Cheering For the Home Team
So you wanna be a professional cheerleader? All you need are some pom-poms, a great bod and the phone number of the starting quarterback, right? Think again. There's much more to it.
Professional Cheerleading - What It TakesTo be a professional cheerleader in the NFL you have to have more than just a pretty face. Each team only has about 30 girls, so the competition is pretty tough. "Girls need to have an entire package. They need to be good looking, take care of themselves and come across as intelligent," says Sherri Thompson, who is the director/choreographer of the Sea Gals (cheerleaders for the Seattle Seahawks). Sherri should know. She was a cheerleader in high school, in college, and spent three years as a Sea Gal.
Professional Cheerleading - The SkillsWhen Sherri picks girls for the team, she looks at three qualities - how a girl looks, how she dances and pizazz. What exactly is pizazz? "Pizazz is hard to explain. It's like an energy, a smile, it's just kind of a look," says Sherri. She looks for girls who are composed and well spoken. At last year's tryouts every girl was asked the question: If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be and what would be the most interesting chapter? The question was asked to see how each wannabe cheerleader is at expressing themselves.
Cheerleading and Football If you're going to cheer for the football team, it's a good idea to know something about football. At the Sea Gals tryouts, girls are given a test of their football knowledge. They don't have to know who was the starting tight end for the last nine Super Bowls but they should at least know what a running back does.