A huge part of the cheerleader experience is the infamous kickline during the pregame or halftime show. Many people may think, “Kicks … not a big deal.” However, the grand finale to the kickline may catch you by surprise.
It’s called the jump split, and it sounds just like what it is. In unison, the cheerleaders will jump and land in the splits. This is very common with drill teams and NFL cheerleaders.
I originally witnessed this phenomenon when I still lived in Sacramento, California, and I was only admiring the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The first thing I thought of was … “Pain!” I was far from even having the simple splits, so I figured I could never be on a team like that. Yet, the more I watched in admiration of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, the more I wanted to test my body to see if I could get the splits someday.
After a lot of thinking and plotting, I finally got the nerve to say, “I want to be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.” Not only did this mean moving my life from California to Texas with a toddler, but it also meant I had to get the splits fast.
I remember having the splits back when I was five, but since then I really hadn’t had a reason to need them. I had awesome leaps, toe touches and kicks, but asking me to hold my flexibility was just too much.
I first began with research. I wanted to know if it was even possible for me to get the splits in such a short amount of time. From the moment I made my decision to audition, I had about six months to get my legs ready.
According to the research, it seemed possible, so from there I created my daily agenda. Everyday after work, and especially on weekends, I managed to stick to a schedule that would guarantee me the splits within six months. Even though it was difficult and often painful, it was so worth it. I would have felt horrible if I allowed the splits to stop me from following my dream.
But enough about me, what about you? Do you have the splits? If not, are you allowing that to be your excuse to not audition or tryout for your dream team? If you are, then I want you to think about my story and reflect on it. When you’re ready to make that next step, you can follow this checklist that will get you increased flexibility in no time.
Good luck and stick with it!