The arabesque is a cheerleading stunt that looks fantastic if performed properly. In an arabesque, the top cheerleader balances all of her body weight on one leg with the other leg extended horizontally backward. The arabesque is considered an intermediate level cheer skill, demanding a comprehensive understanding of basic cheerleading motions and techniques. In addition, cheerleaders must possess a balanced center, strength, flexibility, and poise for the execution of this stunt to be successful.
How to Perform an Arabesque
For safety reasons, an arabesque should be mastered on the ground prior to attempting the skill in the air. Practicing on the ground gives cheerleaders the opportunity to recognize and fix any issues regarding form or technique before taking the arabesque to the air. Cheerleaders should also practice in front of a mirror to visually see what needs to be corrected or tweaked in order to achieve a flawless arabesque from start to finish.
- To begin with, the cheerleader will prepare the body by adequately stretching to help gain needed flexibility and aid in the deterrence of injuries.
- The cheerleader will initiate carrying out an arabesque by standing upright with legs and feet together, arms adducted to the sides with the left or right shoulder facing the audience.
- Stand tall with the chin up.
- All of the cheerleaders’ body weight will be placed on the leg that is not being raised, specifically on the inside of the foot (held by the bases in the air).
- The cheerleader will carefully raise the opposing leg, extending it straight out behind the body (with toes pointed) until it is parallel to the ground while simultaneously pulling the arms up toward a basic T motion.
- Keep chest up and allow the back to arch naturally.
- Hips should remain centered and square to the ground during this entire transition.
- Goal: Form a 90 degree angle between the back and raised leg.
- Once the cheerleader is able to successfully maneuver and maintain the positioning described above on the ground, with a stabilized base leg, raised leg reaching full extension and the arms locked in a full T motion, the cheerleader can begin practicing this skill in the air, given the coach and other stunt mates are confident in doing so.
- The cheerleader can interact with the crowd and create engagement while holding the scale by lifting the head with confidence, directing gaze towards the audience with an enthusiastic smile.
- Maintain proper posture throughout entire execution (hips, chin and chest up at all times).
- Letting the hips, chin or chest drop can cause a loss of balance and promote falling forward.
How to Improve an Arabesque
Regardless of age or skill, flyers must be able to hold their body in a variety of positions while performing stunts, especially those that require standing on one leg while suspended in the air. The arabesque stunt is one that requires flyers to sustain and stabilize their weight with only one leg on the surface of the bases hands. To remain in the air for an extended period of time when performing an arabesque, a strong core is vital.
Strengthening the back, legs, hips, glutes, and core muscles through resistance training with the Myosource Kinetic Bands will quickly improve flexibility, balance, body control, and endurance, all of which are necessary for cheerleaders to safely and confidently perform an arabesque to perfection.