Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Overview Of Foot Stomping Cheers, Part II - Cheer Examples

Edited by Azizi Powell

[Latest update: Nov. 19, 2021]

This is Part II of a pancocojams series on foot stomping cheers.

This post provides examples of foot stomping cheers from four different categories of those cheers.

Click for Part I of this post. Part I provides a general overview of the textual structure and performance of foot stomping cheers. Part I also includes my theories about the sources of this children's recreational activity.

I coined the term "foot stomping cheers" in 2000 to distinguish examples of that category from other cheerleader cheers. However, it appears from my direct collection and from my online collection that girls usually referred to these examples as "cheers". Sometimes they were called "chants" or "steps".

Also note that the textual structure (the words) and the movement activity for the type of cheers that are called "foot stomps" or "stomps" are different from the cheers that I refer to as "foot stomping cheers". Click "How Stomp Cheers Differ From Foot Stomping Cheers".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to the unknown composer/s of these cheers. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, the performers who are featured in these videos, and the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

I've identified four main categories of foot stomping cheers:

1. Introductory cheers

2, Confrontational (bragging, insult) cheers

3. Other bragging cheers


4. Dance style cheers

A foot stomping cheer may be a combination of two or more of these categories.


These cheers serve the purpose of introducing members of the group -one at a time- to their imaginary audience. In these cheers girls state their name and/or their nickname, and may also state other personal information such as their favorite color, what they want to be when they grow up, their astrological (sun) sign, their boyfriend's name etc.

Two example of an introductory foot stomping cheer:
Group: Hey, Shaquala!
Soloist #1: Yo! *
Group: Innn-TRO-duce yourself.
Soloist #1: No way.
Group: Innn-TRO-duce yourself.
Soloist #1: Okay.
My name is Shaquala.
Group: Hey! Hey!
Soloist #1:They call me Quala.
Group: Hey! Hey!
Soloist #1: My sign is Aries
Group: Hey! Hey!
Soloist #1: I like to dance
Group: Hey! Hey!
Soloist #1: I wanna be a dancer for the rest of my life.
-T.M.P.; Pittsburgh, PA mid. 1980s; transcribed from audio tape by Azizi Powell, 1997
*"Yo" was changed to "What" when that vernacular word became outdated.

Notice that there are no confrontational (threatening) or insult lines in this example.

for a video example of "Introduce Yourself" (prom scene) from the 2006 American cheerleader movie Bring It On: All Or Nothing (Note that the performance movements of this cheer have been significantly modified.)

CONFRONTATIONAL (bragging/insult) foot stomping cheer
These cheers focus on the chanters confronting (saying threatening words to) an unnamed opponent or opponents. The chanter brags about herself, and also may insult (dis) that opponent

Two examples of confrontational foot stomping cheers:
Example #1: HULA HULA
Hula hula
Now who thinks they bad
Hula hula
Now who thinks they bad
I think I’m bad
‘Cause Acie my name
And toys is my game
Take a sip of my potion
And dance in slow motion
She thinks she bad
Baby baby don’t make me mad
She thinks she cool
Baby baby don’t act a fool
She think she sweet
Sweetest person you ever meet
She thinks she fine
Baby baby I’ll blow your mind
-Barbara Michels and Bettye White, Editors: Apple On A Stick, The Folklore of Black Children (Putnam Juvenile; First Edition November 11, 1983)
"Bad" here means "very good".

Example #2: CALL REPUTATION (also known as "Razzle Dazzle")
my name is yonnqa
i'm number one
my reputation has just begun
so if you see me
step a side
cause i don't take no jive
oh think she cool
correction baby
i no i'm cool
i no karate
i no kunfu
you miss with me
i co it on you*
rasasol o dazzo o ox2 **
-yaya,, 2/23/2007
*"co" here is probably a typo for "do"
**"ox2" probably means "repeat two times.
"Shabooya Roll Call" is another example of a confrontational foot stomping cheer. Here's a video of that cheer from the 2006 Bring It On: All Or Nothing:

Shabooya!! (Dance On Duh Table)

Apr 2, 2011

movie: Bring it on all or nothing [August 2006]
textual structure of "Shabooya Roll Call" fits the foot stomping cheer pattern. However, the movements that the girls perform while chanting aren't synchronized foot stomps combined with hand claps.  

An earlier version of "Shabooya Roll Call" is included in Spike Lee's 1996 movie Get On The Bus. However, that cheer is best known from the 2006 cheerleader movie series Bring It On: All Or Nothing. The words to that version of "Shabooya Roll Call" and other information/examples of that cheer are found in for a pancocojams post on Shabooya Roll Call. 
The cheer entitled "U.G.L.Y" that was in that same Bring It On movie and was also in the 1986 movie Wildcats doesn't have a call & response structure. Instead, it is said in unison. Therefore, "U.G.L.Y"it's not a foot stomping cheer. Click for the words to that cheer.

In some examples in this category, the chanters brag about their group (their athletic team or school). In other examples the chanters brag about their boyfriend/s. These cheers have less insult content then confrontational foot stomping cheers.

