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Absolute Cheer

Absolute Cheer

(cheering) (exciting drumming) – Our sport originated from
high school cheerleading. Having pompoms, saying
cheers as loud as you could for your high school
or your university. A lot of people have
a preconceived notion of what we do, and it’s not really fair to
pair it to as a pompom girl. (amping dance music) All star cheerleading
is not the same. We don’t have pompoms,
we are the team. (rising, determined music) Cheerleading Worlds
is very elitist in that not everyone can go. It’s only for
levels five and six. So for most of these athletes, that’s the culmination of their entire existence
in this industry is saying that they
got to go to Worlds. (audience cheering) Last year’s performance was single-handedly the
most exciting moment of my coaching career. That was the first time
in our club’s history where we actually hit clean, going out there and
executing all of your skills without any deductions. There’s a lot of pressure on
the shoulders of these athletes because our gym
has a reputation, and we’ve always qualified
for the World Championships since we’ve been
around, 10 years. (pumped up dance music) ♪ Preach ♪ Hey, I just do what I do – So what we’re working towards
right now is Cheer Fest, and what it means
for my Worlds team is their chance to get a bid to the 2017 Cheerleading
World Championships in Orlando, Florida. There’s 17 athletes on our team and seven of them are
returning athletes, which means that
the remaining 10 are brand new to this team. And half of these
athletes are teenagers. They do drive me crazy
with how much they talk. I mean, bless their
hearts, they mean well, but (sighs) it’s teenagers. – I’m Montana, I’m 16 years old. I’m a flier and this
is my third time on a Worlds team. – I’m Danica, I’m 13 years old. I’m a flier, and this is my first
real cheer team. ♪ Yo, ‘kay ♪ Let me flip this script ♪ I feel privileged for
all who can witness it – Well, when I was young, I used to watch all
the Bring it On movies. I knew all the cheers. One day my mom saw
an ad in the paper about Absolute Cheer. That’s kinda how I got here. ♪ Tell whoever find us that
they fight us temporary ♪ Til I take it, it’s
mine, I’m selfish ♪ Yo, Will – [Danica] I started gymnastics when I was probably
two years old. – [Announcer] Baba
viva, Danica S. – But then once I got around
the age 11 to 12 years old, I fractured my
spine in my L4-L5. Not even a year later, I
fractured my back again. So then we we went
back to the doctor’s, and he said, “Okay, if
you go back to gymnastics “and you get a fracture again, “then you will have
to get back surgery.” So we did not want back surgery. So Ms. Sonja gave us the offer of me being on a Worlds team. We asked my doctor, and he said, “Sure, we’ll give it a try.” And here I am. – The fact that the cheer came into her life really helped her. What we kept saying to her when the gymnastics
was taken away, felt like her world was ending, but it’s a new chapter
in your life now. It prepares them, I
believe, for the world, and to me, that’s
very important. – Okay, you missed your
transition to get to pyramid. You guys have all the
way up until 10 o’clock to make it up to
yourselves, not to me. Ready, and five,
six, seven, eight. ♪ I got rhymes in abundance ♪ Style over substance ♪ If it’s what you like, take
the mic from my thumb prints ♪ Coughin’ up stuff off the cuff ♪ With enough stuff to
make a mountain top erupt ♪ See, I’m ’bout to
rock this, open ’em up ♪ Like locksmiths ♪ True, true, true ♪ You got your mission – As a coach, things
that go through my mind, are they still having fun? Am I stressing them out? Are they gonna burn out? Is someone gonna get injured? I mean, it worries me. Three fall four catch five. (grunts)
Out of control. You all right? Mmkay. (thoughtful music) I remember one day, I
was 24 or 25 at the time, it was the last five
minutes of practice, and I was quite sick, and I had to transition
from the back of the floor all the way up to the front, and I blew out my knee. That was a really tough, um, moment for me. Sorry, I’m gonna get
emotional. (chuckles) Um, ’cause you
never really think that you’re gonna
wake up one day and be told that you
can’t do something that you love so much, you know? So I don’t think I
really believed it, that I was hurt. It was excruciating pain. I blew my knee out, my ACL,
