It’s that great concept we talk so much about in America. Freedom. Justice. Cheerleading.
Okay, maybe that last one only applies to us cheerleaders and coaches, but it’s still worth talking about.
The liberty is the gateway stunt that takes a squad to a new level–specifically, the elite level.
It takes your flyer from two feet to one, which creates a whole new level of difficulty for your team … and it looks pretty cool too.
But just like there’s more than one way to skin a cat (as my grandma would say–and by the way, who is skinning cats and finding lots of ways to do it? Weird.), there’s more than one way to make a liberty successful.
What stays the same
First, there are a couple of things that should always stay the same in a liberty that make it successful.
Bases need to be super close. No, they don’t have to be best friends, but they should be comfortable in close proximity. Because they need to be tight for strong support.
The flyer should always control her core. This keeps her hips in check which keeps her body in the air better. Plus, she needs to stand up confidently and quickly or she could kill the stunt before it even begins.
The back spot should always try to control the ankle and lift up. She makes a big difference in the weight of the stunt and needs to be sure that she’s doing all she can to alleviate the bases’ load.
Despite what stays the same, here is the one thing that can change.
For liberties there are two main grips that bases can take: the hamburger grip and the friend grip.
The hamburger grip is great for the flyer who’s got a crazy ankle or foot. You know, the kind that roll all over the place.
This grip allows your secondary base to take charge of that foot and pull or push it the direction it needs to go with more ease. It’s the most traditional lib grip.
The friend grip is good for the base with weak wrists or the flyer who like to toe (meaning she like to put more weight in her toe causing her foot to not be level and tip forward).
This grip allows the secondary base to help support the wrist of the other base, which provides strength where it’s needed most in those two cases.
Why you change it
Stunts are a tricky thing because there are so many variables.
You’re counting on at least four people to do everything just right each time to get it to stick, and that’s no easy feat. So having the two kinds of grips allows for adaptability where it’s needed.
Some people change it up simply for stylistic reasons, but I suggest letting your stunt group determine what works best for them given their tendencies. What matters most is what sticks, not which grip you choose.