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Putting the Rah in U-Rah-Rah

All members of the UW Spirit Squad share the game goal — to support intercollegiate athletics and serve as ambassadors for UW-Madison. But there are important distinctions between the groups … as well as cosmetic distinctions.

September 20, 2012

In the Fall 2012 issue of Badger Insider, writer Libby Blanchette goes behind the pyramid to discover the athleticism that underlies the UW Spirit Squad. The squad is actually a three-part organization composed of Dance Team, Cheerleaders, and Bucky Badger mascots.

"It's incredible to be a part of a school with such spirit of its own, and I just add to it," says Dance Team co-captain Vanessa Iorio x'14. "The traditions of our school and team are unlike any other; I'm very grateful to have been a part of it."

All the elements share the same goal — to support intercollegiate athletics and serve as ambassadors for UW-Madison. But there are important distinctions between the groups … as well as cosmetic distinctions:

  • Members of the Dance Team wear matching lipstick (this year's shade is called Madrid by MAC), hair clip, and earrings. At Badger games, eye makeup is to be in brown and natural tones, with heavy mascara so that the dancers' eyes pop.
  • The women on the Cheerleading Squad wear matching makeup, hairstyles, bows, and earrings. The lipstick shade is called Cruella (by NARS), and eye liner is Coffee Bean (from Revlon). Their hair is to be pulled back in a ponytail and tied with an inch-and-a-half wide white ribbon. (Cheer co-captain Vanessa Koys makes the bow.)
  • Cheer earrings appear to be diamond studs but are actually magnetic clip-ons, which are safer when doing stunts. If a cheerleader's earring gets snagged on a teammate's clothing (as often happens when performing stunts), she (and her teammates) would rather it just pop off than tear through her earlobe.
  • The most obvious different with the Cheerleaders is that about half the team is male. The entire Dance Team is female. Male Cheerleaders encourage uniformity in that all are to be clean-shaven and have conservative haircuts.

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