Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What Qualities Are Valued In Stomp & Shake Cheerleading?

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides a list of qualities that appear to me to be valued in stomp and shake cheerleading (as suggested by comments from selected YouTube stomp and shake video viewer comment threads).

Most of these comments come from the viewer comment threads of five videos of West Mecklenburg High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad (Charlotte, North Carolina).

Those five videos and a transcription of their cheers are showcased in this companion post "Five Stomp And Shake Videos Of The West Meck High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad (North Carolina)".

I'm showcasing these videos because a number of comments in these videos' viewer comment thread refer to the squad's performance. I also selected these videos because the words to these cheers are either transcribed in the video's comment section, or I believe I understood the words of those cheers enough to provide transcriptions.

It's significant that this cheerleading squad is from North Carolina as my online research strongly suggests that North Carolina and Virginia were the birth places of stomp and cheer cheerleading. And those states along with South Carolina and Washington D. C. appear to be the centers of stomp and shake cheer activities.

The additional comments in this post are from the viewer comment thread of a battle cheer video between two South Carolina High Schools: Manning High School vs. Timberland High School. A link to that video is given in this post. In addition, that video is included in this previous pancocojams post: "Confrontational Words & Body Stances In Stomp & Shake Cheerleading"

The content of this post is presented for cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

UPDATE February 5, 2014
Here's a comment from the Wikipedia page of the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic_Association)that addresses the qualities that are valued in their cheerleading competitions:
"The CIAA cheering squads practice Stomp 'N Shake that incorporates voice, gymnastics, and dance. Over the past few decades, S-N-S has evolved into a more technical style, priding itself on precision, accuracy, and creativity. Included in this style are the techniques of up-stomp, up-step, down-stomp, kick, side-kick, roll, roll-break, power-arms, slpaz-hand, clasp, blade, and the shakes(car-wash shake, single shake, double shake, hit-shake, and jiggle-pop). CIAA Cheerleading is most known for its cheer battles. This is where squads battle each other during games verbally with chants. It provides a heightened level of excitement and competition to the sports they are cheering for. It showcases cheerleading in a different dimension. Only in this style can you excite the crowd, rally them to cheer on the team, cheer on the team and slay your opponent all at the same time." Central_Intercollegiate_Athletic_Association

From reading these and other YouTube stomp and shake video viewer comment threads, it seems to me that the qualities that commenters appear to value can be categorized as referring to
technique, showmanship, the words of the cheer or chant itself, and originality (whether squad performed its own cheer or a cheer from another squad that they found online or otherwise). In some examples, I've added an explanation of a slang term.

I've numbered these qualities ("values") according to what I think is the highest and lowest values, with #1 being the highest value. The category of the quality (technique, showmanship, or originality) is placed in brackets and the source of the comment is also given after the comment.

1. Moves are "tight" ("on point"), "sharp". Another way of saying that is that the moves are "clean" (not sloppy). [technique]

ashley horne, 2012
"thats a good cheer...just sharpen up the arms on the up stomps and the claps...good job but be thighter" [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Fire it up.MOV; Example #3 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]
Ash Mars, 2011
"omg this ish tight mann , wish my cheer squad cheered like this we'd be phye ! :)" [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Can you jam.MOV; Example #2 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]
I think "phye" is a hip way of writing "fly" -as in "hip" :)
"You guys are really good!! The movements are very precise! What are the words? ["West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawk Rock"; Example #4 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]

LadyCheeks97, 2011 ["West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawk Rock"; Example #2 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]
"Veryyy precisee and cleann!"

2. Being aggressive ; “going hard” (how the cheer is performed as shown in the cheer’s words, the cheerleaders' body stances and facial expressions) [showmanship]

EsquireandQueen; 2011 "Bring it On: Manning High School vs. Timberland High School"
"I seen two familiar faces in that THS squad (Laci and Kamari) But I have to say MHS was pretty aggressive and hard hitting."

3. Having attitude, having "swag" [This is closely related to #2] [showmanship]

jboyfreshVUU, 2011
"that girl who started this cheer off has some crazy swagg! i love it!" [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Fire it up.MOV; Example #3 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]
The same quality or a closely related quality is "showing spirit" (being spirited in their chanting/cheering and foot stomping). Read a comment below from a person commenting in the discussion thread of a video of the West Meck High School jr. varsity cheerleaders.

4. Having the right tempo for the foot stomp/cheer (not chanting too fast or too slow) [showmanship]

namegoesheree, 2013 [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawks We Do.; Example #5 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]

"If she would have called the cheer slower, it would have probably been better."
ashley horne, 2013, [[West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawks We Do.; xample #5 in Pancocojams' West Meck Cheerleading Post]

"slow down a little bit becuase half the team was barely stomping because it was to fast..get a nice tempo and slow you more time to grove in that cheer"

5. Making sure people are able to hear the chant/cheer and understand its words [technique]

EastMeckJayVee, 2012 ["Bring it On: Manning High School vs. Timberland High School"]
"Like so, the cheers are good and stuff but the tightness is not there. Also as far as gettin your words out that was good too."
For the record, both Manning High School and Timberland High School are located in South Carolina [as per the publisher of this video.]

