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Jump to a normal prep, put one foot on knee. Similar to doing a side hurdler with straight leg bent and bent legs knee. Hands in "T" formation.

Additional Spotter (hands off)

Role as additional spotter: Athlete does not touch the stunt unless something goes wrong. Free standing spot can stand behind, in front, or beside the stunt. Eyes stay on stunt at all times even though stunt is not touched unless flyer is falling. Position is often called a 'general spot'.

Aerial Cartwheel

Cartwheel executed without placing hands on the tumbling surface. Over arm or underarm throw is permissible and is personal preference. Easiest if flexible and usually performed on the same side as round off.

Aerial Walkover

Front walkover executed without placing hands on the tumbling surface. Over arm throw is used for the initiation of the skill and must use full leg split flexibility.


To be free of contact with another athlete or the performing surface.  

Airborne Tumbling

An aerial skill involving horizontal or vertical axis rotation.  The athlete uses their body and the tumbling surface to propel themselves away from the tumbling surface. Usually refers to salto skills, but can also refer to dive cartwheels, etc.  

All Girl

A division of cheerleading where teams are composed of 100% female.  

All Star

A cheerleader training and competing only.  Private cheer gyms offer this level and are focused on competition rather than supporting an athletic team.  

All Star Team

A cheer squad not affiliated with a school, is independent  and most often affiliated with a private cheer gym.  All-star teams offer a wide-range of age groups, compete in a separate division from schools and are often looked at as having more elite-level cheerleading skills.  


An athlete who has never accepted money, or who accepts money under restrictions specified by a regulatory body, for participating in a competition. Regulatory bodies may include the International Olympic Committee, USA Olympic Committee, a specific sports National or International Governing Body, the NCAA, the AAU, etc. Money, gifts, prizes are included in what may violate an athletes' amateur status.  


Arabesque: Performed by the top athlete, similar to a liberty, except top places the leg straight out behind, parallel with the ground, perpendicular to the other leg, keeping the chest up. From the ballet term, "arabesque". Arabesque - IFC Cheer University Glossary



A tumbling salto that starts with backward take off, lifts into the air, initiates a 1/2 (180º) longitudinal turn and performs a horizontal axis front salto. May be performed in a tuck, pike or stretched position. May also have a step out at the end to work into other tumbling skills.  

Arch Position

Arch Position: Any cheer position in which the back is curved. Examples are a "C" Jump. Is also an action of not straight or commonly classified as convex position and opposite of concave.Arch Position - IFC Cheer University  

Arm Motions

A set placement of the arms and hands in a cheer, a stunt or a jump. Examples of arm motions are: "T", "L", "V", "K", "Diagonal".  

Around the World Jump

The athlete performs a pike jump and then whips the legs quickly back around into a toe touch. Sometimes referred to a "Pike Out".  

Assisted Flipping Mount

An entrance skill into a stunt in which a top performs a horizontal axis salto rotation while in direct physical contact with a base or top person when passing through the inverted position. See “Suspended Flip”, “Braced Flip”  

Assisted Landing

A controlled dismount, where the base(s) and/or the back spot following a pop or a step down from a stunt, grab the flyers waist to control the landing onto the performing surface.  

Assisted Tumbling

A tumbler receives assistance or a spot on a tumbling skill.  


Variation of an extended Cupie or Awesome in which the top poses usually with uplifted head.  


A fully extended stunt where a top person has both feet together in the hand(s) of the base(s).  Also referred to as a "Cupie" or "Kewpie".  

Back Base

Athlete standing behind the stunt, helps to position top in the bases hands. Using hands to support top's waist, then push into the air. Once in the air, they hold top's ankles, providing support. When top cradles, they catch under the arms. If top falls backwards, it is crucial for back spot to attempt to catch head and shoulders to prevent head/spinal injury. Generally the tallest members of the team.  

Back Bend

Beginning skill for learning a back handspring.  Stand, feet slightly apart with arms overhead and straight.  Look at hands and 'fall' backwards onto hands in a bridge.  

Back Handspring

A tumbler jumps backwards onto the hands, followed by a quick push from the hands back to the feet. Also known as flip-flop or flic-flac. Is a staple skill in cheerleading, and usually takes time to learn.  Needs very good progression work to perform properly and safely.  

Back Layout

An salto tumbling element backward involving head-over-heel rotation.  During the head-over-heel rotation the body remains in a straight or layout position.    Is usually performed as an end element or in connection with one or more other tumbling skills.  

Back Pop Up

Load variation in which the flyer mounts the back of the side back and the side base with support from the alternate side base with the back spot popping the flyer up into a stunt position.  

Back Spotter

A person who is in a correct position to prevent injury to the flyer. Their primary purpose is to protect the flyer’s head and shoulder. They also provide stability to the stunt. A back spotter can not provide primary or weight bearing support.  

Back Stretch

A reverse side heel stretch.  

Back Tuck

An salto tumbling element backward involving head-over-heel rotation. During the head-over-heel rotation the body remains in a tuck (knees to chest) position.  Is either performed as a stand alone element or in connection with one or more other tumbling skills.  

Back Tuck Basket Toss

A regular basket toss with a back tuck salto before landing in a cradle position. This takes an extra strong pop from the bases.  

Back Walkover

A non-aerial tumbling skill where the performer stands on one leg with the other one pointed in front. Arms are stretched up and over head. Performer moves backward into an arched position, with the hands making contact with the ground first, then rotates the hips over the head and lands on one foot/leg at a time. The legs are in a maximum split position throughout the skill.  

