Cheerleading entails doing a lot of moves, tumbles, jumps, and stunts to astound any audience–that’s the point! If you’re not doing something cool at all times, you either just got into cheer and are about to work your way up the ranks, or doing it wrong. One of the most amazing things about being a cheerleader is your jaw-dropping flexibility, and what better way to show it off than through a solid scorpion? For those new to cheer, a scorpion is stretching your leg all the way up to your ear around the back; the closer you get, the more impressive it looks! There are several stages of doing a scorpion, and you can’t just perform one overnight. You’ve got to earn your scorpion through constant stretching over time. For those that have it nailed down, congratulations! For those that haven’t reached that point yet: you’ll get there, don’t give up yet! No matter where you land in the scorpion spectrum, there are four things that every cheerleader can appreciate about them.

1. It’s a status symbol. Like we said above, the more flexible you are in cheerleading, the more other cheerleaders see the level of commitment you bring to the sport. Cheerleaders who go full out respect others that have the same dedication. People outside the world of cheer simply don’t understand how your leg stretches that way, and the more you work at your scorpion, the more natural it will look when you do it. Which freaks spectators out even more… like it’s against physics.

2.  It’s an ego-booster. The reaction from others when you do a scorpion fuels you forward in your cheer goals. Once you move from a Dorito to a needle, you feel like you can stretch any which way, and you’re ready to tackle your next cheer goal–whatever that may be. And, if your ego is up from cheering, that confidence carries over into other areas of your life. Which isn’t a bad thing.

3. It’s challenging, and then it’s simple. There’s a plateau of flexibility that you reach over time, and once you hit it, it’s a piece of cake. When you first try a scorpion, you’re discouraged that you’ll ever get it halfway there. But, then you keep working at it, until one day, when you finally hit it. And, it’s just so simple.

4. It’s a true cheer goal. Some things exist in cheerleading that you don’t have to necessarily outline as a specific benchmark. Scorpions are not one of them. To complete a scorpion, you have to put it permanently in your mind as a goal, as something that needs to be done one day–it’s never going to happen otherwise. Because it’s a true cheer goal, you will be able to ascertain your cheer progress by it! You’ll be able to know, without a shadow of a doubt, how far you’ve come as a cheerleader (when other things in cheer are not as easy to measure). 

What are other reasons you love doing scorpions? How long did it take you to thread that needle? Let us know in the comments!