Common Misunderstandings About All-Star Cheerleading

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The All-Star cheerleading experience is often misunderstood and the concepts can be comprehended in different ways. All-Star cheer and cheerleaders are almost always represented by a stereotype that isn’t factual and correct.

All-Star cheerleaders do not cheer at sporting events

All-Star cheer is different from sideline cheer. Sideline cheer encourages the team and excites the crowd. All-Star cheerleaders prepare a routine consisting of jumps, stunts, motions, tumbling, and dance. While sideline cheerleaders pump up the crowd and chant catchy cheers, All-Star cheerleaders perform their routine on a nine panel spring floor for two minutes and thirty seconds.

What competitions are like

Before cheerleaders perform they go to warm ups. There’s a certain amount of time given on a rod floor (two panels of spring floor), dead mat (no springs), and a full floor that is also dead mat. The rod floor is used to warm up the tumbling pass that will be competed, on the two panel dead mat cheerleaders practice every stunt section, and on the full floor they do a stunt through (only stunts, everything but jumps and tumbling).

After every team has competed, an awards ceremony is held. That is when teams receive their placing and award.

All-Star cheerleaders don’t use pom poms

Pom poms are more common in sideline cheer. According to Omni Cheer they have been used since the 1930s, were invented by Jim Hazelwood, and were then made out of paper. Because they were used to help energize and excite the crowd, the pom poms were forcibly shaken and fell apart quickly.

Towards the mid’ 60s Fred Gastoff improved the design of poms and changed paper to plastic that would last longer and withstand precipitation. Poms are used to bring energy to the surface and keep the players motivated by rallying up the crowd which All-Star cheerleaders don’t do because they are not on the sidelines.

It’s an expensive sport

Cincy Business states that cheerleading is estimated to be a $2 billion annual industry in the U.S. Parents pay around two thousand to three thousand dollars a year for one of their children to cheer. Depending on the gym you have to pay a fee to just try out. Competition uniforms, practice wear, tickets to see the competition, bows, makeup, shoes, practices, traveling expenses; air fare, gas, hotel & lodging, and the end of year banquet all add up to only part of the cheer experience.

Every stunt position is equal

There is a flyer, a main base, a secondary base, a back spot, and occasionally a front spot in each stunt group. The flyer is the person who is on top of the stunt performing body positions and being thrown while performing tricks. The base grips the flyer’s foot. The main base grips the toe and the heel while the secondary has the center and top part of the flyer’s foot. The back spot’s traditional grip is the ankles or ankle and upper leg.

The front spot is optional and is used to reduce some of the weight the bases need to lift. Front spots grip wherever there is space available to them and during basket tosses they throw from underneath the bases’ hands. No one of the mandatory stunting positions is of greater importance because they are all needed to perform graceful and entertaining stunts.

Male cheerleaders are common

Sideline cheerleading was the first form of any type of cheer and started in the 1880s. It was a male dominated sport so women were

not allowed to join. According to Varsity, women were finally allowed to cheer in 1923.