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Vintage Majorettes and Cheerleaders

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A majorette is a person doing choreographed dance or movement, primarily baton twirling associated with marching bands during parades. It derives from girls', in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, involvement in drill and gymnastic teams or groups that used apparatuses similar to those found in rhythmic gymnastics. Majorettes can also twirl knives, fire knives, flags, light-up batons, and fire batons. They do illusions, cartwheels, and flips, and sometimes twirl up to four batons at a time. Majorettes are often confused for cheerleaders, when in fact, baton twirling is more closely related to rhythmic gymnastics rather than cheer-leading. Cheerleading is a physical activity, sometimes a competitive sport, based on organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, which contain the components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate in competitions. The athlete involved is called a cheerleader. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains a predominantly American activity, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The growing presentation of cheerleading as a sport to a global audience has been led by the 1997 start of broadcasts of cheerleading competition by ESPN International and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring it On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the rest of the world in countries including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan] the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
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