With 2016 on the horizon, now is the time to not only plan for the new year ahead, but also reflect on personal cheer progress and milestones the cheer industry has accomplished over the past year as well. There is always room for improvement in the ever-changing world of cheerleading, and 2015 has been an exceptional year in terms of moving the sport forward. Just in case you missed out on some of the trending cheer news, here are the most talked about cheerleading stories of the past year:

  • Governor Jerry Brown declared cheerleading a sport in California, following the growing trend across the nation in recognizing the amount of skill and dedication embedded in varsity high school cheerleading. The law was passed in October, a whole ten months since a January newscast got California cheerleaders excited that lawmakers were finally taking competitive cheerleading seriously. Although cheerleading won’t become a CIF sport until the 2017-2018 school year, it still stands as another victory in cheer history.

  • Cheerleaders often go very far in life, whether they continue to cheer into adulthood or not. This is mainly due to a strong work ethic they learn as part of a cheer team, working day after day towards common goals alongside their teammates. When cheerleaders are applying for a job, a college, another sport, or any other activity, they are considered for the position more prominently over other applicants because it is common knowledge that they are high achievers.

  • Being a cheerleader means being able to talk the talk, as well as walk the walk–and if you don’t think you speak cheerleading, just try explaining your current routine to anyone that’s never been in cheer before! You might not even be aware that you have a separate vocabulary than everyone else, but you really are speaking a second language (or third, to anyone that is bilingual). No matter your native language, some terms mean different things to cheerleaders than the rest of the world. Before you bust out your glossary or dictionary, study this list of ten terms.

  • Cheerleaders may seem to have it all together: hitting marks, juggling activities, and maintaining responsibilities, all the while achieving high grades in school. However, even cheerleaders can fear the worst! There are a lot of things in cheerleading that can go awry, which can cause cheerleaders stress and anxiety. But, knowing about the causes of stress is half the battle, so check out this list of seven things cheerleaders have nightmares about before you crawl into bed and hide under the covers!

  • Trends are just that–here today, and gone tomorrow. Because the industry evolves year after year, there are always new rules and regulations pertaining to what is allowed or illegal in cheerleading. Because of this, squads start to get creative in their routines. In the world of cheerleading, there were some stunts that were undeniably way more popular than others over this past year.

What was the most memorable piece of cheer news for you in 2015? Tell us in the comments below and make sure to set new cheer goals for 2016!