Choosing good songs for cheer will depend largely on the purpose of the music, the age of the cheerleaders, and the context of the event. For instance, you will likely need a two-minute music mashup for a competitive cheer event, but if you're performing at a pep rally or game, you might want to choose a song that is shorter. Think through you and your squad's needs carefully before settling on a single song or a group of songs.
Choosing Good Songs for Cheer
When you choose your songs, you'll want to keep three things in mind:
- Appropriateness: The song should be free of curse words or sexually explicit content - this becomes even more important when you're working with younger cheerleaders.
- Originality: This is especially important if you're preparing for a cheer competition - you don't want to choose the same, popular songs that every other cheer team is using.
- Event specificity: If you're cheering during a pep rally or game, you might want to choose songs with lyrics that match the event; for example, you could use the song Wild Thing by The Troggs if your mascot is the Wildcats.
Generally speaking, hip hop, rap, and classic rock music offer a good, danceable beat. Many of these songs also offer sporty, athletic themes that work well with sporting events. Unfortunately, many of these songs also have inappropriate lyrics, so make sure you listen to a song all the way through before you choose it for a cheer performance.
Songs for Younger Cheerleaders
If you need a song for a cheer team in elementary or middle school, look to music from Disney artists. Chances are your cheerleaders will know the artists and like the songs. Plus, you know that anything produced by the Disney organization or played on Disney radio is going to be squeaky-clean. Consider some of the following songs:
- Selena Gomez, Round and Round
- Selena Gomez, Magic
- Selena Gomez, Falling Down
- Hannah Montana, Hoedown Throwdown
- Hannah Montana, He Could Be The One
- Miley Cyrus, Party in the U.S.A.
- Jasmine Sagginario, Boy Crazy
- Jordin Sparks, Battlefield
- Demi Lovato, Get Back
- The Cheetah Girls, So Bring it On
Songs for Older Cheerleaders
With older cheer teams you have a little more flexibility to choose music that walks the line between completely clean and a little risque. If there's a song that you love that includes cursing, look for an edited version of the song. Most artists offer edited and explicit albums to amp up sales. Keep in mind, though, if you have any question about the appropriateness of a song's lyrics or message, move on! There are plenty of songs that won't leave people in the stands wondering what kind of message you're trying to send. Consider some of the following songs:
- Pussycat Dolls, When I Grow Up
- Rihanna, Shut Up and Drive
- Pink, Rockstar
- Joan Jett, I Love Rock and Roll
- Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling
- Kanye West, Gold Digger
- Kanye West, Stronger
- Black Eyed Peas, Let's Get it Started
- Smash Mouth, All Star
- Beyonce, Single Ladies
- Fergie, Glamorous
- Plain White Ts, Our Time Now
- Survivor, Eye of the Tiger
- 2 Unlimited, Get Ready for This
- Eminem, Lose Yourself
- Queen, We Will Rock You
Using Your Songs
If a song isn't a rap, rock or hip hop song, that doesn't mean it won't work well for a cheer routine. In fact, good songs for cheer can come from almost any venue. You just need to match your tumbling and cheer sequences to the measure of the music you choose. If you would rather fill your routine with Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw than Rihanna and Kanye West, you just may end up with one of the most original, entertaining routines the judges have ever seen.