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What No One Tells You About Dancing for NFL, NBA, and Semi-Pro Dance Teams

Apr 12, 2023
dance audition, nfl cheerleader, nfl auditions, nfl cheerleader auditions, mock audition, which league is right for me, best match

Audition season is upon us. If you already have your heart set on one specific team or league, you go girl. Otherwise, you might be questioning multiple options, and that's okay too! But do you really know what it takes to be successful on an NFL, NBA, or Semi-Pro team?

If your strategy for choosing a team is based on convenience - AKA just auditioning for every team in your nearest town or city - it's time to choose a different method. The truth is, dancing on any pro or semi-pro team will be an unforgettable experience, BUT all teams are not necessarily created equal. Different teams will have different time commitments, dance styles they favor, values, and overall vibe.

Do yourself a favor and do some real research to find your BEST match. You'll have the most rewarding experience when you're able to dance not just for any team, but for one that aligns with who YOU are and fits in with YOUR life and schedule.

The first step? Deciding which team you can realistically devote your time to. We're going to give you some tough love real quick and discuss the thing no one really talks about when it comes to auditioning and being successful on a pro dance team. It's not only the time commitment required by the team and the league, but even more than that, it's the additional time you'll need to put in behind the scenes to show up correctly.


If your dream is to make a team, then you've probably watched a pro or semi-pro dance team perform on the court or field. They make each performance look easy (that's their job!), when in reality, the dancers dedicate upwards of 12-15 hours of preparation and behind-the-scenes work for every 1-minute routine. This includes scheduled team rehearsal time, Game Day rehearsals, AND additional hours spent practicing outside of practice. It's having the routine so deeply ingrained in their bodies, that it appears to come out effortlessly when they perform it. But it takes some serious hours to get to that level.


NBA Dance Teams require 2-3 rehearsals each week, with 41 home games in a span of about 9 months. This is almost a year-round lifestyle commitment that you'll need to be ready for. You'll need to ask yourself if your job, school, hobbies, and personal life will be able to adjust for the NBA schedule.


NFL Cheerleader Teams require 1-3 rehearsals each week, with 9 home games in a span of about 7 months. The NFL schedule tends to be more manageable and consistent, as you can expect games to take place on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.


Semi-Pro Teams will differ depending on whether they are hockey, soccer, or arena football. Hockey has 41 home games, soccer has 17 home games, and arena football has 9 home games in a regular season.


These numbers do not reflect the extra hours spent rehearsing, driving, and going to promotional appearances. If you are lucky enough to dance for a championship team, you can expect your season to be even longer. So it is crucial to choose a league and team that will realistically fit into your schedule and personal life, especially when you take into account the behind-the-scenes hours you'll need to insert on your own.

Dancing on a pro team is a big commitment, but that's why it's SO worth it. You'll come out the other end with a killer work ethic, better performance skills, and a mastery of time management and organization. So the better you can set your expectations and get your schedule in line BEFORE making a team, the more successful you'll be when you make one.

Want to know more differences between NBA, NFL, and Semi-Pro and determine which league is right for you? Take the quiz to determine your best league match!



Making The Squad is a 4-week self-paced training course that includes everything from mindset, nutrition, and fitness, to interview, application, and personal branding guides. All the tools you need for a successful audition from the judges' perspective. PLUS a 6-week strength-training program developed for professional dancers by a certified NBA dance team AthleticĀ Trainer.



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