BYU-Idaho has a spirit squad that includes a dance team and coed stunt and cheer team.
Practices this semester are skill building for the fall. Practices begin with a run and stretching.
The coed stunt/cheer team is coached by Gaby Bone, a sophomore majoring in marriage and family studies. Bone has been stunting since she was in elementary school.
“Stunting is the ability to use your body to perform visual effects that others cannot,” Bone said. “It can be with one base and a flyer or multiple bases with a flyer.”
It is Bone’s third semester on the stunt team at BYU-I.
She said the team is for anyone and the team members do not judge each other.
“I love that here at BYU-I we have been able to create a fun atmosphere of non-judgmental people so that we all have the ability to learn something new,” Bone said.
Team members said they also like that they are always improving.
“I love the thrill of trying out new and exciting stunts and pushing myself and our team to their limits to become the best that we can be,” said Carissa McAdams, a freshman studying exercise physiology.
But the team does have fears.
“My biggest fear with stunting is having a flyer hit the floor,” Bone said. “There are so many things that could go wrong if she does fall out of a stunt and no one catches her.”
“My only fear is keeping the flyer safe, especially when trying a new stunt” said Katie Wheeler, a sophomore studying elementary education.
Injury is common to cheer and stunting.
“I was injured last spring while here at BYU-I,” Bone said. “When I was flying, I was dropped from a stunt and landed on my head and neck. I ended with a concussion and locked muscles in my spine. I was put on bed rest with heavy pain killers and muscle relaxers. I have also suffered various sprained ankles, bruises and scrapes.”
Regardless of the injuries and fears, Bone said she enjoys stunting and sees benefits in doing it.
“You are able to learn new things in a fun environment,” Bones said. “Yes, we may be a competitive team, but we love it when we get new people to join us and learn. We are not your typical team because we are all at different skill levels, but we are a team of learning.”
Alexis Jordan, a sophomore studying elementary education, said stunting keeps her active.
“The benefit for me is that it keeps me in shape,” Jordan said. “Also, I never have to say goodbye to the cheer side of me. Stunting is something that you can’t get sick of. There’s always something new and creative to try.”
The team can be found in the John W. Hart gym practicing on Tuesday and Thursday nights or on Wednesdays at the Madison Gymnastic Center.
The team’s showcase of their progress is on July 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hart.
The teams also perform at football and basketball games in the fall and winter semesters.