Hizume explaining the Double Base Thigh Stand.

The following is a list of cheerleading terms mentioned or referenced in the Anima Yell! series.


Long considered an American pastime, cheerleading is recognized the world over as a "spirit sport", consisting of highly coordinated gymnastic routines and crowd encouragement.

Organized cheerleading began in the latter half of the nineteenth century as an all-male activity, where intercollegiate American football games inspired students to write and yell cheers to support their team. On Novemeber 2nd, 1898, University of Minnesota medical student Johnny Campbell, after being influenced by the Princeton cheers passed on by Thomas Peebles, had used a megaphone to rally an entire crowd to cheer for his Minnesota football team on the field, making him the very first cheerleader in history. By the 1920s, women started to cheer alongside men and eventually joined in large numbers when college-aged men were sent off to fight in World War II. Cheerleading eventually became a staple of school athletic programs across the US in the 1960s, and in time rose to new heights of popularity with the advent of "all star" competitive cheerleading.[1][2]

In Japan, cheerleading came to prominence during the rise of American competitive cheerleading in the 1980s. Although encouragement activities already existed in the form of cheer squads (see below) and baton twirling, Japanese "cheer girls" were largely inspired by America's cheerleading scene during the mid-1970s. Japan would later air Go Go! Cheergirl, its first cheerleader-themed drama series in 1980-81, which would help raise the country's popularity of cheerleading during the decade. By 1988, the Foundation of Japan Cheerleading Association would hold its first national cheer tournament. At present, cheerleaders in Japan, like many countries including the US, perform both at the competitive level, as well as the traditional "team support" role found in schools and communities.[3][4]

People in Japan are more likely to use the pseudo-English term "cheer girl" when describing cheerleaders. Although Go Go! Cheergirl may have first embedded the idea that cheerleaders are mainly female, it is also likely that the term had helped differentiate cheerleaders from the all-male core of a cheer squad.[5] However, Japanese cheerleading teams will use the proper English word "cheerleaders" to describe themselves, and popular media is increasingly highlighting the incorrect but common usage of "cheer girl", such as the film Cheer Dan and the light novel Cheers!.[6]

  • Chants (コール)
    Also known simply as "cheers", chants are phrases yelled by cheerleaders to motivate and energize both the audience and the team they are supporting. In Japan, chants used in cheerleading are mainly spoken in English.[7]
  • Formation (フォーメーション)
    Cheer formations represent the overall "shape" the cheerleaders form while performing on stage. A team can perform their cheers in a straight line, or position themselves to form more complicated shapes like a triangle or an X. Formations can be changed on the spot to add variety.[8]
  • Pom-pom (ポンポン)
    A visual accessory used to gain attention of the crowd. Paper pom-poms were used in the 1930s, but were very delicate and unable to withstand harsh weather. Modern pom-poms, invented by Lawrence Herkimer in 1953 and later patented by him, are made with different colors of vinyl or plastic streamers, often shaped as a ball containing a hidden handle.[9]

Arm Positions

  • Clasp (クラスプ)
  • Dagger (ダガー)
  • High V (ハイブイ)


Various jumps can be performed individually or by a flyer performing a basket toss while in a stunt group (see below).

  • C Jump (Cジャンプ)
    Also known as a "frog jump". This jump requires that the knees be bent and the hips tucked below the body while in the air. This allows the upper body to appear slouched forward, resulting in a C-shaped appearance.[10]
  • Pike Jump (パイクジャンプ)
    A pike jump will have the cheerleader's legs together, forming a 90 degree angle in the air with the rest of the body. Before landing, the performer will lean their upper body forward and attempt to reach for their toes, with both arms extended outward and hands clenched in a fist.[11]


  • Front Kick (フロントキック)
    A kick where a leg is being raised directly in front of the body. As the performer begins to kick, the opposite leg is planted firmly on the ground, pivoting outward in a tiptoe. Then using the abdominal muscles as support, the entire body is lifted upward, allowing the performer to draw their kicking leg up high towards the sky or ceiling.[12]
  • Side Kick (サイドキック)
    Similar to a front kick, except the leg is lifted up off-center. When performing a heel stretch, one leg is lifted to the side of the performer and held with one hand, while the other hand is extended in the opposite direction, forming a Y-shape.[13][14]

