How do I come up with the choreography we use every year? Well, I use a number of sources. For our dances, we sometimes use camp dances, I sometimes come up with them myself, and often I'll have the kids on the team come up with a couple of 8-counts in groups and then we mix and match the 8-counts together into a fun new routine. My team members get a sense of accomplishment as they contribute to a routine and get to see it through to performance. But when it comes to competition routines and routines that involve stunting, my kids know there is something else I use. The honored "Notebook." I have been keeping a notebook for years where I jot downs stunting ideas I have seen or have dreamed up and want to try (one of my catch phrases as we try something new is, "I'm not sure if this is physically possible, but we're going to try it anyway"). The notebook is full of descriptions of stunts, often accompanied by stick-figure drawings, and sometimes even pasted-in photos. The notebook dates back before YouTube, so for a long time it was my only way to keep track of things I wanted to try.
My cheerleaders know that when The Notebook comes out, they're in for some Weird Experimental Time, which is our favorite activity, EVER. We have tried some really crazy things over the years, and sometimes they even work! Sometimes they even make it into our routines! Am I the only one out there with The Notebook? I don't know, but it works for me, so I'll keep bringing it along for the time being.