SLCS Tips for Trainees

SLCS Tips for Trainees

by Raelyn Night Rayne & Aero Bigboots

Hello Trainees!

We’re excited that you’re interested in SLCS! We’re an amazing, large, long-running group of SL Cheerleaders!

On Tuesday, Raelyn had her Panel and became an SLCS Cheerleader. And Aero sat on the interviewing side of Panels for the first time. We have a total of 3 Panels experience! Every cheerleader in SLCS has more experience than we do! But we’re blabbermouths, so we thought we’d talk about it anyway.

And we love SLCS! We’re so lucky to be here! We thought we’d share a few tips with you. A few things to make your Training & Paneling easier and richer.

Backstage at SLEA (Second Life Endowment for the Arts). Joint performance with SLCS & the Woodcrest University Cheerleaders.

Reach Out

Reach Out! Talk to cheerleaders. It might be easiest to talk to other trainees first since you’re going through the same thing together. But don’t stop there. Every cheerleader is happy to chat with you and help in any way they can. You can reach out to Raelyn or Aero! Or to anyone and everyone. If someone introduced you to SLCS, talk to them. Talk to whoever interviewed you. Talk to a cheerleader with a cool hair ribbon. Grow the roots and branches of your SLCS tree. Let someone know if you have questions, or want to meet them.

Training for Comets or Spitfires? You might meet more members of the Adult Squad than your own squad. Ask who the Comets & Spitfires are? When do they practice? When do they perform? Try to meet them.

  • Adult Cheerleader Practice – Thursdays @ 6pm SLT – location varies
  • Comets Practice – Sundays @ 6pm SLT – 50 yard line
  • Spitfires Practice – Sundays @ Noon SLT – 50 yard line
Cheer Camp ’22

Attend Everything!

Events

Attend everything you can! You don’t have to wait for an invitation. Find out what’s going on and join in!

  • Training Games
  • Wednesday Game Nights @6 pm SLT
  • Friday Party Nights @6 pm SLT
  • RFL (Second Life’s Relay For Life)
  • Cheer Camp

Cheer 401

The 401 classes help a lot with what you’re learning in trainee classes.

  • 401 Basic
  • 401 Advanced (take both!)
Game Night gets a little crazy sometimes!

Friend Requests

As a trainee you’ve asked to “friend” all the cheerleaders. And we’re asked to friend you. If you send us a friend request:

  • Go you for reaching out!
  • Wake up, Raelyn & Aero! How come you made the new person have to ask you first?

Sending friend requests to members of the squad is awesome! The trainee friend requests we get look like this:

Nothing wrong. But, instead of “hey you, friend me!” Why not say “hello” first?

Hi, Raelyn, I’m Aero, one of Kezz’ new trainees. How’s it going? I’m excited to be here! Whatcha up to? Can I friend you?

Your Avatar Profile

We should all look over our profiles now and then. Every time we look at ours it’s surprising how crummy the photos are and how lame the words are. So we try to take a better picture and write something less lame.

As a Cheerleader you will be representing SLCS. It’s good if your profile can represent that fine balance of wholesomeness and allure that is SLCS.

SLCS Spitfires practice at Srooc Skytower Memorial Stadium. Cheertopia region of the real Metaverse, Second Life.

Cheerleaderfulness

You don’t have to be a cheerleader to go to a sports event out in the physical world. You can put on a t-shirt & jeans and go sit in the stands. You can yell and scream if you want to. Or chillax and eat your nachos with the radioactive cheese sauce.

To be a cheerleader means to be special. It’s not just t-shirt & jeans, it’s putting on a great uniform, doing your hair, and looking awesome for everyone. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, it’s opening your mouth and trying to inspire people.

People in the stands can eat their foot-long hot dogs and be anonymous. We’re not here to be anonymous. We’re here to excite people. To energize people. To be an SLCS cheerleader is to be on stage. Looking your best, doing your best, and trying your best to connect with our audience.

That said, there are many ways to be a part of SLCS. Not everyone needs to adhere to Western cultural norms. If you find yourself drawn to SLCS, join us. Spend time with us. You’ll find the niche that feels right for you. Or create it!

Aero was working a barista shift at the Spitfire Grill one day. The SL Cheer Comets invited her to practice with them. Who could pass up that opportunity!?

Gestures

This one is our opinion. SLCS does use a variety of SL “Gestures” and often.

