At the moment, cheerleading consists of two main trends: acrobatic and dance cheerleading, which are further divided into several categories. There are no fixed rules defining e.g. what elements must be performed during the presentation. This is due to the facts that the inventiveness and creativity of coaches should only be limited by safety rules rather than sets of regulations.
A dance category where pom-poms are the main attribute. The competitors hold them in their hands for the entire duration of the presentation. The can be put away during lifts, partner stunts and gymnastic elements, as long as safety so requires.
The choreography must focus on teamwork, team unity, work within subgroups and levels, visuals (mainly with the use of pom-poms), formation changes and presentation of technical skills (jumps, pirouettes, kicks, etc.). The presentation matches dynamic music constituting a compilation of various works and dance styles, but the entire performance cannot diverge from the general nature of freestyle pom. The outfits are based on typical cheerleader uniforms.
A dance category where lyrical music is used, and the presented choreography should be a combination of lyrical dance and very dynamic movements. Apart from the interpretation and strong reference to the music used (it is usually one part of a musical work), technical dance elements such as pirouettes, kicks, jumps, etc. are also evaluated. The outfits are closely linked to jazz dance and are meant to constitute a coherent whole together with the presented choreography and the music.
In terms of choreography, outfits and music, the performances pay homage to the hip hop culture, its roots and diversity. Particular attention is paid to teamwork, group work, visuals and the ability to show the abilities of the group through presentation of the greatest number of hip hop genres. Acrobatic evolutions referring to the B-boying culture are permitted as long as they are not detrimental to safety of the competitors. Formation changes and show elements constitute an important part of the presentation. In this category, choreography can make use of outfit elements.
A dance category referring to drill choreographies performed with the accompaniment of a wind ensemble. The choreographies are presented to the accompaniment of dynamic music (most frequently one musical work). Particular attention is paid to the combination and execution of kicks, pirouettes and formation changes, as well as types of transitions between them.
Utilises gymnastic elements, which may be combined depending on the age category and skill level of the participant(s). The dancers also perform gymnastic and acrobatic elements such as partner stunts (one person lifting another person), group stunts (a group of people lifting one person, creating a two-level lift, or a group of people lifting one person, who ten holds one or more people) and pyramids (partner stunts, group stunts connected with each other through the person or people at the highest level). In this category, the team (female or mixed) presents a chant (the cheers alone) with the use of props such as megaphones, flags, pom-poms, signs and others, or a cheer, which is comprised of cheers with gymnastic elements (jumps, tumbling, partner stunts or group stunts). This part of the presentation is performed with no accompaniment and consists in encouraging the audience to cheer on and responding to the team's calls. Afterwards, during presentation of the programme to the accompaniment of music, the main focus is on teamwork, which means execution of all of the above elements (partner stunts, group stunts, pyramid stunts, tumbling). The music is usually a dynamic compilation of several musical works enhanced with sound effects which are typical for cheerleading, the aim of which is to exhibit certain elements.
Group stunt is a category consisting in lifting one or more people, which is performed together in
a group of maximum five people. This category also enables tosses, with the assumption that the tossed competitor must always be caught by the same people. The lifted or tossed individuals may only change within the competing group.
The full composition of the performance consists of:
- lifts performed by the group (the aspects being evaluated include: lifting methods and techniques, the number, quality and difficulty of positions presented in lifts, the techniques and methods of descending from the lifts),
- tosses (toss techniques, number, quality and difficulty of the elements performed mid-air, flight stage and techniques of catching the falling person by the catchers),
- the music (dynamic, usually a compilation of several musical works enhanced with sound effects which are typical for cheerleading, the aim of which is to exhibit certain elements).
This category may involve both female groups and mixed groups only.
A category where competitors present their acrobatic and gymnastic skills, adding jumps which are typical for cheerleading (e.g. toe touch, pike, herkie, hurdler, tuck jump and others) to the gymnastic route. The presentation should include the so-called chant (shout encouraging people to cheer, making contact with the audience so that it can respond and engage in cheering). During the performance, competitors also use Arm Motions during the cheer or to harmonise the composition (e.g. during a transition combining elements typical for cheerleading). The presentation usually has dynamic, rhythmical music as its background, with the music (most frequently) being a combination of several musical works featuring additional sound effects, the aim of which is to display certain skills of the competitor. During the chant, the music should be muted or turned down so that the audience can hear the competitor. No props (such as pom-poms, signs, megaphones, flags, etc.) are used in this category. The outfit is a uniform which is typical for cheerleading and sport shoes with
a rubber, elastic sole (ballet shoes, fore foot covers, high heels or any shoes with a hard sole, e.g. clogs and other shoes which pose a risk of physical injury).
The category consists in two partners performing various types of lifts (partner stunts). The entire composition consists of: the lifts (including lifting methods and techniques), the positions of the person being lifted (variety, changes) and methods of descending from each lift. The entire performance is complemented by dynamic music, which is adjusted to the presentation and utilises sound effects which are typical for cheerleading. The competitor responsible for the lifting (a so-called base) should be strong, tough and stable, and the one being lifted should be bouncy, agile, well-stretched and have a good balance.
This category brings non-disabled and disabled competitors together. Categories of paracheer teams:
- cheerleading or group stunt (non-disabled competitors and competitors with motor disabilities),
- freestyle pom (non-disabled competitors and competitors with motor disabilities),
- freestyle pom special (non-disabled competitors and competitors with intellectual disabilities),
- freestyle pom united (competitors with intellectual disabilities).