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What Does an NFL Cheerleader Do?

What Does an NFL Cheerleader Do?
By MegaInterview Company Career Coach

NFL cheerleaders play a vital role in creating a dynamic and exciting game-day experience for football fans. An NFL Cheerleader performs dance routines during halftime shows, and time-outs, participates in various community and charitable events, and represents their respective teams at various public appearances. They are an integral part of the game day experience and entertain football fans while creating energy that keeps the team morale up.

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In this article, we will delve into the responsibilities and requirements of being an NFL cheerleader and the training and tryout process. We will also take a look at the challenges that NFL cheerleaders face and the rewards that come with this challenging and rewarding profession.

NFL Cheerleader Duties and Responsibilities.

NFL cheerleaders have a variety of duties and responsibilities that they must fulfill in order to be successful in their roles. These include:

  • Perform dance routines: NFL cheerleaders are expected to perform dance routines during halftime shows, time-outs at home games, and other events such as charity events and community functions. These routines are usually choreographed and rehearsed in advance, and may include stunts, acrobatics, and pyramids.
  • Represent the team: NFL cheerleaders act as ambassadors for their respective teams and are expected to represent the team at various public appearances and events. They may be required to make appearances at charity events, community functions, and other team-related events.
  • Maintaining physical fitness: To keep up with the physically demanding aspect of the role, cheerleaders are expected to maintain a certain level of physical fitness. They are expected to show up at practices and rehearsals in good physical shape, having trained accordingly and kept a healthy diet.
  • Participate in community events: NFL cheerleaders are often involved in community outreach programs and volunteer efforts. They may participate in charity events, school visits, and other community activities that promote the team and its values.
  • Attend rehearsals: NFL cheerleaders are expected to attend rehearsals and practices in preparation for the games, shows and public appearances. They may also be required to attend meetings, photo shoots, and other team-related events.
  • Social media: Many teams have cheerleaders to engage with fans on social media, by managing and posting content on the team’s official pages, answering fan questions and sharing behind-the-scenes content.
  • Meeting with sponsors: NFL cheerleaders may also be required to meet with sponsors and advertisers, representing the team and promoting the brand in a positive way.
  • Respect team’s code of conduct: Cheerleaders are expected to uphold the team’s code of conduct, dress, and grooming code.

It’s important to note that these duties and responsibilities can vary by team, and different teams may have different expectations of their cheerleaders, these are general examples of the duties.

NFL Cheerleader Job Requirements

To be considered for the role of an NFL cheerleader, candidates typically need to meet certain job requirements, which may include:

  • Physical fitness: NFL cheerleaders must be physically fit and able to perform demanding dance routines, stunts, and acrobatics. They need to be in good physical shape and maintain this fitness level throughout the season.
  • Dance experience: NFL cheerleaders must have previous dance experience and be able to perform a variety of dance styles, such as jazz, hip-hop, and pom. They may also be required to have gymnastics or cheerleading experience.
  • Appearance: Cheerleaders must meet a certain physical appearance standard set by the team, which may include height and weight requirements. They must also meet the team’s dress and grooming code.
  • Age: Cheerleaders must be at least 18 years old to participate in the audition process, and be of legal age to sign the contracts required by the team.
  • Education: While education is not always a requirement, many teams prefer candidates who have a high school diploma or GED. Some teams may also prefer candidates with a college degree.
  • Availability: NFL cheerleaders must be available for all home games, select away games, rehearsals, and community events.
  • Legal requirements: Cheerleaders must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. They may also be required to pass a background check.
  • Social Media: As part of the job requirements, cheerleaders may be required to have active social media accounts and engage with fans effectively.

It’s important to note that the requirements can vary by team, and different teams may have different expectations and requirements. It’s always recommended to check the specific requirements of the team you want to audition for.

