On the 19th August 2021, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform a ParaCheer routine at the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics.
Knowing that we’d be showcasing in front of an audience who’d likely never seen Cheerleading before, let alone ParaCheer (disability inclusive Cheerleading), I knew we had to get the music choices right.
Chantal Epp - ClicknClear CEO and ParaCheer International Trustee
Music is an important component of any routine and impacts team morale, togetherness and audience engagement. In this particular situation, we had only 10 days to put together a 3 minute routine with 4 people and create the music to accompany it. Typically, I’d create the routine and then fit the music around it but on this occasion, I had to make the music first.
My first step was finding the perfect songs that fit a theme of fire whilst also highlighting and reiterating the Paralympic motto ‘Spirit in Motion’. I went through a huge selection of songs, trying to find the perfect moments and lyrics before settling on 7 songs for the 3 minute routine. I placed the songs in some form of order based on what felt natural and had impactful moments with a strong beginning and end.
The routine made it onto national TV coverage of the event. Click the image below to watch:
The Tracks we Chose
Fire by Raghav - This was our opening song. I first came across it when I did a search of ‘Fire’ inspired/themed tracks on ClicknClear’s platform. It’s a high energy upbeat song that was perfect for the opening of the routine as we did our Cheer.
Feels So Good by The Blah Blah Blahs - I originally chose this song because of its lyrical relevance, ‘It’s a brand new day, yeah you know that we’re gonna shine, celebrate our way, everything’s gonna be alright’ which I felt was fitting for the performance. It’s also another high energy happy song that I felt would continue to lift the mood of the audience.
Watch Me by Yes Yes No Maybe - This song is about breaking free and watching ‘me’ do just that. Whilst the genre style is different to the previous songs, it’s got a bit more attitude as we try to tell the story of breaking down barriers. At this point, the wheelchair user in the routine is throwing hard partner stunt skills.
C’Mon C’Mon by Five - This song was perfect for the group stunt section of the routine! The lyrics talk about coming together which had a literal meaning as the whole group came together to throw skills but the lyrical message ‘Spread the word over the nation, That we are the new generation,’ also completely agreed with our message of ParaCheer and the Paralympics that we need to spread the word about disability inclusion all over the nation and the new generation is here to do just that.
Holding Out for A Hero (Club Mix) by Bonnie Tyler - It took me a very long time to decide on a song I felt the whole audience would know and love. I remember one of my colleagues getting very excited about this song a little while ago and thought it would be perfect for the small audience of politicians and sport governance people. It nods to Greek Gods which I felt was fitting since the Olympics was born in Athens, and it talks of being strong, fast and fresh from the fight which I felt was fitting as the Paralympians have prepared to bring everything they have to the games. In this section, I also mimicked a bow and arrow as a nod to archery, the first Paralympic sport.
Shine A Light (Rolling Stones Cover) by AG feat. Milck - Every cheerleading routine has a ‘Pyramid’ section which is slow and mesmerising. Whilst we were unable to do a pyramid due to only having 4 people on stage, we ended up using this section of the music for a simple two based stunt sequence. This song is a cover of the well known Rolling Stones song and has a very uplifting, almost hymn-like feel to the chorus, wishing life’s blessings on someone.
Conqueror by Patrick Hartman - This song is one of my absolute favourites on ClicknClear. It’s not a well known song but the lyrics and music are so powerful. I think our choreography in this section was mostly inspired by the music and made a great ending as fireworks went off around us!
You can check out the full playlist here.