Cheerleaders in the NFL are well known for being professional dancers, models, and actresses. Off the field, they have interesting lives as well!
What’s It Like to be a NFL Cheerleader?
The most important thing to understand about being a cheerleader for an NFL organization is that cheerleaders represent the organization’s image. Although sports are often associated with money, cheerleading can often be viewed as a community service organization. The cheerleaders represent the team organization’s charities all over their state.
Many squads even have a non-performing cheerleading squad that makes appearances on behalf of their organization because this has been such an important part of cheerleading.
Cheerleaders cheer at home games, but they rarely travel with their teams. Some of the more famous cheerleading squads make appearances all over the world, like the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
The majority of the time, cheerleading does not pay very much, if anything at all. Nevertheless, it is a good opportunity for many young women who want to break into the acting or dancing worlds. There are some women who do it because they enjoy it.
Another important thing to remember about cheerleading is that it requires a tremendous amount of time. In addition to cheerleading, all NFL teams require their cheerleaders to have other jobs, such as mothering, studying, or working full-time.
Requirements for Being a Cheerleader on an NFL Squad
NFL cheerleaders do not have to meet a rigid set of requirements. It is important to choose cheerleaders based on their persona when entertaining. Several squads have cheerleaders who act, sing, and dance in addition to dancing, and these cheerleaders perform at various venues. There is no requirement for prior dance experience, and most teams do not require an age restriction, height restriction, or weight restriction.
Accordingly, women who want to become NFL cheerleaders must meet the following requirements:
- Although any girl can try out, she must be willing to relocate to the local area. It is an exception in the Carolinas, but no matter where you live, you must practice.
- NFL cheerleaders have a lot of time commitments.
- Work elsewhere full-time: All squads require that you work elsewhere full-time.
- Most squads require a minimum age of 18. They range in age from 18 to 42. NFL cheerleaders are typically 25 years old.
- A GED or high school diploma is required for all squads.
- It is not necessary to have formal dance training in order to dance. As most of the squads are dancing squads, you will need to learn a routine and perform it.
- Height/Weight: There are no height or weight requirements. You must, however, be in excellent physical condition. In addition to three to four hours of practice two to four times a week, cheering throughout an entire football game requires a lot of stamina. There are some teams that have a height-to-weight ratio requirement, but it was implemented to prevent cheerleaders from becoming too thin.
Examples of Popular Squads
Cheerleading squads for NFL teams are sometimes as popular as the teams themselves. Here are just a few popular squads:
- Cheerleaders perform dances for the Atlanta Falcons. Besides the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders who perform at home games, there is also a show troupe that travels to various venues to perform. Cheerleaders for the Atlanta Falcons are auditioned every spring in April. Prospective cheerleaders must undergo a three- to four-day audition process in which they learn new dances, participate in a fifteen-minute interview, and show their stuff in front of both professional and fan judges. In addition to performing at ten home games and attending two rehearsals each week, cheerleaders also volunteer and make appearances at events.
- Carolina Panthers’ cheerleading squad is called the TopCats. During home games, charity events, and corporate functions, they specialize in a variety of dance styles. Since 1995, the TopCats have been a part of the Carolina Panthers organization. In the end, 26 women are selected from the audition process, which consists of four rounds.
- The Houston Texans Cheerleaders are a dance squad that perform at home games. Not only do these girls perform at all Texans football games, but they also play a role in marketing the team, and strive to maintain themselves as role models for younger aspiring cheerleaders. Practice times are typically three days a week, resulting in 15 hours of training each week. An additional ten hours is added for games, totaling on average 25 hours of cheer-related time for team members. Even experienced members have to audition each year, same as the average rookie, to defend their place in the squad.
- The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders are a performing squad. In addition to performances, putting out their own calendar each year is just one of many philanthropic endeavors this cheerleading powerhouse performs. Members of the squad have also toured some of the military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, visiting with United States soldiers and spreading some good old Eagles pep. They offer cheer clinics for young girls to help the next generation pursue the dream of one day becoming an Eagles cheerleader.
- The Tennessee Titan Cheerleaders are a dance and community service squad. Titans Cheerleaders comprise of 26 young ladies. These dedicated women are often the first ones to enter the stadium before a game and some of the last to leave. They participate in media appearances and community service work. As long as you have a high school diploma and are at least 18 years old, you can try out for the squad.
Additional NFL Squads
Here is a comprehensive listing of additional NFL Cheerleader squads and pertinent facts.
- The Baltimore Ravens are a precision dance team and stunt team. The squad is made of both male and female cheerleaders.
- The Cincinnati Ben-Gals are a precision dance team.
- The Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders are a volunteer squad that dances at home games as well as appears at events on behalf of the Minnesota Vikings organization.
- The Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders are a dancing and community activist squad.
- The Jacksonville Jaguar ROAR are both a dance squad and community service organization that participates in charity events throughout Florida.
- The Saintsations are the professional cheerleading squad for the New Orleans Saints.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders perform during home games and community events. They are one of the elite squads among the NFL squads.
- The Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders are a show team that dances and performs for home games and various events.
- The New England Patriots Cheerleaders are a performance squad.
- The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are perhaps the best known NFL cheerleading squad.
- The Washington Redskins Cheerleading squad is the longest running cheerleading squad in the NFL.
- The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders are a dance team and community service organization.
- The Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders cheer on the sidelines, perform dance routines and perform a variety show for area events.
- The Oakland Raiderettes are also known as an elite squad.
- The San Diego Charger Girls are a dance squad.
- Arizona Cardinal Girls cheer and perform during games. In addition, some of the girls from the cheerleading squad comprise a show team available for corporate events.
- The San Francisco Gold Rush is the cheerleading squad for the San Francisco 49ers and is an internationally acclaimed team.
- The Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals perform dance routines and have a variety show.
- The St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders are a performance dance group that performs during games.