Top Ten Cheerleading Trends 2010-2011

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Published: 18th November 2010
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What's Hot This Season?

1. Zebra Print

What is it about this pattern that changes "Ooh, that’s a nice sports bra" into "Get out of my way, I NEED ten of them! AND those matching spankies!"? This cheer-trend has crept up on us but we’re definitely not in the height of zebra-fever just yet. From bows to socks, you can get it all. Now, animal print has been in and out of fashion since there was nothing else to wear… but cheerios, we have PLENTY to wear. So what’s the attraction? How has print gone from granny to gorgeous? I just can’t figure this one out, but what I do know is that I’m desperate for a zebra print cheer bow!

2. Half-up Hair

Rejoice! For the clip on curly hairpieces are gone! Ding dong, the frizz is dead! I, for one, love the fact that I’m no longer expected to scrape all my lovely, tousled waves (well, when it behaves) back into the tightest ponytail known to man. Baskets look higher, twists look more impressive and the hair whips… oh the hair whips! I understand that most of the guys reading this have now tuned out completely but I’m being unashamedly girly here. This is a turning point in cheer-cool.

3. Metallic Uniforms

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the shell top and straight cut polyester skirts in all their traditional and collegiate splendour. And yet with our new uniform sketches I find myself reaching for the metallic pens without even thinking. Cropped top: check! Long sleeves: check! Matching metallic spankies: Absolutely! They hit in a big way last season and we’re set for an onslaught of all-star-style metallic colours; a rainbow of sparkle with golds and silvers thrown in for good measure. I blame Gaga. But love it!

4. Boys Getting’ Down

Poor, poor boys. Stuck at the back throwing baskets and toss to hands’ for so many years while the girls pound out a dance section… did someone tell them they couldn’t dance? Not anymore!! More and more we’re seeing guys nailing 4 eights of dance alongside, and complementing, the girls. This is brilliant, how much more aesthetically pleasing is it to have every single person on the mat busting some serious moves?! From partnering or picking the girls up to break-dancing spins and flips… This is a serious shift in co-ed cheer

5. Chants in Cheermixes

I saw a routine online the other day and the whole mix was chants and cheers. For real! We may not be as extreme here in the UK, but we definitely know how to make it clear who we are to the people sitting at the back. Gone are the days of messing with mix levels so that we can chant over the music, or even having the mix pause for 20 seconds while we yell at the top of our voices. It’s a brilliant idea to whack your chants into your mix using voiceovers. Add this to using your team letters or nickname to punch out a particularly spectacular stunt, and it means we can cheer and encourage response all the way through a routine in various ways without the vocal nodules. Lovely.

6. Tumble Combos

Now I’m no tumbler, I’m still working on my back handspring at 25, but I have noticed a change in the way tumbling is used in cheer routines. No longer are we happy with round-off, back handspring, back handspring. Oh no! Let’s stick every kind of tumble we can think of into a run and then when we reach the corner of the mat, take the run back the other way! Honestly, my squad are just getting into the tumbling but the combos that our UK level 5-6 teams have been coming up with recently with blow me away!

7. Team Hand Gestures/Actions

No, I do not mean gesticulating to that team that beat you by half a point last season; I mean the cool little signals and moves that identify a squad. It’s creeping up everywhere! From Cheer Extreme (making the X-Factor sign with their forearms) and Stingrays (making a fist with thumb and pinky sticking out) across the pond, to AV and Rising Stars here in the UK, it’s a great I.D. symbol for the squad (and for profile pics). Friends and family can take that part of your choreography and actually do it to show their support! I can see why this is a fast growing trend, if only I could think of something for ‘Momentum’…

8. P.J. Bottoms

At comps. At training. At sleepovers. This cheer-trend isn’t going anywhere. Those who have them, guys and girls, wear them everywhere, and those that don’t desperately want them. Enough said.

9. Accessorising – not just a girl thing!

Ah, there seems to be more to statement trimmings than just the Texas-sided bow nowadays. No offence to the bow, but it’s a bit girly and most guys seem averse to wearing one, go figure! So there are other things popping up amongst UK squads. Top Stuntz have those awesome socks (gosh, I love those socks), and Unity boys have been sporting bandannas recently in bow-matching colours… genius! Will this take off as the boy’s alternative? Maybe we’ll see other squads taking this idea on board. Someone recently mentioned matching sweatbands for guy’s wrists as a trend in waiting. I personally think it’s about time the boys had a ‘thing’.

10. Pom-sized Flyers

So there’s a lot of chat at the moment about the negative effects of small flyers being chosen over average sized girls. "They look too skinny. It’s unfair to other flyers." Etc. Now I’m no waif and I’m quite happy to base anyone who wants to fly but I’m not going to whine about these teeny torpedoes when it’s obvious that smaller people are (mostly) easier to lift, especially in co-ed stunts with one base. Who cares what size they are if they are the ones pushing themselves to nail the elite level stunts. Good on them! No one’s asking anyone else to "think about what you ate today… now cut that in half". There are plenty of bases who will throw you in the air. Congratulate the little un’s and strive to be the best you can be. Rant over :-)

By Antonia Graham

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