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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • New program teaches local cheerleaders stunting skills

  • A new class at the Geneseo Park District is set to help local cheerleaders defy gravity as they learn the fundamentals to cheer stunting to wow the home crowds next season.
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  • A new class at the Geneseo Park District is set to help local cheerleaders defy gravity as they learn the fundamentals to cheer stunting to wow the home crowds next season.
    “In the regular cheer classes we do stunting, but this is the first time for the Cheer Stunting Program, which is strictly just stunting to build skills,” said instructor Karman Bodeen. “Stunting is one of the toughest aspects of cheerleading, and it needs to be safe.”
    In the Cheer Stunting Program, cheerleaders will learn various techniques such as extensions, liberties, scorpions, cupies, heel stretch, bow and arrow and basket tosses. The program is open to participants in seventh grade or older and is held on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 9-30 and Aug. 6-27.
    Bodeen also is looking into incorporating co-ed stunting for those who have expressed interest in cheering in college.
    “This is a way to prepare the girls for high school and build the program because stunting has become a huge part of cheerleading over the years,” said Bodeen. “At the middle school level, they also do quite a bit if stunting so this is a way for them to keep their skills up in the summer.”
    The No. 1 part of stunting that Bodeen stresses to the girls is safety.
    “We follow all the IHSA and American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators rules,” said Bodeen. “Even though it is not a school-related program, we want them to be on board with the school rules.”
    The biggest aspect of stunting besides safety that Bodeen tries to teach the girls is to lift correctly and to use the right muscles.
    She also said another hurdle she needs to help the girls get over is the fear of being a flyer, which is person who is being held up or tossed in the air.
    “We have a 50/50 mix in the flyer group of those who have no fear and we have to rein them in and others who are just terrified,” said Bodeen.
    Bodeen believes starting to teach girls stunting at a young age will only help them down the line because the girls will learn the correct technique at a young age so they don’t create bad habits, and it also is safer because the girls can progress to the higher level.
    “The biggest thing is people don’t feel cheerleading is a sport, but it is a sport and takes hard work,” said Bodeen. “The girls absolutely love stunting and even the girls who had a fear of heights they are flying now.
    “It is great to see them progress and I think it is a huge thrill even for the girls on the bottom because they are so excited when they get a stunt. It is an adrenaline rush.”
    Page 2 of 2 - For more information on the cheer stunting program or to register, call 944-5695 or visit www.geneseoparkdistrict.org.
     

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