ONLY In AMERICA series: Power to the Pom-Pom

ONLY In AMERICA series: Power to the Pom-Pom

CheerIn researching my piece for this week’s Only in America series here at, I wondered if I could provide some kind of  inspirational kitsch, an Americana tidbit that could help drive some positive cultural movement… something that brings smiles and happiness to all.

So, my mind wandered, delved into some happy places, and here’s I came up with.


Now come on!!! I get that some may roll their eyes, even have a convulsion or gag reflex, but I’m here to break it down for you.

Disclaimer: I was never the cheery type- preferring “sullen” tech geek over “perky” teenager.

However, unlike me, millions of those perky types head to cheerleading camps across the US each summer to hone those “rah-rah” skills including, tumbling, chants, and how to wear your hair courses.

And, it’s not for the faint at heart. These drills are challenging, comprehensive, strategic, and above all else- athletic.

So, for all you naysayers out there- as kitsch as this may all seem, it’s serious business. These cheerleading mavens know something many don’t. That there’s a perk behind the madness, equating to a potential college scholarship. That’s right, money for college.

It’s an American subculture of magnitude, an insider’s inside to cheerleading.

All I can say, power to the pom-pom!


Cheerleading Scholarship tips:

1. Start working towards a scholarship very early, if possible. You need to make the cheerleading squad in your high school as a freshman. Hopefully, before that, you have been a cheerleader, and you are also enrolled in gymnastic classes and possibly dance classes as well. The more talented you are, the more likely you are to obtain a cheerleading scholarship. Note that there are also scholarships available to high school students who show exceptional talent to help pay for gymnastic and dance lessons.

2. Don’t depend on talent alone to get you a cheerleaders scholarship. Of course, talent and skill play big roles, but academics are equally important for most cheerleading scholarships. You must be well-balanced, and have the ‘smarts’ to get into a good college as well. Keep up with your studies.

3. Be active in your community. This demonstrates community service and leadership qualities. Often in the case of college cheerleader tryouts, judges consider more than your skill and talent. There is often an interview process, where your community service and proof of your leadership qualities will be very important.

4. Choose your choice schools carefully. Make sure that they have scholarships for cheerleaders that make the squad, as this is always beneficial, and many colleges and universities actually have full tuition scholarships available for their cheerleaders.

5. Be ready to tryout. In the case of college cheerleading scholarships that are designated specifically for college cheerleaders, you must make the squad first – obviously. Find out far in advance about dates for tryouts and tryout requirements, as well as eligibility requirements.

6. Be a competitive cheerleader. The more awards that you’ve won for your cheerleading the more likely you are to make one of the college squads. Also realize that college cheerleaders usually also have many academic based awards as well.

7. Have a backup plan. Not all cheerleaders who desire cheer scholarships actually win them, or make the cheerleading squads in college. You need a backup plan for paying for your education in the event that you do not make a college cheerleading squad. Don’t allow anything to stop you from getting your college education – not even cheerleading.

8. Inquire into the college you wish to attend to see if they have an athletic scholarship that can be applied to cheerleading. Most colleges have money specifically set aside for athletic scholarships which would also include cheerleading. You may find that they also can advise you on other options for cheerleading financial aid that your college only has and cheerleaders can take advantage of it.

If you are a good cheerleader, with lots of talent, a good academic record, and a record for community service, you really can make a college level cheerleading squad, and take advantage of their cheerleading scholarships. At the same time, however, while you are in high school, you need to be participating in all competitions that you are eligible for – especially those that have scholarships as prizes.

Cheerleading info source: