Cheerleading comes in a few different forms:
- Competitive Cheerleading: a high-energy team sport that is rapidly growing in the UK, competitive cheerleading utilises a combination of elements – jumps, tumbling, stunting and dance – all combined in a stunning 2 min 30 second routine that is assessed live by a panel of judges utilising a stringent set of rules and scoring criteria to rank teams, placing them in competitions that are held at regional, national and international level. Competitive cheerleading may involved teams that are either associated with a school or university, or are “All-Star”, which means the programme is run as a business and may have several teams at different levels/ages.
- Recreational Cheerleading: these are cheerleading sessions where participants do it for the joy of the sport and not with the intent to compete. Many schools in the UK are now offering cheerleading as part of their PE programmes or as after school clubs and some All-Star programmes also run recreational classes for participants who either do not wish to perform, or perhaps need additional training in order to qualify for a competitive team.
- Freestyle Pom: team routines where members perform choreographed dance, motions and jumps to high energy music, with pom-poms in their hands, which adds to the impact of group cannons and synchronised movement. Freestyle Pom can often be seen performed at sporting events as part of the half-time entertainment, but most cheerleading competitions (including those at International level) also feature a dance component where teams can compete not just in Freestyle Pom, but also Hip Hop, Prop and Jazz styles as well. Some Freestyle Pom routines will feature basic stunts and/or pyramids.