Published on September 11th, 2013 | by americancheer
So You Want to Be a College Cheerleader?
By: Kathryn Synder, former cheerleader at the University of Arkansas
Transitioning from high school to college is a big change in many ways – throw cheerleading into the mix it can be an even bigger change! Some of us will go from a very competitive All Star team or high school team to a more traditional or game day team in college. Some of us will go from a competitive high school background and end up at an even more competitive college team! In my own experience I went from a nationally competitive high school (Germantown High School in Germantown, TN) to the University of Arkansas where all of my bows became scrunchies and a girl is never seen without red lipstick- HUGE change for me!
I have learned over my college cheer career that each school has its own unique traditions. When deciding on a college, obviously education comes first, but make sure the squad would be a right fit too. Arkansas was a perfect fit for me in both academics and the ultimate game day experience I wanted to be a part of. My high school had many traditions and felt tradition was very important. This really made me respect the University of Arkansas and left me wanting to be part of the Razorback Spirit family. To be completely honest, I felt really lucky finding the perfect college for school, cheer and a sorority. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t start my search earlier and attend more stunt clinics. Start your search now!
Private lessons are great, but many colleges offer stunt clinics with the actual cheerleaders and coaches. These help you prepare and give you a feel of cheering for that particular school. Like I said earlier, every school has their own style, traditions and expectations. If cheer is your passion and you dream of cheering on the sidelines of a college football game or competing at nationals – start now! Make a list of schools you think you want to attend, visit their school website and write down their stunt clinic dates.
Almost all college stunt clinics are taught by current cheerleaders so you can meet cheerleaders already in the program and find out how many girls or guys are looking to try out in the near future. Going to a college campus for a clinic will also help you get a feel for the program overall. I love seeing cheerleaders that attended one of our clinics show up at tryouts. It gives us a chance to see how far they have come along and their dedication.
I did not go to as many clinics as I should have, but I would advise others to not make the same mistake! Go to as many as you can just to practice! More and more colleges are offering these stunt clinics too and they want to meet and help their future cheerleaders! Take advantage of these to help get your jitters out before tryouts and know what to expect. It will make the change that comes with college cheerleading so much easier. Just like I would not take a test without studying, do your homework and research the college that fits you best!
Here are a few that are coming up this fall:
- September 14: Shelton State Community College at ACE Cheer Company in Tuscaloosa, AL
- September 21-22: University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY
- October 13: University of Georgia in Athens, GA
- November 2: University of Louisville in Louisville, KY (Spring clinic on March 15)
- November 2: University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL
- October 12: Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
- October 19-20: University of Delaware in Newark, DE
- October 20: University of Memphis in Memphis, TN