my MCL and my meniscus. It didn’t upset me
that I ended my career, but it upset me that
I didn’t have a choice in how it ended. Your health is number one, so a lot of you guys
are experiencing pains, and soreness, injuries, you have to be really
honest and forthright about some of the limitations that you have about
your injuries. And you’re just tryin’ to
push, because you’re like, “Bid, bid, bid.” But if you push
yourself past pain, it won’t happen for you. At the end of the day,
health is number one. Your body is the only
one that you have. (somber music) Um, go get some water guys. So my biggest concern
is how chaotic everything looks for
that final structure. I don’t know, I just feel
like there’s so many things that we need to work on, and we don’t have
enough hours in a day. These athletes are giving up their social
development as teenagers because they’re spending
three to four hours three or four, sometimes
even five days a week to be able to master
some of the skills that we’re asking them to do. – Sonja’s tough, but it’s
because she knows what we want, and she pushes us to get there. She knows that because
she’s being strict, we know that we have to
be on our best behaviour and get stuff done. – She can be very
strict, very tough, very dead on at practice, but when it comes to the end, we all know she loves us all. – I think that this year
is probably the hardest that I’ve ever had. I’m trying to turn them
into level five athletes in as little as one month. It is a huge risk. (pensive music) – [Girls] Bye.
– See you later. – See you tomorrow. (door closes) – [Mom] You’re here til 10
every night this week, Tana? – [Montana] Mm-hmm. – This sport is more
than just a hobby. It takes so much
time commitment, it’s taken over our
life, literally. There’s competitions in town, there’s competitions
out of town, three practices a week, tumbling practice, you name it, so lots of stuff is missed. Yeah, it’s a huge commitment. – Just trying to schedule if
you need to be there at 1:30, depending what the
weather is like tomorrow, it’s better that
we leave minimum at least an hour
an hour and a half, maybe two hours earlier. – I’ll be so happy if
we make it to Worlds, ’cause that means I can
finally have my dream of actually going to
Disney Land again. (chuckling) I really want to go. Can we stay an extra day? – [Dee] If we go, we’re
probably gonna go a week early. – [Rudy] How’s everyone
feeling about this weekend? Are you guys hitting stuff? – Mmm, kind of. I would say we’re almost ready, not quite there yet, but we will be
with more practice. – I want to make Worlds
to make my team proud and to make Coach Sonja proud because they have
all done so much that I feel like I need
to do this for them. – We’ll see if we can
throw you in tomorrow. Okay, that’s the plan, right? Okay, and you just
have to stay off of it. – [Girl] Right. – We’ve got one our right now. Setbacks are comebacks, okay? Get angry, do your stunt. Let’s go. – You guys got it! (power pop music) – Yes! Come on Danica! Get it! This is stunning! It’s stunning! Good girl! That’s it! One! Three, four, five! Seven, eight. One, two, three, good! Yes! Get it up! Yes! Thank you so much. Do that amplified tomorrow. (sighs) (groans) (cheering) It’s bid day. (team cheers) ♪ Pain is reeling when they
see me killin’ on the floor ♪ Looks like I’m
missin’ competition ♪ From the rest of y’all ♪ I know you’re lookin’ at me ♪ I know you’re wantin’ more ♪ You like those apples, well ♪ I’m bad, baby to the core ♪ I’m like a tiger,
put my stripes on ♪ Baby, see me pounce – So this is the competition that they’ve been
working all year for. It’s the most important. ♪ I stick the same amount ♪ You want my number, boy ♪ You better make it count ♪ Work it out now, work it out ♪ Make it count ♪ Sweat it out,
now, sweat it out ♪ Make it count – In the past, we’ve
always had the nod from the judges to go to
Worlds at this competition, so I think there’s a
certain level of anxiety from the kids that
we have right now. There’s always a chance that
they’re not good enough. ♪ Everybody talkin’
on the dance floor ♪ Make it count ♪ It’s not for traitor ♪ Be a player who
be talkin’ hype – To win that bid and
be at Worlds means that we’ve reached our goal. To hit that floor,
and to walk out there and actually do a routine
means the world to everyone. ♪ What, I ain’t crazy – Cheer Fest will be
