What does it take to become one of the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders? What happens when you make it to that level of professional cheerleading?
The Mission of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders
According to the NFL history page, the purpose of a cheerleader for the Chiefs is threefold:
- To be a lady at all times.
- To be gracious and kind to the people she comes into contact with.
- To support and uphold the impeccable image of their home team.
Unlike the role of high school or even college cheerleaders, the role of an NFL cheerleader is to act as a liaison and representative of the entire team franchise. For a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader, this involves more than the basic community service that comes with any NFL cheerleader position. The Chiefs organization takes great pride in serving the greater good in the form of a literally world-famous variety show.
Taking It to the Troops
The variety show - called "one of the best performances ever" by the United States Department of Defense - tours military bases throughout the U.S. and overseas. It is a two-hour long extravaganza with comedy, singing, dancing, and of course cheer routines. The Chiefs cheerleaders include the audiences, and produce an evening of entertainment for not only the troops but also their families, trying to bring a slice of American cheer to the service men and women wherever they are stationed.
This kind of a show puts special touring demands on the cheerleaders. Usually the tour starts out with a "sneak peek" for their home town fans before taking the show on the road, visiting bases in places such as:
- Bethesda Naval Hospital
- Thule Air Base, Greenland
- El Salvador
- The Netherlands
- United States
The show celebrates American history, and aside from highlighting the many talents of the cheerleaders it includes over forty one costume changes in the two-hour show!
Becoming a Chiefs Cheerleader
Obviously being a cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs is not all about the show - there are games that need that special cheerleader spirit to encourage and entertain the fans. The Chiefs hold auditions every year for the squad, which is a multi-part process:
- Early in the year, "audition clinics" are held to enable aspiring cheerleaders to learn the routines and other material for the auditions. These clinics are easily affordable, and even for those who don't make the squad they can give invaluable experience for the hopeful cheerleaders. You can attend all four of the clinics if you like, but you must attend at least one.
- Prelims are held after the clinic - these are the tryouts for "rookie candidates", where the first round of cheerleaders are separated from those who don't quite measure up that year. These auditions are closed to the public.
- Semi-finals are held the next day, for those who made it past the prelims and also "veteran candidates" who have qualified in past auditions and don't need to go through quite as much qualifying tests. However, everyone puts out as much effort and cheer spirit as they can - being a "veteran" only means you didn't make it last time. While the daytime tryouts are closed, there is also an "evening show" that is open to the public).
- On the third day of auditions, the finals are held, with both the rookies and veterans who really shone during the semi-finals. While this is closed to the public, this is a very exciting time for the aspiring candidates, because this is when the outfits are provided - so that the judges can really see what you would look like wearing the Kansas City Chiefs colors.
Once you make it, you join one of the proudest football franchises in the U.S., and will get to enjoy the wonderful fans, 80,000 strong, of this famous midwestern team.