A Guide to Understanding All the Terminology in Netflix’s Cheer

If you’re one of the last remaining people on planet earth who isn’t obsessed with Netflix’s new docu-series, Cheer, what are you doing with your life?! Even our girl Chrissy Teigen is as OBSESSED as we are!

I was watching it with my roommate when I realised that, as Aussies — who don’t do cheerleading in high school — our knowledge of cheer is purely based off the cult-classic Bring It On, which is fine until Monica starts flinging words around like basket toss, buckets and flyer, and you get slightly lost.

Given that I’ll talk at to just about anyone who will listen about Cheer, I decided that there needs to be an explainer guide, a mini dictionary if you will, so us Aussies can understand exactly what’s going on in the series at all times.

There is however one term/acronym that’s not commonly used among cheerleaders (it even sent twitter into a meltdown trying to figure it out) — FIOFMU — that I can’t help you with.

According to Kayla (who’s currently cheering for Navarro), no one, except for current and past Navarro cheerleaders, knows what it means. “#FIOFMU is a coded message/motto, that you learn and earn throughout the year while on the team. Learning the meaning is entirely special and is only known by Navarro Cheerleaders and Navarro Cheer alumni”, she tweeted.

In the team time, here’s all the cheer terminology I do know, and that you need to know before watching Cheer . . .

Pyramid: Multiple mounts or a group of stunts next to one another by majority of the squad.

Top Girl/Flyer: The (brave) person that’s is on top of a pyramid/stunt and is often thrown around, a lot. e.g. Navarro’s Gabi, Sherbs, Morgan and Ali.

Base: The bottom person/persons in a stunt who remains on the ground while lifting a flyer into a stunt. e.g. Navarro’s Jerry (Angel) and La’Darius.

Stunt/Stunter: Usually a person who can throw epic floor stunts that involving tumbling, mounting, a pyramid, or toss. e.g. Navarro’s Lexi.

All Stars: A Cheerleading squad that is not associated or affiliated with a school.

Basket Toss: A stunt usually using three or more bases where they toss the flyer into the air. Two of the bases have interlocked their hands, fling the flyer into the air to perform a stunt before returning to the cradle.

Buckets: When you hold your arms straight out in front of you, with your fists facing down as if you were holding the handle of a bucket in each hand.

Cradle Catch: The way two bases catch their flyer after they perform a stunt.

Spotter: Just like weight lifters, cheerleaders need spotters to look out for them while they’re performing tricky aerial stunts.

On Mat: Mean’s you’ve made the team that performs of the floor.

Varsity: The main squad the represents a school, college or university.


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