Like NFL cheerleaders, being one of the NBA cheerleaders means that you are representing the organization. NBA cheerleaders are really mostly dance squads with a few rare exceptions. Keep reading to find out everything from making the squad to the life of an NBA cheerleader.
Auditions for NBA Cheerleaders
Rules vary for every team although in general a woman who wants to try out for one of the NBA cheerleading squads must:
- Be able to dance: Almost all NBA cheerleaders are dancers.
- Be 21 years of age: There are generally no height or weight requirements (see below), but you must be 21 in order to try out for a NBA dance squad.
- Be fit and in shape: The NBA does not require its cheerleaders to maintain a certain weight or height to weight ratio. However, you have to be in shape enough to dance your way through hours of auditions and then rehearsals if you make the squad.
- Be personable: This is one job where personality counts! You are essentially representing the organization and consequently, there is an interview portion to the auditions.
- Have good showmanship: One of the things that auditions are judged on is your stage presence.
- Be a good dancer: This goes without saying that in order to be an NBA Cheerleader, you have to be able to dance since the majority of their job is to perform dance routines.
- Have a flexible schedule:''' NBA Cheerleaders make appearances and do promotional events in addition to cheering for games.
The auditions for almost all of the NBA teams are posted as webcasts and are held in public venues so that people can watch. On each teams' website there is a spot for you to vote for whichever dancer you'd like to see. Of course, the final announcements are a big promotional event for the team. No doubt, NBA cheerleading takes fan support to an entirely new level.
The Life of an NBA Cheerleader
Needless to say, the life of an NBA Cheerleader is hectic. Between dancing at games, rehearsals and public appearances, being a cheerleader for the NBA is quite a commitment. Most NBA cheerleaders are paid and while most don't make enough solely from dancing at games, the dancers do make money between promotional appearances and modeling. However, most cheerleaders have a second part-time job. Many cheerleaders are students who are actually using their earnings from cheerleading to help pay for their studies.
Another important aspect of cheerleading for the NBA is fitness. While there are no height to weight requirements, almost all teams partner with a fitness gym and the girls are assigned personal trainers along with nutritionists and free classes. Between rehearsing, appearing, promoting and exercising, the life of an NBA cheerleader is certainly busy!
NBA Cheerleaders on the Web
Most NBA teams have cheerleaders or dance teams. If they do, they undoubtedly have a website. Here is a listing of all of the NBA cheerleaders' and dance teams' official team webpages.
- The Atlanta Hawks' A-Town Dancers
- The Boston Celtics' Dancers
- The Charlotte Hornets' Honeybees
- The Chicago Bulls' Luvabulls
- The Cleveland Cavaliers' Cavalier Girls
- The Golden State Warriors' Warrior Girls
- The Houston Rockets' Rocket Power Dancers
- Indiana Pacers' Indiana Pacemates
- L.A. Clippers' Lady Clippers Dance Team
- L.A. Lakers' Laker Girls
- Memphis Grizzlies' Grizz Girls
- The Miami Heat's Heat Dancers
- The Milwaukee Bucks' Energee
- The Minnesota Timerwolves' Timberwolves Dancers
- Brooklyn Nets' Brooklynettes
- New York Knicks' Knick City Dancers
- The Orlando Magic's Dancers
- Philadelphia 76ers' Sixers Dancers
- Phoenix Suns' Dancers
- Portland Trail Blazers' Blazer Dancers
- Sacramento Kings' Dancers
- The San Antonia Spurs' Silver Dancers
- The Utah Jazz's Jazz Dancers
- The Washington Wizards' Wizard Girls
Former Denver Nuggets Cheerleaders
The Denver Nuggets cheer team first started in the 2003 to 2004 basketball season, led by coaches Stephanie and Christopher John. The coaches put together a team of 32 men and women with excellent cheer and stunting skills. The team performed at every home game, playoffs and other special events until 2009, when their schedule was cut back to performing only at weekend home games, then was canceled indefinitely. In addition to cheering for the Nuggets, the cheerleaders regularly participated in volunteer events around Denver as passionate advocates for community outreach and development. However, the Denver Nuggets Dancers still routinely perform at games.