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Dynamic stunts have transformed cheerleading, creating more exciting routines and performances. The center of a stunt group is known as the flyer or top person. It is the flyer who is lifted off the ground in stunts and is most visible to the crowd. The position of flyer, although highly sought after, is not without its challenges. In order to be successful at flying, you must be physically fit, flexible and fearless. It is a hard position to master, but a few factors will make you more successful.
Body awareness, tightness and control are the key to flying. When flying, maintain proper posture by keeping your chin up, your legs straight and your knees locked, squeezing your abs and buttocks and keeping your shoulders and chest lifted.
Pay attention to the alignment of your body and the distribution of your weight. If you are stunting on two legs, distribute your weight evenly through both feet. If you are stunting on one leg, place your weight on your supporting leg only. Resist the urge to rest your other foot on one of the people serving as your bases. In either type of stunt, aim for a straight line from your head through your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Understand the mechanics of a stunt before trying to execute it. Be certain of your role in the stunt and always use proper technique in the load, skill and dismount. When executing a stunt sequence consisting of more than one skill, know the timing and sequence of stunts before you load the stunt sequence. For example, in the sequence "prep-cradle," it is important to understand that the flyer will be lifted to shoulder-level, standing, before being popped into the air and caught in a pike sit (legs extended straight and hands resting forward on the legs). Use progressions when learning stunts; for instance, master prep (standing on two feet supported by bases at chin level) before moving on to extension (arms extended up).
Load into your stunt by lightly placing your feet in the bases' hands. Do not stomp onto your bases' hands. Support your weight by placing your hands on the bases' shoulders and extending your arms fully to hold yourself up in the stunt. Keep your head up and lift yourself up into the final position in each stunt by pulling your chest and head upright as you are lifted into the air.
Be confident that you can hit each stunt. Do not be afraid of stunting. Doubt equals dropped stunts; fear equals falls. Trust in your bases and yourself to be able to safely and successfully execute each stunt. Focus on your role in the stunt, not what your bases are or aren't doing, to avoid dangerous distractions.
- Understand your role in the stunt before attempting it.
- Point your toes.
- Remain tight throughout the stunt.