Thinking about trying out for a pro cheerleading squad? You've come to the right spot! An increasing number of dTe visitors have started inquiring about pro cheerleading tryouts. This is a new section, so check back often for upcoming links to online pro cheerleading sites and their tryout information. Here you will find tips to help prepare you for tryouts as well as comments on what to expect. Remember, these are only general guidelines and may vary among squads so try to find out what is specific to the squad you are auditioning for.
The concept of pro cheerleading squads was inspired by the dazzling performances of dance, drill and cheer teams like the Kilgore Rangerettes, the Dallas Tex Anns and the Apache Belles. Dallas Cowboys owner, Tex Schramm, decided in 1971 that he wanted to have beautiful model-like cheerleaders that could dance the same Broadway style dances as these notable groups. This new breed of "cheerleader" would be the best of the best and half-time entertainment would be the rave of the future. And so the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were born. Parallels still exist today between these "pro cheer squads" and dance/drill team. So it would behoove you to study the Technique and Tryout Tips sections in the DanceDrill Zone. If the squad you are trying out for requires interviews, then you should read the Interview Guidelines also.
dTe is a cooperative effort sharing quality input from experienced coaches and cheerleaders who have experienced the pro cheer experience first-hand so that you can benefit from varying points of view and insights. Make sure to also spread the word so that other coaches, pro cheerleaders, team owners, and hopefuls can benefit from our many free services.
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IMPORTANT NOTE: dTe does not condone the use by teams of weight limits or other requirements which place emphasis on appearance as well as talent. However the reality is that such teams and requirements do exist, and dancers are still interested in auditioning for these teams, so the topic is still addressed here for those needing advice in those areas. We apologize if this offends anyone, but we are here to address the needs of everyone and not just a certain segment of the population.
In order to try out for pro cheer squads, you have to prepare yourself mentally, physically and socially. Pro cheerleading squads are looking for the best of the best. Be prepared to possibly compete against over 1,000 girls of varying experience for only a handful of openings. Painstaking restrictions are often placed on squad members' professional and private lives in order to avoid scandal or gossip.
Call the squad or visit their website. Try to get any and all literature on their tryouts, requirements, physicals, rules and regulations, tryout prep classes offered, and any other clinics or information they may have available.
Study up on the squad you are auditioning for. Learn their dance style, any difficult moves, any jumps or leaps, and the types of music they perform to. Try taping performances when possible so you can try learning some of their dances and any unique jazz walks they may use.
If the squad offers clinics or competitions, try to attend them so you get a chance to work with the squad first hand. If they offer prep classes for their tryouts, TAKE them!
Find out the complete tryout curriculum so you know exactly what to prepare for. What types of dances will you be learning? Will there be a free style dance? Kickline? Are the splits required on both legs? Will there be an interview and, if so, what is the appropriate attire? An essay composition and, if so, about what? How long will the auditions last? What type of squads do they have (i.e. dance, promotional, travel)?
Appearances are considered extremely important for some pro cheer squads. If you are trying out for a squad that is known for placing looks high on their priority list, then read on... Work on getting "the look." The longer your hair, the better. I know girls that have lost their position on the squad to another based solely on the length of their hair. Invest in a good hair stylist to get a stylish hair cut. Try a few stylists the year before tryouts until you find one that can achieve the look you want.
Get a makeover from a good makeup artist. Tell them you want the glamorous look. You will want to wear waterproof makeup so you won't have blush streaks or mascara runs at tryouts. Wear makeup tastefully...don't allow yourself to look like a made up clown.
Have a "dress rehearsal" with hair curled, makeup done and required work out attire. Work up a good sweat so you can see how your hair, makeup and attire hold up.
Be well proportioned and physically fit enough to look stunning in the revealing uniforms. Be poised and confident.
Plan your attire for the entire audition period in advance. Find out what the required attire is. Typically it should be body hugging and supportive. Pick out styles and colors which are flattering and stylish.