We’re not quite as fond of gestures. Long Gestures fill up big swaths of chat space with canned text. It’s bold! But might not feel so real. All that text can crowd out the chance for interaction with our audience. In the physical world you might try to get a section of people to repeat a cheer. In SL we’re more likely to inspire our audience members one at a time.

If you’re not Driving, try typing live. Say stuff! “We are the best” and all that is OK, but you can also interact with our audience. The girl in the great dress? The couple with killer moves? Shout out to them. Say their names. Interact!

In Class 4 you’ll get to drive for a few minutes. And then… Panels!

Panels

Being Nervous

Trainees are often nervous before panels. If you aren’t lucky enough to go first you have the torture of sitting in the locker room waiting for your turn. Aero was in a large trainee class and waited in the locker room for hours. Finally someone said, “it’s too late, you two come back tomorrow for panels.” OMG! Thanks! A whole night of stress so we can come back tomorrow and be nervous all over again! 😛

We hope you’re not too stressed by Panels. But being a little nervous is a good thing. If SLCS meant nothing to you, you wouldn’t be nervous about Panels, because “who cares anyway?” The fact that you’re nervous means that you care. That SLCS is a group you want to be a part of and grow to love. So be a little nervous! It makes joining SLCS that much more meaningful.

The Questions

At core there are 2 types of questions:

  • Process, facts, history
  • Opinions, feelings, ideas

Someone is going to ask you something about the Cheermaster HUD! Or protocol or history. We hope you can easily answer these questions. We could be wrong, but we think it’s OK to use notes. If you don’t know a technical answer say, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure. Would it be OK if I looked at my notes?”

The opinion, feelings & ideas questions often don’t have correct answers. In a way, the subtext to all these questions is, “Do you think like we do? Do you value SLCS the way we do?” By “think like we do”, we don’t mean “groupthink”. Or all being in lock step. We only mean that we’re interested in why you want to be a part of SLCS. What it might mean to you.

The Wrong Answer

We said the idea questions often don’t have “correct” answers, but they do have “wrong” answers. Here are some sample wrong answers:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • Sometimes
  • Not sure
  • IDK
  • Yup
  • Nope

Panels should be a conversation. We want to learn about you. And you can learn about us. “Yup” and “Nope” aren’t much of a conversation. Up in “Cheerleaderfulness” we said that “to be a cheerleader is to be on stage.” Try not to think of panels as some nervous interrogation. Instead, try to think of it as being on stage with the best audience. Nobody cares more than other cheerleaders! You came to SLCS to shine. Think of Panels as a chance to hog the spotlight and shine. Go ahead, give the long and thoughtful answer that we’re all hoping you will.

And if it is a long and thoughtful answer, you don’t have to type for 20 minutes and deliver a giant paragraph. Feel free to hit “Return” after each sentence! 😀

We want to understand you; to meet you wherever you are

If English isn’t your first language, or you’re nervous, you can say so. “I wish I could say more, but I struggle with English.” “I’m sorry I’m not saying more. I’m nervous right now. This means so much to me.”

Are there other reasons you can’t say more? It’s up to you if you want to share them or not. But know that we’re a sympathetic, understanding, and inclusive group. We’re all human and we all have struggles. Some members deal with enormous challenges in the physical world. They use their few free hours to be a part of SLCS. Sometimes a cheerleader dies in the physical world and we miss them so much that we name a stadium after them.

Your Turn

If your Panel should ask, “do you have any questions for us?” We hope you know by now, the “correct” answer is not “nope!” 😀 Ask us something. Ask us something important! Challenge us to share something of the heart and soul of SLCS.

Aero & Raelyn in the Spitfire Grill pretending to do Panels because we were both too lame to take pix of the actual Panels on Tuesday. (oopsy!)

What Else?

There’s a few thoughts from two cheerleaders with not much experience.

  • Cheerleaders — what else would help Trainees? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
  • Trainees — what else would you like to know? What would make training easier? Less confusing? Funnerer? Chime-in below!

Welcome to SLCS! We’re so happy you’re here!

Did we mention that SLCS should be fun!? Yes, even Philip Linden cried the first time he tried to use the Cheermaster HUD and messed up the dismount! It can be intimidating. And Panels. And so many things. And an endless parade of Cheerleaders you haven’t met yet. And, and, and… Do your best, but don’t let any of that stress you out or get you down. Try to find at least 1 person you can talk to – or a few – and enjoy the chance to spend time with this caring group of people. You’ll pick up the rest sooner or later. Honestly, it’s about the love.

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