Being a cheerleader is more than just wearing a uniform, looking pretty and being loud. Part of a cheerleader’s skill set includes being able to hit very precise motions and cheerleading stances, and knowing when to use each one.
Each member of a cheerleading team must perfect their stances so that their team operates as a unit and receives the maximum number of cheers from the audience and points from the judges.
While a cheerleader’s basic motions are the backbone of her ability, her stances are the support system. A motion will miss the mark completely without the body being in a tight, formatted stance.
Most moves and stunt forms in cheerleading are an extension of a basic stance, so it is always good to learn through progression, starting with the basics.
This is a general overview of some basic cheer stances with the focus being the position of the legs. You may perform them, or see them performed, slightly different. These stances can be used while a cheerleader is on the ground or when she is up in a stunt, and the position of the feet will vary from being shoulder width apart to being together, depending on when and how the stance is being used.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back, keep your head up and face forward. Your legs should be together with your feet facing forward. Your arms can either be straight and against your sides (with your palms in) or you can fist your hands place them on your hips.
Cheer Stance: Arms At Sides
Stand up straight with your shoulders back, keep your head up and face forward. Your legs should be just further than shoulder width apart with your feet facing forward. Position your arms tightly against your sides, keeping them straight and extending your fingers with your palms facing in.
Cheer Stance: Hands On Hips
Stand up straight with your shoulders back, keep your head up and face forward. Your legs should be just further than shoulder width apart with your feet facing forward. Make fists of both hands, and bring them up to rest on your hips or upper thighs. Your thumbs should be facing back and pointing down. Both elbows should be pointing outward.
Side Hips Cheer Stance
Stand facing to the side, then turn your upper body to face forward. Your inside arm (facing the back) will cross over your abdomen, and your hand will rest on the opposite hip. Your outside arm (facing the crowd) will rest over the other hand in a relaxed hand on hip position, with the elbow pointing out. Pull your outside leg up so that your knee is slightly bent and you are up on your toes.
Get your legs ready to perfect cheerleading stances by using these strengthening your legs in your fitness routine.
Continue exploring this series in our How To Do Basic Cheerleading Stances: Part 2 article!