Stunts and impressive formations in cheerleading are not conceived overnight. They correspond to long hours of practice, team building, and technical skills. The members of the cheer group dedicate time when planning to execute the routine and stunts.
In pyramids, for instance, each member has specific roles in the coach’s plan. There are various specifications to follow for mounting and dismounting a pyramid. You cannot be part of the pyramid without knowing what your role would be. It is a very important rule.
It includes the number of bases, spotters, and flyers needed for a successful pyramid. The coach considers the skills of cheerers whether they can help in the execution of the routine. It would impact the success of the stunts in a significant manner, as well.
Most often than not, the height and weight is a significant consideration for the teams. It is where they can identify who would be the flyers, bases, and spotters. Among these three, flyers have the most specific requirements. You cannot be a flyer if you are too heavy or too tall.
Flyers have a height limit of 5’2″ and below. If you go beyond this number, you are too tall for being a flyer. Some teams would still accept 5’3″ but must be between 90 to 125 pounds.
Being too tall for a flyer might demerit you for being a cheerleader. The bases will now be able to lift you because of your weight. Selectors would usually choose light flyers so that they are easy to carry and lift.
Also, smaller cheerleaders have better balance and body control. These are the important factors when doing stunts and climbing up the pyramid. They can distribute their weight at the top, giving the formation better stability.
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How tall should a cheerleading flyer be?
A cheerleading team has height requirements for every flyer. They prefer their cheerleading flyers to be 5’2″ in height. Flyers should not also be overweight, so the tosses would not be as challenging.
Flyers are one of the most critical positions in cheerleading. They are also called climbers, mounters, and floaters because of the moves they make. The flyers are the ones lifted by the bases and do incredible stunts in the air.
They make the routine colorful and more enjoyable. The stunts and tosses they make keep the routine lively and exciting, as well. The flyers are the center of the choreography. Bases would throw them in the air and catch them back again.
It is the most wanted position in cheerleading.
Flyers are also the stars of the show. They make the routine more exciting and enjoyable to watch.
They make the routine attractive and spectacular, getting all the audience’s attention.
Yet, being a flyer comes with an added responsibility. Aside from meeting specific height requirements, there are skills they need to master. Flyers must have full-body control so that they can hold the formation in an easy way. When they are at the top, it is vital to control their balance and weight. Without the control, the formation might collapse, wasting the team effort, too.
Aside from full-body control, special skills are also required. Flyers should have a mastery of difficult stunts like liberty and scorpion. It is not about going top of the pyramid but executing challenging stunts while in the air.
They need the flexibility and strength for difficult stunts and keep the balance in the air. The stunts should be precise and accurate to keep the formation still. Confidence is another vital quality a flyer must-have. It would help the flyer gain control of the situation while still wearing a bright and wide smile on the face.
Without these, the flyer might harm herself and may put the team in danger.
Is it hard to be a flyer?
A flyer is one of the most sought-after positions in cheerleading. Being a star of the show and thrown up in the air is the ultimate goal. Yet, it has its downsides, too. You might get injured and hurt yourself when you execute stunts the wrong way.
It is hard to be a flyer. Aside from long hours of practice, there is always a risk with powerful and complex stunts. There is a possibility of getting an injury and head concussion if you become a flyer.
So, it is vital to take note of some of the common mistakes flyers commit in cheerleading. It will save you from getting hurt and any form of accident.
Here are some of the most common mistakes flyers make leading to hazard and injury:
- Bending knees
- Out of the line
- Not enough flexibility
- Swinging legs
- Sickling feet
- Unable to stay tight
- Improper lifting up
- Lack of confidence
When a flyer is at the top of the pyramid or standing on the bases’ hands, she should restrain from bending knees. It will make her out of balance, challenge the formation, leading to falling. Bent knees can cause improper weight distribution that can pose a risk in the stunt.
