For today's piece I actually backtracked to 1982, the year that Hilda McDaniel started the All-Star phenomenon as we know it with her Q94 Rockers out of Richmond, Virginia. It was in the 1980's the cheerleading teams not affiliated with schools began competing with school teams until 1987, when NCA created a separate division for this new crop of athletes. Hilda McDaniel was on the forefront of this new movement in cheerleading...which was for lack of better words a game changer. Competitive cheerleading would push the limits of choreography, skills, cheer uniforms and created a new cheerleading industry, the likes of which had never been seen. A new governing body would be established, the US All Star Federation (USASF), to regulate safety and judging for this new division in cheerleading.
I remember seeing Hilda at Cathy Buckey's Champion Cheer and Dance competitions in Virginia. She was with the Cheer Factory All-Stars at the time, and always surrounded by a frenzy of 'cheer ringlets', sequins and excitement.
When I was doing my research on Hilda I found numerous articles and mentions on cheerleading web sites. One site I found was particularly interesting to me; it didn't speak as much to her coaching but more to her love of Christmas and her collection of cheerleading ornaments. There is a great slideshow featuring all her beloved cheerleading ornaments, given to her by her cheerleaders, staff and friends and when you see it you can't help but smile, and see that she was loved so much. Click here to see the slideshow.
Hilda McDaniel passed away at 64 years of age in March of 2011. Today's piece is for Hilda, and all you All Star Cheerleaders out there.
I would like to note that I could not find the colors for the Q94 Rockers All Star Cheerleading Team. I made the decision to go with red, white and blue to represent All Star Cheerleaders across America, and in honor of September 11th.-JLG
Artist and Art Teacher