Top 20 Tips for Auditioning for a Dance Team or Cheerleading Squad

As cheerleading and dance team tryouts near, the pressure is on!  You and hundreds of other girls and guys may be competing for a few positions on your school’s cheerleading squad or dance team.  How can you give yourself the advantage and avoid a nail-biting and lip-trembling tryout day to improve your chance for success? Here are 20 tips to give you an edge on audition day to make your school’s squad or team. 

Plan: Start Working Early

1. Make a timetable or map your progress on a calendar as the audition nears.  Plan what you need to do a month in advance, a week in advance and each day up until the critical moment.  It is always better to over prepared than under prepared. 

2. Sign up for extra dance classes or tumbling classes to improve your rhythm, flexibility and showmanship.  Some gyms and dance academies will allow you to take private lessons for extra one-on-one attention.  Rehearse in front of a mirror and videotape yourself to get an idea of what you really look like dancing or cheering, so you can truly improve.  Make sure when watching yourself that your moves are in sync with the music. 

3. Practice tumbling and other gymnastics stunts to increase speed, strength and timing 0 and your overall fitness level.  Practice really does make perfect! Each year tryout requirements can change, so being prepared for the every possible request will increase your confidence.

Do Your Homework  

4.  Work for great grades.  Always do your homework and what teachers ask of you.  Do your best to stay out of trouble and not be a discipline problem.  One year when I was auditioning for my school’s squad, a girl in my grade actually made the squad based on her scores, but was eliminated due to her past behavior in the classroom.  Coaches look for a commitment to schoolwork, and you’ll need to meet your school’s grade requirements to stay on the squad. 

5.  Become a good juggler. Balance your schedule so you will have adequate time for schoolwork and cheerleading or dance practice leading up to the auditions. 

Display A Good Attitude

6. Always display a positive attitude, especially when you around the sponsoring faculty members.  Think of tryouts as a time to challenge yourself to better your own standards, not as a time to beat out your competition.  Always give it 110%!!!

7. Hang out with your friends that boost your spirits. A positive mental attitude helps you  project a vivacious  and energetic outlook.

8. Be proud of your school and let it show.  Wear school colors and always say positive things about your school.  Support other aspiring cheerleaders and dancers, as well as  other athletes.  School spirit is the epitome of a dancer and cheerleader, so walk the walk well before you make the team to leave a good impression. 

9. If your school offers one, attend its tryout clinic.  It usually lasts from three days to a week, with the final day being the tryout day.  Senior cheerleaders or dancers teach you cheers, chants, dancers, and anything else you might need to know.  Bring a recorder and notepad in case music and dance notes are not provided.  Use these notes and music to practice at home.   

10. Show you are a hard worker. View everyday as the audition, because your sponsors will be watching.  Arrive early and stay late and ask questions.

11. Talk with senior squad or team members.  They can tell you what the coach or judges are looking for. 

The Interview

12. Some schools require an interview.  Think in advance about the questions you might be asked. For example, “What are your long-term goals?”, “Why do you think you would be a good cheerleader?”, “What is your biggest fault?”and “What is your strongest asset?”

13. If you are asked a really tough question, don’t take the offensive.  Instead, turn the situation into an opportunity to tell something positive about yourself.

14. Speak clearly and get right to the point. Use every opportunity to share something positive.  If the interviewer says, “I see you belong to several clubs,” explain how these clubs benefit you and others.

Be Smart About Fashion

15. Stay subtle with your lipstick and nail polish. Stay away from radical red, zombie black or popping pink.  Natural-toned lipstick and polish work best.  Make sure you apply blush and mascara sparingly.

16. Wear loose, but not sloppy clothes.  Your t-shirt and shorts should be in your school colors for the tryouts.  A pressed shirt tucked into shorts makes for a clean, neat look.

17. Coaches and judges like to see your face.  If you have bangs, make sure that they do not cover your face.  Clip them to the side or pull them back with a barrette.  Pull long air up into a ponytail or a braid.  Add a colorful ribbon for finishing touch. 

The Big Day

18. Pack everything you plan to take to tryouts in one bag the night before.  Layout your clothes and shoes.  Give yourself a manicure and relax in a hot bubble bath.  Visualize doing your routines perfectly the night before.  Get a good night’s rest.

19. Eat a healthy breakfast.  Arrive early to stretch and warm up.  Take deep breaths and envision a calm environment, such as the beach, to settle your nerves and ease the jitters.

20. Remember to make eye contact with all the judges or coaches, not just one.  Show you are having fun and smile, smile, smile!  Always smile.  You will be really surprised how far a smile can go. 

Final Note:  Always be respectful to other individuals auditioning.  Do not talk or chat when they are auditioning.  Remember the judges and coaches see everything.  You are not only selling your skills, but you are selling yourself.  Show them that you are a team player by exhibiting spirit, a winning attitude, and discipline. 

Use these 20 dance team tryout tips and tips for trying out for cheerleading.  Good Luck!