I recently moved to a new area when my husband accepting a middle school teaching position. I began volunteering w/ the jr. high cheerleaders this summer.
I have a lot of experience cheering and coaching, but not a lot of administrative experience, so when the head coach asked if I wanted to head coach one season while she head coached the other, I said I'd prefer to assist at least for the first year since I wasn't familiar with the school or the people in it.
We are currently working on a short routine for an non-judged public performance this summer. The dance was taught by a college student (and fellow volunteer) to the counts that were given at a camp or on a video from which she learned it. However, in the music we're using, the counts our girls actually hit motions on don't match the counts they were taught, which makes it frustrating and impossible to break things down and correct timing.
For example, they were taught to start on "8," but the count in our music upon which they actually start is "1." At another point, there are 3 quick motions they were taught to hit on "1 - and - 2," but our music is very fast and everyone, including the young woman who taught it, performs these motions on 3 whole counts (i.e. "5 - 6 - 7").
I have brought this to the head coach's attention when she seemed confused by their slow-learning, saying "I was counting along with our music, and the counts they're performing to are actually way off from what they're being taught. We're teaching to start on "8" but we're actually starting on "1"." She said, "When they learn the music, they'll get it."
The next week, I was given the task of choreographing a stunt sequence. When teaching it, the girls seemed to catch on wonderfully, but the coaches seemed confused and a little annoyed. I was teaching to load stunts on 3-4, dip on 5-6, up on 7-8. The other volunteer said "I don't understand how you bounce on a count." And at the end of practice, the head coach said (in reference to upcoming transitional stunts) "and you don't have to put everything to counts, you can just have it go with the music."
Most recently, we decided to change a difficult move in the dance that was tangling everyone up. The college student taught simpler motions in place of them to some more counts that were way off from the actual counts. When performed to music, the girls were naturally all over the place, so I said, "I think they're having trouble knowing how long to hold the high V. Some are holding for 2 counts, and some are going right into the toe-touch. I really think we need to establish counts." She said, "..Or would they just know by the music?"
For the record, when I choreograph, I recognize powerful points in the music, but I also recognize the counts on which those powerful points happen, and I teach things to those counts. Eventually, yes, cheerleaders will know that they're doing *this* part of the routine on *that* part of the music, but I also think they'll need to know that *this* is on "5" in order to stay synchronized.
I know there are different styles of coaching, but having no counts (or incorrect counts) seems obviously ineffective. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to be frustrating the cheerleaders.
Am I wrong? Should I say something to try to get us all on the same page? What would I say? Or should I step back and let the head coach do her thing? (I'll have my turn eventually)