am not 100% sure if I believe the "team" didn't know....Now if they know now, then why continue to do it?"
"I will say this....the "Rock" cheer was made up in 1994 by my Cheer-Phi Brother "Jamming-Ra" / roommate whom I watched from start to finish with the words and moves as part of our requirement to bring back 2 new chants before returning for Cheer Camp...Of course, he showed the chant originality to the squad and they perfected it with the infamous "shirt-shaking" and Rock was born.....AND THAT IS A FACT! .......Therefore, regardless how you revise it or lack thereof, this is clearly stolen....imitation is the greatest form of flattery!"
Rashawn Johnson, 2015
"however you put it, EVERY squad in the CIAA or better yet, CHEERLEADING period has done nothing but recycle and rotate cheers. There are cheers that every squad does from Cheer-phi, to the Woo Woo's, Luv-A-Bulls, Bluechips etc, the not ONE member from any year, of any squad made up. i mean really?,"ROCK" is one of the most general cheers out there, ANYBODY could make it work which is why copy-writes dont exist for this or any cheer. I mean cheer-phi is creative but lets not make them look like grand originators. All this STEALING mess for any of the squads is played, its just a matter of who looks better doing it is all."
"Rashawn Johnson....When it comes to Rock...it is and still is authentic by the person I know and watched who made it. You can view my videos from early 90s and see the evidence. I will not debate about whether or not cheers/chants are recycled throughout the sport. That is an implied fact. No one is making Cheer-Phi/WSSU Red Squad/ or in my day WSSU Varsity look grander than the next. You are correct, when you say all this stealing is played. Maybe, folk should be creative enough to make up their material from scratch and then the argument/debates will be mitigated. Until then, the issue will continue to surface. Whether you put Rock on any other squad from here to yonder, the comments will always come back as "Stolen from WSSU"...That is not being grander, that is just stating a fact. In addition, if Rock is played, why does it seem like it is one of the most stolen piece of material in the CIAA by various schools, particular the Southern part of the CIAA? Why the squad you are defending doing it? Lastly, please name One or more chants/cheers that WSSU have stolen from anyone else? If you can't, then your argument doesn't carry much value."
Rashawn Johnson, 2015
""Take is Easy..Take it slow come on mighty _ lets go go go", does Cheer-phi not do that cheer?, theres a video that says they do. my point is this, EVERY squad does cheers that the next one does, im almost 110% sure that Cheer-Phi didnt make that cheer up. So is it safe to say that WSSU stole that cheer from some pop warner squad from back in the 70's or 80's?, or how about "Pump It Up"?, i cant name a squad INCLUDING cheer-phi that doesnt do that cheer. I promise you if someone were to say that cheer-phi stole those cheers, the next platform youd probably stand on would be along the lines of "well the moves are different". Lastly all i said about "Rock" was that it was a GENERAL cheer with no ties to any squad, not that it was played. So in the end, what good does it do to say that one squad stole from the other if every squad is at guilt for it?"
"Rashawn...take it easy...take it slow...yes you named "one" general chant..OK....yes, I will give you credit for that....we all know those types of chants/cheer can stretch across multiple cheering groups (pop warner-ACC-NCA)....We all know go this, rah-rah, ,defense/offense this or that, hip hip hooray cheer/chants are universal for decades....OK...point taken....BUT when the "SIGNATURE" cheers/chants are taken then again the debate will continue....that is the good! Especially when it is taken and used when two teams meet up or a team post it and wonder why the original team gets bent out of shape....Something similar to what Robin Thicke/Pharrell is going through over "blurred lines" and Marvin Gaye's track....similar material different artist; however, our material isn't copy written is all I am saying!"
Destiny Harris, 2015
"Why under every HBCU Cheer videos I look at , I see WSSU Fans claiming they stole their cheer. Like damn, can y'all let other squads have their shine... And tbh, all hbcu CIAA Cheer squads look the same to me VSU,WSSU,BSU,SU and etc. I think the way CIAA Cheerleaders cheer is just a tradition, like a style. Just like HBCUs Dance teams dance the same... Its Just A HBCU Tradition"
And the conversation continues....
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, historical, and cultural purpose.
Thanks to the composer of these cheers. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
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