Read the comments below about cheering with a deep voice and cheering from your diaphragm that were posted in a discussion thread of a video of the West Meck High School jr. varsity cheerleaders.

kenyettaparkerkp, 2012 ["West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawk Rock"]
"Yall are awesome! Very sharp and great voices!
I believe the "very sharp" comment refers to Point #1 in this list.

6. Looking good (their uniforms, and/or the overall way the squad looks while doing their cheers/chants) [showmanship]

1SwaggTeam, 2012 ["West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawk Rock"]
"those uniforms are amazing ^_^"
gilliamdaisha, 2011 years ago [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Hawk Rock.MOV]
"It dnt even matta wat they satin it mattas about the way they look...TOGETHER"

7. being original (doing your own cheers and not “stealing” other people’s cheers) [originality]

John Outlaw, 2011 [West Meck HS Varsity Cheerleaders-Fire it up]
"I'm feeling woo wooish, it is a great cheer nonetheless...and yall are some of the fliest cheerleaders I have ever seen!!! Great job!!!"
This comment refers to the "Woo Woos", Virginia State Union's stomp and shake cheerleader squad ("Woo Woo" is an exclamation of approval males are known to give to attractive females.) Saying "I'm feeling woo wooish" is "throwing shade" in that it indirectly implies that that squad is doing one or more of the Woo Woo's cheers.
[All of these other comments are from "Bring it On: Manning High School vs. Timberland High School". Sorry. I've not attempted to a list of the cheers that were performed in this cheer battle.]

Amber Brown, 2010
"Originality: Manning Motions and Voice: Timberland #thatisall :) Good job both squads. Looking forward to basketball season p.s. In Anidra's defense the battle was over but they started up again so chilllllllllllll :) They made a game winning shot after the clock was out but hey gotta do whatcha gotta do. :)"

TheKierabethune, 2010
"Well as the Captain of the Manning Monarch cheerleading squad; I must say...We as a squad represented well and to thee fullest extent. All of this yall putting on here bout THS is thee best cheer squad and that they have never lost a cheer battle....Yall can CUT IT OUT!! For 1-Stealing cheers from off of YOUTUBE doesn't make your squad thee best!! Anybody can get on there and take cheers && re-enact them. For 2-MHS is ORIGINAL..And thats all it is to it. That was beautiful MHS...Good job THS"

17Reks, 2010
in reply to TheKierabethune
"@TheKierabethune okkk not to jump on your case but....... yes we get some of our cheers just like any other squad, however before you call us out please make sure that you know not all of ya'll cheers are original. Just like we borrow some ya'll do to. And for another known fact we DO make up our own cheers too. (Everyone has a squad they hope to be like or be better than). But still none the less both squads did a GREAT JOB!!! 2 of the best!!!"

jlesaine34, 2010
"As head varsity cheerleading coach of the Monarch cheerleading squad, I would like to commend both squads on a job well done. Both squads represented their schools well. Cheer battles are common among colleges (HBCUs) and now high school squads are doing them. As Anidra stated, it is suppose to be a friendly competition. Let's all remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. We ALL use something from other squads. It's nothing new."
"Monarch cheerleading squad = Manning High School
"HBCU" = Historically Black Colleges And Universities
careen newyork, 2012,
"@natday4u well as a former high school stomp and shake cheerleader and collage all American cheerleader and now a cheer Coach it is not good to do battle cheers and they are stolen how are you going to battle one another using stolen material be original from one Coach to another puffs my point sooo......"

StephyLovee31710, 2013
"Alot of ppl dwn there trippin on the fact that its not there cheer ... Its a highschool team using a college teams cheer . Theyre not gonna go against the team they took it from .. Who cares ? If everyone could track down all the cheers everyone stole NOBODY would have any cheers. Pleasee ,"
"trippin" - wasting time talking about...

The Addendum #1 section of "Five Stomp And Shake Videos Of The West Meck High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad (North Carolina)" provides selected comments discussing how that cheerleading squad borrows performance styles from two North Carolina historically Black universities: WSSU (Winston-Salem State University) and NCCU (North Carolina Central University).

The Addendum #2 of that same post also showcases a video of the West Meck High School junior varsity cheerleaders.

Thanks to those cheerleaders who are featured in this post. Thanks to all of those who are quoted in this post.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a link to a video of the West Meck High School Jr. Varsity Cheerleaders:

    Kudos also to that squad.

    There's an interesting change of comments in that video's viewer comment thread about the caller & the other members of that squad cheering with deep voices. Here are two comments from that exchange:

    kenyettaparkerkp, 2012
    ..."Ive been a captain for 3years straight.The voices are okay but they are a little too deep they should be deep but not so much as you are doing i think these cheers could be alot better.Cheerleaders are supposed to be tight in motions.

    namegoesheree, 2012
    "The purpose of the "deep voice" is so they will sound louder[put them next to girls who don't cheer like this. The other girls will not be heard]. Its not barking hun. Its called cheering from your diaphram."