The elevator is a basic stunt in cheerleading that can be performed alone to add a “WOW!” factor, or used as an entry in to a full extension and more complex stunts. Though a basic move, the elevator still requires strength, agility skill and trust among squad members. This move should only be performed under proper, trained supervision to ensure the safety of everyone. Set-Up Stunt Groups: 1 Spotter: At least 1 Bases: 2 Flyer: 1 Synchronization: Each team should decide on a designated count series such as “one, two, three, four’ or “down, up’ to ensure synchronized timing. The back spotter should call out the count series, and the stunt can begin with “Ready, set” where all positions bringing their arms up and clapping once on beat, then dropping their arms and moving into position. How To Perform An Elevator Formation Bases: The bases should be standing in a shoulder to hip width stance, facing each other so that they can make eye contact. Their arms should be against their sides. Flyer: The flyer should face forward, in between and slightly behind the bases. The flyer’s arms should be against their sides. Spotter: There should be at least one back spotter for this stunt. A front spotter can be utilized as well, but this guide will only cover a back spotter. The back spotter should be positioned directly behind the flyer, facing forward. The base’s arms should be by their sides. Entry Bases: On the right count, the bases should go into their half squat, keeping their backs straight and their heads apart. Each base should cup their hands, palms up, in anticipation of receiving the flyer’s foot. Flyer: The flyer positions one hand on each of the base’s shoulders, keeping their arms bent and their elbows up. Simultaneously, the flyer lifts one leg to about a 90 degree angle, loading that foot inside one of their base’s cupped hands. Spotter: The spotter should position their hands on the flyer’s waist. Their grip should be firm, but loose enough so that it is not restricting. The spotter is responsible for counting out the moves for synchronized timing. Momentum Bases: The bases will hold their supporting position while the flyer gains momentum for the lift. Flyer: The flyer should straighten their arms to lift their free foot slightly off the ground. Then, the flyer should bend their arms again and bring their foot back down. This should not be a bouncing motion; it should be a controlled move that will give the lift more power. Spotter: The spotter will hold their supporting position while the flyer gains momentum for the lift, and continue the count series. Lift Bases: As the flyer brings their foot back down on count, the bases should dip down (following the prompts from the spotters count off). After the flyer loads their free foot into the other base’s palms, the bases will begin to straighten their legs and extend their arms upwards to lift the flyer. The lift is not a jumping motion. The bases should be lifting from their legs, using the power of coming out of their squat to help propel the flyer upwards, and supporting the flyer on their palms. For an elevator, the bases should stop lifting at shoulder or chin level, and hold the flyer at that height. Flyer: As the flyer lands their free foot, they should repeat the push off but this time load their free foot into the free hands of the waiting base. As they are loading their foot, they should also begin to dip with the bases. The bases will begin to rise and lift the flyer. While the bases are rising, the flyer should begin to move into a standing position by pushing off the base’s shoulders and straightening their legs. The flyer should lock their legs and tighten their core once they are in the air and their legs are straight. Once in position, the flyer can extend their arms into a “T” or “V” position. Spotter: As the flyer brings their foot back down on the spotter’s count, the spotter should keep their hands on the flyer’s waist and dip with the stunt group. The spotter will help the flyer rise and keep stability during the lift. Once the flyer begins to stand, the spotter should release the flyer’s waist and firmly position their hands either at the tops of the flyer’s ankles or low on the flyer’s calves and help the bases lift the flyer. Dismount There are a few options for dismounting from an elevator during practice, depending on your experience, skill and comfort. The bases and spotters can work together to lower the flyer back on to the ground using the same count series. It would basically be a reversal of the moves, and should be done slowly and softly. If you choose to have a front spotter, they would hold the flyer’s hands as their stunt group lowers them. If the stunt group is ready for something a little more advanced, they can use a cradle to dismount from an elevator. Check out the step-by-step instructions and visual guide from the Beginner’s Guide On How To Perform A Cradle article. Tips For Performing An Elevator Everyone’s eyes should be on the flyer at all times. This is a safety precaution, and also a requirement for many competitions. Bases should stand as close together as they can without restricting the flyer’s space. If the bases create too much distance, the flyer is going to end up with sloppy form since their legs will be in a split position, which will strain and likely topple the entire stunt. The flyer should always concentrate on looking straight ahead, not down. Looking down will cause a loss of balance. Remember! It it is important for cheerleaders that are active in stunting to wear the proper shoes and attire, for support and to reduce injury. When looking for shoes for cheerleading, it’s important to have finger grips, heel grooves, smoother traction on the bottom (flyers, your bases will be thanking you later), and flexible support. A recommended stunting shoe is the Asics Gel-Comp 2. Your practice wear and uniforms need to be fitted so that no one gets tangled up in extra material.