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 your squad's needs carefully before settling on a single song or a group of songs.
Songs for Younger Cheerleaders
If you need a song for a cheer team in elementary or middle school, look to cheer music options from Disney artists or pop 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:
- Round and Round by Selena Gomez is super catchy and has a slow enough tempo for a beginner's dance routine.
- Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus is a fun song that's easy for the audience to sing along to.
- Boy Crazy by Jasmine Sagginario has a great beat and playful lyrics.
- Battlefield by Jordin Sparks starts off slow and builds to create a powerful tune.
- Get Back by Demi Lovato is a sweet song with a slow rhythm that would work great for a beginner's routine.
- So Bring it On by The Cheetah Girls has a great, fast beat making it a fun song for a dance routine.
- Roar by Katy Perry is a power song that is super fun to perform to.
- Try Everything by Shakira has an inspirational message about not giving up throughout the lyrics.
- Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars is an upbeat love song that the crowd will love.
- Havana by Camila Cabello is slower tune with a great melody.
- Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake is super fun to dance to and would work well in a fast paced routine.
- Mean by Taylor Swift is an upbeat breakup song that has inspiring lyrics.
- When Can I See You Again by Owl City is a fast paced tune that would work well in a very active routine.
- A-Punk by Vampire Weekend has a unique sound and a quick beat.
- Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall is a sweet song that would work for a slower paced routine.
- Happy by Pharrell Williams is a fun song that's easy to dance to.
- Safe and Sound by Capital Cities has an awesome chorus that would work well for stunts and jumps.
- Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars has a great beat and most crowds will love singing the words.
- I Got a Feeling by Black Eyed Peas is an upbeat song that's super fun to dance to.
- Let's Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez has an incredible beat and fun lyrics.
- Capsize by Frenship starts slow and has a great chorus.
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. 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:
- When I Grow Up by the Pussycat Dolls is a fast paced jam that gives room to show a lot of attitude.
- We Will Rock You by Queen is a classic tune with an incredible beat.
- Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna has a great chorus, and a relaxed rhythmic beat.
- Rockstar by Pink is a fun tune with an upbeat chorus.
- I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett has an incredible beat that would lend itself well to a cool routine.
- Runaway by Galantis is a great song for squads who want to incorporate stunts and jumps into their routine.
- Side Effects by The Chainsmokers offers a unique rhythm, and the intensity builds throughout the song.
- Stronger by Kanye West is a fun song that can't help but get the crowd excited.
- Timber by Pitbull and Kesha is super catchy and fun to dance to.
- All Star by Smash Mouth is an oldie but a goodie and has a catchy chorus.
- Run the World by Beyonce is the ultimate girl power song.
- Glamourous by Fergie is a funky song that has a lot of attitude.
- Our Time Now by the Plain White Ts has an upbeat sound.
- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor is a great pump-you-up tune that the audience will love.
- Higher Love by Whitney Houston and Kygo is an awesome remix featuring Whitney Houston's amazing voice.
- Raise Your Glass by Pink is super catchy, upbeat, and a great choice for an active routine. Just make sure to download the clean version.
- Till the World Ends by Britney Spears has great lyrics about dancing and enjoying life to the fullest.
- Kiss the Sky by Cash Cash has a great beat that would work well for a routine with lots of tumbling.
- So Close by NOTD has a slower beat that builds making it a great tune for a routine that includes lots of stunts.
- I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris has a fast paced beat and a great chorus making it the perfect choice for an active routine with lots of stunts and jumps.
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. Some of these songs also offer sporty, athletic themes that work well with sporting events. Some of these songs may have inappropriate lyrics, so make sure you listen to a song all the way through before you choose it for a cheer performance.
Using Your Songs
Good songs for cheer can come from almost any genre. You just need to match your tumbling and cheer sequences to the measure of the music you choose. Being thoughtful with your song selections can lead to having original, fun, and entertaining routines that the crowd loves.