I’ve been through it all… Cheerleading tryouts, dance company auditions, and pro cheerleading auditions. So what were they looking for?
Here is the inside scoop on what the directors and judges want…
Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders
The Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders – the TopCats – help cheer the Panthers to victory and entertain fans at every home game at Bank of America Stadium in addition to being visible throughout the Carolinas at corporate and charitable events.
A group of 26 women, the TopCats represent all regions of the Carolinas and range in age from 21 to 36 years old. They hold careers in a variety of distinguished professions, including dentistry, marketing, engineering and teaching.
Auditions for the TopCats are a comprehensive and intense process. The final squad members are selected based on their personalities, showmanship, dance skills, professionalism and physical fitness.
– Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders
See more from Mark Campbell on YouTube!
See more from GarnerWhiteVideo on YouTube!
Crowd Appeal: Within a professional organization such as the Carolina Panthers, it is very important to select cheerleaders that are appealing to the crowd. You must keep in mind that the goal of this organization is to entertain all of the Panthers fans within the stadium. During the many pauses that exist within an exciting football game—somebody needs to maintain the energy of the stadium. So who better than cheerleaders? This organization is looking for cheerleaders that will make the fans want to watch them perform.
- Do they look well put together?
- Do their face expressions entertain the crowd and make them want to keep watching?
- Do they look like they can serve as an ambassador to the organization?
Precision: Precision, or accuracy—when it comes to dancing is extremely important. One thing to keep in mind about professional cheerleading is that pro cheerleaders are really dance teams. Most pro cheerleaders grew up in the dance studio and are very familiar with dance technique. With the Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders, they are looking for dancers that can perform not only as individuals, but also as a team.
- Is their timing accurate with the music and counts?
- Are they capable of dancing as a team? Or do they stand out in a way that is distracting?
- Do their motions and dance moves match those of the choreographer? Or does the dancer lack the fundamentals skills when it comes to arm placement or technicality?
Power: Power when dancing is a skill that is usually universal when it comes to professional cheerleading—and the Carolina Panthers are no different. They are looking for cheerleaders that can produce movements that are sharp, powerful and big! This is a must for the enormous stadium they are performing within.
Physical Appearance and Athletic Ability: I would hate to be a judge when it comes to scoring based on physical appearance, because how can you score looks? However, the reality is that physical appearance is another big part of being selected as a professional cheerleader.
- Do they look physically fit? Or will their body compliment the team uniform?
- Do they have enough stamina to perform with full energy for a 4 hour NFL game?
Professionalism: On any professional team—especially when you are expected to represent that organization, it is very important to carry yourself with professionalism. This means that you should appear as an individual that the team can be proud of. In most cases, cheerleaders are expected to attend appearances, thus representing the organization. This means showing up on time with a smile on your face, and being able to answer questions, or handle situations in a manner that represent the team well.
- Can they speak to an audience in a professional manner?
- Do they show signs of being prepared? Did they show up on time with everything that was asked of them?
Technical Dance Ability: Many people think it doesn’t require any skill to be a cheerleader, however, when they show up to the open call audition, they are often times surprised. Professional cheerleading requires an extensive background in dance. In most cases, you must have some knowledge in Jazz, Pom, and Hip Hop—NFL cheerleading is usually a combination of the three. The Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders look like they incorporate all three dance styles.
- Does the individual demonstrate proper technique with turns, kicks, leaps, etc…?
- Are they able to catch on quickly to the choreography? Can they perform the choreography after it was taught?
- Study the history and current football team facts.
- Make sure you know the name of the cheerleader’s director.
- Watch videos of the cheerleaders to study their dance style.
- Work on building stamina by doing cardio at least 4 times a week.
- Study current events.
- Experiment with hair and make up and use their current cheerleaders as a guide.
- Work on getting abs by using my fitness resources.
- Start looking around online for audition attire.
- Start working on eating well-balanced meals to keep your body energized–No crash dieting or fasting!
- Take dance technique classes and choreography classes.
For more information on the Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders and their audition process, click here!