With that said, we will also cover a whole range of topics in our upcoming posts about everything you need for cheerleading!
Guide to practice apparels
We will first be covering on the apparels that you would need for cheerleading practices. Stay tuned for the next post as we will cover on competition apparels next!
Why it is essential for cheerleaders to wear the correct apparel for practices? Well, it is not just for aesthetic reasons but more importantly, for safety purposes. Wrong clothing articles during practice can lead to improper execution of skills or distract the flow of execution which can be detrimental to the team. These are some definite items that should not be worn during practices and even competitions, :
- NO body accessories such as piercings (at any body part), necklaces, rings and bracelets. It would be disastrous if the piercing gets ripped off your skin!
- NO slippers or sandals.
- NO sharp hair accessories such as bobby pins, decorative headpieces or metal headbands.
Cheerleading itself is a high-risk sport, so be sure to do your part in reducing the risk involved!
Practice wear is basically what it means, clothes worn for practice. It is not oddly specific as the outfit worn during cheerleading practices are pretty much similar to what one would wear during dance, yoga, gymnastics or athletics training. You could probably just use what you wear for those activities if you are already participating in them! However, the main aspect that needs to be addressed is how the outfit will affect your mobility, agility and safety.
These are a few suggestions as to what a cheerleader should be be looking out for when selecting or purchasing practice outfits.
For both male and female cheerleaders, the general guideline for tops is that it should be well-fitting; not too loose or too tight. Always choose a stretchy material such as a stretchable dry-fit top as cheerleading requires lots of hand movements and sweat is an inevitable product whilst cheering.
Generally, the type of bottoms that cheerleaders should aim to wear are non-restrictive bottoms – this means that it provides you the full range of movement of your legs and hips. A good tip to determine if the pants you wear are suitable is for you to put them on, get into a split position or kick your legs as high as you possibly can. If they do not feel resisting, chances are they are appropriate to wear for practices. This is absolutely essential as they can rip if you stretch resisting materials beyond their threshold and the last thing you would want is a wardrobe malfunction right in the middle of practice! Some good choices of materials for bottoms are spandex and polyester (leggings, tights, skins).
This is an extra tip especially for flyers, be sure to wear bottoms that are body-hugging or wear a pair of tights under the ordinary sports shorts that you would normally wear.
Footwear in cheerleading is critical for all, bases, flyers, backspots and all. The common misconception many cheerleaders have is that only flyers need to wear shoes during practice. However, every cheerleader should aim to wear shoes whether or not they are flying. There are several reasons for that, one being safety. The shoes offer protection for your toes which can be easily injured when barefooted. Trust me, hurting your teeny tiny toes will be excruciating. I’m sure the pain from ramming your pinky toe into the corner of the furniture is forever etched in your memories! So, let’s try to avoid that by wearing shoes.
Besides that, It also allows you to experience how it feels like to be wearing shoes while practicing your stunts, tumblings or jumps. Often times, cheerleaders who practice barefooted find it hard to execute their skills especially their tumbling and jumps during the competition when they are in shoes.
Now, for the type of shoes that you should wear. The main feature of the shoe – it should lightweight. Lightweight shoes are great for flying, tumbling and jumping as it does not give any extra added weight, making the skills easier to be executed. The shoes you wear should also be relatively tight, but not to the point it is uncomfortable. For flyers, this enables the bases to be able to grip your shoe well and provide the stability you need. For everyone else, this prevents the occasional flying shoes as prop while you practice!
Finally, accessories. (optional)
Although certain accessories are not permitted during practices, there is one that is acceptable and that is bows! Bows are extremely fun-looking and it is applicable for both genders! Yes, both male and females can wear them, maybe with differing size or placement. However, these are easily customisable if you make them! Making them can be a team building activity and there will be an article covering how to make bows in the coming posts, so be sure to follow us!
This is a picture guide for anyone needing visual reference :
I hope this article has been informative and provided some insight for both new aspiring cheerleaders and existing ones. Be sure to keep an eye out for our next post – Guide to competition apparels!