The countdown to THE event of the cheer calendar was everywhere this year. With Worlds Week now at a close we want to reflect on the moments that made the pavilion at ESPN Wide World of Sports, Disney in Florida sit up and take notice (which is saying a lot when you are watching the best teams in the world). Here is a rundown on the teams and routines everyone was talking about.
Top Gun – OO5 – The Fallen Jags Routine
You would have to have been living under a rock to not know this routine was coming. Last year was one of Top Gun’s least successful at Worlds in a decade and this year their losses – both sporting and deeply personal – have been their inspiration for the return to domination.
Favourite moments included their signature oh so close tumble passes, the ‘moment of silence’ and when they listed their ‘fallen jags’ and the paper doll libs pulled to heel stretch in cannon. A surprising bobble on the back left in baskets was forgiven as they team finished out with a dance that felt more classic at the start with a lot of mixed level syncro moves to ‘follow him’ which my generation best knows from Sister Act.
Top Gun – Large Coed Routine
With elite tumble passes that sweep the hair of team mates placed to add choreographic intrigue, the team offered full after full after full in near perfect sync and a group standing toe touch full. As they moved into stunts, the start of the sequence was deceptively simple with a straight toss to two base extension. But it built and built. First into a low high tick tock to heel stretch, then a full down. But the moment when the back line of 6 libs fulled straight to scorp and the front line of 6 libs fulled up IN SCORP from gut – the arena went wild. They completed the shape sequence and doubled down clean. Turns out you don’t necessarily need spikes in your lib sequence – you just need awesome creativity, difficulty and hit-ability.
The pyramid sequence ended with a 3-deep effect of the same heel stretch tick tock to inside hitch (with the back line joining in from lib to hitch) which, though simple by comparison to the rest of the pyramid – hit tightly and gave a dominating impression as it filled the front of the stage.
Cheer Extreme – Senior Elite
A little moment for me in particular was when their back split centre flyers gave us heel stretch, over stretch, bow and arrow, tick tock to heel stretch at gut, straight back express up to lib in a single 8 count! Like it was nothing. The team hit a 9 flyer paper doll lib pyramid before dropping half down as 5 completed the heel stretch to hop over they debuted last year and the back line gave us full around to heel, tick tock to heel. The whole sequence was tight and just wow followed by wow.
Sadly, and surprisingly on day 1 they lost two on their libs during the second sequence but the pyramid pulled it back with the same level of flipping and twisting craziness you expect from the ladies in teal. Once again they ended on a pyramid pose this year but with the energy of a team who knew they hadn’t hit clean. Day 2 was a whole other story, ending up with a clear cut win!
Maryland Twisters F5
Setting the floor a-twinkle the F5 ladies opened strong with syncro tumbles and some high flying baskets. Their libs opened with nine 1½ ‘s up to heel stretch straight into bow and arrow. There was a noticeable bobble on the right where one flyer didn’t make the stretches but she pulled it back for the next sequence which offered us a heel to heel tick tock amongst other transitional skills.
The quad jump to tuck was particularly impressive as it was genuinely completed by the whole team while many others out there fakes some back members or hid others in a corner ready for their break-through pass.
The pyramid began strongly but one of the vaulting flips fell on its way over losing some of the effect. They recovered for the next pattern and completed the sequence with 10 lib heel stretches. The dance was stylish and sassy moving quickly across the floor and a lovely end to the routine.
California Allstars – Smoed
If you haven’t been watching their youtube series then you might not know the routine as well as some by now – but those of us who have lived every second along with them.
The full team hit a double up which broke out into arabesque. Later the back handspring to prone catch straight up hit across the floor – and we know that had been causing some troubles earlier in the season. But on the heel stretch tick tock, Gabi Butler’s team on point went down – though it was vaguely styled out into the roll down that the rest of the team were doing at the time.
The team gave us a 5 jump combo with Kiara and other finishing it with a full. During the running passes – more than one tumble lost steam and there were a few bobbles in the backing stunts and towards the end of the pyramid.
We can only assume Eddie and Smoed have a worlds episode for us in the near future so I guess we will see exactly how they felt following the routine.
World Cup – Shooting Stars Cheetahs
With strong formations and an 11 (!) strong lib sequence the team opened tightly. An interesting moment occurred when one lib came down early into its next position – a prone catch – and the spotter ran to catch what he must have thought was a really bad fall. A very cute (though level 3 moment) was a line of smush to cradle flips that each moved to the next stunt group. It’s probably a safe bet that that little visual will be all over level 3 next season.
