There are four common jumps found in cheerleading. These are the herkie, toe touch, pike jump, and front hurdler. It is possible to essentially look them up online, but it is better that you learn them properly from a teacher. Judges will often look at your form on top of the height of the jump. If you sign up for a class or private lessons, you'll learn the proper techniques. You can then go home and keep practicing to perfect them.
For tryouts, most schools don't require tumbling skills. However, having them will help your scores. Tumbling classes can help you obtain these skills, and you should keep up with them until you have your tryouts. Round-offs, back handsprings, and back tucks can all help your scores. You can learn the skills much faster if you attend class, so make sure you go often. In addition to the regular classes, you will benefit by going to open gym sessions and taking private lessons.
You will learn how to actually cheer at your tryouts in your classes. Note that you will be judged on how tight and sharp your movements are. Practicing at home in front of a mirror will help greatly. You should be making completely precise and sharp movements, including straight arms. Taking a few dance classes can help you learn how to move around more.
Being a cheerleader requires you to be loud, but not screechy. You should yell from your diaphragm so that you voice stays deep and clear. In theory, this sounds easy, but it actually requires some practice, since it's very hard to jump around and cheer simultaneously. Make sure you train your voice while you do something that requires you to be active, such as jogging in place or doing some jumping jacks.
When at tryouts, you may have to do some sprinting. You will also have to yell, cheer, and make arm movements while you run as well. Therefore, not being comfortable with this already will make you look awkward, and you might even have an issue in knowing what to do at all. To learn, go to a sports game and watch how the cheerleaders act. You can use this information and go home to practice the same things. An even better tactic would be to create a cheer routine that you can practice at home.
You must always smile during your cheer. Although it sounds simple, you can forget it as you concentrate on doing your jumps correctly. Make sure you practice keeping your smile at all times.
Even as you practice jumping and cheering, you should do it with a smile on your face. This will help you make it a habit. Therefore, you won't be worried about smiling at your tryouts.
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