Unity Allstars Showcase Review
On the 31st of January Unity Allstars had their 2015-2016 showcase. Cheer From Head To Toe were invited to come down and give our followers an insight into the Unity Allstars World.
The showcase was held at Harris Academy Morden where athletes debuted their routine on a full size competition floor with an independent judges panel and competition back drop.
CFHTT thinks doing a showcase before competition is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to get those first competition nerves out of the way and build their confidence. They will perform every skill as if they were at their competition and will be judged in the same way. This gives them time to reflect on what they have done and what they will need to do to make their performance stronger.
CFHTT arrived at the event an hour before the showcase and the outside was packed with excited families with a large queue already forming. We went straight in to introduce ourselves to the Unity team and went to have a look around.
Outside the showcase room were various vendors selling a variety of products. Holly’s Bows was there, Stamped, Future Cheer, Clique and Frontline Apparel. The vendors’ hall was busy with athletes begging their parents to buy them all the cheerleading merchandise.
We went inside and took our seats at the front of the hall. The place was packed with 400 tickets sold completely selling out the event. It was great to see so many cheerful parents in Unity T-shirts supporting their kids.
Tori, the founder and Head Coach of Unity Allstars was the host of the event. She started off by welcoming everyone and told us about the Vendors outside. She told the excited crowd that there were 15 teams doing their routines today.
Coconut (Tiny 1), Skye (Mini 1), Mango (Small Youth 1), Lime (Large Youth 1), Peach (Youth 2), Peppermint (Junior 1), Teal (Junior 2), Pearl (Junior 3), Rose (Senior 1), Jade (Senior 2 Co-ed), Saffron (Senior 3), Smoke (Senior Co-ed 4.2), Indigo (Senior Co-ed 4), Ruby (Senior 5) and Black (Senior Co-ed 5)
The five teams that were added to the programme this season are Coconut, Mango, Peppermint, Smoke and Teal.
Tori explained to the audience that she wanted to make the experience as much like a competition as possible. She told us to cheer as loudly as we could for the teams to let them know the crowd liked what they were seeing!
First to take to the floor was Peppermint, the new Junior 1 team,
They had a strong opening with great stretches in their lib sequences. Clearly a lot of time must have been spent training for the tumbles they were doing. Lovely back and front walkovers and round offs. CFHTT’s favourite thing about this routine was their stretches in their libs. Beautiful pointed toes in their scales and great leg extensions in the scorpions. Peppermint is a very neat team, the tick tocks looked effortless and they were a pleasure to watch. Although they are young they displayed confidence and didn’t appear to be nervous at all.
Next up were Pearl Junior 3. This routine gave us LIFE. It was basically flawless. People got really excited watching this routine, it was like a fireworks display. The routine started off with a bang into a toe touch to backward tumble pass and then a count pause into a forward tumble pass giving the illusion of a bounce back. Pearl had great dual basing in their lib sequences. Throughout the whole routine each athlete look self-assured that they knew the routine was going to hit and it did.
Our favourite thing in the routine were the tumble passes as they were very in sync. Our next highlight was the lib sequences, then the dual basing to the tick tock. Lastly their swag, especially in the pyramid – each flyer sold the pyramid with every fibre of their bodies. Well done ladies.
Next to hit the mat was Mango Youth level 1.
Mango are a new team to the Unity family all aged 11 and under. They came on the mat and gave their routine everything they had. We saw some nice tumbles from this team, great lib sequences and a dazzling dance at the end.
Next up were Unity Rose who are their new Senior level 1 team. We loved the choreography of the stunt sequences in this routine. We enjoyed the creative opening of the kick to gut and then tick tock. The prep to splits were very creative. We could sense their nerves and hesitation when it came to certain moves but we have to commend then on their recovery, never giving up, always fighting for every part of their routine. These ladies need to remember to breathe and believe in themselves because their coaches would not have given them a routine they couldn’t handle.
Following on from this we had Lime Large Youth 1. They came on the mat smiles beaming, the music started and they sold their routine. They had a really interesting tick tock arabesque sequence which was really impressive for children of their age. They had a jam-packed routine. Every moment something was happening. There were some great transitions in the pyramid as well which they hit with ease. Great job Lime.
Next up were Peach Youth 2. CFHTT were impressed with this team. Strong tumbles and great chorography with very effective transitions that gave the routine that little flare that we like to see. This team looked confident throughout, everyone was giving attitude and accentuating every motion, pointing the toes and nice arches in the backhand springs. The tumble passes were very quick which made it more impressive. The amount that they could fit into their tumbles was amazing. The best thing about this routine was their pyramid. The inversion and the transitions in the pyramid are beautiful. It was pretty seamless and they were constantly moving. Every count had an action to it. You were a pleasure to watch Peach.
