Getting Started / 101

Get Ready For Your First Time

Watch “Bring It On,” surf Youtube for college or professional dance teams, or listen to your favorite upbeat music to get you pumped up for class! Try on your outfit before class to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. It might be smart to wear your shoes around the house ahead of time if they are new so you can avoid any blisters or discomfort. (See the apparel section for an exact description of what attire is expected.) Just make sure you are hydrated and that you are fueled with healthy food. Don’t eat a huge lunch or dinner and then run off to cheer dance before your body has time to digest. Again, just relax and get excited to work hard, have fun, and learn a lot!

This is the UCLA spirit squad dance team audition combination taught with counts by coach Nicole Cohen. This is an advanced combination but gives younger dancers a goal to work towards so they can be on their college cheer dance team one day!

Preparation/Training

The best way you can prepare is to get used to holding and dancing with pom-poms. A key part to any dancers ability to perform is the flexibility of the joints and ligaments. Not a flexible person? Its ok! Flexibility takes time and patience, however if you make a goal to stretch every day you will see benefits in multiple aspects of your life. Stretching has been proven to alleviate aches and pains, improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and help prevent future injuries. You can also prepare by just working on your musicality and rhythm.

Here is a cheer dance combination to “Whip my Hair.” an Easy to learn step by-step tutorial.

There are many videos on youtube where you can work on basic combinations from your computer screen. If you don’t exercise on a consistent basis you might want to begin with some basic cardio and strength training a few times a week. You will definitely be sore after your first class! It’s a good thing and means your muscles are working and adapting to your new activity. A hot shower or bath, gentle stretching or massage, and even hot/cold treatment will help decrease some of your muscular tearing. Don’t worry you will be ready to go full out during a dance class in no time!

Tips

Relax! Everyone starts at the beginning so you should not feel intimidated or nervous about being lost in a workshop or a class. A beginner cheer dance class will be all about working on coordination, basic dance steps, technique, stretching, and learning how to piece together choreography.

Usually there will be a warm-up and then a choreography combination that will be taught center floor usually with pom-poms. At first, learning choreography might be frustrating since even beginner classes can seem fast paced at times. Just relax and pick up the dance as best as you can knowing that you will quickly improve in this area.

If you ever have a question, ASK! Progress depends on your desire to learn, absorb, and ask questions about the style and technique of cheer dance. There are some great videos on youtube that take you through the basic movements if you feel inclined to study up a bit before you get there. Just know that this is not necessary and you are not required to “do your homework.” At the end of the day, you are just doing this for fun and exercise anyways right?

Beginner Check List

  • Cheer dance wear/outfit
  • Pom-Poms
  • Sneakers
  • Jazz shoes or socks in case it is more of a “technique class”
  • Hair pulled back unless you have a certain cut that stays away from your face
  • Water bottle
  • Small sweat towel
  • Band Aids
  • Lock for studio lockers if you have valuables with you
  • Make sure to put your phone on silent if it’s in the room with you
  • Small notebook to keep track of the songs played or the terms you learned