The common complaint of many high school cheerleaders is that too much of their time is taken up preparing spirit events for the school and not enough time working on competitive routines. Because of this, what seems to be the majority of cheerleaders also work out at cheer gyms unrelated to school practice. These second teams are focused on regional and national competition. Most of the non-school affiliate gyms are all-star cheer gyms.
There is a huge discrepancy between male cheerleaders in high school and college level cheering. Although less than 5% of high school cheerleaders are male, the collegee cheerleading squads are divided evenly. So where do all these men come from? Many of them can be found in competitive cheer squads.
The enticement of these squads for men and women is the lack of objectification in school. As part of an all-star team, the only people that know you are involved are the other cheerleaders. The skills used in all-star are more difficult and competition is more serious, which better preparations team members for their college level cheer squads.
Each year most states go to their regional all-star gyms and ask for the names of the best cheerleaders. These select few then go on to try out, and hopefully compete, for the state cheer squad at the national and international level. Being chosen to be part of the state team is one of the highest commendations for a high school cheerleader. It involves a great amount of hard work and dedication.