What do successful dancers and cheerleaders have in common? Some of the obvious answers include:
An answer that may not come to mind is the willingness to repeat step after step to master a certain move. Then there’s the ability to change the move slightly to make it more impressive. Finally, there is the acceptance that dance and cheerleading depend on choreography and timing.
What to wear?
For most of us, this is the question we ask when going to school, work, church or on a date. Cheerleaders have a set uniform for each particular sport they represent. Dancers often change outfits several times in one show. Imagine the task of finding colors and separate articles of clothing that complement the wearer and the production!
Those incredible dance routines involve short skirts with flouncy panels. Forget selecting one color that may wash out one girl and shout too boldly for another. Costume designers are showing boldness by choosing what is best for each participant in a routine. Cheerleaders are beginning to mix it up by wearing both school colors, one on the top and one on the bottom. Dancers are following suit by wearing the colors that present them at their best.
Stretch it out!
It isn’t an accident that many cheerleaders love to dance, or that great dancers go out for cheerleading. The same need to stretch, bend and keep in shape is essential for both skills. Stretch at least half an hour before any workout or practice session. Also:
- Take a few minutes to stretch out afterwards.
- Avoid straining your muscles.
- Do not bounce while stretching.
Your body performs best when it is limber and warmed up, ready to go.
How high can you fly?
Remember the whole process revolves around technique. There are two tips that will make you a better flyer. Before each stunt:
- Avoid jolting your legs.
- Keep your thighs and hips stable.
After each stunt:
- Stand up as quickly as possible.
- Lock your knees.
- Keep your legs straight.
- Stay stiff.
- Depend on the base below you for balance.
Talk with the team
If you feel you are doing everything properly and it still isn’t happening right, talk to the coach and the spotters. Practice the routine on the ground to be certain the timing is right. The spotters and coach will watch everyone involved in the routine to be certain the platform and lift are accurate. When you are ready to try again, make eye contact and smile at the crowd while flying. Whether dancing or cheerleading, the results will be perfect.