The shoulder sit is a beginner stunt in cheerleading, but will give you a taste of stunting and teach you skills that you’ll need for more advanced stunts. Practicing the shoulder sit is also a great way for your stunt team to work out any kinks in your stunts, get familiar with the count series and build trust.
Though a basic move, the shoulder sit still requires strength, agility and skill. This move should only be performed under proper, trained supervision to ensure the safety of everyone.
Before any group attempts a stunt, they should discuss and decide on a standard count series. Each and every stunt a group performs should be done on counts, and it is typically the responsibility of the spotter to keep the beat and call it out. Timing is critical in stunting, and new teams need to practice their timing as much as they practice their actual stunts.
Many stunts begin with a two beat, “Ready, OK” count, where all positions bring their arms up and clap once on beat. This helps get everyone’s attention, lets them know to focus and assures the entire group that everyone is ready. From there the stunt group gets into formation, and the spotter begins the count series (typically based on an 8-beat count).
Stunt Groups: 1
Spotter: At least 1
- The base should get into a deep lunge position. While their main body will only angle slightly to the side, the toes of their bent leg should turn completely sideways. The bent leg will act as a platform for the flyer’s foot.
- As the flyer rests their foot on the base’s leg, the base should wrap their inside arm around the flyer’s leg at the knee, and secure the flyer’s foot with their outside hand.
- The base should hold this position as the flyer pops up and begins to swing their other leg onto the base’s shoulder.
- As the flyer’s leg is settling on the base’s shoulder, the base should release the flyer’s other foot and bring that now free arm behind and around the flyer’s leg, at about the knee area. The base should pull down firmly to give the flyer extra stability.
- Once the flyer is secure, the base should shift their body to face forward. If the stunt group is still new, the base should keep their hands on the flyer’s thighs, but if the stunt group is a little advanced the base can place their hands on their hips.
- The flyer will start this stunt by standing behind the base and placing their hands on the base’s shoulders.
- The flyer should bring their inside leg (the one that matches the base’s lunged leg) up and around the base’s waist, and rest it on the base’s thigh.
- Once the base has a firm grip on the flyer’s leg, the flyer should dip down then pop up, shifting their weight from their legs to their arms. During this move the flyer should keep her core tight and lock the leg that is resting on the base’s thigh.
- When the lift has reached a point where the flyer’s arms are almost straight, she should begin to swing her free leg up and around the base’s shoulder.
- Once the flyer is in a seated position on the base’s shoulders and the base’s arms are wrapped around the flyer’s legs, the flyer should wrap her feet around the base’s lower back, so that the top of her feet will be against the base’s back. This will give the flyer additional stability.
- Once the flyer is secure, she can hit a high V or T arm motion.
- The spotter’s main responsibility is to support and guide the flyer, and of course keep her from hitting the floor if anything goes wrong.
- The spotter should stand directly behind the flyer with her hands on the flyer’s hips. The spotter’s grip should be firm, but not restricting.
- The spotter should follow the movements of the flyer as she dips and pops up, and help lift her onto the base’s shoulders.
- Once the flyer is secure, the spotter should shift their body to face forward with the base. If the stunt group is still new, the spotter should keep her hands on the flyer’s hips, but if the stunt group is a little advanced the spotter can let go of the flyer. Letting go doesn’t mean the spotter’s job is over, they still need to stay directly behind the base and keep alert. They will also need to count out the series for the dismount.
Check out our step-by-step instructions for performing a back shoulder sit dismount, and visit the blog on November 4th for step-by-step instructions for performing a front shoulder sit dismount.