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SophiaPD

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Reply with quote  #1 
My younger daughter (almost 6) loves dance and I think she gets a lot out of her classes.  My older daughter (10) loves gymnastics and does not see dance as "her thing" (perhaps because her sister does it?).  I think one year of jazz and ballet would be very helpful if my daughter wanted to transition from pure tumbling to cheer in middle school.  I am making assumptions based on the balance, grace, and strength training dance seems to offer, along with the fact that the cheerleaders seem to do simple short jazz dances as part of their performances.  She currently takes tumbling and cheer-nastics, which is largely tumbling, jumps, and arm movements.  What do you think?  Is it worth it for someone who knows she doesn't want to be a dancer to take jazz and ballet to improve tumbling and cheer?  My daughter is willing to take the classes, but not as enthusiastic about it as I would like.  Thanks for any input you can offer.
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not a gymnastics/cheer parent - however I have seen kids take jazz to support cheer in the way you suggest.  From the dance side, we take gymnastics (just tumbling) to support acro and other moves for dance - so in the reverse.  If she does really dread the classes and doesn't want to go - then clearly I wouldn't waste time/money - but I'm positive it would be helpful!
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karenc

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Reply with quote  #3 
My daughter dances and cheers.  The greatest advantage I have seen is her ability to pick up the choreography of cheer routines quicker than her fellow cheerleaders which leads to getting placed in the front more often than not.  Dancers are trained to think, learn, and process movement quickly and also to remember it.  It's a distinct advantage which has very little to do with the technique itself (which I will say doesn't seem to matter that much on her cheer squad). 
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #4 
I would suggest that you watch a few cheer routines from a similar background to what she will be cheering (school team? all star team? etc.) You will find that the actual "dance" is maybe 2 or at most 3 8 counts. Cheer is expensive. The level of tumbling and stunting is very intense. At 10 I would invest that time in cheer; tumbling lessons or private lessons to work on whatever she needs help with. Unless she wants to be at dance I don't see it as a good use of her time. Yes, she absolutely would benefit from it and could apply everything from dance to cheer; but if her heart is not in it I don't think I'd put a 10 year old in simply to boost their cheer skills. I'd put the in an all around gymnastics class first.
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karenc

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Reply with quote  #5 
Noel makes good points.  I should have added that my daughter is a dancer first and cheers for her school, which is NOT a competition cheer squad so it has more dance in the routines and less stunting than a competition squad would.  
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SophiaPD

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you.  I looked at a few youtube clips of her middle school and it looks like mostly stunt towers and tumbling.  Dance doesn't seem more complex than your typical Jazzercise session.  My daughter is entering fifth grade and tryouts would not be until the end of sixth, so maybe we'll look at dance again next year and just do tumbling for now.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #7 
SophiaPD I might recommend that you investigate if there are any good competitive hip hop teams near you. Often they will incorporate tumbling skills into their routines. We were previously in the All Star branch of competition and many of the best cheer gyms also field hip hop teams and their training really does go hand in hand. See if you can find an All Star studio/ gym near you. Can't hurt to sniff around. If you want to share geographic region I'll see if I can jog my mind as to any really good teams we've seen.
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SophiaPD

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Reply with quote  #8 
We're in Birmingham, Alabama.  DD6 is at Birmingham Dance Theatre, which is strong in hip hop and acro -- but that's the dance place DD10 is reluctant to go.  You also have to be all-in to compete, and DD10 is not. We do have an ACE cheer near us.  DD10 did a sample class there and got a bad first impression, but I'm not opposed to trying it again.  I'd also love to find an intensive cheer or hip hop summer day camp -- I teach so summers are more flexible -- but the stuff I found online this year was basically themed day-care camps for small children.  Thanks for the help!
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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Sophia.  
My DD14 is a former competitive Gymnast (Tumbling and Trampoline), Competed All Star Cheer for 6 years, and has also competed in Hip Hop.   She did Jr High Cheer and is now going into High School as a member of the Varsity Cheer Team (sideline and competitive).  

DD12 is my dancer, has been dancing since she was 4, started competing in Hip Hop and All Star cheer, then moved on the Jazz, Ballet etc.   She will be cheering for the Jr High Cheer team this year.  

Most Cheer dance is hip hop, but as our old Jr High Coach said, all dance helps.  But that said, most Jr High/Middle School squads are non competitive, and the dance moves are simple.   If you go to an all star gym, it is a lot more complex.   

Dance Background absolutely helped both my girls , but we have seen some amazing cheerleaders without a dance background.  

Here is an example of a typical Jr High/Middle School tryout routine that UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) choreographs for coaches to use for tryouts.  




If you need more information or would like All Star Cheer info please don't hesitate to ask, you can also message me.  We have been doing this whole cheer thing for 10 years
 
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mom25

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Reply with quote  #10 
My dd switched from dance competition to competitive gymnastics, but she is still dancing. All the strength training in gymnastics has made her leaps and dance much better! Her dance training makes her floor exercise much better. The first time her gymnastics coach saw her on floor, she asked my daughter if she was a dancer. Optional floor exercise is dance with lots of tumbling. I think dance and gymnastics really compliment each other.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'd look into dance/drill team prep. There are dance and cheer studios that offer them. Some as camps, some as a full school year activity. I know almost all of the local cheer leaders here have taken or still take dance. Most take the dance/drill prep, jazz, or hip hop. It's not required, but you can tell who has or hasn't had dance.
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SophiaPD

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks so much for the help!  We have hit a happy compromise for this year.  DD10 is excited to take a one-hour weekly hip hop class at her sister's studio.  The 6:30-8:45 jazz/ballet didn't appeal, but this is a smaller dose of dance and much more "her style."  She is also taking tumbling, cheernastics, and two short monthly personal training sessions for help with tumbling moves.  [smile]
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