Cheer and leader are just two words, yet they communicate a lot of meaning. To be successful, professional cheerleaders must master sophisticated and risky dances, catchy chants, and inspirational slogans via rigorous and disciplined effort and collaboration. Furthermore, whether or not you lead your team, you must demonstrate leadership qualities, be a trustworthy friend and role model to your colleagues, be an agile athlete, frequently a teacher, and always be an eager learner.
Similar Job Titles
- Cheer Athlete
- Stunt Cheerleader
- Crowd Leaders
- Spirit Raisers
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Professional Cheerleaders do?
A Professional Cheerleader would typically need to:
- Perform synchronized chants and routines from the sidelines of a game, incorporating dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics, and stunts like tumbling, while wearing the squad uniform or costume.
- Encourage players’ enthusiasm, solidarity, pride, and spirit at pep rallies, parades, games, timeouts, halftime, and postgame performances.
- Raise fans from their seats when their team scores, and boost morale with cheers, chants, stunts, pyramids, and formations when things go wrong.
- Discuss strategy, game plans, and choreography with the coach for games at home or other places, tournaments, or exhibits.
- Lead the squad by serving as captain or co-captain
- Demonstrate how to respect the game, players, and fans
- Stay strong and flexible and keep a sense of rhythm
- Learn the national anthem and remember chants, moves, and slogans
- Maintain an appropriate diet to increase energy, endurance, and strength for training and performance.
- Train their voice in addition to belting out cheers
- Encourage the team emotionally during practices and games, and financially by selling tickets.
- Uphold team traditions and interests with familiar songs, chants, and cheers
- Meet college or university attendance and academic grade criteria, as well as the obligations of your part- or full-time job or parenthood.
- Participate in community outreach events such as children’s hospital fundraisers, blood donation campaigns, and food drives.
- Take part in photoshoots for annual release-of-calendar events
Standard Work Environment
Professional cheerleaders operate on the sidelines of athletic venues, which may be outdoors on a field or stadium, or indoors in a gym. These can be practiced in gyms or other indoor settings.
Professional cheerleaders typically work with local teams at home games. Some well-known squads, however, travel to other locations where regional, national, or international sporting competitions are held.
Professional cheerleaders often work part-time and have erratic schedules. During sports seasons, they may train three to four at a time for up to eight hours per week, although hours might be longer and include evenings, weekends, and holidays. You’d probably spend an additional eight hours cheering during home games. You must be ready to attend practices, games, and other activities such as community service, charity, business events, photoshoots, and autograph signings.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Professional cheerleaders can improve their job hunt by asking their network for referrals, personally contacting teams, using job search sites, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and inquiring at hiring agencies. It is best to research the squad you want to join and their requirements well in advance so that you can prepare for their auditions.
Keep in mind that professional cheerleading is not full-time work, and you are expected to be a college student or have another job in addition to your cheerleading duties.
Professional Cheerleaders are generally employed by:
- Sporting Events
Football Union Leagues
- Sporting Teams
- Marketing Companies
- Private & Corporate Event Organisers
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional organizations and groups, such as The International Cheer Union (ICU), are essential for Professional Cheerleaders who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their business or career. Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Physically hard, requiring gymnasts’ strength and flexibility, dancers’ grace, and athletes’ stamina, and may be more difficult than some varsity sports.
- To learn tumbles, feats, and dances, a significant amount of time, if not years, is required.
- The risk of frequent and severe injuries
- The need to pay for auditions
- Intense competition for a limited number of openings on a team
- The expense of traveling to auditions and performances
- Looking your best at all times and portraying a smiling personality
- The need to have other jobs since cheerleading is considered a part-time job; not a long-term or full-time career
- May need to confront unethical behavior or exploitation
- Abide by stringent behavioral regulations, rules regarding appearance, and appropriate conduct guidelines
- May be dismissed from the team for a small error
Suggested Work Experience
While formal dance training and experience are not required, you must be capable of learning and performing dance routines of varying complexity. However, taking jazz, hip hop, and modern dance classes will help you become more agile and improve your dance technique.
Get in shape by going to the gym or enrolling in a camp. You can attend clinics if you are a member of a squad. Participating in gymnastics, cheering, or track and field will improve your coordination, stamina, fitness, discipline, and cheerleading talents and vocabulary.
