It is the last couple of overs. The match is tight. There aren’t enough balls remaining to score the required runs. As the pressure starts to build, the thunderous cheers of fans reverberate across the stadium boosting the confidence of the ‘men in blue.’ One glance at the throng of fans and the tempo of cheerleaders are enough to set the adrenaline of the players racing. The potential of a home crowd cheering for their favourite team boosting the performance of the players is immense.
Although more popular and recognised now, cheerleading started way back in the late 18th century by a group of men to rally the crowd in favour of an American college football team. This endeavour caught on and led to the creation of formal cheerleading teams. Earlier, cheerleading literally meant leading cheers. Then, slowly, squads started experimenting with different routines and refined their art. And while you may be sitting in the comfort of your home, cheering for the Indian Cricket Team this World Cup, have you ever wanted to be out in the field and experience cheerleading for real? Although, being a cheerleader looks like all things fun, learning a new skill can be daunting, and rallying a crowd isn’t a piece of cake. But if you still feel this is your true calling, then as a cheerleader with no experience you should bear in mind the following:
Prepare - To become a cheerleader self-prep is the key. Every task needs time and practice. Working on flexibility, body posture and stamina is vital, and these attributes can be acquired even without any professional training.
Learn, learn, learn - Cheerleaders start with a few tumbling classes, practice splits, research about cheerleading and watch old videos to get their act right. So, learn as much as you can from existing resources. Be familiar with the lingo - There is no need to have a level 5 experience in order to make it to a cheerleading team. Often newcomers who know the basics get selected in a team. You just need to be familiar with the basic vocabulary of cheerleading like arch, base, cupie, aerial, deadman, flyer, liberty, pyramid, mount, v-motion, pike, etc.
Join a team - The next step is to join a cheerleading team. Choreography must be taught and perfected, stunts practiced, and the entire routine run through multiple times. Any stunt could seem difficult at first but can be done by having trust in your teammates. Changes will occur through multiple performances making the act a little different. It takes time for a team to learn a routine and perfect it. If the performance looks simple, it’s the rightly done one.
Cheerleading is an excellent way of connecting with people and also promotes team building in a positive manner. Being a part of such teams will provide you with great team building skills, which can come in handy in other areas of your life as well.
With increasing popularity of sporting events in the country like IPL, ISL and PBL, the demand for cheerleaders is on the rise. In fact, the massive following of cricket in the country allows IPL cheerleaders to have an economically stable job.
One can reach out to different dance groups or directly apply through online platforms and learn the tricks of the trade. Cheerleading is all about practice, coming up with new routines, and showing up on auditions that are usually scheduled close to major sporting events.
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