Garnet Girls, Song Leading Club


   Do you know that Chuo University has a world-class student club? That’s “Garnet Girls”, a song leading club made up of 27 girls. Despite its short history (it was actually founded in 2008), it has already been quite successful. In fact, its team won the All-Japan Championships and placed sixth in the World Championships. The track records tell how formidable the girls are. Their performances, full of elegance, power and uniformity, give strong impressions to the audience. Two Hakumon Herald reporters watched the members of Garnet Girls do their routine practice and compete in the Asia Open Cheerleading Championships of ICU (International Cheer Union) held on September 14.


 中央大学に世界レベルの部活があるのをご存知だろうか。それは「Garnet Girls」(ガーネット・ガールズ)という名の、27人の部員全員女子のソングリーディング部である。2008年に創部されたばかりだが、すでに日本選手権優勝、世界選手権6位の実績を挙げていることからも、彼女達のすごさがわかる。その華やかで、力強く、統一感のある演技は観る者に感動を与える。そんなGarnet Girlsの練習風景と、9月14日に行われたICU(International Cheer Union)アジア・オープンを取材した。



 What is song leading?

 To begin with, what is song leading? It’s a sport derived from cheerleading in the United States. Here are some differences between the two. While cheerleading aims to give pumping and exiting performances with cheer-up yells, powerful arm motions and human pyramids, song leading aims to delight the audience with bright dances by using simple hand tools like pompon.




 Song leading performances include not only line kick, leap/jump, turn and floor work but also all-off, contrast, formation change and sharp move of arms with pompon, which are characteristics of this sport. Teamwork is another feature. That’s perhaps why Japanese known for their cooperativeness can compete squarely in world competitions where foreign players have an edge because of their stronger physical ability.




 ICU, an international organization for song leading, is joined by 109 countries all over the world. Asia Open ICU was approved in May this year as a full member of “SportAccord”, which is regarded as the most authoritative international sport organization. This suggests that song leading has a promising future as a sport.




Garnet Girls placed second in the Team Cheer Style Pom category of the Asia Open Championships. Readers can have a look at their performance at The team challenged this competition for the first time after Ms. Mamiko Nakamura, a second grader in the Faculty of Commerce, became manager of the club. It is notable that despite their shorter competition career, the girls were successful in the topnotch championships, in which world-class adult teams also participated.


 Garnet Girlsは今回のアジア・オープンのチーム・Cheer Style Pom部門で、見事に準優勝に輝いた。このときの演技の模様は動画でご覧のほどを。今大会は商学部2年の中村磨生子さんが部長となって初めての大会だったが、さすがは世界大会出場チームらしく、社会人チームも参加するこの大会で見事に結果を残した。


 Garnet Girls, with such brilliant records, is not yet an authorized club affiliated with Chuo’s Athletic Federation. Being an unofficial club, it gets only 50,000 yen in annual budget from the school. Its members have to pay the rental fee for practice facilities and competition entry fee by themselves. Why can they prove themselves and keep producing good results under such harsh conditions?    

 これだけの実績と実力を有するGarnet Girlsだが、実はまだ中央大学体育連盟に所属する正式な部ではなく、未公認サークルである。そのため大学からの活動予算は年間わずか5万円で、練習施設の使用料や大会参加費は自費で支払っている。そんな状況におかれながら、彼女たちが高い実力を維持し、結果を出し続けられるのはなぜか。


 One of the reasons is that each of them has a high sense of purpose. In order to improve their skills and performances, they watch and analyze their own videos even during their rest break.  Their desire to improve themselves looks almost stoic.




 Another is their strong sense of unity. Most members have been wrestling with song leading since they were students of Chuo University Senior High School. As such, they have a strong feeling of fellowship.




(The Latter Part/後編へ)