How to Map a Cheer Routine

Just as a well-executed stunt starts with a solid foundation, a flawless competition routine needs to have all of the essential elements that appear on the score sheet. These elements are the fundamentals taken from gymnastics, dance, acro-sports, and more, similar to the way an elementary school program must include the basics of math, reading, science, history, art, and physical education.

In cheerleading, the sections of a routine consist of the following:

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How to Fill Out 8-Count Sheets for Cheerleading

In order to flawlessly pair music with your cheer routine, you’ll need to employ the simple, but powerful, 8-count sheet. An 8-count sheet is a textual representation of your choreography that can be used by a music producer to place sound effects and music at just the right moments throughout your routine. It’s not difficult to fill out an 8-count sheet, but the clearer you are at conveying your desires, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with a high-impact performance.

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Time-Out vs Routine Music in Cheerleading: What's the Difference?

Picking the right mix for your next performance can be a tough decision. You can start to narrow down your choices by considering the context. Are you selecting music for game-time or competition? The two typically require very different criteria. Competition music will be more structured and must hit all the right notes on the judge’s score sheet. Time-out music is more of a free-for-all, with the primary goal of entertaining the fans while pumping up the athletes. We’ve organized our music selection into a variety of categories so you can browse time-out tracks or cheer mixes, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are a few tips on how to choose music for competition or game time:

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Dance Music Trends in 2019

The music of 2019 is off to a pretty strong start. Now that we are a few months into the new year, it’s a good time to take stock of the music trends that are beginning to take hold in cheer, hip-hop, Pom, and dance to see how your squad can use them to dominate the rest of 2019.

We recently sat down with Carsen Rowe, owner of Tribe 99 Choreography and one of the most influential people in the cheerleading and dance community to understand what music trends are developing in the dance world.

From new dance styles to fresh editing and ways to play with beats, here are some of the music trends that Carsen shared with us:

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3 Benefits of Using an 8-Count Track for Cheer Practice

Anyone can count to eight, but it turns out that there are plenty of reasons to leave the task to a dedicated 8-count track. An 8-count track is a piece of music that actually counts to eight over and over for two minutes, 30 seconds, or whatever your competition routine time span happens to be.

These mixes are generally composed of 45-47 8-counts and recorded at 145 beats per minute (BPM). You can speed up or slow down the track as needed, depending on the music you’ve chosen.

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Charting Premixed Music to Match Your Cheer Routine

In a perfect world, every cheer team would have the luxury of working directly with an experienced music producer to compose the perfect mix to suit every competition routine. But in reality, that service is outside the budget of many cheer squads. Luckily, with enough creativity, any cheer team can achieve equally great results using premixed music.

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Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Cheer Music

The most important elements of a great cheerleading team are probably hard work, passion, and creativity—but a solid soundtrack never hurts. When you’re choosing music for your next cheer routine, there are several small missteps that could be holding your team back from giving the performance of a lifetime. Check out these common musical blunders to see if you might need to get your team back on the right beat:

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How Power Music Can Amp Up Your Cheer and Dance Performances

A cheer or dance performance without music is like a fish without water. Music sets the mood of the show, keeps the audience engaged, and ensures the entire squad is coordinated and on point. Selecting the music for a big performance can be tricky, but the process can help you sharpen the vision for your routine. A good music song for a cheer or dance performance has a few important qualities:

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The Hottest Songs and Genres in Cheerleading Right Now

As Ciara is reminded by her dance guru at the start of her music video for “Level Up”: “Be your own boss, love yourself, and get up and dance.” With those three guiding principles in mind, let’s dive into some of the hottest songs and genres in cheerleading right now so we can channel Ciara and make our way up to boss level.

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8 Songs to Jumpstart Your Next Routine

If your inspirational battery is dead, you may need to jump-start it with some fresh musical energy. These songs can help infuse new blood into an otherwise dull cheer routine—give them a listen to see if you can find the fresh sound you’ve been looking for:

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