When they came on stage, I was judgmental and preparing to make fun of them to my mates. If my sweet daughter keeps on dancing and cheering at university and later makes it onto the squad of a professional cricket team, would my friend seriously be thinking the same thing about her? It made me wonder, how many Indians actually believe that?
But then I realised that they were actually very sweet looking girls – yes, still sexy – and that they had just upped the vibe of the party threefold with their peppy dance number. And how could I help to shine a different light on these young women?
Cheerleaders aren’t common place in Spain, so for the past decade I had sort of forgotten about them. Although in normal cheerleading clothes, cheerleaders in India are generally anything but normal. Except for a few rare occasions, Indian cheerleaders are not Indian at all; they are imported white girls.
So you can imagine my surprise when I moved from Barcelona to Bangalore and discovered that cheerleaders and Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket were like and rice – never without each other. India has a population of 1.2 billion people, presumably almost half of which are women.
After high school, Melissa went on to university to study psychology and organisational psychology and next year plans to return to complete her honours and start a career in child psychology because of her passion for helping the young.