Two examples of other bragging foot stomping cheers:
Example #1: L-O-V-E

All: L-O-V-E. [clap- not spoken]
L-O-V-E. [clap

Soloist #1: Well, Kayla’s my name. [clap]
And love is my game.[clap]
I got this boy on my mind [clap].
And Lord knows he’s fine. [clap]
He calls me his girl. [clap]
His number 1 girl.[clap]
I don’t know his sign, [clap]
But Taurus is mine. [clap]

All: L-O-V-E. [clap]
L-O-V-E. [clap]
L-O-V-E. [clap]

Soloist #2: Tamika's my name. [clap]
And love is my game. [clap]
I got this boy on my mind. [clap]
And Lord knows he’s fine. [clap]
I got his name on my shirt. [clap]
And don't call it dirt.[clap]
Don’t you worry bout my lover. [clap]
Cause there is no other. [clap]

All: L-O-V-E. [clap]
L-O-V-E. [clap]
L-O-V-E. [clap]

(Return to beginning and repeat with a new soloist. That soloist repeats the same verses or similar verses. This pattern continues until everyone in the group has had one turn as the soloist with this cheer.)
-Tazi.M. Powell,.(African American female; remembrance of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the mid 1980s; performed by African American girls ages around 8-12 years old;  Collected by Azizi Powell, 2/1996 although I had observed it performed in the 1980s.
Here's what my daughter shared with me about how she and her friends performed this cheer*.

The movement routine for "L.O.V.E" differs from the other foot stomping cheers that my daughter and her friends showed me. My daughter wrote down these performance instructions for me on October 28, 2018:

1.Right leg stomp forward - for the letter "L"

2. Jump open with both legs - "O"

3. Jump close with both legs -"V"

4. Right leg stomp forward" - "E"

Then clap your hands one time. 

Continue this pattern for the entire cheer.

The girls stood in a circle. The order of soloist was determined by who was the fastest to yell out "first", "second", "third" etc. Pne way that girls used to know when it was their turn was to remember who they came after.

Each soloist remained standing where she was for her solo part. (She didn't move into the center of the circle.). When it was the soloist's turn, the rest of the girls contined doing the same movement routine, but were silent while the soloist chanted. 

The beat is continual,  like a metronone. The object was to remain "on beat" throughout the entire cheer without any interruptions. (The cheer immediately begins with the next soloist and continues until everyone has a turn as the soloist.) If anyone goes "off -beat" -by messing up the foot stomping routine or forgetting what to say or otherwise messing up the flow of the chant- the cheer stops and has to begin all over again. Usually girls who didn't know a particular cheer would sit out that cheer until they were confident that they really knew it. One way that girls gained respect and status regardless of their age or what grade they were in school was being "really good at" doing cheers. 

Example #2: FLY GIRL

All: Fly girl
Fly girl
Fly girl One
Fly girl Two
Pump it up Teresa
See what you do.
Soloist #1:(Oh) my name is Teresa
and I’m a fly girl
It takes a lot of men
to rock my world.
‘cause I can fly like a butterfly
sting like a bee
and that’s way they call me
-Tazi M. Powell, (African American female, memories of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the mid 1980s (audio-tape made in late 1980s and transcribed in 1996)
"Fly Girl" means an attractive, hip female (one who is up to date with the latest urban culture fashions, lingo, dances etc)

These cheers provide opportunities for the group and its individual members to show off their dance (and/or stepping) moves. These cheers often mention one or more (then) popular dances. Dance style foot stomping cheers are much less confrontational than cheers in that other category. While dance style foot stomping cheers may include some bragging words, they
usually include little or no insults. Consequently, the cheer performers (stompers/steppers) ddn't act surly or as aggressive as they play act during the chanting of confrontational foot stomping cheers. Many of dance style cheers can be immediately recognizable by the "Hey (person's name) Show me" lines that begin those cheers.

Two examples of a dance style foot stomping cheer:

Example #1: GET DOWN
Group (including the first soloist) - I saida D. O. W. N.
And that's the way we get down.
D. O. W. N.
And that's the way we get down."
Group (excluding the first soloist) - Hey, Shayla
Shayla - What?
Group- Hey, Shayla
Shayla - What?
Group - Show me how you get down.
Shayla - No way.
Group- Show me how you get down.
Shayla - Okay.
[Shayla does a hip swinging dance while saying]
I saida D. O. W. N.
And that's the way
And that's the way
And that's the way I get down.
[Group does dance with Shayla and says]
Group - She saida D. O. W. N.
And that's the way
And that's the way
And that's the way she gets down.
-T.M.P, mid 1980s, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; collected by Azizi Powell
This foot stomping cheer starts again from the beginning with the next soloist who says the same soloist lines but traditionally isn't supposed to repeat the same foot stomping/dance routine. This pattern continues until every member has had one turn as soloist.

Example #2: MOVE GIRL
You betta move
girl you betta move.
[say both lines(3x)]
Now drop it low
Drop it low.
Drop it low
Drop it low
-Shaw High School [transcription of the video given below]
* Thanks to tknight51, lauren patton, and PrincessAmandaTVfor adding comments to this video's comment thread which indicated that the girls were saying "drop it low".
Notice that the soloist's name isn't called. And, unlike most other foot stomping cheers, the soloist doesn't speak, but does her own dance while the others chant. "Now drop it low" means to dance down [close] to the ground, and then comee back up.

Here are two video examples of dance style foot stomping cheers:
Example #1: Shaw Cheerleaders "Move Girl"

Brandon Thurman, Uploaded on Jan 9, 2011

Shaw High School Cheerleaders Before the game hype
The words to this cheer are given above.

Example #2: Dailey Tigers "Rock Steady"

daileytigers, Published on Nov 17, 2012

Unlike the "standard" structure for foot stomping cheers, the cheer begins with a soloist's voice.
Click for a pancocojams post on the "Rock Steady" cheer.

This concludes Part II of this post on foot stomping cheers.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment