Cheerleading showcase their skills

In aid of 'Smile from Hattie', the Newcastle Northern Angels put together a showcase for Newcastle students to have a look at. James Sproston reports:

James Sproston
14th March 2017
Synchro and Sass: the Hip Hop team impessed everyone in attendence. Image: Lucy Brogden

On Tuesday 7th March, hundreds crammed into the top floor of the Sports Centre to watch the Newcastle Northern Angels showcase in aid of ‘Smile from Hatti’.

For those that don’t know, Hatti Sandall was a former Angel who sadly passed away a couple of years ago due to a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Whilst she was battling away, she helped set up ‘Smile for Hattie’, which dedicated itself to supporting young people with cancer. In her memory, the charity changed its name to ‘Smile from Hattie’, and continues to provide complementary therapies, services or equipment.

With the good cause in mind, the spectators gave generously and eagerly awaited the performances that the Angels had in store for them. They were about to be treated with seven high-octane routines, some of which the Cheer teams had used in competitions, and others had been choreographed specially for the showcase.

£125 raised for ‘Smile from Hattie’

The first two performances were classic cheer routines, with the Angels quickly displaying some impressive moves. Firstly, the Blue Squad went through a very fast-paced Level 2 routine, demonstrating a level of synchronisation rarely seen in other sports.

Following on from the first routine, the Red Squad took the floor for a Level 3 performance that took a slightly different emphasis. To us in the crowd, it showed a lot more flair and sass, with all of the girls looking like they were enjoying themselves as they pulled off moves right in front of the front row.

For the third routine, rather than stunt performances, it switched to more of a dance, as some of the Angels changed into leotards. The jazz routine displayed precision and rhythm, as those doing cartwheels were within an inch of each other.

The focus had changed to centre more around the unique musicality of the piece. Within this focus, the Angels danced more as a team, rather than demonstrating individual skill, maintaining a dynamic flow throughout that complemented the music.

Demonstrating a level of synchronisation rarely seen in other sports

Next up was the hip hop piece. Similar to that of the jazz performance, it was more of a dance routine, and it again changed the tone. The routine demonstrated a lot of creativity, finishing off with ‘Baby Got Back’ by Sir Mix-a-lot as the Angels fell to the floor.

The fifth routine was a 5-person coed stunt team, which was used at UK Nationals. It was technically brilliant, with very few mistakes as the team performed to a track that changed every 20-30 seconds.

We were next treated to a classic pom routine, as the Angels spelt out ‘NU’ before going into the performance. Just because they were using poms, don’t presume this was American half-time cheerleading style, this was a work of art. The motions and movements of the Angels painted a picture, creating a brilliant spectacle.

Before the final performance, it was announced that some of the club members were running the Sunderland 10km on the 7th of May, raising money for ‘Smile from Hattie’, so after raising £125 on the night, the fundraising will continue.

The last performance of the night was definitely the most grandiose of all. The beat was heavier and the tempo was slower, but that gave the Angels more opportunity to do massive but controlled lifts. Coupled with flamboyant individual routines at the front, the lifts gradually became more and more impressive, finishing off with four flyers at the top of three-storey human pyramids. A fitting end to a brilliant showcase.

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