What is common between Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson and Reese Witherspoon ? Well, it's neither the White House nor the Hollywood. It's cheerleading! Yes, they were all cheerleaders during their school days. Cheerleading in America has grown from simple and easy cheerleading stunt performance at schools to professional cheerleading taken as a career prospect.
Cheerleaders and Sports
Cheerleaders are the most admired people in high school after the basketball and football team. Sports teams in the US have their own cheerleaders who make a game more glamorous and exciting. Cheerleaders can be identified wearing bright and colorful cheerleading uniforms that consists of matching sweaters and shorts for men and blouses and short skirts for women. The color of the uniform is the same as that of the team for proper identification.
Cheerleading is not easy as it looks as it needs a strong and agile body similar to a gymnast. Most high school cheerleading stunts start with easy ones and move on to more complex and dangerous stunts. Cheerleading may look like an easy sport but it is not so, and it takes a lot of hard-work, practice and focus to become a successful cheerleader. Cheerleading stunts are performed with a lot of hard work that require precision, focus, agility and dexterity on the part of the cheerleaders.
Easy Cheerleading Stunts for Beginners
Younger cheerleaders have to start with easier stunts like dancing on victory tunes, as complex stunts need more practice and experience. Here we have some of the easy yet popular stunts. Though, a stunt might look easy, it should be performed under the supervision of a coach.
Shoulder Sit Cheerleading Stunt
The shoulder sit is considered as one of the easiest stunts which require just three people; a base, a spotter and a flier. The base has to make a 90 degree angle thrust to the side with the right leg. The flier places her right foot on the base's bent leg, nearest to the hip, and jumps over the base's left shoulder. The base stands up as the flier sits with legs wrapped on the base's shoulder. The flier then cheers the crowd with her hands raised in a V-shape. The flier dismounts by holding her arms and legs straight as the base pulls the flier over her head. The spotter stands behind the cheering pair ready to catch the flier if she falls.
Thigh Stand Cheerleading Stunt
The thigh stand requires two bases to support the flier. The flier with strong arms and legs has to straighten up to make it easier for the bases to her. The bases interlock their feet as the flier puts her feet, one at a time, on the thighs of both the bases. The flier is supported by the base by holding her toes and the knees. After gaining her balance, as flier stands up, she cheers with lifted arms. The flier dismounts by grabbing the hands of the bases and steps down. A spotter watching during the performance is helpful if any mishap happens.
Extension Prep Cheerleading Stunt
These extension prep cheerleading stunts require two bases, one flier and a spotter as the spotter plays an important role near the end. The flier stands on the shoulders of the two bases who are standing about 15 inches apart. The two bases have to face each other and hold the feet of the flier at their collar level. The spotter should stand just behind the flier. In the beginning, the bases usually bend their knees, while extending their main hand palm up towards the audience. The flier has the option of bringing the two bases, nearer or farther, by simply moving her legs. The flier dismounts with her hands placed on the bases' lowered shoulders with the spotter ready to grabs the flier's waist or hold the calves or ankles.
L Stand Cheerleading Stunt
The L stand stunt is actually a continuation of the shoulder sit stunt. After completing the steps of the shoulder sit stunt, the flier stands with the leading foot on the leg of the base instead of sitting on the shoulder. The flier brings the free leg up in an L-shape, formed with the raised leg and supported by the other hand of the base. The flier dismounts by doing a shoulder sit stunt.
Though they look easy and are not complicated, cheerleading moves need a lot of practice and hard work. Cheerleaders need to maintain good physical and mental health and the most important thing is, that they must have the same zeal as the players.