Lille cheerleaders break codes with glitter

On “It’s Raining Men” to the fullest, their buttocks molded in red lycra mini-shorts, they chain doe jumps and pyramids: at half-time, the Scrimmage People put on the show to have fun but also “to break the codes of masculinity.

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Lhe roller derby players who invited this group of cheerleaders from Lille to host a European tournament organized in a gymnasium near Namur, in Belgium, are won over. “They assume this sexy side, which is usually reserved for girls, but at the same time they are not bodybuilders, they come as they are”greets Sophie Dubé, who has just left the track wearing a helmet and harnessed with protections.

“They break the codes, a bit like us”adds his sister Perrine, alias Pépé, keen on this contact sport, one of the few in which mainly women indulge, which is practiced on rollerblades. Under the cheers, the eight members of the Scrimmage People in spats, suspenders and headbands in red terrycloth, smirk, shake their pompoms in rhythm, undulate their pelvisbefore embarking on perilous pirouettes on Katy Perry or Britney Spears. “They are brave to do this”, judges a spectator. But “It’s not really my thing”.

Cash among the first groups of cheerleaders in Francethe Scrimmage People started in 2016, in the bosom of the Lille roller derby club, trained with the pioneers of the genre, the Austrian group Fearleaders.

“We want to offer different ways of being a man” Nathan Castelein

Teacher, seller, or programmer, there are about fifteen of them training on Tuesday evenings. “The first goal is to have fun, but there is also a message: there is no masculinity but masculinities”explains Camille Serrurier, 39 years old and sideburns, web analyst in a large retail chain.

Since becoming a cheerleader, he admits to taking on his colleagues more “on certain racist, misogynistic, validist humor traits, etc. ».

Glittery make-up, hips and sexy poses, soundtrack “rather feminine pop”
: “We want to offer different ways of being a man”
abounds Nathan Castelein, bearded and stocky 32-year-old engineer, pillar of the Scrimmage since their beginnings.

“We are not Chippendales”

“We think that as white and heterosexual cisgender men for the majority of us, we have a privileged place that we want to question”he says, delighted to evolve “in a male collective but without the habits I had of competing, of holding back my emotions”. “We have proven that women can practice a contact sport, they are showing that everyone can wear lycra and dancedevelops their trainer Emma Darquié. It’s not a parody. This is a very serious joke. »

Like her home environment of roller derby, an inclusive sport invested in by feminist activists, The group is open to all ages and all faces. “We are not Chippendales”underlines David Cuntrera, a forty-year-old father.

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Lille cheerleaders break codes with glitter