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 What is Cheerleading? 

Cheerleading comes in a few different forms

Competitive Cheerleading: a high-energy team sport that is rapidly growing in the UK, and over 116 other countries worldwide, competitive cheerleading utilises a combination of elements – jumps, tumbling, stunting and dance – all combined in a stunning 2 min 30 second routine that is assessed live by a panel of judges utilising a stringent set of rules and scoring criteria to rank teams, placing them in competitions that are held at regional, national and international level. Competitive cheerleading may involve teams that are either associated with a school or university, or are “All-Star”, which means the programme is run as a business and may have several teams at different levels/ages.

Recreational Cheerleading: these are cheerleading sessions where participants do it for the joy of the sport and not with the intent to compete. Many schools in the UK are now offering cheerleading as part of their PE programmes or as after school clubs and some All-Star programmes also run recreational classes for participants who either do not wish to perform, or perhaps need additional training in order to qualify for a competitive team.

Performance Cheer: team routines where members perform choreographed dance, motions and jumps to high energy music.

Performance cheer can be split into a couple of different disciplines namely, Freestyle Pom, Hip-hop, Jazz, and High Kick. Performance Cheer can often be seen performed at sporting events as part of the half-time entertainment, but most cheerleading competitions (including those at International level) also feature a this component. Some Performance Cheer routines may also feature basic stunts and/or pyramids.

Sideline Cheer: performed alongside other sporting events such as American football and Basketball, it incorporates elements of stunting and performance cheer as well as the use of signs, megaphones and Pom Poms to help direct and energise the crowd. Crowd leading cheers come in 4 main types, Offence, Defence, Time out, and Fight Song.  Elements of sideline cheer are also used in the ICU World championships as part of the scored routines as this is where the origin of our sport began.