Skill Level Descriptions
Skill Level Overview
- Beginner- 0-2 years of experience
- Intermediate – 2-4 years of experience or training
- Advanced- 5 or more years of training or experience
All levels are variable as a person’s level is very individual. Some people can train for years to reach
a certain level, while others can master certain techniques in a few months. To make your experience
on this site more enjoyable please select your skill level according to your experience and abilities.
As a beginner you should have no previous experience cheering. While you may have played around
with pom pons and attempted jumps and cartwheels, if you are a beginner, you have never taken
classes in motion technique, stunt classes, etc. Basic cheerleading skills do not take long to master
and with a few instructional lessons on motion placement, voice projection, and basic stunting skills,
you can quickly be on your way to the next level.
Entry level cheerleading classes can be found at local cheer gyms, athletic organizations such as a
YMCA, and even at your local high school. At a cheer gym, you can expect to find one hour classes
that will teach you how to stretch and strengthen your muscles, teach you basic motions, and will
teach you beginning jumps such as a tuck jump, a straight jump, and a toe touch. It will be very
important to be stretched and warmed up before attempting the jumps, as you could strain your
muscles, so make sure that the cheer class covers stretching for jumps.
Beginning classes should also cover basic climbing techniques for partner stunts as stunts are a major
part of cheerleading today. These skills should include base positions - (the person on the bottom,) -
and flyer positions - (the person on top,) - as well as how to properly spot a partner stunt. Safety is
critical in executing partner stunts, so make sure that safety training is included in the class
Beginning tumbling classes for cheerleading is typically a separate class at a cheer gym and these are
leveled by your current gymnastic skills. Most beginner cheerleaders have little to no tumbling
Intermediate cheerleaders have not only mastered basic motions and voice projection, but they have
also learned the basic jumps and in most cases basic stunting - (stunts involving 2 or more
cheerleaders that do not go above shoulder height.)
Intermediate cheerleaders are now ready for more intricate motions, basic cheer-dance moves, and
more advanced stunts that move from waist high to shoulder high. At this level, you should also be
able to perform basic tumbling skills such as running cartwheels, round-offs and be working on a
standing back handspring with a spotter.
Competitive cheer teams will be available to intermediate cheerleaders and can add additional
instructional opportunities as well as opportunities to begin competing on a team. Additionally,
intermediate cheerleaders are potentially ready to try out for their middle school team or possibly for
their JV high school team. Check with your local cheer gym and/or high school to find out more about
the specific skills needed for the specific program that you are interested in.
Advanced cheerleaders have now mastered strong, intricate motions skills, can perform more difficult
cheer-dance moves, and can safely and consistently execute partner stunts - (stunts involving 2 or
more cheerleaders,) - above shoulder height.
Most advanced cheerleaders can perform a round off back handspring, standing back handsprings
unassisted and are working on more difficult tumbling skills such as standing and running back tucks
and other tumbling runs to include multiple tricks in a running pass.
Stunts at the advanced level begin to get more difficult with extended stunts above the head level of
the bases and usually will have added difficulty which may include performing a heel stretch at the top
of the stunt or twisting down out of the stunt. Safety is critical at this level and advanced
cheerleaders will want to make sure that proper technique, safety and spotting techniques are being
taught and reinforced at this level.
Because of the risk of injury, particularly in the stunting, beginners cannot take advanced cheer
classes. Attempting to perform stunts above their knowledge level will almost certainly result in
injury. Talk with the cheerleading instructor to make sure that everyone has your safety at the
forefront of every class and competitive team.