CHEER San Francisco was formed by Guy Andrade in 1980 as the first professional, LGBT-identified cheerleading team in history. The team was originally known as the Hayward Raw Rahs. In 1990 the name was changed to the Bay Area Raw Rahs when most of the members at that time lived in San Francisco and communities throughout the Bay Area other than Hayward. In 1996 the team became known as CHEER San Francisco.
From its early days to the present, the team has dazzled audiences locally, across the state of California, around the country and around the world with a style of performance and athleticism unique to CHEER SF. CHEER SF is distinguished as the only cheerleading team to have appeared at all seven Gay Games (San Francisco in 1982 and 1986, Vancouver, Canada in 1990, New York City in 1994, Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1998, Sydney, Australia in 2002, and most recently in Chicago in 2006). CHEER SF has performed in an unprecedented variety of venues throughout its history, including President Clinton's Inaugural Parade in 1997.
In 1993, CHEER SF became a performing unit of the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco, thus establishing themselves as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In 1999, CHEER SF formalized the philanthropic work they had been doing for nearly 20 years into an official mission statement and working platform with the creation of the CHEER FOR LIFE Fund. In 2000 CHEER SF became the first and only partner organization of the Lesbian and Gay Bands Association following over ten years of performing at events across the country and internationally with the wonderful musicians who make up LGBA. Then in 2004, CHEER SF proudly began doing business as it's own non-profit called the Cheer For Life Foundation, INC. The CHEER FOR LIFE platform has become their primary focus, turning the amazing performance work they do into a means of providing support to organizations that provide services to men, women and children facing life-threatening challenges such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.
Today, CHEER SF continues to pave new paths and benchmarks for themselves. Their athleticism, teamwork and esprit de corps has earned them a reputation of respect and admiration amongst the collegiate cheer squads in the region with whom they participate at annual cheer camps. They have gone from pursuing performance opportunities to being sought-after as featured performers at large scale events, including professional sporting organizations, and sponsors have begun to take notice of the incredible marketing opportunities arising from CHEER SF's amazing popularity. 1
Cheer SF's audition in Episode 501 consisted of performing cheerleading tricks such as throwing people into the air. Piers Morgan buzzed the act. Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel voted "Yes," sending the group to the Vegas Round.
Cheer SF's Quarterfinals performance in Episode 515 consisted of performing feats such as tossing people up in the air and catching them, spinning someone vertically, and doing backflips. Piers Morgan admitted they weren't entertaining and Sharon Osbourne felt they weren't sophisticated enough; which both buzzed the act. Howie felt they could be better. Cheer SF did not receive enough votes to finish in at least fifth place in America's Vote, eliminating it from the competition in Episode 516 along with Iron Horse, instead of Alice Tan Ridley.