Next up where Indigo Senior Coed 4, explosive opening from this team with great height on the opening Pike X baskets and a good standing tuck circle. This then shifted into partner stunts which were followed by more baskets and then a creative and top level 4 stunt section. Overall this team were great but lacked a little fierceness especially from the flyers. They were doing the motions but not selling the routine like other teams did. Our favourite things about this routine were the pyramid, the constant the flipping, twisting and let’s not forget the initial inversion into the pyramid, beautiful. Oh and we have to mention the point dancer on this team, she was full of sass. She made you want to watch until the last beat of the music.
After that performance was Smoke Senior 4.2. This is a new team to the Unity family. For those of you who don’t know this means level 4 stunting and level 2 tumbles. This team started out strong with lovely full arounds to prone and some great playfulness with the crowd. They did have some errors in the pyramid which we put down to panicking unnecessarily because of nerves. They need to remember to breathe and commit to the skills and attack it with everything they have got.
Overall they had very clean double downs. Great timing on their jumps and really brought it back with high energy in the dance section at the end.
Next was Coconut who are tiny level 1. They are a new team to the Unity family and are 6 and under.
This team where adorable, they are so small and cute. This team really got the crowd going. Everyone was cheering and clapping for them. The best part of this routine was their tumble pass which was a cartwheel and their cute star jump which just melted everyones hearts.
Following on from this we have Jade Senior 2 who have now turned Coed. Jade started out with baskets at the back and strong tumbling. They have some nice ½ up dual base libs at the front to a beautiful scale stretch. They did have some timing issues throughout their lib sequences but they never gave in and they continued on with the routine regardless.
Then there was Saffron senior 3. CFHTT were in love with this routine. They came onto the mat oozing with confidence and giving off, the “we know we are amazing, we can’t wait to show you guys” flare. The music came on and they performed. Our favourite part of the routine was their dual basing which the whole team did. Also their tumbles were great. Almost all the members on this team could do the required tumbles for this level. The sequences where impressive and we loved the full up lib to full around prone, and the express up to stretch up to extended lib to flip out. Overall this team nailed the routine. Every section was hit with ease.
Next up were Skye Mini 1 who are 8 and under. Skye put on a great show. We are also impressed with how children at that age remember such complex sequences. They had gut libs to stretch, teddy bear sits and brace tick tocks in their pyramid. Well done guys for a great routine.
Next on the Floor were Teal junior 2, who are a new team to the Unity family. Teal put out a pleasing routine although they did have some small errors, but nothing major. They have lovely dual based libs and this team has strong tumbles with great timing . The pyramid was also good with great transitions that give the illusion that this is a higher level pyramid than it actually is.
The last two performances were Unity Black and Ruby. Everyone was excited to see these two teams and you could feel the excitement in the air.
Unity Black Senior Coed 5 were first of the two teams to perform. Before they started it was highlighted that they had an injury that day and the routine had been watered down because of this. The routine started with a lovely back walk over transition and standing fulls . They really showed off their partner stunt skills with a ball up to stretch and a great transition into their double up to stretch. They had lovely high to high tick tocks which went straight into their jump sequence. Lovely pointed toes on the jumps and good height as well. This routine highlights how strong Unity’s Coed stunting is. Even during the running tumble section there were some great one man cupies at the back; this routine was jam packed. Their pyramid is very fast paced, every count has a movement to it. Lots of flipping transitions, building skills, rewinds in and out of the pyramid. There is no room for errors because if you miss one count it causes a ripple effect and they did have a fall and some errors in their pyramid. We could feel the nerves due to the last minute changes in the routine which took away from their normal confident selves, and we’re excited to see the sass back that Unity Black normally have in abundance at Southerns this weekend.
Last to perform were Unity Ruby Senior 5. They were divas on the mat and we loved it. One thing we liked in the routine was the full use of the floor. Really good chorography using all the space, it was visually very effective. It was great to see the dual basing from the whole team right at the beginning – it was like POW, we mean business. They had great exit and entry transitions throughout the routine which we loved, giving it that extra bit of sparkle. They had great switch kick doubles as well with lovely pointed toes and their inversion up to double up was gorgeous. Following this they went straight into the tumble section. They have great synchronicity in their tumbles and used the entire floor well. They only had a few errors in the pyramid but recovered well. They ended on a high with a jam packed dance section full of sass and passion.
CFHTT really enjoyed The Unity Allstars showcase. We really felt the community vibe and Tori repeatedly thanked her team of Coaches and parents for their constant support. Tori also talked about how they had a Junior Coaches Scheme which starts from year 11. It was great to see a programme developing their athletes and giving them the opportunities to learn more about the sport we all love.