Skills and Drills – Elite Stunts

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Caution: Cheerleading gymnastics, including stunts, pyramids and tumbling, should only be performed under the supervision of a qualified adult.

The Ground-up Liberty has replaced the elevator as the ‘benchmark’ stunt in competitive cheerleading. It demonstrates strength and balance, and is the basis for more elite variations such as heel stretches, arabesques, scorpions and more.

The stunt begins with the ‘ground-up’ position. The bases start like an elevator stance, but move closer together.

The spotter starts with one hand on the standing leg’s ankle and the other hand under the seat of the top person. On the designated count, the spotter will quickly press the flyer into the standing position. It is the spotter’s job to help the flyer stand quickly and get her hips over her knee.

One base will be designated as the ‘main’ base. This is usually the base that is on the side of the standing leg for the top person. The main base will hold the foot like an elevator grip, but allow room in the center of the foot. The other base, known as the ‘support’ base, will place the back hand in the center of the foot and the front hand on the wrist of the main base.

The flyer will initiate the stunt by counting ‘one, two, down, up’. On the ‘down’, everyone dips slightly to coordinate their timing. The flyer jumps off of the ground leg and pushes off of the shoulders to quickly get to the standing position. Her ground leg will then go immediately to the stag position, placing the foot on the knee. Following the dip with the flyer, both bases will extend through their legs and arms.

The key to the proper timing of this stunt is for the bases to hesitate a split second and allow the flyer to get her hips above her knee. If this is not performed properly, the lift will be very slow. During the learning phase, the coach can place a solid elevator to shoulders beside the stunt for the flyer to use as a ‘brace’. Once she is accustomed to the balance of the liberty, she can wean herself away from the use of the brace.

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