If you are on a competition cheerleading squad, making difficult cheerleading stunts look easy is all part of the job. Whether you are part of the base or one of the flyers, practice and skill will make any difficult cheerleading stunt come off with ease.
Difficult Cheerleading Stunts
A lot of difficult cheerleading stunts are variations on simpler stunts. You and your squad should always master the easier stunts first. Especially if your squad is new together, it takes time to build the complete trust in one another required to pull off an advanced stunt and make it look easy. However, after that initial period of learning to trust your squad, your team will want to practice the more advanced stunts.
The basket toss is considered an advanced cheerleading stunt and is often one of the first advanced cheerleading stunts mastered by a squad. Essentially two bases create a "basket" by each grabbing their own right wrist with their own left hand, and grabbing the other's left wrist with their right hand. There also needs to be two spotters-one in front and one in back.
The flyer places her feet in the "basket" and the bases and flyer dip twice and toss her into the air. Most flyers will do a toe touch, a twist or another 'trick' while flying in the air.
2:2:1 pyramids are pyramids that are essentially three stories high. In the last few years, cheerleading organizations have sought to regulate the stunts by requiring that groups perform them with suitable matting underneath. Consequently, you won't generally see a 2:2:1 high pyramid at a basketball game since the mats are bulky and difficult to get out in the time allotted. However, you will see them in some competitions. A 2:2:1 pyramid requires at least four bases and of course, several spotters. Two bases on the end toss up their flyers to shoulder height. The two bases in the middle take their flyer and launch her straight up to either the hitch position or to a full extension. The flyer in the middle is then supported by the second level and spotted by the bases who launched her and additional spotters.
Adding Elements to Difficult Stunts
Once you've mastered the basic moves, adding elements like flips, jumps, and various tricks helps make the stunt you're doing look as complicated as it really is!
The simplest way to take a load from being ordinary to extraordinary, is to add some tumbling. Generally, when you 'tumble' into a stunt, you land with your feet in your base's hands ready to prep so the load, with the tumbling, only takes two to three counts. When you add an element like this, you can get really creative.
Of course once you get into the pyramid, what you do as you "show" can also speak to how skilled your squad is. Many cheerleading squads opt to have their flyers pose in a liberty, arabesque, or in a cupie. Doing stunts or trick while in pyramid formation can also look fabulous.
- Superman: Load two flyers up and have one fall back into a lying position with her stomach up and arms extended. Her shoulders should be supported by another base while her feet rest in a shoulder support of a second base. A third flyer is then loaded with a pop-up, while the cheerleader in the 'superman' position grabs her ankles. Bases then toss both cheerleaders up, the third flyer landing on top of the shoulders of the 'superman' and the extra flyer.
- Flip or Roundabout: This trick goes by a few names but essentially, it is a partner stunt brought together to form a full pyramid. It will require an odd number of flyers, either three or five, and a full base of support for each flyer. Typically this stunt is started by the flyers loading into a show and go, then being brought to the center to join in a wolf wall or a similar type pyramid. Finally, the middle flyer is supported on either side her fellow flyers by her arms, and then she is 'popped' into a flip and lands on the shoulders of her base.
If you have time to impress, you can also try any number of advanced dismounts, making your stunt that much more awe inspiring.
- A full layout twist - This is done from a basket toss while the flyer lies parallel to the floor and twists.
- A pop up tuck - After being popped up, the flyer does a tuck flip, usually being caught in the basket position.
Watching Advanced Stunts
When you prepare for more difficult stunting, it's important to not only prepare yourself physically, but also mentally. Watch some of these videos of other squads doing advanced stunts and you'll be flipping, tossing, and flying your way to competition greatness in no time!