Cheer stunting can be both an exhilarating and terrifying experience. Executed properly, a stunt draws gasps of amazement and awe from a crowd. But if every movement and action isn’t performed properly, it can be both dangerous and frightening. There are two components to a stunting team, the bases and the flyers. Both members must know and be comfortable with each step of the process. All stunts should be practiced and performed on an even surface with proper spotting. Starting from the elevator position… Bases: The bases should stand in a shoulder to hip width stance, squarely facing each other (see step1). They should decide on a designated count series such as one, two, down, up to ensure synchronized timing. This is called the dip and pop (see steps 1 through 3). The dip and pop must be done using the muscles of the legs and not the arms or back. At the moment of the pop (see step 3), the bases should powerfully explode in an upward motion to the point where their toes almost leave the ground. This is not a jumping motion. Simultaneously, the bases’ arms should extend straight upward in a locked position to propel the flyer. The bases’ eyes must remain fixed on the flyer at all times. As the flyer descends, the bases catch her in an absorbing motion. To do this, it is important to catch her at the highest point possible to decelerate her landing (see step 5). The bases’ knees should bend with the catch(see step 6). After a brief pause, the bases will gently pop the flyer back into a standing position so that she lands in front of them. Flyers: A flyer should be comfortable with her bases and familiar with the beginning count series. During the entire stunt, the flyer should stay tight, keeping all muscles squeezed. On the pop, the flyer should pull herself upwards as she is being released from the bases’ arms. Her body should lean backwards (see steps 3 and 4), never forwards, with her back arched and belly facing the ceiling. Arm positioning is up to the flyer but must always remain tight and locked. Never pike during the stunt. At the top of the toss, as soon as she begins to descend, the flyer should shift into a V position (see step 5), bending at the hips with her legs straight out and toes pointed. The flyer should always keep her abdominals engaged to support her back. She should catch herself on her bases, allowing them to pop her off into a sharp, finished position. Remember that it is important for cheerleading teams that are active in stunting to have the proper cheerleading shoes for support and to reduce injury. When looking for cheer shoes, 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. They offer all of these features and are a good investment because they are durable. If the budget is a little tighter, the next best choice would be the Asics Cheer 5. It’s a comfortable shoe at a comfortable price, while maintaining quality.