This is a guest post written by David Lam.
While cheerleading has no real off season for athletes and coaches, spectators and fans are right in the middle of the summer lull. We’re a few months past Worlds and several months out from the first Worlds bid events. We see the occasional new uniform and sneak peek here and there, but it’s basically crickets out here.
With all this time on our hands, we came up with some trends for the 2017-2018 trends. Every new season brings us a fresh batch of cheerleading to obsess over. All star cheerleading is ever-evolving at a rapid pace and new trends are always on the horizon. Here’s what we think will dominate the conversation next season.
Smaller Team Sizes
In the past, it seemed favorable to have a larger team. Cheerleading teams with 20 athletes in the small senior and small senior coed divisions dominated teams with 15 or 16 athletes. There are several potential reasons for this, but often people have speculated it’s because smaller teams can’t put up 5 stunts.
At the Cheerleading Worlds 2017, we saw smaller teams hold their own against larger teams. It seems coaches are making stronger teams with fewer athletes rather than adding someone just to have a body on the floor.
Small senior coed World Champions, Brandon Allstars Senior Black, and Small Senior World Champions, ICE Lady Lightning, both won last season with only 19 athletes on the floor. This contradicts the previous notion that in order to win, you had to max out.
Also, as you may remember, Central Jersey Allstars took home the bronze medal in the Small Senior divisions with only three stunt groups. And, Prodigy Allstars Midnight took home the silver in Small Coed with only four groups as well.
In the Large Senior 5 division, Cheer Athletics Panthers won silver with only seven groups, where several other teams put up 9 stunts. The score sheet has changed over the past few years to allow smaller teams to score higher with fewer stunts and/or tumblers. It’s about hitting what you put on the floor rather than filling a roster and putting up X amount of stunts.
And with the addition of the new extra small and extra small coed division, we’re going to see a completely different type of routine emerge.
Custom Uniform Logos
New uniforms are easily one of our favorite parts of each new season. So far this summer, we’ve seen some beautiful uniforms. A new trend we’ve noticed is the use of custom logos in all different places on uniforms. We still see the classic team and gym name across the back, but we’re starting to see an added flare.
For example, the new Texas Cheer uniform has a simple state of Texas logo on the back to pull together the look. We’ve also seen several teams place logos on their shorts or skirts, like Stingray All Stars Orange who added their small orange logo to their shorts last season.
Allstar Revolution Freedom and California Allstars Aces have also added fun additions to their uniforms. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen uniforms really push the status quo as competition for gyms’ business heats up.
— cheerUPDATES (@cheerUPDATES) July 6, 2017
A New Age of Signature Voiceovers
Last year, when the music rules tragically changed, the whole world was shook. We thought it was going to be the end of cheerleading music as we knew it. But, luckily, cheerleading has extremely innovative music producers who came up with some bomb custom mixes.
Last season, many teams had memorable voice overs or sections where crowd participation was encouraged. For example, World Cup Shooting Stars had the entire hp Field House clapping to their music before their elite stunt (and it’s *definitely* 4 claps).
ICE Lady Lightning also brought a whole new meaning to “Snap, Crackle, Pop!” It may have been a cereal before, but now all we can think about is LL’s iconic stunt section. We think music producers are going to continue to push the envelope. Music and voiceovers have always been a huge part of cheerleading, and the tradition continues to live on.
A Lot to Look Forward To
All Star Cheerleading will always be unpredictable, and we’re sure to see a handful of surprises as the season gets under way. But, if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that we’re going to see a whole lot of “wow” moments. The beauty of cheerleading is that it’s based in creativity and we never know what’s next. Cheers to the start of another great season.
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