Cheerleading Moves & Cheers for Beginners

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Cheerleaders performing during a highschool game. (Image: David Ryder/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

When you are just beginning in cheerleading, there are many things to learn. You must master motions, cheers, jumps, tumbling, formations and stunts. It is a good idea to start slowly, mastering a small handful of items in each category before learning more. Practice your motions and cheers in front of a mirror to perfect them.

Simple Motions

Beginners should master these top five easy motions, working hard to perfect placement and execution of just a handful of motions prior to learning any more. Touchdown involves raising both hands straight above your head. Keep your arms slightly forward, with your biceps close to your ears. Next work on T motion. Extend your arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Master both High and Low V by making a V shape with your arms overhead for High V, or pointing down for Low V. The final basic motion you should master is Clasp. In a Clasp, you clasp your hands in front of you with your fists just below your chin.

Simple Cheers

If you are a beginner, the cheers you use should be simple with few words and few motions. Make sure you have no more than one motion per word. Use Clasps to keep time during your cheers and to simplify more difficult cheers that have many motions. Focus on clearly projecting the words of the cheer, getting your volume from your diaphragm instead of your throat.

Types of Cheers

Even as a beginning cheerleader, your cheer library should include many types of cheers. You need chants for when your team is on offense -- "2, 2, we want 2!" -- and on defense -- "Steal that ball!" You also need all-purpose chants like, "Go! Fight! Win!" Chants typically are repeated three or more times. Crowd-involvement cheers are those that have a special part the crowd is supposed to cheer back to you. For example, you cheer: "We say Go, you say Fight -- Go!" and the crowd should yell back, "Fight!" Finally, you need longer cheers that can be performed out on the floor during halftime or between quarters. These cheers are typically only repeated once.

Beginner Chant

Here is a beginner offense chant you can learn:

"S-C-O-R-E" "Score Team Score!"

Start with Clasps for "S, C, O." Quickly add "R" in between Clasps, and then Clasp again on "E." Hit a Low V motion on "Score." Come back to a Clasp on "Team." You can substitute the name of your team's mascot here instead of "Team." End the cheer with a High V on the "Score!" Since this is a chant, come back down to a Clasp, saying nothing. Then repeat the chant two more times.

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