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The Needle is cheerleading stunt that is a combination of basic cheerleading motions and techniques. The stunt can be done on the ground or in the air as part of a cheerleading stunt group. These steps will help you practice mastering the stunt on the ground before trying it in the air.
A cheerleader that wants to master her Needle stunt is going to have to put major time into improving her flexibility and improving balance. Without those techniques, a Needle cannot be performed properly,
- Stand sideways with your legs together and straight. Your inside arm (not facing the crowd) should be in a Touchdown position, while your outside arm should be straight at your side. When a Needle is performed in the air, only one foot will be in grip, so when practicing on the floor, put all your weight on you inside foot (the foot that will stay on the ground).
- Bend the knee of your outside leg and start to raise it up behind you. As you raise your leg, keep your toes pointed.
- Your hand should wrap around the outer side of your foot, so that your fingers are resting on the top of your foot and your thumb is resting on the bottom of your foot. Your back will begin to arch – let this happen.
- Continue to push your leg up, behind you, with assistance from your arm. To do this, you’ll want to twist your arm out and behind you, then push upwards. Keep your leg bent as you push it up – and make sure those toes are still pointed!
- As your foot reaches shoulder level behind you, you’ll want to turn your elbow out, so that it points to the crowd. You’ll continue pushing up, and your arm will turn up, so that your elbow is just above your ear. You should also start reaching your other arm behind you to grab your foot.
- Once your other hand connects with your foot, you should place it just above your other hand, with your fingers wrapped around the top of your foot, and your thumb is wrapped around the bottom of your foot.
- After you have both hands on your foot, push your leg up as high as you can, straightening and extending your leg as much as you can. You want your stunt leg to be pointing North as true as possible.
- Your back will arch as a natural movement for this stunt, but you should make sure that you keep your head and chest up at all times. Dropping your chest or your head could cause you to lose your balance and fall forward.
*This guide should serve as an introduction to the basic steps for a Needle stunt and should be used as a reference only. This guide should not be used to replace the instruction and supervision of a trained professional.