The Shoulder Stand is the advanced version of the Shoulder Sit, and is performed in a 2-person stunt group (plus spotters). Practicing the beginner level Shoulder Sit is also a great way for your stunt team to work out any kinks, get familiar with the count series and build trust before attempting the Shoulder Stand.

Before any group attempts a stunt, they should discuss and decide on a standard count series. Each and every move a stunt group performs should be done on counts, and it is typically the responsibility of the spotter to keep the beat and call it out. Timing is critical in stunting, and new teams need to practice their timing as much as they practice their actual stunts.

Many stunts begin with a two beat, "Ready, OK" count, where all positions bring their arms up and clap once on beat. This helps get everyone's attention, lets them know to focus and assures the entire group that everyone is ready. From there the stunt group gets into formation, and the spotter begins the count series (typically based on an 8-beat count).

How To Perform A Shoulder Stand

How To Perform A Shoulder Stand Cheerleading Stunt
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Set-Up
Stunt Groups: 1
Spotter: At least 1
Bases: 1
Flyer: 1
Level: Intermediate

Base
  • The base should get into a deep squat position with their arms in a T position. While their main body will face forward, the toes of their bent legs should turn slightly sideways. One of their bent legs will act as a platform for the flyer's foot.

  • Once in position, the base should bend and begin to raise their arms toward a High V position, and grab the flyer's hands.

  • As the flyer rests their foot on the base's leg, the base should hold their position as the flyer pops up and begins to pull their other foot up onto the base's shoulder.

  • As the flyer's foot is settling on the base's shoulder, the base should release the flyer's hand and bring that now free hand down around the flyer's ankle. The base should pull down firmly to root the flyer and give them extra stability.

  • As the flyer is bringing their other foot up, the base can release their hand (the spotter will offer the flyer help) and bring it down to grip the flyer's ankle when it settles.

  • Simultaneously, the base will start to straighten their legs so they end in the standing position.


Flyers
  • The flyer will start this stunt by standing behind the base.

  • As the base lifts their arms up, the flyer should start to lift their arms also, coming into a High V position and gripping the bases hands.

  • Once the base has a firm grip on the flyer's hands, the flyer should raise one leg and bring it up to rest on the base's thigh.

  • Once the flyer's foot is in position, they should dip down then pop up, shifting their weight from their legs to their arms. During this move the flyer should keep her core tight and use the leg that is resting on the base's thigh to gain air.

  • The spotter will help lift the flyer, and when the lift has reached a point where the flyer's arms are almost straight, she should begin to swing her leg up to rest her foot on the base's shoulder.

  • The flyer's other leg will be pulling up also, and once the other foot is secure, it should come up to rest on the other shoulder.

  • Once the flyer is secure, she will release the base's hands and stand up straight, hitting a High V motion with her arms.


Spotter
  • The spotter's main responsibility is to support and guide the flyer, and of course keep her from hitting the floor if anything goes wrong.

  • The spotter should stand directly behind the flyer with her hands on the flyer's hips. The spotter's grip should be firm, but not restricting.

  • The spotter should follow the movements of the flyer as she dips and pops up, and help lift her onto the base's shoulders.

  • If the stunt group is still new, the spotter should release the flyer's hips once she is in position, but grip her calves or thighs for extra support. If the stunt group is a little advanced the spotter can let go of the flyer. Letting go doesn't mean the spotter's job is over, they still need to stay directly behind the base and keep alert. They will also need to count out the series for the dismount.


*This guide should serve as an introduction to the basic steps for a Shoulder Stand stunt and should be used as a reference only. This guide should not be used to replace the instruction and supervision of a trained professional.