Cheers with motions separate the cheerleaders from the fans. Although anyone can chant or cheer in the stands, cheerleaders put on a show for the crowd, combining choreography, enthusiasm and spirit to keep the fans excited.
Perfecting Cheers with Motions
Cheers performed with sloppy and uncoordinated motions are the sure sign of an amateur or beginning cheerleading team. In order to impress the crowd, practice your cheers with motions repeatedly until you hit every mark with precision.
Set Cheer Motions to a Count
To properly execute the correct motion at the proper time, you'll want to set up a count for your motions so that you can memorize exactly which move occurs on which count. For instance, on count one you may start with a basic clap, followed by a low touchdown on count two, a broken T on count three and a check mark on count four. Once you have the moves down, you can substitute the words to the cheer for the count.
Make Your Moves Pop
Hit every motion with full commitment. Tighten your muscles and visualize exactly how you want your move to look. When It comes time to practice, perform each cheerleading motion with a military-like structure, almost rigid in its perfection.
Practice In Front of a Mirror
You need to be able to see your own motions in order to determine whether or not you're hitting your marks sharply and in time with your cheer. Cheer in front of a full-length mirror, monitoring your own motions and gauging the precision of your cheer.
Practice with Your Team
You might be the best cheerleader in the world, but if your team performs motions slightly off-count during the cheer, your precision won't matter. Slow the cheer down and make sure you are performing each movement in sync with your teammates. Then, consider videotaping the team while performing the cheer at the normal speed. You'll be able to see whether or not you're all performing the motions at the same time, identifying opportunities for improvement.
Focus on Fundamentals
The tiniest of details can make the difference between a well-executed cheer and a sloppy cheer. When performing motions during your cheers, make sure you focus on the basics. For instance, make sure your fists point in the direction they're supposed to point for each arm motion and be sure to keep your wrists straight. Cocking or bending your wrists and turning your hands the wrong direction can make a motion look "off."
Consider Your Voice and Smile
With all your concentration on the words of the cheer and the motions of your body, it's easy to overlook the importance of your voice and your facial expressions. Remember though, a cheer's not a cheer if your voice isn't projected into the stands and if your face doesn't portray excitement. You want to cheer loudly, crisply and with precision similar to the precision you use with your body motions. Practice your facial expressions, smiles and head bobs in the mirror with your moves, until you have them down pat.
Practice Makes Perfect
By practicing your cheer, perfecting your motions and engaging the crowd with your voice and facial expressions, you'll become a top cheerleader in no time. Every time you learn a new cheer, don't be afraid to take it back to the basics, dissecting each move and slowing the cheer down to make sure that you're performing the cheer correctly.