Know the basic cheerleading terms
Get to grips with the cheerleading lingo
To help you distinguish your basket toss from your candle sticks, or your cradle catch from your deadman, we have compiled a list of some of the most commonly used terms in cheerleading.
Arabesque: one leg is down straight and the other leg is behind you almost at a ninety degree angle to your back.
Arch: a position in which the back is curved.
Aerial: a cartwheel without hands touching the ground or floor. Sometimes called a walkover.
Attack the Crowd: a technique used to whip the crowd up and get them involved in a cheer, dance or song.
Base: The bottom person/persons in a stunt who remains on the ground while lifting a flyer into a stunt.
Basket-toss: a stunt involving three or more bases, two of whom have their hands interlocked and toss the flyer into the air.
Buckets: a move where a cheerleader holds their arms straight out in front, fists facing down, almost as if holding the handle of a bucket in each hand.
Candle Sticks: a cheer motion where a cheerleader extends their arms out in front with fists facing each other as if they were holding a lit candle in each hand.
Cradle Catch: an end movement where a base catches the flyer and hold her under her thighs and around her back.
Cupie: a base holds up a flyer with one hand. The base's arm is fully extended and both of the flyer's feet are in the base's one hand. Also known as a kewpie or awesome.
Deadman: used to describe a move when the flyer falls backwards or forwards out of a stunt. They are caught by several bases.
Dismount: a method used to return to a floor position following a stunt.
Elevator: two bases hold a foot each of one flyer to elevate them. Both feet are held at shoulder height.
Extension: arms of each base extended fully above the head to support the flyer who stands on their palms.
Flyer: the brave person who is lifted or thrown into the air to perform a mount.
Handstand: springing from your feet to your hands to your feet again.
Jump: a springing move where both feet leave the ground.
Liberty: a base holds up a flyer with one of her feet in both of the base's hands. The flyer's other leg is bent. It is called a ‘Liberty’ because the pose is thought similar to the Statue of Liberty.
Mount: Any skill in which one or more persons is supported in the air. Another word used is stunt. The person being supported is a mounter or flyer.
Pyramid: A stunt involving one or more mounters supported by one or more bases linked together.
Routines: a choreographed sequence of moves.
Scorpion: while in a Liberty a cheerleader grabs the toe of their bent leg and brings it up to almost behind their head.
Spotter: the person who stays in contact with the ground and watches for any hazards in the stunt or mount. They help with the dismantling of the mount are responsible for trying to catch the flyer if they fall.
Straddle: A position where the legs are straight out and apart
Touchdown: motion where both arms are held directly overhead, tight against the head. Hands have palms facing each other. This motion is used when a touchdown is scored.
Tuck: A position in which the body is bent at the hips and the knees are pulled in tightly to the chest.
V Motion: a motion where both arms are up forming a V.
Of course, there are plenty of other cheerleading terms out there, so if you think there’s a really important one that we just ought to include, then be sure to let us know.