Cheerleaders need quite a lot of stuff. From a backpack, shoes, towels, uniforms, bows or hair bands, pom-poms to socks. All of this gear is essential. Often you need two or three of each as it takes time to wash them. Let’s go over the best gear so that you can find items that last a long time. Nothing is more annoying than gear that breaks while you are dancing. This leaves down the rest of the squad so should be avoided. We have to note that this article is both for (competitive) club and sideline cheerleading.
The squad often makes sure that everyone wears the same outfit. It is important that this is comfortable as you need to move a lot. In most instances, spandex material is included as this stretches out when you move. A cheerleading outfit typically has a skirt and top. This is sometimes in two pieces (showing a part of the belly) or in one piece. Competition uniforms often have pants as these are easier to jump with and can be used to fly in the air. There are several styles of uniforms, from traditional uniforms to collegiate uniforms.
You have to take a look at the material that is used when you buy it. Cotton is of higher quality but more expensive than polyester. If you want to wash it a lot, go for cotton material. If it is just something that will be worn once in a while, you can opt for polyester. It is also essential that you take a look at the type of neck. Some uniforms have a V neck whereas others come with a round neck. This has a big impact on how the uniform looks. Also, take the sizes into account. Polyester is known to shrink after a few washes so don’t buy it too small. Cheap uniforms can tear after a few times so take a look at the stitching as well before you buy it. Similar to other clothes, there are several types of fits from slim fit to wider fits. Cheerleader costumes are in general quite tight so check what works for you.
Cheerleaders sometimes have a warmup outfit as well to make sure that they don’t get cold during winter days. A lot of players just wear a standard sweater for this and don’t opt for a custom-designed warmup outfit.
The following gear works for sideline cheerleaders. It has a lot of sizes so should work for a lot of dancers. It is an entry-level model so not the most advanced materials are being used.
For competitive cheerleaders, you might take a look at other uniforms. Be sure to check the rules of the competition before you get an outfit. These uniforms are often custom-made to make sure that they fit the shape of the player well. This is essential if you start doing complex dance movements.
Bows are a great addon to a cheerleader outfit. You can get them in higher quality cotton or cheaper nylon. What I like about them is that they come in a lot of colors. They are a great way to show the team colors. Furthermore, they are also functional as they keep the hair in shape while you are dancing. Not every team wears bows but they are a trend amongst cheerleaders. You also have to take a look at the plastic attachment when you buy a bow. Make sure that it is big enough for your head. There are several sizes and it is pity if the bow doesn’t fit because this piece is too small.
Bows can’t be washed as they lose their shape. Therefore it is often a throwaway item. If you want durable options, you need to spend more and look at cotton items. It is also possible to create your own bows if you get some fabric. You just fold the fabric in the desired shape and you are good to go. Pick a fabric that is soft so that it feels nice to wear.
Bows work with different hairstyles, from magnificent ponytails to v-cuts and vintage braids. This is why everyone on the team can wear a bow and this creates a very cool effect. It works for different hairstyles, from curly to straight.
The following bows are great for new cheerleaders.
Great shoes are essential for cheerleaders. Competitive cheerleading is often done indoors and this requires other shoes than sideline cheerleading which is mainly done outdoors for American football. For basketball, it is done indoors as well.
Let’s start off with shoes for indoor cheerleading. It is essential that the shoes offer a lot of grips and also support you when you jump and land. At the moment there are a lot of big brands, such as Nike, that don’t offer shoes for cheerleaders. Asics is a big brand that has recently offered cheerleading shoes. It has to be said that they have outdone themselves and designed a great shoe. A lot of other shoes on the market are made by smaller brands that don’t have access to all the advanced shoe design technologies. Therefore these shoes of Asics are a great option. They are quite wide but offer a great fit in general.
Outdoor cheerleading happens when the sun is shining but also when it rains. Therefore players need great outdoor shoes if they want to cheer in the grass when it is still moist. This offers enough support and traction so that dancers don’t slide. The following shoes offer quite a lot of traction. You have to check with your squad what colors are allowed but basic black and white shoes fit with a lot of outfits. If the ground is very slippery, you might consider running shoes or shoes that offer more grip. Teams often make sure that the area where the cheerleaders are standing is quite dry so this shouldn’t happen too often but it is always great to have a backup plan.
Cheer pom poms
Pom poms are essential for a cheerleader as they really define this type of dance. We all know the feeling when they start to break just after you got them. Therefore it is best to stay away from cheap pom poms. The best pom poms are made out of plastic. This material adds a sparkle to the poms and makes them shiny. Other materials are not flexible enough and don’t have the same cool effect that plastic offers.
When you get pom poms it is essential that you take a look at how the handles are designed. Some are just sticks (also called rooter poms) and others are better integrated into the pom poms. This has a big impact on how you can use them. Therefore check with your squad to see what they are using before you buy new ones. It is really annoying if the handle is different on your pom poms as people notice this when you are dancing. Some of them have plastic handles. Metal handles are more durable but cost more.
Pom poms come in all imaginable colors. There are a lot of shades and nuances so you can look around before you get a new set of pom poms.
Pom poms are quite cheap in general so it is best to go for high-quality poms as these last a long time. For a few additional dollars, you can upgrade to metal handles and stronger materials. It is essential that you store your pom poms well so that they last a long time. You might need to get a bigger backpack so that all your gear fits in it. If you have to crumple your pom poms, they are not going to last a long time.
During a match, it can be creat to cheer motivation. The audience can start shouting these as well. This creates a great vibe in the sports arena and can push the team forwards. In such a loud environment it can be hard to hear the cheers. Therefore a lot of squads use megaphones. In the past, these used to be standard ones. More recently electric megaphones have gotten very affordable and the quality has increased a lot. This is why most teams have switched to using these. It makes it easier to be heard and is more gentle on the voice. It is possible to adjust the volume of these so you can change things up as needed.
The following megaphone is great as it works on a long distance. It can be tempting to go for a cheaper model but these are not strong enough to be heard in a sports arena. Furthermore, this model has a strap so it is easy to bring with you when you are dancing. It is quite small and lightweight so you can carry it with you. If you are really dealing with a roaring crowd, you might need to pick an even more powerful model. Megaphones can last a long time so it is better to opt for a great model. Built-in batteries are often great as these offer more power than small batteries that you have to insert. The following model also has a flexible input so you can share it with other people in your squad without having to give them the megaphone. This can be great for a quick roar.
To conclude, we can state that cheerleaders need quite a lot of gear. Fortunately, most of it is quite cheap and you have entry models to get started. Professional cheerleaders are going to opt for more durable materials so that they can wash their equipment often.