If there is an interview, typically a stylish yet tasteful suit will suffice. Interviews may question you on things like why you want to be on the squad, willingness to relocate, your awareness of the demands and lifestyle changes, what you can contribute, your goals, you as a person, general knowledge about that particular cheer and sport organization, the squad's history, the NFL or NBA (or whatever league is applicable), and current events. They may throw in some questions to try to trip you up, so be prepared. They want to know that you can intelligently represent the squad during sometimes tough interviews with the media. Honesty and diplomacy are also important traits.
You will most likely have to introduce yourself to the judges at some time, so practice in front of a friend and a mirror
You may be asked to pose for an individual snapshot, so practice poses in front of a mirror.
Be prepared to learn a high energy kickline dance as well as a jazz dance.
Make sure you can pass the Kick the Hat test as well as perform the latest jazz moves and leaps in order to keep up with this caliber of dance. Criteria judges may focus on are poise,showmanship, dance technique, personal appearance, figure, personality, energy, high kicks, and the splits on both legs.
You may be asked to free style dance to top 40's music, so practice at home.
Often short dance and kickline sequences are taught in which you will only have ten or fifteen minutes to perfect the moves, depending on your number. The key here is to smile and, if you make a mistake, do not under any circumstance lose your cool. The judges utilize this format in order to see how you perform under pressure.
Dance and kick sequences are usually performed in front of the judges in small groups.
Finalists may be asked to perform a short (around two minutes) individual talent presentation to your own music like singing, dancing, a combination of those or a dramatic interpretation. Judges look for creativity, ability, and talent. You are typically allowed to wear whatever costume you wish to compliment and enhance this performance.
Finalists may also be required to submit a personal essay composition.
Items you may need to bring to auditions: drivers license or passport for identification, extra workout attire (in case what your are wearing tears or gets soiled), a water bottle, a towel, lunch and snacks, make-up for touching up, curling iron, etc.
Other Helpful Information
Research the squad's policies. Typical policies are:
- no fraternizing with the football players
- no modeling, acting or commercial work outside the squad appearances
- no drinking, smoking, hair curlers, gum, while in uniform or during cheerleader functions
- restriction on jewelry
- you must maintain "the look" throughout your tenure (you can't be seen as a slob)
- you must stay fit to wear the revealing outfits
- weight limits are strictly enforced
- practices are typically three to four hours a day
- the pay may range from only $15 to $50 per game
- address your superiors with a gracious "Yes ma'am, thank you" and a smile, even if harshly criticized
- some squads require that you hold at least a part-time job, attend college or are a full-time mother
Most programs are extremely demanding and you must be prepared to make a TOTAL commitment to accommodate their very busy schedules. Appearances may include rehearsals, personal appearances (charity & paid), travel, fan mail, camps, performances, interviews and whatever else may turn up.
Auditions may last up to several weeks, with several cuts in the interim.
Due to the highly competitive nature of these types of tryouts, many girls may perform exceptionally well, doing everything right, yet still find themselves being cut. That is why so many girls try out several years in a row before finally making the squad.
Good luck! We'll be rooting for you!
Looking for innovative spirit resources?
Need some stylish leotards, activewear, footwear, makeup tips, music or dance moves videos to prepare for your tryouts? Check out our comprehensive dTe Directory featuring the most comprehensive virtual spirit mall and the latest most innovative spirit resources online today. Just a sample of what you'll find:a comprehensive directory of hard-to-find suppliers, magazines, books, videos, uniforms, poms, mats, music editors, the latest CD music selection (including the latest swing CD's & choreography videos), choreography software, customizable gifts, team travel specialists and much more now with convenient online shopping.For camp and competition information, be sure to check out the Camps and Competitions Guide featuring curricula, locations, links to companies and schedules and much more! We will be adding more cheer companies throughout the dTe community soon, so check back often. Only at DanceCheer.NET, your one-stop spirit shopTM...why look any place else?
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