Tuesday, August 5, 2008

2 years of journey

X-Wonder was established on 05 August 2006. It was an idea by Snow and myself, with the purpose of training to be great in partner stunts and also to promote it to others. The name X-Wonder was derived from the initials of both of our names, XingWei and XueWei, both are XW.

When we started, the hardest stunt that we could do is the single liberty. We only just started doing it after exams, around the month of June. By August, when we formed, our single liberty was still quite unstable and I will give it a hit rate of only around 60%. X-Wonder set 1 was our first video, done during that time when the freshies are in for workshop cum tryouts. It can be seen from the video that the single liberty was wobbly.

It was not easy to learn stunts then, as compared to now, where alot can do a single liberty within few trainings with the proper guidance. Back then, we are almost the pioneers in doing single bases stunts beyond single extension unassisted. We have to go through all the long and winding road to experiment ourselves, to try and error what is the right way. Those starting cheer now can be very thankful that they have all the resources and knowledge to be pass on to them, and they can start by doing the right way from the beginning.

It took us another almost half a year of hard training and trying to say that we can do single liberty with a 90% hit rate. It is around January 2007 by then, when we are preparing for cheerobics. It is also during this period, when our liberty was better, that we start to experiment with alot of different transitions and ways to go to hands. As can be seen in X-Skills intermediate, stunts such as rocket to hands, jumpless to hands, sitting toss to hands, etc. During this period, we played around with many new stuff and draw inspiration from youtube.

After being able to do the liberty with relative ease, we started trying to do the cupie, toss extension, and toss liberty. It took us another few months to be able to do a "slow" cupie, and we aim to be able to achieve a certain hit rate by cheerobics 2007. Training partner stunts amidst cheerobics was a very tall order, just running through the routine leaves you drained of all energy to try anything much.

After Cheerobics 2007 was the first CAIO almost immediately. And it took us till after CAIO to be able to say we can do a "fast" cupie with a higher consistency. After seeing the standard increasing in Cheerobics 2007, and after going to Japan, We foresee that the way to move forward was to learn the full-up. From May onwards, after exams, we trained very hard on doing the full-up hands. We slowly work towards tossing higher and spinning faster. Once again we were the first in Singapore to try it, and we received no help or guidance in it. We can only keep trying and trying, till we finally had a breakthough. Having gymnastics lessons also helped us alot in this aspect. Once we had the breakthrough, it helped the team too, full-up 221 and full-up gladiator soon followed. I knew full-up stunts is the key for cheerobics 2008, to set us apart from others. (Toss-up stunts are getting very common.)

It was then 1 year into the formation of X-Wonder, from struggling to do the single liberty to being able to do full-up hands and cupie. Training to do the full-up requires alot of blasting, and soon toss cupie followed. Things start to naturally come together, step by step. In September 2007, after the Taiwanese cheerleaders came to Singapore, they corrected us alot again. Finally for the first time, there was some guidance and experience for us. It seems that although we could do some of the stunts such as full-ups and toss cupie, our fundamentals were wrong, and to progress further would be impossible. We had to relearn everything over again, focusing on the right techniques. It took us quite some time to adjust to the new concept, and to force our body to accept the new inputs.

Again it was back to the drawing boards, and it took us a great deal of time and effort to re-adjust our style of doing liberties, cupies and tossing. No breakthrough was made, just strengthening our basics for half a year. Handstands are very vital, and I started to practice alot on my handstands, which I had also documented in my previous posts. We also started to practice left cupie during this time, as we learned from the Taiwanese too that having a balanced left and right side is also of utmost importance to progress. It remained like this till after Cheerobics 2008, where we got more time to practice our partner stunts again.

After having a good rest, we began our quest again, with the proper basics, concept and techniques in placed, built over the last half a year, we began getting back what we lost and doing it better. Right cupie now is almost 90% hit rate, toss cupie also felt much better. Stuff such as full around, liberty tick tocks, pop over start to become nearer. As of now, we are still working on the hit rate of these. We hope that in another half a year's time, all these shall become our basics.

Looking back again in summary of the 2 years, we started off with wobbly single liberties, to now doing tick tocks and pop overs. We tried and tested, learned and re-learned the basics over and over in the last 2 years. 2 years is not a short time, but it is also not long either. To those that just started, never be discouraged by seeing others doing amazing stuff, everyone has to go through the learning process. At least your learning curve will be much shorter with all the experience of your predecessors and their guidance. In 2 years time or much less, we will be able to see many more tick tocks and pop overs, leading to a start of a new era and generation of cheerleaders for Singapore cheerleading.

A video footages of what we had been through in the past 2 years. We all fall, only to get up and become stronger.

P.S: This post is especially dedicated to people such as Graham, aka Hamzai, Ka Hau, my best supporter of X-Skills, Ken, aka baybay and Lijing, my hardworking "diciple". This is for showing your passion and determination, overcoming all odds and going to great lengths to realise your dreams. You guys will definitely be able to do very well. You guys deserved our respect. Jiayou!


Ken said...

thanks :)

*star* said...


jing said...

shifu!!! thank u for all ur teachings. will work hard. *bows* haha. cya!