Stunt Group

The following are roles handled by members of a cheer team when performing stunts. A stunt group will usually consist of one flyer, a backspot (plus an optional frontspot), and two bases.[15][16]

  • Flyer (トップ)
    A flyer is the main performer of a stunt group, and is the one being lifted or thrown up into the air. For safety reasons, they are normally the smallest members of the group.
  • Backspot (スポット)
    The backspot of a stunt group is positioned behind the flyer, pushing them upward as they stabilize and grip the flyer's waist and ankles.
  • Base (ベース)
    Two bases, a main and a secondary, are usually required to help keep the flyer standing in the air. The main base stands to the flyer's right side, while the secondary stands to the flyer's left. Both bases use their legs to support the flyer, with the main base holding the majority of the flyer's weight.


Although cheerleading does not necessarily have to involve stunts, they are nevertheless used frequently in performances. Even a basic stunt, such as lifting an individual from the ground and holding them as they stand in the air, requires great effort and coordination among the stunt group members.

  • Basket Toss (バスケットトス)
    A flyer is tossed in the air with the help of three or more bases. The bases form a "basket" in the center of the group using their hands. Once the flyer steps onto the basket with both feet, the bases use the basket to help propel the flyer by dipping the basket and themselves downward to generate potential energy, and then using their legs to create enough momentum to release the flyer in the air. The flyer then initiates a jump posture prior to landing and being caught by the bases.[17]
  • Double Base Thigh Stand (ダブルベースサイスタンド)
    A beginning stunt that requires the bases and backspot to lift the flyer up as they stand on the thigh of both bases. Each base lunges towards the flyer and hold the flyer's toes, while the backspot supports the flyer by the waist.[18]
  • Elevator (エレベーター)
    The flyer, with the support of the backspot, brings their feet on to the hands of both bases, and is slowly lifted up in the air standing. The bases lift the feet of the flyer until it reaches their chin.[19]
  • Extension (エクステンション)
    Similar to the elevator, except that the bases and backspot push the feet of the flyer above their heads. The flyer will also be standing with their arms extended outward.
  • Shoulder Straddle (ショルダーストラドル)
    A stunt in which the flyer is brought up from the ground and lifted until they are sitting on the shoulders of a base. This requires only two or three people to perform properly.[18]

Related Terms

  • Cheer Squad (応援団)
    A group of mostly male performers who yell shouts of encouragement during various events, including school and company venues, and sports games. It consists of a leader who directs cheers to the audience and his fellow performers, often with a loud voice and dramatic arm movements. Cheer squads will often include both a brass band with a prominent bass drum and female cheerleaders. Similar to the origins of American cheerleading, cheer squads originated in Japan as a school athletics activity in the late-1800s. Cheerleaders can be added to complement a cheer squad, but not vice-versa.[20]

Visual Guide


  1. History of Cheerleading.
  2. Almanac: The 1st cheerleader. CBS News.
  3. Cheerleader. Wikipedia (JP). Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  4. What is Cheerleading?.
  5. Sponeta.
  6. Cheers! Vol. 1, Pg. 36.
  7. Anima Yell! Vol. 1, Pg. 71.
  8. Different Formations for Cheerleading Competition Routines
  9. History of Cheerleading Pom Poms.
  10. "The Ultimate Guide to Cheerleading: For Cheerleaders and Coaches", pg. 92. Retrieved from
  11. How To Perfect A Pike Jump For Cheerleading
  12. Cheer Tech (Front Kick 3).
  13. Cheer Tech (Side Kick 1).
  14. Cheer Tech (Side Kick 4).
  15. Roles in The Stunt Group.
  16. Stunts. Cheerleading 101.
  17. Skills and Drills - Basket Toss.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Cheerleading Stunt Progressions (Basic).
  19. Beginner's Guide To Performing An Elevator For Cheerleading.
  20. Cheer Squad. Wikipedia (JP). Retrieved August 18, 2018.
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