Professional cheerleaders are athletes who support professional sports teams such as those in the NBA and NFL. Pro cheerleaders are experts in the field of dance and cheerleading. They possess the ability to execute dance routines with an overwhelming sense of confidence and charisma. In addition, professional cheerleaders also serve as ambassadors for their teams and charities in their surrounding communities. The first step in becoming a professional cheerleader is attending an open audition. Audition season usually runs from April to August with most teams auditioning in the months of June and July. These tips will help you excel at auditions and earn a spot on the team of your dreams!
1. Take a dance class
First and foremost I would suggest taking a series of dance classes. One of the biggest differences between youth/high school/college cheerleading and professional cheerleading is dance style. Traditional cheerleading focuses on stiff movements while professional cheerleading uses dance routines that require very fluid movements. A couple of dance classes at your local studio can truly improve your chances of making a team if you are not used to this style of dance. The vast majority of professional cheerleading teams do offer a handful of prep classes leading up to their auditions. I would highly suggest attending these classes if possible. It will give you a chance to learn the dance style of your prospective team. In addition, these classes are usually taught by current cheerleaders who are always more than willing to give advice. It can become a great opportunity to get guidance from a woman who has already achieved your current goal.
Forget your usual audition attire of shorts, a t-shirt, and a super high ponytail. Professional cheerleading auditions require a completely different wardrobe look. Most teams require candidates to audition in a crop top (sports bra), shorts, dance tights, and sneakers and/or dance shoes. The color and style of the outfit is completely up to you. However, many girls buy bedazzled outfits for a more glamorous look. I would also highly suggest picking a bright color that compliments your skin tone and stands out in a crowd. A judge may not remember your name or number. However, they may remember you by your outfit choice and can use that as a reference point while deliberating. Make sure all of your outfit items are clean, especially your sneakers! I think many girls overlook small items such as this. However, something as simple as dirty sneakers can leave a lasting impression on judges. Overall, you should have a very polished and clean look.
3. Hair and Make-up
Take a look at professional cheerleaders and one word comes to mind – glamorous. Unlike traditional cheerleading where your hair is in a sky high ponytail, professional cheerleaders wear their hair down in a flowing style. This helps to create the “hair drama” that looks great during certain dance routines. The overall look varies by team. Some teams require their girls to wear straighter styles while others prefer curly. Your makeup should also be very polished and flattering. A smokey-eye and fake eyelashes are key to completing your perfect look. I would highly suggest taking a look at the website of the team you are auditioning for. Most teams have a team photo on their website as well as personal profiles of each cheerleader. Try to mirror your look around the current cheerleaders if you are unsure of how to arrive. Overall, make sure that your hair and make-up compliment your features and make you look your absolute best.
4. Start working out early
Most professional cheerleading uniforms are revealing especially in the midriff section. This requires cheerleaders to have a toned physique. Start training early so that you can achieve the results you are striving for by the time of your auditions. Working out also has a dual effect. Eating clean and exercising regularly can help increase your stamina and overall mood. I would also recommend including stretching as a part of your normal routine. Most teams will require candidates to split on at least one leg during the audition process. In addition, many teams perform a kickline and will be very interested in seeing your kicks at auditions. Daily stretching will increase your flexibility as well as the height of your kicks.
5. Supporting Documents
Majority of professional cheerleading teams will require you to submit an application, resume, and headshot. The judges will use these documents to gain a better understanding of who you truly are. Make sure to include any cheerleading/dance background that you have. In addition, be sure to list any leadership roles you may have taken as well as any interesting facts about you. This is your chance to show the judges who you are “behind the pom-poms”. Lastly, make sure that your headshot is similar to the way you will look on audition day. The judges are going to see hundreds of girls in an extremely short amount of time. This means that they may not remember you individually while they are deliberating. They will refer back to your headshot to help jog their memory. Do not hand in a headshot where you are sporting a short blond bob if you are planning on attending the auditions as a long-haired redhead. You’ll want your headshot to be a true representation of you on audition day.
Lastly, I would recommend packing a couple of light snacks and water as auditions can be very long and grueling. It may also be a good idea to pack a couple of extra pairs of tights and other essentials such as safety pins, tape, and hairspray. Now you can walk into your audition feeling fully prepared and ready to conquer!
See you on the sidelines!