Choosing a Studio

Philosophy of the Studio

Do the classes seem tense, cut throat and dramatic, or is there an atmosphere of nurturing, discipline,
and gentle control? Do they offer competitive teams? Are technique classes offered year round? What
performance opportunities are offered? Are they affiliated with any professional companies? Does the
studio participate in community service activities?

Qualifications of Teachers

What training and experience do the teachers have? It is not critical that teachers have former
professional cheer experience but they should have a wide and varied background of training.

Do they have a basic knowledge of first aid and anatomy and physiology? Do they participate in continuing
education opportunities? Are the teachers wiling to meet with parents to answer questions and help
provide an individual goal plan for the student? Have the teachers gone through safety certification
training? Do the teachers have choreography experience? Do they have competition experience? Do
they seem professional and organized? Are they good role models for the students?

Environment

Is the gym in a safe location? Is the parking lot well lit? Does it seem clean and inviting inside? Is
there a place for cheerleaders to change, have a snack, and relax between classes? A warm
temperature is best for working muscles. Are the floors covered with good quality mats, and are they
raised (or sprung) for cushioning landings during tumbling.

What type of equipment do they have to teach standing back handsprings, back tucks and other more difficult tumbling passes? Do they have room to perform tumbling passes without running into equipment or walls? Do they have tumble
tracks, high ceilings for stunting, mirrors? Are there windows that allow for observation of the
students by parents and visitors? If not, do they have a schedule that allows parents to observe on a regular basis? Are the music selections appropriate and well organized?

Tryouts for Competition Teams

How are tryouts held for the various competition teams? Are students grouped by their age, by their
ability or both? Are there weight limits or emphasis on body type? You want a strong focus on healthy
nutrition and body image but not obsession with thin cheerleaders. Are education programs on
nutrition body image, and muscle care offered to the students?

Support for Advanced and Serious Students

Are there older, more advanced students to serve as role models? What is the typical class size for
each age group? Are there alumni from the gym who have gone on to cheer in college or teach/coach
professionally? Are there regular technique classes year round? Do they offer help for students in
preparing for school and college tryouts?

Finances

Competition cheerleading can be very expensive. Ask for a full written statement of tuition for classes,
estimates for cheer outfits, team warm ups, poms, shoes, team hair bows, team bags and any other
extra expenses as well as estimates for entry fees for competitions. Many studios have fundraising
opportunities to defray the cost so ask about this as well.