I’ve been wanting to cover the Charm Cheerleading Championships for quite some time now. My fascination with Malaysian Cheerleading started at SEACO 2012 (South East Asian Cheerleading Open). Before that, we didn’t have much of an idea of the standard in our neighbouring country. Once they stepped on the mats on March 31st at Downtown East though, they provided some spectacle for the audience. The Malaysian contingent formed the majority of the participants and it was heartening to see all of them, despite being from different teams, come together united as cheer ambassadors from Malaysia.
Here’s a video of one of the all-girls group stunt team from Cyrens. It’s a little small but you can still make out what stunts they are doing.
Just a simple introduction on the cheerleading scene there. Teams are broadly managed by cheer companies/gyms which train them for competition in various categories. So for example, Cheer Aces and Cheer Aspirations are two major cheer companies in Malaysia. They have their own competitive team, as well as other teams that they manage and coach for competitions. All teams have to be registered members of The Cheerleading Association & Register of Malaysia (CHARM), Malaysia’s official cheerleading association. The Key cheerleading event, the one everyone looks forward to, is the C3 – Charm Cheerleading Championships, usually held around June. Another event, Cheer 2012, was held a week earlier for Cheerleading teams from schools (that’s like C3 for the younger cheerleaders), for which I have a short video coverage compiled by a Malaysian News entity.
So now we come to the main event, C3 2012. I thought I could just upload a bunch of pictures I found on the internet but as it turns out, the photographer requests us to ask permission first. That probably would delay things so I figured I’d facebook-hop to get the pictures I need. I’ll upload some videos as well. They say words can only say so much….pictures can only say that much more. The rest you have to see the video. Haha. Live, unadulterated.
I managed to get a short interview with one of the key members of the Cheer Aspirations team and the Malaysian cheerleading scene as a whole. Introducing to you, Mr Dickson Kong, who also happens to be one half of the duo from Cheer Awesome (managed by Cheer Aspirations) that won the Partner Stunts category at C3 this year. His flyer’s name is Eve by the way. Hi Eve!
So I asked Dickson three questions very quickly over facebook.
Me : What are your views on the cheerleading scene in Malaysia right now?
Dickson : Malaysian cheerleading is getting more and more competitive as the level of stunts are getting higher and higher. In fact, the number of all star teams have grown from last year, three last year compared to seven this year ! Its a very good improvement and it shows that there are more and more people in love with cheer 😀 (yes, he really put a smiley there, this is a faithful representation)
Me : In your opinion, what are the most essential qualities that flyers and bases have got to have when preparing for the partner stunts category?
Dickson : Commitment, mindset as well as the chemistry. When I’m preparing for the partner stunt , I always talk to my flyer about our current level, so that we know where we stand. Besides that, I will always remind myself and my flyer not to do stunts that are beyond our level, because a perfect and clean routine always wins, that’s what my coach always tells me 🙂 a lot of people tend to neglect this. As for chemistry, we often spend time together not only when at practice but also during our leisure time ^^ Without chemistry, it’s very hard to train skills that are of higher difficulty.
Me : So Which is more pressurizing in your opinion, partner stunts or team category and why?
Dickson : For me partner stunts is much more pressurizing than team because in partner stunts, there is only me and my flyer, we cannot afford to make a mistake since no one will be covering us unlike team, where if I were to fail a stunt, there will be others to help. Also, there are other stunts in the routine that can cover up for a failed stunt.
Thanks a lot Dickson for your kind consent to provide me with some insight into Malaysian cheerleading. Continue improving and excelling in cheer, looking forward to more videos of you doing greater stunts! All the best for Asian Open in Japan! 🙂
Cheer Aces team were unavailable for comment but I would like to show you their championship-winning performance for the coed team division at C3 2012.
I watched them at SEACO 2012 and what caught our attention was that their uniform is similar to our uniform from a few seasons ago! Haha but they’re more than just that, a promising team for the future!
Here’s another video, of Rebels Cheerleading Team, who are actually a level 6 team like the teams in Singapore ( The other teams generally specialize in Level 5).
Our coaches Jimmy and Wei Wei had actually travelled to Malaysia a week earlier from the C3 event to judge the other junior cheer event, Cheer 2012. I spoke to Jimmy for a quick verbal interview on his views on Malaysian Cheerleading and this is what he had to say :
(In my own words since I really cannot recall the exact words he used, trust me its been a long time since I spoke to him) Malaysian cheerleading is improving rapidly without a doubt and one of the main reasons is because they have one centralized Cheer association that guides the teams. Their strict but able leadership has ensured that members of CHARM comply with the rules and regulations set by the association, in order to improve Malaysian cheerleading as a whole without compromising on safety. Courses are regularly held for coaches of the various teams and this means that there is standardized teaching of stunts with the correct technique, placing greater emphasis on creativity to differentiate routines since stunts executed may be similar. Another reason for their success is that they introduce cheerleading at an early age. These young cheerleaders, eventually develop their potential through extensive training and form part of the core success of Malaysian cheerleading. When they start training from young, they can learn faster and their potential is realized at a much younger age. Important aspects of cheerleading like flexibility and gymnastics are ingrained from an early age when it is easier to master and they get better as they grow older and gain more experience. Malaysian Cheerleading will continue to make waves and eventually I hope to see them competing in the international arena!
Well I tried my best to recall what he told me like a month ago so Jimmy if I said something you didn’t, please know that I’m ready to resign as the editor of this blog, if only there was someone willing to take over -___-
Okay so now let me just put in a few pictures from C3 that I found on facebook.
Turns out all the nice pictures from C3 taken during the routines are all owned by this photographer whose permission I have asked for to use the photos but have yet to get approval. Perhaps he’s busy, I’m sure he’ll reply soon! I’ll upload the pictures after that 🙂
Perseverance always pays off. Time is never wasted when you’re putting in the effort to improve. You may fail a hundred times or a thousand times but eventually you will hit it. Then we’ll look back at our journey and think, “Hey, it was worth it. “These Malaysian cheerleaders have pushed themselves hard, just like the rest of us back home in Singapore and every other country with a “Cheerevolution” taking place. Not just for themselves but for their entire cheer community. We salute you and wish you all the best as you continue to entertain, enchant and excite us with your colourful routines and awesome cheerleader spirit. Writing this post more than a month off the date on this post, allows me to update you that National Cheerleading Team Malaysia have won the Bronze medal for Coed Premier Elite ( Level 6 ) at Asia Open Cheerleading Championship 2012 at Japan! My man Dickson and his partner Eve have also won the bronze medal in the partner stunts category! *applause* Proud of you people, congratulations!
Oh and how can we forget our All-girls group stunt team from Singapore, The Rising Phoenix, who are the runners-up for their category! I’ve been there personally during their training, this award is a testament to their hard work and resilience. You girls deserve it 🙂
Before I finish this post, to all Malaysian cheerleaders, I have an offer from Team Denvers. Adakah anda mahu mempunyai Exchange? 😀
ps : For those of you who can’t figure out what I tried to say, I just asked them if they would like to have an Exchange with us. Any problem with the Malay translation, by all means, go find trouble with Google Translate 🙂