Edited by Azizi Powell
Revised: June 30, 2017
This post presents several anecdotal comments about the beginning of Stomp & Shake cheerleading. Hopefully, additional comments about this subject will be added in this post's comment section.
The history of this performance style won't be documented unless we do it now.
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Thanks to the originators of stomp & shake cheerleading and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
COMMENTS ABOUT THE EARLY DAYS OF STOMP & SHAKE CHEERLEADING
Pancocojams Editor's Comment:
These comments/statements are given in no particular order.
These comments/statements are numbered in consecutive order throughout this entire post. These numbers refer to the order in which I found these comments. The numbers have and have nothing to do with chronological order or order of preference, but are assigned for referencing purposes only
I will be adding material to this post when and if I find it.
From 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, at 10:00 am
1. Bananadrama, 2011
..."I went to high school in the 80s and the cheerleaders were already doing this, but it was a little more clap-and-leap. There was also a pom team, which did more of the dance moves to music and didn't lead vocal cheers. But pop music has changed and there's more rap that's popular, and dance moves from rap videos, instead of Def Leppard. :D
2. Sule > Bananadrama, 2011
"Hey, there. This kind of cheering was coming in when I went to Rabaut Junior High School in DC--graduated in 1972. We also had a girl's drill team. Does this come from then, or Wilson High: "We bad; we know it! We kick your ass and show it!"? "
From http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/12/cheerleader-history-timeline "A Not-So-Brief and Extremely Sordid History of Cheerleading" —By Julia Lurie
Mon Dec. 15, 2014 6:15 AM EST
3. ..."1967: Seventeen football players at Madison High School in Illinois are barred from the team for boycotting a practice after only one black cheerleader is picked for the varsity squad. Following the dismissal of the football players, nearly all of the school district's 1,300 black students boycott classes for a week. As schools continue to integrate, one factor adding to tension is the difference in cheerleading styles between black and white schools: As Lou Lillard, a black cheerleader named All-American in 1972, explained, "The type of cheering at black high schools is...more of a stomp-clap, soul-swing…At [white] schools, the traditional cheers are straight-arm motions."
From http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/wssu/sports/c-cheer/auto_pdf/WSSUCheerleadingPhilosophy.pdf The Winston-Salem State University Cheerleading Team
4. "The Winston-Salem State University Cheerleaders exemplify a distinctive style that has
molded its programs tradition since the early 1980’s."
Contrast that statement with the information about Debra J. Rivers at Winston-Salem State University that is given below.
The earliest mention that I've found for an African American style of cheerleading is from the early 1970s:
A Not-So-Brief and Extremely Sordid History of Cheerleading —By Julia Lurie
Mon Dec. 15, 2014 6:15 AM EST
5. ..."As schools continue to integrate, one factor adding to tension is the difference in cheerleading styles between black and white schools: As Lou Lillard, a black cheerleader named All-American in 1972, explained, "The type of cheering at black high schools is…more of a stomp-clap, soul-swing...At [white] schools, the traditional cheers are straight-arm motions."
6. Dr. Paulette Johnson began coaching for Virginia State University's Woo Woos cheerleaders in 1974, and coached that squad for 35 1/2 years.
7. From https://winstonsalem.prestosports.com/about/hall_of_fame/Hall_of_Fame_Bios/Debra_Rivers_Johnson_Bio?view=bio
Debra [Deborah] L. Rivers initiated the stomp & shake style of cheerleading at Winston-Salem State University when she began coaching that cheerleading squad in 1976. She was WSSU's cheerleading coach for 17 years.
8. [Pancocojams editor comments
I believe that it's significant that that the early to mid 1970s/early 1980 are documented as the time periods for the beginning development of or the increased popularization of historically Black university's Greek letter fraternity and sorority stepping. The early to mid 1970s/early 1980s are also the earliest time periods for the earliest sites for the African American originated (mostly girls 5-12 year old) sub-set of cheerleading that I refer to as "foot stomping cheers".
The Washington D.C. area is documented to be at least one of the geographical centers for historically Black Greek letter stepping (as its the site of Howard University). Early documentation of foot stomping cheers also occurred in Washington, D. C./Virginia area. And North Carolina is relatively close geographically to washington D. C./Virginia.
*Ironically, the earliest dated "foot stomping cheer" example that I've collected, was from an online communication with an unknown White woman who resided/resides in my former hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey (early 1970s, from her memory of White, Black, and Latina high school girls).
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