my first competition of me trying to get a bid. If we don’t nail our stunts
and nail this routine, we will go home. – As a team right now, I need you to go out there
and show your personality, and let the judges
fall in love with you the way that I have. Go out there and
sparkle and shine. One, two, three! (all shout) – They’re comin’ right now
to the international open coed level five division, make some noise
for Absolute Cheer! (cheering) – [Sonja] Keep it simple! – [All] Bounce! (frantic dance music) – Yes! (shouts) Come on, guys! Pick it up! Yes! Come on, have fun with it! Come on, Vanessa! Okay, it’s okay, it’s okay! Come on! Come on! Come on, Montana! Come on! Keep going! Keep going! Don’t be scared! Come on! It’s okay Vanessa,
come on, push! Come on, sell it! Sell it! It doesn’t matter! Keep going! Sell it! Sell it, come on! (audience cheering) (low, worrisome music) Okay, I don’t know exactly
what went wrong. It started off with so much
confidence and potential. These are the cards
that we were dealt. In life, there are no
do-overs for yesterday. There’s no do-overs for two
minutes and 30 seconds ago. There’s only what happens next. – Did everybody have fun today? (cheering) Third place in our road to Worlds, make some noise for Panthers Cheer Acrobat! (cheering) Second place, second
to have our bid, let’s make some noise
for Adrenaline Audacity! (cheering) In first place, Vancouver (drowned
out by cheering)! – It’s not the end of
our journey, you guys. I love this group more than
any other group that I’ve had. And I’m sorry. – [Girl] She’s apologizing!
(laughing) – I’m sorry that
you didn’t get it. I’m sorry. You’ll get stronger. Okay? It’s not the end, okay? All right, hands in. – [Girl] Accept it
and move on, guys. – Just move on. (sad chuckling) Okay, Fabs on three. One, two, three. – [All] Fabs. (emotional piano music) (pensive music) – [Sonja] Cheer
Fest was not the run that we wanted it to be. It was a failure. I blamed myself, and I was experiencing what we as cheerleading coaches
call a cheer hangover. The difference this
time, for the first time, is that I was utterly shattered. – Hi, there. – Hi, how are you? – Good, thank you.
You need a receipt? – No, I’m good, thank you. – See you again. – It does make a person
go, “Is it worth it?” Well, the answer is that
it’s always worth it. It makes me who I am. I flourish when I see
other people give 110%. The big lesson is when you fail or you don’t get a
result that you want, you can be sad for a little bit, you can be upset and emotional, but you have to pick yourself up and put your heart on the floor and just leave it there. And if you don’t get the
result that you want, can you still look
at the year and say, “I learned something?” And my hope is that
their answer is yes. – Cheer has made me care
about people a lot more because when I did gymnastics, since it wasn’t a team sport, I wasn’t used to team bonding or caring about people a
lot if that makes sense. But now that I am
doing a team sport, I realize that, whoa, I have a whole lot
of people around me that care about me so much and that will stick with
me through thick and thin, so I think that’s one of the
biggest things I’ve realized. – I cannot imagine my
life without cheer. I don’t know, I know that I won’t be
in the sport forever, but yeah, I just can’t imagine. Cheer makes me feel more
confident about myself, and it actually
makes me stronger. – I don’t think that
I could’ve imagined my life without some form of gymnastics, or
cheerleading, or dance ’cause that’s how I grew up. I literally spent my
whole life doing that, and so to spend my life
doing something else that I’m not passionate
about is just– it sounds so boring. (chuckles) (gentle music) (energetic percussive music)

14 thoughts on “Absolute Cheer”

  1. yall are so underrated! so glad i saw this. will 100% look out and cheer for you guys at comps! good luck next season and the rest of this season <3

  2. I myself do cheer and I showed this to my brother because we doesn’t think it’s that hard and it’s not a sport but cheer has legally been said as the worlds 1 most dangerous sport I’ve been doing cheer since I was 5 I’m now 14 and my brother now understands why I spent most of my time in the backyard practicing

  3. we went to worlds this year 2019 and we globed!!!! we got second! last year we got 4th😢

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