Can a Good Christian Girl Be a Cheerleader?


The start of football season prompted me to visit several sports websites to get an idea of how the putative “experts”expect my favorite college and NFL teams to fare this year.

(Not particularly well).

What struck me is that almost every one of the sites I visited has some sort of photo gallery of cheerleaders, often ranking them not on how well the squads perform their sideline routines, but how “hot” they are.

If that is what cheerleading has come to for many, if not most, male football fans – ogling the young women between plays on the gridiron field – that raises the question:

Can a young woman be, at once, a faithful Christian and a cheerleader?

Ariann Denison believes so.

She was a Miami Dolphins cheerleader from 2005 to 2009, before becoming the squad’s choreographer. She also owns a dance studio that not only offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and “pro cheer,” but also a liturgical class that combines dance with Christian music.

Ariann says that her background as an NFL cheerleader and choregrapher, and her position as owner of a successful dance studio, has given her the opportunity to share the Gospel with young women who may think that cheerleading and following the Lord are mutually exclusive.

“My testimony shocks them,” she told The Good News, a Christian newspaper. “I tell the older girls that I didn’t have my first drink until I was 25. I never went to a club in college. And I kept myself pure until marriage.”

And like the dance students taking Ariann’s “pro cheer” class, there are many young women throughout the country who aspire to be cheerleaders at the high school, college or even professional level, but who refuse to compromise their Christian values.

Indeed, there are more than 500 Christian cheerleading camps and clinics around the country. The girls that attend the camps learn all the yells, the stunts, the acrobatics, the dances that are taught at secular camps.

The difference is that Christian cheerleaders are not about wearing skimpy costumes and performing bump-and-grind dance moves that are more appropriate at a strip club than on a football sideline.

Christian cheerleaders, as Ariann Denison attests, are not offended by male sports fans who think them “hot.” But those young women know they are set apart not by what can be seen on the outside by their male admirers, but what God can see on the inside.

This entry was published on September 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM. It’s filed under Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Can a Good Christian Girl Be a Cheerleader?

  1. Wasn’t George W Bush a cheerleader ?

  2. Spoken like a true liberal. I suppose you have a ministry in the bordellos?

  3. note to the writer, in the eyes of God, there are no “Good Christian Girls”…for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Sin and God cannot coexist, they are separated. Pretty elementary concepts of the New Testament imo.

    • Yes Steve, we are, everyone, sinners. And we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Nevertheless, the Scripture makes a clear distinction between the wicked and the righteous.

      “The Son of Man will send out His angels,” we are told, “and they will gather out of His kingdom … those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.”

      As to the righteous, they “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

      • Well, I have to say I totally disragee with you. I am from Texas and I was in Drill Team, also known as Dance Team. In the High School I went to in Katy, Texas .. 25 miles west of Houston, the drill team and cheerleaders were one organization ran by one director. We took advantage of NOTHING. It was manditory for us to be role models for everyone in our school, along with the football players. Sure, we got in ocassional trouble but it was NOTHING like these girls. I was one of the rebels and I paid the price, I missed many performances for being caught doing things I wasn\’t allowed to do, such as going to parties and other things. These girls acted this way because they are allowed to act that way and were not expect to act any other way. I am truely embarassed as I sit and watch this movie. I grew up in Texas and I am a former drill team member .. Not all of us are like this or allowed to do so .. Don\’t group us all together, not all of us are this way.

      • Anonymous on said:

        Just an aside-why do they only have attractive young ladies with robust bodies? My answer, Titilation and if that is the point the entire program is wrong. My view.

  4. pastorjackwilson on said:

    I think the bottom line is what you see is what you get. Someone can dance with their daddy or dance with their wife and it’s fine. If however the girls and guys are dancing the lambada, it is not fine.
    I have seen school cheerleaders that are well managed and it’s not about sex yet there are schools that it is the only thing it is about.
    As for the big leagues, I am not much of a sports fan so if my wife sees me watching the cheerleaders a little too intently she reminds me quickly how that could lead to the wrong thinking. I don’t believe, I can be wrong of course, that their is a pro cheer leading team that does not compete in the “hot” department.
    What is the point of a cheer leader? That is the question we need to ask. Is it to show gymnastic ability? Then why don’t they don the costume of gymnasts?

    I have a friend who I love dearly. I know he loves the Lord yet his “ministry” is in a bar.. He loves to sing and they have an open mike time and he goes and sings and drinks and I have seen some photos that show the table covered with bottles and not looking so proper.

    The Bible says: “1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I don’t think having a drink is wrong but finishing the bottle is. If you come to my house I don’t take out all my coffee beans and sit with you and finish them off. Also, the atmosphere lends to a wrong appearance.

    I guess I am starting to ramble but it is because there is such a fine line that is easy to cross. I would not allow one of my daughters to be a cheerleader. If I don’t let my daughter do it, I would be lax in letting any of the girls in my Church do it.

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