Doing the splits to the side, or a la seconde, can be improved with patient stretching after a sufficient warm up. Basic ballet positions can be used to highlight cheer leading jumps, and landings, into the splits.
After a ballet class or a cheer leading workout is a great time to stretch - when you're extremely warmed up.
Here are some tips to getting a better looking second - or side splits position.
Usually the audience is presented with this position straight on from the front. So, even if your legs cannot extend out to the extreme (180 degrees turnout) position, if you can raise the legs waist high in a leap, it still looks impressive.
All of the muscles around the pelvis, low back, and in the back of the the thighs (the hamstrings) can be gradually and constantly lengthened. The tendons and ligaments around your joints should not be pressured into tearing. They don't lengthen the way muscles do.
If you cannot stretch at the end of a class or a workout, put on leg warmers or sweat pants to go home in. This will keep you warm.
As soon as you have some time, even if you're doing homework reading or studying, sit down in second position on the floor. Do a stretch in second position, relaxing over to the floor over your book, and just hold the position. Do not bounce or pulse. Deep breathing is okay, and helps you relax. This is the yoga method of NO FORCE. After 30 to 60 seconds, slowly pull up straight and see if you can wiggle your legs out even a hair's width, without pain.
Repeat this stretch about ten times, not pushing into pain, but tolerating discomfort.
You have to get away from your book for the next bit - do a side bend, leaning to one side over your now stretched to the max sideways leg. Keep the other hip and butt bone down, on the floor. Hold 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat 4-5 times and do the other side.
This sideways stretch actually stretches your lower back muscles on each side of your spine. These muscles normally restrict movement so that in daily life you don't over stretch and tear your back. In controlled stretching, it's fine to stretch them out. This will allow you to maintain an upright position when you kick to the side. All from easy at home stretching while you get some studying done.
Now your basic ballet positions and your cheer leading leaps and kicks are going to look great!
Improve your basic ballet positions and cheer leading moves with THE BALLET BIBLE, a complete description of the ballet barre.