I particularly enjoyed the pyramid sequence set to ‘Wings were made to fly’ which kept the pace strong and upbeat which was in contrast to the dance music which somehow felt anti-climactic and let down what was some fantastic choreography.
Cheer Athletics – Wildcats
‘If you want the answer break out your iPhone and ask Siri who’s gonna bring the worlds home – the next world champion is Cheer Athletics’. A voice over with a message as well as a sense of humour. That’s what we like at CheerCoach.net
Check out those back moving pike jumps into standing tuck, into double flick finished with a full. Next they brought us a full team straddle flip to full up heel stretch (losing one on the right at the full due to a bent leg) with just 2 bases. Their pyramid started tight with elite partner stunt at the centre and moved out fast and strong while in libs for a powerful effect.
The Wildcats were one of the teams to have a day 2 uniform change from dark to sparkling white with sublimated blue. Day 2 had a bobble at the end of the pyramid and in the libs at the end but dance ended things with strong and dynamic shapes punctuated with baskets.
It’s been another amazing year with more teams breaking the barriers of what can and should be done in our amazing sport. As we move into the quiet time of reflection that follows the culmination of the season I can only imagine the adaptations coaches will be coming up with for their teams’ lower levels and inspiration that will be drawn. 2013 has been an incredible year and with more and more world-wide participation and high placement – we can’t wait for what 2014 has in store.
Check out the results here:
We're also looking for the best Cheer Uniforms from 2013 so please tweet us any pictures!
Senior Large All-Girl
1st - Cheer Extreme Senior Elite
2nd - Cheer Athletics Panthers
3rd - WorldCup Shooting Stars
4th - Maryland Twisters F5
5th - Stingray Peaches
6th - Cheertyme Love
Senior Large Co-Ed
1st - Top Gun All Stars
2nd - Cheer Athletics Cheetahs
3rd - Cheer Extreme
4th - ACE Warriors
5th - California All Stars
6th - Pro Cheer Eagles
7th - Charlotte Midnight
8th - ACX Wildcats
9th - FAME Vengeance
10th - Gym Tyme Onyx
International Open Coed 5
1. Gym Tyme All Stars - Black Smack
2. Pacific Coast Magic - Karma
3. Cheer Athletics - Wildcats
4. Top Gun All-Stars - OO5
5. CheerForce - Nfinity
6. Woodlands Elite - Commanders
7. Cheer Academy (Mexico)
8. RND Elite Allstars
9. Costa Rica Allstars
10. Outlaws Allstars - Fugituves
1st - The Stingrays All Stars Orange
2nd - California All Stars ACES
3rd - FAME Super Seniors
4th - FCA Diamonds
5th - Maryland Twisters Weathergirls
6th - Fire & Ice
7th - Cheer Extreme Lady Elite
8th - Cheer Athletics Swooshkats
9th - Buckeye Cheer Elite
10th - Cheer Station
1st - California All Stars Black Ops
2nd - Spirit of Texas
3rd - Twist & Shout Obsession
4th - GymTyme Platinum
5th - Maryland Twisters Reign
6th - American Cheer Flyers
7th - Ultimate Athletics Prodigy
8th - Woodlands Elite
9th - World Cup Odyssey
10th - Brandon Sr White
1st - California All Stars - SMOED
2nd - Rockstar Cheer - The Beatles
3rd - Mac's All Stars Cheer Senior Stars
4th - Hot Cheer Hot5
5th - Extreme Cheer Company
6th - Prodigy All Stars Midnight
7th - Pacific Coast Magic Mysterious
8th - Midwest Cheer Elite Diamondkatz
9th - Brandon All Stars Senior Black
10th - New Jersey Spirit Explosion
Intl Open All Girl
1st - The California All Stars Sparkle
2nd -Vancouver All Stars Ice Queens
3rd -Cheer Sport Sharks Great White
4th - Gym Tyme All Stars Pink Ladies
5th - RND Elite All Stars Shining Stars
6th - Maryland Twisters Lady T's
7th - East Coast All Star Ladybirds (Australia)
8th - Pumas (Mexico)
9th - Charmers Cheer (Norway)
10th - Dolphins (Germany)