Language we use at Panels

Language we use at Panels

Trainee, and soon-to-be-cheerleader, Magi (magi.xoxo) answering panel questions.

First, an apology

I’m not, shouldn’t be, am not qualified to be, and don’t want to be the “Language Police.” How each Cheerleader chooses to speak is up to them and not my business.

For that reason, on past occasions when I’ve almost written this blog post, I decided to keep my mouth shut and move on. Still, this keeps coming up and when it does it makes me uncomfortable and feels wrong. I’m still not the “Language Police,” but for one blog post I want to say that some language makes me uncomfortable.

BBQ Trainee?

At some but not all Panels one or more cheerleaders will say things like

Time to BBQ a Trainee

Let’s turn the fire up under the hot seat

These things are never said in a meanspirited or callous way. They are in the light humorous banter of SLCS Cheerleader interaction.


They are in Open, Local Chat in range of the Trainee. And it feels wrong to me.

Magi (magi.xoxo) and Aero Bigboots at Training Class 4 on Friday 26 May 2023. Srooc Skytower Memorial Stadium in the Cheertopia Region of the real metaverse, Second Life.


Many Trainees feel stressed about panels. I paneled 12 years ago and I still remember the stress. You can read about that here:

And the thing is, we actually want Trainees to feel stressed. Well, not exactly “want”, more like “value”. Let me explain:

A Non-Stressed Trainee

Let’s imagine a Trainee who doesn’t care about becoming a part of SLCS. They signed up for whatever reason, and they might do a performance if they get in, or they might fade out. They think SLCS is cute, and sort of corny. “I might join, I dunno.”

That trainee isn’t stressed at panels because there’s nothing at stake for them. If we don’t take them, fine, they didn’t want it anyway.

No stress, but, also not a future Cheerleader we want.

A Stressed Trainee

Now let’s imagine a very different Trainee. One who might say something like,

I’ve been in SL for some years now. I love dancing and shopping and all the cool groups you can join. I’ve been to amazing sims and nice art galleries. It’s all great. Even if there isn’t always a deep “there” to it. Then I discovered SLCS. A group with beautiful choreography, gorgeous uniforms, and a place I can call home. I love the warm feeling I get from SLCS.

I hope I can pass Panels. I had practiced what I thought was a cool routine for when I drove a little while ago. Unfortunately, I got nervous and kind of messed it up. Now I have to answer Panel questions. I hope I don’t screw up. I want to be a part of SLCS.

This second Trainee might Drive better or answer Panel questions better than the 1st one. Or not. But for sure, this 2nd trainee has a lot of something that the 1st one does not: Desire.

And that desire means that they’ll likely be nervous at panels. The 1st one wasn’t nervous because the whole thing didn’t matter to her. This one is nervous because it matters a lot.

This 2nd Trainee is exactly the sort of person we want to be a part of SLCS.

What if we don’t “roast” a nervous Trainee filled with Desire?

We know the best candidates will feel stress at Panels. So why would we want to add to their stress by making “humorous” comments like “Time to BBQ a Trainee”?

Are we 1990’s frat bros hazing a new pledge?

As cheerleaders we are here to perform. We are here to shine on stage. And Panels are the best stage of all! No, the trainee isn’t dancing at panels. Still, she is performing. She is presenting herself. We should be the best audience she’ll ever have. Cheerleaders who care about her and want to learn more about her. We should be a mature symphonic audience, listening for the subtlety in every note. Not a raucous frat party reaching for yucks.

Again, I know the “fire” and “BBQ” comments are in fun. But the Trainee might not know that. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to make a friendly, warm environment? Shouldn’t we be gracious to someone we hope to call “sister” before the night is over?

Magi (magi.xoxo) (far right) offering insightful answers to a variety of questions at her SLCS Panel on Friday 26 May 2023. Her driving and panel answers were strong and she was approved as SLCS’ newest Cheerleader shortly after this.

I previously wrote about SLCS Panels last year when we rejected an autistic trainee for the 2nd time. I felt that in Panels, as much as we examine who the Trainee is, we also define who we are and what SLCS is. That post is here:

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