Do you believe in Squad?  — Today we give praise to the UCLA CHEER SQUAD, the often-overlooked and sometimes under-rated sect of Bruin Cheerleaders who routinely put Spirit in the Sky

The UCLA Dance Team gets a lot of publicity and recognition for being World Class, so it’s easy to forget about the equally-impressive Cheer Squad, who is simply too fine — and flies too high — to ever be overshadowed.  The UCLA Cheerleader Auditions were Sunday, and the illustrious Selection Committee came through again with flying colors.  For the Cheer Squad, they retained the stellar returnees who chose to come back, and they added a couple of new students, who will easily maintain the high standards that have been established here in Westwood.

Included today are 43 photos from Sunday, ALL of which feature the athletically-talented and classically-beautiful Cheer Squad.  The girls who were fortunate enough to make the Squad are captioned with their first names.  Also pictured are a few lovely girls who sadly missed the cut.  No disrespect meant, but I don’t know their names, so those names are missing from the captions.  When you see those photos, you may wonder how in heck they fell short.  Keep in mind, with photos of these runner ups for the Cheer Squad, as well as with the runners up for the Dance Team, LOOKS are JUST ONE element of the total package that the judges are looking for.  They have to be athletic, flexible, smart, handle pressure well, follow directions to a tee, and have to be extremely personable in interviews as well. So please suppress your instinct to exclaim:  “How could this cutie have not made it?”  The judges are supremely expert at this process, and although the decisions are often tough, there is usually extreme method to the apparent madness.  In other words, trust them, they know what they’re doing.  Their expertise is borne out year after year, as the entire UCLA Spirit Squad is perenially the Best in the Land — an apparent Gift from God.