Today, the cheer dance is usually the “big finish” of your competition routine. And it’s a fun thing to incorporate at pep rallies or on the sideline to add a little razzle dazzle. (I can’t believe I just said “razzle dazzle.”)
Learning how to structure and create a dance can be a great skill to carry you through in cheerleading. So I’ve put together some my top tips for creating a show-stopping cheerleading dance.
In a cheer dance, you want to change formations every 1 ½ or 2 eight counts. This keeps the flow going and adds extra visual dimension. They don’t have to be big changes but they should be smooth ones. So map them out before you start creating the moves and placing people for the dance.
I love starting a dance inspired by a particular song or piece of music. It’s important that the moves feel like they work well with the style and quirks of the music. So I recommend knowing the piece you want to use well and creating moves that accentuate the fun parts.
I love getting inspired by all types of dancing to create a dance. I write down moves I love or videos to reference later and piece together some of my favorite moves from them all, but I also add a cheerleading flair. This means that I make them less flowy (like regular dancing) and a little sharper. This is more the cheer style and makes it easier to synchronize when your squad isn’t full of professional dancers.
Create levels, ripples, and parts
While I absolutely believe in having synchronized parts of a dance where every single person does the same thing for at least 4-6 counts, I also think the rest of the dance should be visually interesting. So you want to add levels, ripples, and parts to keep things moving in a visual way. Sometimes this means you’ve got groups almost doing different dances at the same time but they complement one another.
Get creative with movements
What’s great about cheerleading is that you’ve got a team full of people who are highly skilled at lifts, jumps, tumbling, and more. You can absolutely (and should absolutely!) incorporate these skills into your dances and transitions in your routine. Use your team’s skills to maximize visual interest and the 8-counts you’ve been given.
With these tips you are bound to have one of the best cheer dances out there. Remember to take it one count at a time and don’t get so attached to an idea if it’s just not working. Give yourself space to be creative and make something awesome for your team.