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Pep rallies are events that occur primarily in the United States and Canada. A pep rally is a gathering of people, typically students of middle school, high school and college age, before a sports event. The purpose of such a gathering is to encourage school spirit and to support members of the team for which the rally is being thrown. The pep rallies are often very loud and have a lot of excitation to keep all the students excited for the upcoming game and to cheer on the team.
At a pep rally, cheerleaders will often lead in boisterous chants and dance moves intended to get the student body involved and supporting the school's team. Games between competing classes with small prizes may be held. The school's band will often play upbeat music in between demonstrations, and the drumline may play. In the case of a homecoming game, the Homecoming "court" may be chosen and announced.
This is also a time for the team captains to let the school know how their team is doing this season. Most schools have pep rallies to honor future and past events.
Historical research has shown that the Nuremberg rallies - torch-lit, flag waving mass spectacles of Nazi followers gathered together to listen to the speeches of Hitler and other leading figures of the regime - introduced by the Nazis during the period of the Third Reich in Germany were based on Harvard University pep rallies.
- David Graeber, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, Chicago, 2004, p.19
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