So You Think You Know Cheerleading?

I

f you think that cheerleading is all about waving brightly-coloured pom-pons and girls shrieking their hearts out, you’re dead wrong!

The sport has come a long way and is now considered one of the toughest sport (yup, you read that right) around. Just in case you’re a newbie to this exciting and adrenaline-pumping sporting activity, here we have gathered some facts and information for your benefit.

First up, this is what you should know about cheerleading: A cheerleading routine consists of cheers, chants, tumbling, dance, stunts, jumps, motions and pyramids.

And an athlete involved in this routine is called a cheerleader (okay, maybe you already knew that!)

So, no, cheerleading is also not all about cheerleaders clambering on top of another to form the perfect pyramid or about who could cheer the loudest.

It’s a combination of trained skills that when put together produces a performance that could literally blow you away.

You’ll be learning…

Tumbling

This uses techniques borrowed from gymnastics. The basic tumbling moves include the front flip, back handspring, cartwheel and many more.

Dance

The dance sequence is usually sharp, punctuated and has very synchronised motions visible even from a distance. Pom-poms were incorporated into the dance sequence to accentuate the arm movements.

Stunts

These range from two-legged stunts to one-legged extended stunts and high flying tosses. There are numerous variations of stunts such as Scorpion, Liberty, Torch and Heel Stretch.

Tosses

… which include Basket Toss, Reload, Pop Cradle and more.

Jumps

There are a variety of jumps that a cheerleader can perform such as Toe Touch, Pike, Forward Hurdler and Herkie.

Motions

Motions are “shapes” done with the body such as K, High V, Low V and Punch Up.

Pyramids

The pyramid is technically a multiple groups of stunts connected aerially by the flyers. There’s a limit on building height and cheerleaders have to wear shoes for safety.

Who’s Who In Stunts

When performing a stunt or pyramid, it’s crucial that each cheerleader performs according to their positions.

Bases

These are cheerleaders who stay on the ground to provide support for the flyer during a stunt. Bases can be male or female cheerleaders.

Main Base

The main base is formed when doing a one-legged stunt. They hold a firm grip on the flyer’s foot, carrying majority of his/her weight.

Side Base

This also applies when doing a one-legged stunt. The side base helps the main base to lift the flyer into the air and give support by holding the flyer’s foot.

Flyer

A flyer is the person who goes up into the air during a stunt. They are the main focus on the stunt, and in return, they must keep a steady focus on what they’re doing or risk falling. A strong core and good balance is essential for a flyer when performing a stunt.

Back Spotter

The back spotter helps to “carry” the flyer into the bases’ hands. They do this by using their hands to support the flyer’s waist and push the flyer into the air. If the flyer falls backwards, it’s the back spotter’s job to catch him/her.

Front Spotter

The front spotter ensures that the flyer doesn’t fall forward. They basically have the same responsibility as the back spotter in watching out for potential falls.

Additional Spotter

The additional spotter usually stands free around the stunt. They keep their arms up in the air and their eyes focused on the stunts. They generally do not get involved with the stunt unless something goes wrong.

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