Dance Techniques for Cheerleading

Zoe Neystel

Dancing or Cheering?

When you walk into the competition you will have a few butterflies in your stomach but when you see your friends and coaches you will feel a lot better.The coaches call everybody back to the practice area and you start to stretch. Next, you work on the routine to make sure it is perfect. Then, it's your teams turn and you walk onto the dark stage. You can see faces in the audience, you spot the judges table, and you hear people talking. Finally, the lights come on, the music begins and everyone is looking at you. Is the music for a cheer or dance routine? They are very similar except in the dancing world you don't cheer on the crowd during the routine by chanting or singing.

It's All About Attittude

In dance and cheer attitude is very important! Cheerleading is a mix of vocal and physical skills along with elements of dance, gymnastics, singing, and acting. Energy, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude will go a long way! Cheerleaders need to think like dancers and know they are out there performing for an audience not just cheering for a team. Having a positive attitude in cheer and dance is a skill that can go a long way as a cheerleader, dancer, and a person for the rest of your life. Staying positive is very important in the cheer world.

Stretching

Dancing and cheerleading are both very physical activities. Proper stretching is something every cheerleader must learn to do before practice, competition, or any cheerleading activity. In dancing stretching is equally important and will be told to you by your instructor.Your coaches will tell you specific warm ups and stretches to do depending on your routine. There are similar stretches for both dancers and cheerleaders. Remember not to stretch to much because you can overdo it. Proper stretching is very important for the demands of cheer and dance.

Choreography

With dance choreography has to do with movements and in cheerleading it has to do with spirit. For both activities it takes a lot of planning and hard work. In both dance and cheerleading learning the routine or cheer, piece at a time can be helpful. There are important steps to make sure you are learning effective choreography. First, it is important for the team to be able to know how to master the skills in the choreography they are given. Next, the music chosen has to be a perfect fit for the moves and the team. Finally, music should help the dance tell a story. Facial expressions are very important to practice in both dance and cheer. You want the audience to see you connecting to your routine or dance. The most important piece in both activities is to PRACTICE!

The Three F's

Food, fitness, and fun are very important for dancers and cheerleaders. It is important to stay healthy and watch what you eat. Drinking lots of water is very important for both of these activities. Along with eating healthy staying physically active is important to do in your daily life when involved with dance and cheerleading. Last, remember to always have fun! Sometimes it is easy to forget to have fun but after all if you aren't having fun whats the point of all the hard work?