As we know cheerleading differs depending on what type. Non-cheerleaders
may not realize or understand the differences between them. Although they all
share some of the same concepts–such as stunts, tumbling, cheers, and motions–they
Let’s start out with recreational cheerleading. I currently
coach a recreational team. As far as recreational goes: from my experience,
less emphasis is put on its importance than other sports. Normally, you don’t even need to tryout. You
learn the basics such as motions, standard jumps, and chants. When I first
started coaching my team, it was difficult because the program was very basic
and they have never had a coach with real cheerleading experience. I built them
from just doing chants to doing full routines with stunts, tumbling, cheers,
and dances. By doing this, I gave them a taste of having the full cheer
experience and in result, parents want to re-register each season. Recreational
cheerleading is great for beginners.
Then there’s grade school (middle/high). You must tryout. Usually,
middle school has one team and high school a JV & Varsity team; this level
of cheerleading is focused on cheering and chanting for football and basketball
games. Cheering for your school is a great way to meet friends and get
involved. Like the other athletes, you become recognized for performing at
games, pep-rallies, and other school-related events. Cheering for your school
is not as advanced as some of the other types of cheerleading that we will discuss,
but includes all the basic concepts of cheerleading and maybe even a
competition or two.
Next, there is All Star cheerleading, which for me is a
favorite because I did that for most of my cheerleading career. I would say All
Star is the most advanced type of cheerleading. You must tryout, but everyone
pretty much makes a team based on skill level and age. All practices are
focused on preparing you for competitions. You have the same routine all season,
though advancing it as it goes along. Throughout the year, you attend several
competitions in many different places. I believe that All Star cheerleading
breeds the best and gets the most respect out of all the types of cheerleading.
Along with practices, most teams offer tumbling classes as well. The really big
teams even have their own gyms! The only fault in All Star cheerleading is it costs
a lot more money than any other type of cheerleading. The best thing about All
Star is that it’s all ages–at least ‘til age 18!
Another one of my favorites is college cheerleading. Like
grade school, it’s a great way to become more involved in school. It’s similar
to grade school, but more advanced being that the cheerleaders are adults. Like
the others, you have to tryout and they choose based on needs, skills, and
sportsmanship. College cheerleaders usually have several uniforms, a lot more
cheers, dance counts, and advanced stunts. They also have a competition or two,
games, pep-rallies, and parades.
Lastly, there is professional cheerleading. Professional
cheerleading is unlike the rest; they are more like dancers than cheerleaders.
What they do share with the other types is the performance aspect. They have
high energy, great facial expressions, great physiques, and a well-put together
appearance. Most teams do not stunt or do actual cheers, but some do tumble.
They perform dance routines at games during half time and on the sidelines. They
also do charity events, openings, calendar shoots, and more. A great benefit of
cheering professionally is that it’s a job, meaning that you get paid to live
out your passion! Many dancers stay on the team for years and as a result, it
becomes like a pro-cheerleading family.