Ensuring that the flyer is in line with the formation is also crucial. The flyer should make sure that the line is in proper order for a more ongoing formation. To keep the line, always stand up straight and control the body. It is also essential that the core and the hips are well-pulled in. A single twitch or bend may cause the formation to collapses. The flyer should avoid bending the hips, or worse – swaying it. It is vital to keep the core, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line for a more steady and still body position. Also, keep the feet together so that you can maintain your balance well.
The main culprit of a collapsing stunt for every flyer is a lack of flexibility. Flyers should sign up in cheer when they are confident enough that they are flexible. Without the proper flexibility, you are most likely to face hazards and risks. If you do not have the proper flexibility, there is a possibility that you can break the line. Also, it is difficult for you to keep a straight vertical line essential for a stable formation. Always make sure that the body can accommodate the pressure of the formation. A bending leg or swaying hips indicates that you do not have enough flexibility.
When a flyer swings legs, it is a sign that she is having difficulty with the formation. It means that the body, especially her legs, cannot carry the weight of gravity during a stunt. Swinging legs also means losing your balance and finding the proper position to keep it. You can determine if you can hold a position to find it hard to swing legs during a heel stretch. So, it is critical to practice the formation on the ground, make it stable before doing it in the air.
A sickling foot is not only present among ballet dancers, and it can happen to cheerleaders, as well. Sickling feet is an unhealthy condition of the foot that can lead to ankle instability. It can also be a cause of tendonitis and injury. Sickling is an improper behavior of the foot where toes curve inwards, and the heel drops back. The position damage the virtual line of the dancer, unable for her to keep her balance.
It is a significant risk for cheerleaders when the feet sickle. If she stands on one foot, there is a big possibility that she would not maintain the balance.
Sickling feet can cause the flyer to go out of the vertical line.
This will lead to an unsteady position or, worse, the collapse of a pyramid.
It will ruin the entire routine and can cause injuries to other dancers, as well.
Squeezing the leg muscles for cheerleaders is often one of the ways to keep her balance. Yet, if she squeezes it too tight, the knee would bend. The moment the knee bends in a formation, it would soon crash the entire form. So, flyers need to stay tight without overdoing it. To do so, you practice laying on your back, and lift your feet and leave your shoulders on the ground. In this way, your body will feel to keep a straight vertical position, especially in the lower body. It will allow the flyer to keep more stable stunts and jumps.
Bases lift and carry the flyers most of the time. If your body is in the wrong position when you are being lifted, you will have difficulty balancing at the top. It is vital always to relax your muscles and lift with the diagrams instead of with the shoulders. The bases should also avoid squeezing the flyers shoulders when executing a stunt.
Having no confidence, especially in a formation, hurts the routine. Confidence will give you the energy to execute the moves in a flawless and precise manner. You can control your thoughts, mind, body, and balance when you have the confidence inside. In a much more difficult stunt, confidence is always the key to a successful and influential move.
How tall is the tallest cheerleader?
Courtney Kenihan is the tallest cheerleader in the NBA. She supports the Celtics and is the tallest member of the squad. She stands 6-foot tall, where you can see her in an instant when lined up along with her teammates.
The second tallest member of her squad is around four or five inches shorter than Kenihan. When she is with her team, she stands out, with her height reaching 6-feet. She is even taller than other members of the National Basketball Association.
Kenihan came from Suffolk University and competed for a cheerleading spot in 2006. It was the team’s first national audition which she was able to get in.
First, she got conscious of her height as she knows that most cheerleaders are petite. Her height was a hindrance to getting a spot in a cheer on her past auditions. It is a good thing she was able to secure a spot for the NBA. According to the NBA, the organization is not tracking down the height of the cheers. This is the reason Kenihan was able to get in.
People say height is might, but in cheerleading, it proves otherwise. Height matters in cheerleading, as the sport would need smaller members. It is not about downgrading the tallness of a person. It is about making the routine easier along with the body structure of each member.
Cheers always prefer tiny dancers as their height would not restrain them from a move. The same rule applies to the flyers. This crucial position in cheer should have a staff of dancers below 5’2 inches tall. The cheerer can better perform challenging stunts, and other members can lift in an easy way. Being too tall in cheerleading may not be favorable to the dancer.