NFL Cheerleader Skills

In addition to meeting certain physical and educational requirements, NFL cheerleaders must possess various skills to succeed in their roles. These may include:

  • Dance and choreography skills: NFL cheerleaders must be skilled dancers and have the ability to perform a variety of dance styles, such as jazz, hip-hop, and pom. They should be able to pick up choreography quickly and have the ability to perform stunts and acrobatics.
  • Athletic ability: In addition to dance skills, NFL cheerleaders must be physically fit and able to perform demanding dance routines, stunts, and acrobatics. They need to be able to maintain a high level of physical fitness throughout the season.
  • Interpersonal skills: As ambassadors for their teams, NFL cheerleaders must be outgoing, friendly and able to interact positively with fans, media and other stakeholders, promoting the team and its values.
  • Performance skills: NFL cheerleaders must be able to perform in front of large crowds and be comfortable working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  • Time management skills: NFL cheerleaders must be able to manage their time effectively, juggling rehearsals, practices, and game days with other commitments.
  • Communication skills: NFL cheerleaders must have strong communication skills, both verbal and written, as they may need to interact with fans, media, and other stakeholders.
  • Leadership skills: NFL cheerleaders may be required to take on leadership roles within the squad, coordinating with other cheerleaders and working closely with coaches and choreographers.
  • Adaptability: NFL cheerleaders must be adaptable and able to work with different people in different environments and be able to adjust their routines accordingly.
  • Social Media skills: Many teams require cheerleaders to be active on social media. To engage with fans and promote the team, they must have good understanding of social media platforms and be able to create and post engaging content.

NFL Cheerleader Salary

The salary for NFL cheerleaders can vary depending on the team, the role, and the amount of time the cheerleader is expected to work. However, NFL cheerleaders are generally considered part-time employees and are not paid a full-time salary. They are usually paid by the hour, and many teams pay their cheerleaders a flat fee per game. Some teams may also pay a monthly stipend or bonus for additional appearances or events. However, it’s important to note that for most NFL teams, cheerleading is considered a part-time, seasonal, or volunteer position, the pay is usually lower than most full-time positions. The payment usually doesn’t cover cheerleaders’ expenses, like fitness, makeup, hair and travel.

According to a recent report by the New York Times, cheerleaders on some teams may earn as little as $75 per game, while others may earn as much as $300 per game. Additionally, they may be reimbursed for travel expenses, hair and makeup, and uniforms. Some teams pay an additional monthly stipend or a bonus for additional appearances or events. The overall compensation, including pay and benefits, can range from a few thousand dollars per season to $50,000 or more for more experienced or higher-profile cheerleaders.

It’s worth noting that some NFL teams have faced lawsuits from former cheerleaders who claimed they were paid less than minimum wage in recent years. It’s important for anyone considering becoming an NFL cheerleader to thoroughly research the pay and benefits offered by the team before auditioning and also to understand that pay and benefits can vary widely from team to team.

NFL Cheerleader Work Environment

The work environment for NFL cheerleaders can vary depending on the team and the specific role of the cheerleader. In general, cheerleaders are expected to attend rehearsals and practices, perform at home games, and appear at events and community functions.

During the football season, cheerleaders typically have a busy schedule that includes rehearsals and practices leading up to home games and performances at the games themselves. These rehearsals and practices can take place during the week and may last several hours at a time. Some teams may also require cheerleaders to attend additional rehearsals or practices before the start of the season or during the playoffs.

In addition to performing at home games, cheerleaders are often required to appear at other events and functions, such as charity events, sponsor promotions, and community outreach programs. These events can take place on weekdays, weekends, or evenings and can involve travel.

Some teams have a rule that cheerleaders are only allowed to work in other jobs or industries within certain fields, such as modeling, acting, or personal training. Also, it is not uncommon for NFL teams to have strict rules for cheerleader conduct, grooming, and appearance, as well as codes of conduct that must be followed.

It’s worth noting that the experience of being an NFL cheerleader can be very rewarding and fulfilling, and many people enjoy the opportunity to perform and interact with fans. However, it’s also worth considering that being an NFL cheerleader can be demanding and can require a significant time commitment, which can be difficult to balance with other responsibilities.

NFL Cheerleader Trends

The latest trends in NFL cheerleading tend to focus on modernizing and evolving the role of cheerleaders within the league while still maintaining the traditional elements of cheerleading. Some of the latest trends in the NFL include:

  • Inclusion and diversity: There has been a push to diversify NFL cheerleading squads and make them more inclusive. This can include recruiting cheerleaders from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences and making sure that the squads reflect the diversity of the league’s fan base.
  • Empowerment and representation: Many teams are working to empower cheerleaders and promote positive representation of women in the league. This can include providing cheerleaders with more opportunities for leadership and professional development and working to change the perception of cheerleaders as simply “eye candy” on the sidelines.
  • Social media and technology: Teams are using social media and technology more to connect with fans and promote their cheerleaders. This can include using platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to share behind-the-scenes content and provide a look into the daily lives of cheerleaders.
  • Branding and Marketing: Cheerleaders are being used as a face for the teams’ brand beyond the game day. Many teams involve the cheerleaders in the team’s merchandise line, merchandise sales, and overall communication strategy.
  • Pay and benefits: Many teams and NFL organizations are now raising the pay, providing benefits to the cheerleaders, and working to provide compensation and benefits that match their contributions to the team.

