Mudcat Café message #2026213 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100807   Message #2026213
Posted By: Azizi
15-Apr-07 - 05:55 PM
Thread Name: Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers
Subject: RE: Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers
"Foot stomping cheers" is the term that I coined in 1987 to describe a specific type of children's cheer. Here's an excerpt of the overview I wrote on Foot Stomping Cheers that can be found by clicking on the link to my website www.cocojams.com that I provided in the previous post:

Foot stomping cheers are call & response rhymes that are chanted-usually by girls ages about 6-12 years of age. This children's performance art was first recorded among African American girls of that age in the early to mid 1970s, Washington, DC. [see 1978 online notes to "Old Mother Hippletoe: Rural and Urban Children's Songs New World"]...

Girls performing foot stomping cheers chant formulaic rhymes while doing individual handclaps, and body pats, and while making synchronized, bass sounding foot stomping movements to the chant's beat. There doesn't appear to be a standardized name for "foot stomping cheers. I use that term to distinguish these examples from sport team associated cheerleader cheers.

In my opinion, there is a very close connection between cheerleader cheers and foot stomping cheers. The two types of cheers borrow from each other, perhaps with foot stomping cheers borrowing more from urban {meaning Black and Latina} dance style cheerleaders during half time cheerleader cheers than the other way around. But perhaps not. The main difference between the two cheers is not the words and the beat, but the fact that because of time restraints, usually every squad member doesn't get a soloist turn with cheerleader cheers. However, with foot stomping cheers, the performance of the cheer isn't over until every member of the group gets one turn as soloist.

...However there are distinctive differences between the structural pattern and the performance activity of handclap rhymes and foot stomping cheers...

The words to foot stomping cheers have a signature pattern that I call "group/consecutive soloists". This is an interesting modification of the traditional call & response pattern of singing & music. "Group/consecutive soloists" means that the foot stomping cheer always begins with the group voice, and the lines alternate between the group voice and a soloist...

...Unlike handclap routines, girls performing foot stomps don't touch another person. They clap their own hands and do not have partners They usually stand in a horizontal line. Sometimes the soloist moving out in front, but that appears to be a recent development... This flat footed heavy, but rhythmic stomping movement while chanting is very similar-if not the same-as African American based choreographed movement called 'steppin'...

Foot stomping cheers are also a dramatic art form and performers are expected to speak the lines with in-your-face body stance and attitude"...