Backward Dismount

A flyer dismounts backwards to catchers or to the performing surface from a stunt.  

Backward Roll

A non-aerial beginning tumbling skill where one rotates backward into/or through an inverted position by lifting the hips over the head and shoulders while curving the spine to create a motion similar to a ball “rolling” across the floor.  

Backwards Load In

Two bases face back to back, with hands behind their back in an extension ready position. Flyer jumps in hands, bases toss her up, and rotate to re-catch her feet then facing each other, popping the stunt to a full, half, liberty, etc.  

Ball "X"

A body position (usually during a toss) where the top person goes from a tucked position to a straddle or "x" position.  

Banana Jump

A jump in which the performer arches their back and reaches upwards. Usually done during a combination jump or riding up a basket toss.  

Barrel Roll

See “Log Roll”.  


Performers who stay on the ground providing the primary support for the flyer during a stunt. Bases should watch the flyer at all times in case of a mishap. Bases should also keep eye contact with each other at all times, this gives them an understanding on what to do next. Bases are usually the strongest athletes on the squad. No talking should be occurring during a stunt, except for the back spots counts.  

Basket Toss

A toss with no more than four bases, two of which use their hands to interlock wrists.  

Basket up to Hands

Flyer loads knees in into basket grip and is then popped by bases into stunt position.  


Basket [or stunt] in which the flyer positions themselves in a “bird” like position in the air and then rotates for [typical] cradle landing.  


One way of holding the hands while executing an arm motion. Hands are held outstretched with fingers tightly together and thumbs tucked in at the sides. Fingers should not be curled up, but rather held as flatly as possible.  


A gymnastic term referring to the increase in height created by using one’s hand(s) and upper body power to push off or punch the tumbling surface during a tumbling skill. The momentary airborne position created by blocking usually leads to a salto skill.  

Block Cartwheel

A momentarily airborne cartwheel created by the tumbler blocking through the shoulders against the performing surface during the execution of the skill. Block after the hands have touched the surface. Diving onto hands is called a "dive cartwheel". Arms are straight to assist with the blocking action.  

Bon Fire

A large fire built in the open air. In cheerleading terms this event occurs frequently before games considered as major rivalries which include chants, cheers, school bands playing and speeches from athletes or coaches. It's purpose is to prepare the fans attending the sporting event in synchronized vocal efforts to encourage the team to their best physical and mental efforts to win the event or game. Bon fires are a rarity today due to safety concerns.  

Bow and Arrow

Stunt in which the flyer pulls the free leg up alongside the upper body until foot is beside the head. The flyer will grasp the ankle or foot with one hand of the extended leg over the head to form an arrow and outstretch the other arm away from the body.  

Bow and Arrow Arms

One arm is placed in a "T" motion and the other is in a "T," but broken at the elbow.  The fist is brought into the shoulder in buckets. This can be done to either direction. If the right arm is in the "T," it is a right Bow-N-Arrow.  

Braced Flip

A stunt in which a top person performs a hip-over-head rotation while in constant physical contact with another top person(s). Considered a release move not a toss. This interpretation applies to stunts only, not pyramids.  


A round-off with no hands.  More difficult than an aerial cartwheel because the legs are together part way through the skill. Is not the same skill as a front salto with a 1/2 (180º) turn.  


The body is in a backward arch with hands and feet flat on the floor. The better bridges will show the shoulders directly above the hands or pushing past the hands if the tumbler has very flexible shoulders.    


In buckets the arms are straight out in front with fists facing down as if holding the handle of a bucket in each hand. Wrists are straight and tight, no bending of the wrist.  


To climb and hoist performers to create a pyramid or stunt.  


C-Jump: Straight jump with arms extended overhead.  Body is arched backwards into a graceful curved position. Head is neutral. Legs should be straight.

Candle Sticks

Candle Sticks: Arm motion where arms are extended out in front with the fists facing upwards - similar to holding wax candlesticks.


Cartwheel: A non-aerial gymnastic skill where one supports the weight of the body with the arm(s) while rotating sideways through an inverted position landing one foot at a time. Commonly referred to a tumbling skill looking like the spokes of a 'wheel'.  


Catchers: One of the athletes responsible for the safe landing of a top athlete during a stunt dismount. Commonly referred to as side base catcher, back base catcher, front base catcher. Stunt Group sometimes uses general spotter as second side base catcher during a flyer's dismount.


Chair: A partner stunt where the base holds flyer by placing one hand underneath flyer's seat and the other at the ankle for support.  Flyer bends the right leg, with foot resting on base's elbow, keeps the left leg straight and arms in a High "V" (or a variation).


Chant: Short cheer is easy to remember and repeat. Used to get the crowd cheering along with the cheerleaders. Chants are repeated over and over until the crowd begins to die down. Chant is also referred to as a "Sideline".

Cheer Spell

Cheer Spell: Using the body or pom pons to form a similar look to the alphabet. Cheerleaders can lead the crowd into spelling the teams mascot name i.e., T-I-G-E-R-S. Use of pom pons adds a stimulating visual effect. Cheer Spell - IFC Cher University


Cheers: Are usually much longer than chants and contain groups of words or phrases that generate excitement and attention. Cheers are often choreographed with motions, jumps, stunting and tumbling and are used more for performance than crowd response.

Cheers - IFC Cheer University Glossary

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