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How to Become an NFL Cheerleader

Becoming an NFL cheerleader is a highly competitive process requiring significant time commitment and dedication. Here are some general steps you can take to increase your chances of becoming an NFL cheerleader:

  • Get in shape: To be an NFL cheerleader, you need to be physically fit and able to perform demanding dance routines. Start working out and practicing your dance moves to get your body in the best possible shape.
  • Gain cheerleading experience: Many NFL cheerleading teams require or prefer candidates with cheerleading experience. Look for opportunities to cheer in college or with a semi-professional or community team.
  • Attend an audition: NFL teams typically hold auditions for cheerleading positions once a year, usually in the spring or early summer. Check individual teams’ websites to find out when and where the next audition will be held.
  • Prepare for the audition: Practice your dance routines and routines, and become familiar with the expectations and requirements of being an NFL cheerleader.
  • Interview well: Expect to go through an interview process as well as the audition, so prepare for that. The NFL teams are looking for confident, outgoing candidates who can interact well with fans and the public.
  • Have a great attitude and be a team player: Show your ability to work well in a team, your attitude and your commitment, as NFL cheerleaders are an important part of a team, representing the team to the fans and community.

It’s worth noting that the NFL cheerleading process is not easy. It’s a highly competitive process, and becoming an NFL cheerleader requires a significant time commitment and dedication. The process can vary depending on the team, so it’s important to be prepared and familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of the team you’re interested in.

NFL Cheerleader Advancement Prospects

The advancement prospects for NFL cheerleaders can vary depending on the team and the specific role of the cheerleader. For many cheerleaders, the position is part-time or seasonal, and they may not have the opportunity to advance to a full-time or permanent position. However, some teams do have more opportunities for advancement, such as:

  • Leadership roles: Some teams may have squad leaders or captains who serve as leaders and mentors to other cheerleaders. These leadership roles may also come with additional responsibilities and perks, such as representing the squad at events or working with the coaching staff to plan routines.
  • Choreographer or instructor: Some NFL teams have some cheerleaders who take on the role of choreographer or instructor for the cheer squad and train other cheerleaders. It can be an excellent opportunity for someone with a lot of experience and passion for teaching, choreography, or both.
  • Public relations or community outreach: Some teams may have a position for a cheerleader to work in public relations or community outreach, such as representing the team at charity events or interacting with fans on social media.
  • Coaching: Sometimes, after an NFL cheerleader finish their tenure, they may be offered a coaching role within the squad, or the opportunity to coach other cheerleading teams.

For those with the experience, qualifications, and desire to advance, there may be opportunities to take on more responsibilities and develop new skills.

NFL Cheerleader Job Description Example

Here is an example of a job description for an NFL cheerleader:

Job Title: NFL Cheerleader

Position Type: Part-time/Seasonal

Job Description:

The [Team Name] NFL Cheerleaders are looking for talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated individuals to join our team. As an NFL Cheerleader, you will have the opportunity to perform at home games and other events, connect with fans, and be a part of one of the most dynamic and exciting teams in the league.

Responsibilities:

  • Attend rehearsals and practices leading up to home games
  • Perform at home games and other events, such as charity events and sponsor promotions
  • Represent the team in a positive and professional manner at all times
  • Interact with fans and the public in a friendly and engaging way
  • Adhere to team rules and guidelines for conduct, grooming, and appearance
  • Participate in community outreach and public relations initiatives as needed

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be physically fit and able to perform demanding dance routines
  • Must have a positive attitude and strong work ethic
  • Must have experience in cheerleading or dance
  • Must have reliable transportation
  • Must be willing to commit to a demanding schedule that includes rehearsals, practices, and games during the football season
  • Must be willing to make appearances at events and functions outside of home games

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