Typically, you begin by cheerleading for sports teams at school or attending an afterschool activity or gym. If you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible to participate in a cheerleading programme at your college or university. Dance, tumbling, conditioning, and nutrition lessons are common in such programmes. Cheerleading scholarships may be available at your college. Whatever academic programme you are enrolled in, make sure to practice your moves on a daily basis to continue to improve your expertise and confidence.
Attend Professional Cheerleaders’ classes to learn how to prepare for auditions. Take a couple of tumbling courses, start stretching for splits, and master the fundamentals of cheerleading before trying out for a spot on a cheerleading team. Develop your commitment and flexibility by researching the history and growth of cheerleading and watching recordings of previous competitions.
If you decide to pursue professional cheerleading, you will get more experience by training with a coach or choreographer and competing in cheer and dance events.
Interview or job shadow cheerleading specialists to demonstrate your dedication to course providers and possible employment. When more experienced workers manage to turn seemingly ordinary occurrences into unique learning experiences, you may be able to hear endless stories from them and gain significant hands-on knowledge.
To participate in trials, aspirant Professional Cheerleaders must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be at least 18 years old. They must also have another part-time or full-time employment, be a parent, or be a college/university student.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
A Cheerleader’s competency in a skill set is demonstrated through work experience, training, and passing an examination. When obtained from a reputable and objective institution, it can help you stand out in a competitive employment market. By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programmes defend the public welfare.
The licensing process is handled by individual government agencies. It usually necessitates passing an exam in addition to meeting eligibility requirements such as a certain degree of education, job experience, training, or completion of an internship, residency, or apprenticeship. Check with local or national cheerleading associations to see whether you need to be licensed. Typically, a routine that includes playing multiple recorded songs requires the appropriate license.
While there are no specific height or weight requirements, you must meet any minimum or maximum age requirements to be a Professional Cheerleader.
Projected Career Map
Career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications. Employees who continuously demonstrate high levels of performance may be eligible for promotion every two to three years.
You can join a traveling squad to discover new locations, make money, and gain experience for yourself and your team.
You can also work in sports management or broadcasting, or in sports marketing or sponsorship as a brand ambassador. Professional cheerleading squads can be hired to market or advertise products.
Professional cheerleaders, who are part of dance teams who perform for professional sports teams, may find opportunities to become Choreographers, Coaches, or Managers in professional cheer clubs. You might also become a fitness instructor, or model, or open your own dancing studio.
You can work in the entertainment sector, join a dance team, become an acrobat or gymnast, or take on other related roles on a professional or amateur level.
Stunt cheerleaders have fewer possibilities, but they can work as camp trainers, host clinics, or give private lessons if they have the necessary certifications and experience. Other opportunities include starting your own company and franchising your brand as a well-known stunt squad.
You may also get to work with well-known figures in the entertainment business and at major sporting events.
Candidates with the required skills and experience have the best job opportunities. Your endurance, fitness, and flexibility, together with teamwork and tenacity, will serve you well in the employment market.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist active Professional Cheerleaders in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. It enables you to always improve your skills, regardless of your age, employment, or degree of expertise.
If you are already a member of a team practicing for a competition, seminars led by other Professional Cheerleaders may give you an advantage over competing teams. Public speaking, leadership, and communication seminars or workshops can teach you how to project your voice and express your feelings. Nutrition, physical fitness, and teamwork classes are also beneficial.
Cheerleading not only connects you with individuals with varied aspirations, but it can also be a tool to help you reach your personal and professional objectives. Professional cheerleaders, whether they call themselves athletes or spectators, must stay physically fit and strong and devise a long-term strategy to achieve excellence in performance while also reaping financial benefits. Whether you compete or cheer from the sidelines, some of the traits you gain, such as discipline, dedication, confidence, devotion, and teamwork, will serve you well throughout your life.
Advice from the Wise
In addition to the obligation of staying fit to undertake complex routines and manoeuvres, you may be under pressure to maintain your weight. Be cautious of your nutrition, but avoid falling victim to eating disorders, which can lead to major health problems. Your goal should be to eat healthily. Coaches, team members, and family members must be on the lookout for any warning indications of eating disorders.