Cheerleaders are individuals who are typically part of cheerleading squads. Such squads are typically found at sporting events at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels and assist their affiliated teams by engaging the crowds and leading organized cheers. Their routines may involve complex, choreographed acrobatics. In the United States, cheerleading squads themselves compete in tournaments to judge their routines and abilities.
In North America, cheerleading squads are typically female, though many also feature male cheerleaders.
In Video Games
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan
In the rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and its sequel, Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii, the player assumes control of an ouendan; a male cheerleading squad of a nature specific to Japanese culture. The ouendan members are very stylized in a manga aesthetic to accentuate a strong sense of masculinity, and rather than assist teams at sporting events, these ouendan rush to the aid of those that cry out for their help and perform cheers to keep people motivated, no matter the situation at hand.
In the game's highest difficulty setting, the male ouendan are replaced with a western-style female cheer squad. In Elite Beat Agents, the western counterpart to the Ouendan series, the female squad, the Elite Beat Divas, are similarly themed.
The We Cheer series on the Wii is also a rhythm game series in which the player character is a cheerleader. However, these games skew toward a younger audience than Ouendan with a cuter aesthetic.
The main character of the Grasshopper Manufacture game Lollipop Chainsaw, Juliet Starling, is an eighteen-year-old varsity cheerleader. She incorporates cheerleading gymnastics into her attacks while fighting off the undead. Juliet's character design is more of a parody of the cheerleader as a sexual fetish than a straight-forward interpretation.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
In another Grasshopper Manufacture game, No More Heroes 2, one of the assassins that Travis Touchdown must battle is football star Charlie MacDonald, ranked 25th by the UAA. He is accompanied by a cheer squad whose members are ranked 49th through 26th. By performing a cheer together, the girls have the inexplicable power to summon a giant robot. Travis counters with his own robot and kills both MacDonald and the entire cheer squad, raising his rank to 25th.