Aerial: Used to describe a cartwheel without hands touching the ground or floor. Sometimes refers to a walkover or round off without hands.
All Stars: A Cheerleading squad that is not associated or affiliated with a school. All-star teams exist for a wide-range of age groups, compete in a separate division and are often looked at as having more elite-level cheerleading.
Arabesque: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight leg and extends the unsupported leg straight behind her with toes pointed, while keeping the torso upright and arms in a “T.”
Awesome: Like an elevator or extension except the bases bring their hands to the middle of the stunt so the flyer’s feet are very close together. Also known as a Cupie.
Back Handspring: When a tumbler jumps backwards onto the hands, followed by a quick push frm the hands to the feet.
Bases: These are the people who hold and catch the flyer. Bases should always keep their eyes on the flyer. (Main Base: The base that has the most control of the stunt. Side Base: The base that assists the main base who holds and catches the flyer.)
Basket Toss: A stunt which uses two side bases, a back base and may use at least one front base to toss the flyer from their hands. Once airborne, the flyer may hit any number of Stunts, including a toe touch, a tuck and a full before returning to the cradle.
Cheer: A longer yell, which involves motions, pom pons, stunts, jumps, or tumbling.
Choreography: The set arrangement of dance steps and movements.
Competitions: An event where squads come to test their skills against others and compete for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place finishes.
Couch: A person that instructs or teaches a performer, player, or team.
Cradle: A dismount where the flyer rides the toss from a stunt and is caught by her bases landing in a piked position and wrapping her arms around her bases.
Cupie: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer is held, with her feet together, in one hand (partner stunt) or simulated to look as so (group stunt) by the bases. The cupie is a.k.a. an “awesome.”
Dance: A series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements as part of the routine.
Dismount: A way used to return to a floor postition following a stunt or routine
Double Full: The move where a tumbler does two full twist in the layout postion before you land.
Double Full Down: Two complete twists from a pop and dismount into a cradle
Eight-count: Mark of time used to count out one section of a dance, or other counted element.
Extension: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands with both legs locked out (shoulder-width apart) and one foot in each hand of her base (partner stunt) or each foot is held by a different base (group stunt), hitting a high “V” motion.
Facials: Smiles, winks and so on that a cheerleader gives the crowd or the judges.
Flyer: The person on top of the bases, this person should not be afraid to be up high or to fall. The flyer pulls up through her shoulders and stomach. She should tighten every muscle in her body. This takes some weight off of the bases and makes the stunts easier and more solid.
Front spot: A extra person in a stunt group used to hold at the front and add stability and usually holds at the foot of the flyer or wrists of the side bases. The front spot is a.k.a a front base.
Full: (Tumbling) the move where a tumbler while doing a layout does a full twist and lands.
Full Down: A complete full twist dismount into a cradle
Handspring: The move where a tumbler springing off the hands by putting the weight on the arms and using a strong push from the shoulders; can be done either forward or backward; usually a linking movement with other tumbling skills.
Heel Stretch: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight leg and holds the foot of her unsupported leg with the same-side hand (on the outside of the foot). The leg should be slightly in front of the flyer’s body with the knee locked out and toes pointed. The other arm is in half a high “V.”
Jump: An action where both feet leave the ground; a coordinated placement of the arms and legs while the feet are off the ground. There are three parts to a jump; the prep/approach, the lift, and the landing.
Kick Out: A basket toss, the flier squats in the air, bringing her knees to her chest and placing her hands on her knees w/elbows out, and then pushes it out and the bases catch her in a cradle.
Kick Over: The flyer puts one leg flat and one base holds it. the other base has the flyers back/waist with one hand and her hand with the other and the flyer dips and the base with the leg throws it over and they catch her in a spilt usually.
Landing: The act of coming out of a jump. An ideal landing makes little sound, occurs with knees slightly bent and feet and legs together, hands by the side.
Layout: A layout is a backflip where the tumblers body stays in a layed out position straight or slightly arched body position.
Motion: A set position of a Cheerleader’s arms. Motions include T motion, L motion, K motion, hands on hips, diagonals, touchdown, daggers, High V, Low V, and variations of them.
Nationals: Looked at as the most prestigious cheer competitions, they determine that competition’s National Champions in each division. Nationals usually take place from the end of December to the beginning of April and separate Nationals are often held for college, high school and all-star teams.
Pike: A jump that is executed by bending the body in half, parallel to the floor, with both legs straight out and toes pointed. Arms are also straight out, matching the shape of the legs.
Pom-Pon: A hand held ball of plastic strips connected by a handle. Also called Pom Pom.
Pyramid: Multiple mounts or a group of stunts next to one another.
Pop Warner: A national youth football and cheerleading organization that houses cheerleading squads with members ranging in ages from 5-15. The squads compete at district, regional, state and a national competition to be named the Pop Warner National Champion in each division.
Post: Person who stands in front of a stunt and a flier leans down on that persons arms and the flier puts all of their weight into that person, and that person locks his/her arms and pushes the flier up
Punch: One arm is directly overhead, locked out and tight against the head with the hand in candlesticks and the palm facing inward. The other hand is on the hip in a tight fist. (This can be done either direction.)
Regionals: Cheer competition beyond the state level, but not quite the national level. Regional competitions often encompass several states and placing high at a regional competition may qualify a squad for National competition.
Routine: A continuous show of talent in the squad by use of cheers, chants and dance steps. Can last from 2 min. 30 sec. up to 4 min. depending on the time limits of the competition or showcase.
Spankies: Another word for briefs or undies. Also called lollipops, bloomers, and tights.
Split: A stretch of the legs performed by extending both legs, one in front, the other in back, parallel to the surface of the ground, and can be on the ground or in a stunt. (Side split) A middle split is achieved by straddling the legs, one as far to the right and one as far to the left as possible, while seated or in a stunt.
Spotter: A person that stays in contact with the performing surface and watches for any hazards in the stunt or mount. The spotter is responsible for watching the flyer and to be prepared to catch her if she falls.
Standing Tuck: A standing tuck is essentially a back flip done from a standing position, with no running or round-offs preceding it. You use your legs and feet, rebound, ride up, and snap to the position in which the knees and hips are bent and drawn into the chest; the body is folded at the waist.then you land with both feet together at the same time.
Stunt: Any skill or feat involving tumbling, mounting, a pyramid, or toss. Usually does not refer to a jump.
Toe-Touch: One of the most widely used jumps in Cheerleading. A jump where your arms are in a “T” motion and your legs split to the sides, toes pointed with your knees up or pointed back. Hands do not touch the toes, as the name implies, but instead your hands try to reach to the insides of your ankles. You should keep your back straight, your head up, and rotate your hips to perfect this jump.
Tumbling: Any gymnastic skill used in a cheer, dance, or for crowd appeal. Can be done as an individual or as a group in unison.
Tuck: A jump that is executed by “tucking” the knees into the chest. The back is straight and the chest should not be brought to the knees. Toes are pointed and arms are in a high “V”. Sometimes called jump builders, repetitive tuck jumps are great for building stamina and stomach strength to improve other jumps.