At any level, cheerleading requires talent, skill and dedication. Junior varsity cheer squads help bolster team spirit while preparing cheerleaders for varsity level cheering. Requirements vary from school to school, but focusing on your grades and brushing up your dance and tumbling skills will help you feel more confident and prepared for tryouts.
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Tumbling and Stunt Skills
Junior varsity cheerleaders should have a few basic tumbling skills in their toolbox. Your team may expect prospective members to have mastered a round-off back handspring or standing back handspring at minimum, along with other skills like a standing tuck. Teams also expect members to be capable of executing cheer stunts, either by lifting up another cheerleader as a "base" or being tossed into the air as a "flyer." Your coach may check your strength and flexibility to see which you can do.
Cheerleaders need good coordination and basic dance skills, especially kicks and jumps. They also have to show they can memorize choreography. Some JV teams require their members show off jazz dance skills like toe-touches, high kicks and pike jumps. At the very least, you must be able to keep tempo and hit moves sharply on the correct beat.
Energy and Expression
Even with amazing dance and tumbling skills, cheerleaders who lack energy and expression won't make the cut. You'll need to be able to project your verbal cheers with enthusiasm and clarity, and do it with a smile -- at least while you're on the sidelines.
School and Social Conduct
Some school teams will drop cheerleaders who don't make and keep a certain overall grade point average, and your behavior on and off campus could also be a factor. As a cheerleader, you represent your school and set an example for others. Your team may ask you to abide by a code of ethics that prohibits illegal activity, underage drinking, bullying or other unsavory behavior.
Discipline and Focus
Be prepared for hard work and many long hours of practice. You'll need the discipline to attend regular practice and keep perfecting your routines. You'll be expected to show up for any games you're assigned to, no matter what else you've got going on. You may even have to put on the uniform and keep smiling when you're not performing. That's because most schools will expect you to support the varsity cheerleaders. You may have to stick around for varsity games and show up for their fundraisers.