Salt Lake Community College cheerleading tryouts are on April 24. Potential cheerleaders are required to learn a dance, tumbling routine, cheer and partner stunt, and perform for a panel of four judges.
Judges will be looking for good performance skills and a fun personality, but candidates will be judged on more than just skills. Judges are also concerned with whether or not the cheerleaders are dedicated and serious.
“The biggest thing is making sure that everyone would be able to work well together,” said new head coach Tiffany Boulter.
There will be workshops available to potential cheerleaders on April 15 and 17. They can practice stunts, tumble, learn necessary skills for tryouts and get advice and help from coaches.
Cheerleading applications are due by April 22
On April 22, a cheer routine will be taught and then performed in front of judges on April 24. Coaches and judges prefer students with experience in gymnastics, cheer or dance.
“I know most of the girls we take on have had a cheer background, but some of them have had a dance background and can tumble – that’s good too. We need a little variety,” said former head coach Sarah Larsen.
“As far as the boys go, a lot of them haven’t had cheer experience, but they might be able to tumble or are strong,” said Larsen. “Two boys this year that had never done cheer did great, and they picked it up really quick.”
Depending on how many students tryout, judges want to take about ten men and ten women for the team
Any potential cheerleader is required to be a SLCC student with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and know how to do a standing back handspring and tuck. Candidates should also be prepared with optional skills like flexibility or performance to show judges.
Grades have been an issue for some cheerleaders in the past. This last year, the team lost two cheerleaders due to bad grades. Each cheerleader has a scholarship, and can lose that as well if grades are insufficient.
“It’s hard because there is a lot of talent, but if their grades are borderline, that’s a difficult decision to make,” said Larsen.
Once selected, cheerleaders have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events
A branch of Student Life and Leadership, cheerleading involves more than just cheering. In addition to cheering at volleyball and basketball games, cheerleaders lead the “Bruin Pride” group and help out at Student Life and Leadership events, concerts and parades in the summer.
The event that cheerleaders spend the most time on is preparing for Cheerleading Nationals held each spring in California. This past competition, the team took sixth place.
“My favorite part is when we actually go to Cheerleading Nationals,” said head cheerleader Stephanie Ventura. “We compete against other cheer teams. That’s usually what we work for the whole year as far as that one event.”