Twisted Tips: The 7 Details You Should Care About Most


As we prepare for major end-of-season events, clients often ask me what’s important to the judges. What are they looking for and how can we set ourselves apart? And a less frequent, but equally as important question is, how do we get the crowd excited about our routine? Well, for us at Twisted, the answer is simple – the devil is in the details.

Detail the Floor Before You Derail Your Score

Arm placement and timing are two of the most common details we focus on. But most of the time, teams need major help with detailed spacing. If an athlete is supposed to dance on the “quarter panel”, make sure that the center of their body owns that quarter. If every athlete is even just a few inches off, the entire formation breaks. Spacing detail will make or break your performance, especially when you’re going head-to-head with the most well-known teams in the world. Strong formations are the key to successful results.

Flatten Your Foot and Lay Down Those Laces

One of my biggest pet peeves is when athletes kneel and their back foot rests on their toes. When athletes flatten and point their foot back, it creates a much cleaner look. Keep those laces down and you’ll create cleaner lines throughout your routine.

Create Fluid Transitions to Slide Your Way into the Top

Do your routine’s transitions make sense to the crowd and to the judges? Are they visually pleasing and keep the energy flowing? One of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from your competitors is to create transitions between sections that hold the crowd’s attention. Twisted Choreography has proven time and time again that transitional work has been the key to a successful, high-energy routine.

For example, take a look at Prodigy Midnight’s routine. Each section effortlessly flows into the next and holds the crowd’s attention. Never give them a moment to look away!

Keep it Consistent From Bow to Toe

It’s important for each of your athletes to look consistent, from bow to toe – and that includes your hair. The judges really do care. A team’s overall performance value is heavily judged on how each athlete presents themselves on stage. Create a consistent look and you’ll simultaneously clean up your entire routine.

Fashionable = Good, Distraction = Bad

Fashion is objective, but cheerleading uniforms that look like costumes can be distracting. As we already mentioned, you have to look right from bow to toe, and your uniform is a huge part of that. A good uniform accents your routine and adds another distinct element to motions. Novelty uniforms can be fun, but they are often distracting to both your athletes and the judges. Be careful with themed routines, it’s entirely possible to convey a theme without it being overpowering.

And it almost goes without saying that your athletes should look good AND feel good. Uncomfortable uniforms impair your athletes and hurt them from performing their routine correctly.

Add a Little Bing, Bang, Boop to Your Music

Whenever you get routine upgrades (and we hope you all did!), you need to make sure that the music matches the magic. Music plays an ENORMOUS part in your team’s performance, and sound effects help accentuate skills, choreography, and everything in between.

Create a Hand Brand

Something a lot of the larger programs have done for years is engage the audience with a distinct “hand brand.” We all know some of the most epic hand brands are F5, Top Gun, Spirit of Texas, Cheer Athletics, Prodigy All Stars, California All Stars, World Cup, Twist & Shout, Stingrays, Rockstar, and the list goes on and on. Follow in their footsteps and create a motion that elevates your program’s brand. Get creative and find something unique that your athletes, parents, and fans can get behind next season.

Are You Ready to Put Your Details to the Test?

Whether you’re looking for end-of-the-season upgrades or to get completely Twisted next season, Twisted has you covered.

Pst, we’re running a discount special on all end-of-season upgrade camps. Email camps@twistyourspirit.com for more information.

Alex Gaggiol
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