Skill Level Descriptions
You should not have any prior dance experience to begin taking cheer dance. Starting with stretching and simple pom combinations, you will eventually progress to technical tricks and longer choreography segments. Hard work and patience is key for a beginner. Cheer dance has fundamental elements that can be used in many different styles of dance.
NOTE TO ALL BEGINNERS
Recital studio cheer dance classes or large cheer dance workshops are recreational and less strict than a commitment to an “All Star” team. These are classes for beginner dancers looking to try this new, fun style. In most cases, only after experience in basic classes does one work up to the competition level.
Intermediate dancers have been in cheer dance classes or on a cheer dance squad for at least two years. Most intermediate cheer dance classes or teams are a bit more strict and require you to make up a missed class or learn the work from another dancer if you are absent.
At this level, competition cheer dance and cheer dance company work require a strict in-class schedule and attendance to every class is mandatory. Flexibility and stamina should match most of the other dancers in the class however this is not always the case. A beginner can naturally be super flexible while an advanced dancer might struggle in that particular area but excel in others.
Intermediate cheer dance classes require more difficult combinations along with an expected level of basic dance technique and coordination. If you or your child have reached the level of intermediate, prepare for higher intensity and potentially a larger time commitment depending on the studio or team.
A beginner is typically not allowed to take an advanced class or be on an advanced cheer dance team. Flexibility, stamina, and lack of prior knowledge and skills alone will prohibit the dancer from keeping up and getting the most out of their experience. Unlike some styles of dance, an advanced cheer dance squad or drill team (no matter if we are talking about All Stars or the collegiate level) requires commitment. Some advanced cheer dance squads incorporate difficult technique such as leaps, turns, and partner work that can lead to injuries if not fully trained.
Without the basic knowledge acquired from beginner and intermediate levels, you simply will not be able to benefit as much from your experience since you will be playing catch-up the entire time. At least five years of prior dance lessons should usually be required for an advanced cheer dance squad even though there are always exceptions.
These classes will most likely be for professional or pre-professional dancers looking for advanced performance opportunities or high intensity training and preparation for the highest level of cheer dance.