‘Bring MIT On:’ MIT Cheerleading Squad to compete in national championship

Cheerleaders at the Massachusetts Institute of technology will bring it on at Daytona Beach next month. Photo Credit: MIT Cheerleading Squad
Cheerleaders at the Massachusetts Institute of technology will bring it on at Daytona Beach next month. Photo Credit: MIT Cheerleading Squad

A group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is breaking down stereotypes one cheer at a time, proving that brains and cartwheels can coexist.

For the first time in the club’s 50-year history, the MIT Cheerleading Squad will compete in the 2013 National Cheerleading Association Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship to be held next month in Daytona Beach.

Traditionally, science and pom poms don’t really go hand in hand, but according to MIT cheerleaders, the perky sport is actually quite physical – as in, physics play a big role.

“We’ll use physics to explain how to do a stunt. We are always talking about momentum and kinetic energy,” said Megan Cox, 21, the squad’s co-captain.

The co-ed team performs at MIT’s varsity football and basketball games. The squad includes a mix of graduate students and undergrads, including two men, none of whom cheered before college.

But according to their coach, Arianna Vahsen-Crosby, it doesn’t exactly hurt to have a squad full of over-achievers.

“They have never failed at anything in their lives, so I’ll say, ‘We’ll get this next time,’ and they’ll tell me, ‘No. We can’t leave.’ Their determination is something I wish every cheerleader had.”

Photo Credit: MIT Cheerleading Squad.
Photo Credit: MIT Cheerleading Squad.

Another perk of putting together a ditz-free squad – less cattiness.

“There is a different atmosphere than a high school cheerleading squad. Everyone is so much nicer,” Cox said, adding that most MIT students are caught off guard to learn that their classmates are rah-rah-rahing in their free time.

“A lot of people didn’t know we had a squad at all, and some still don’t believe us that we made it to (the championship).”

For 21-year-old Co-Captain Danielle Olson, a computer science student, the squad’s success will hopefully help to reverse type casting at the school.

“Being a cheerleader, being feminine, or intelligent; it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Hopefully we can serve as an example that people shouldn’t be boxed into certain expectations.”

The team heads to Daytona Beach on April 10 to compete against about 100 cheerleading teams from across the nation. To prepare, the team has been practicing three times per week.

“We’re just so excited to make it; we’re over the moon,” said Crosby of the likelihood that the squad will steal first place. “I know they’ll give it their all.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…