Frequently Asked Questions

The UW Spirit Program will be comprised of a Cheer Squad (male/female members) and a Dance Team. Total make-up of the team will vary between 8-12 Cheer Squad couples (8-12 males/8-12 female members) and 12-16 Dance Team members.

Where & how can I learn more about the UW Spirit Program?
An informational meeting will be held on Friday, April 4 from 7-8 pm in East Court at Alaska Airlines Arena. Information will also be given at each clinic. Clinics are on April 12 and April 19 from 9 am – 2 pm in the Dempsey Indoor.

When and where are tryouts?
Tryouts will be held:

  • Dance Team: Thursday, May 1 – Sunday, May 4, 2014. Exact times TBA. Location: Marv Harshman Court
  • Cheer Squad: Thursday, May 1 – Sunday, May 4, 2014. Exact times TBA. Location: Marv Harshman Court
  • May 5: Team meeting and uniform fitting for both Cheer and Dance

All events will take place in East Court at Alaska Airlines Arena or the Dempsey Indoor unless otherwise noted on the website at www.uwspirit.com.

What specific paper work items do I need for tryouts?
To be eligible for tryouts, you will need to fill out required paperwork.

If I want to work on my skills for tryouts is there anything I can do?

OPEN practices will begin

  • Fri, April 4: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Wed, April 9: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Fri, April 11: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Wed, April 16: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Fri, April 18: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Wed, April 23: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Fri, April 25: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Mon, April 28: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD
  • Wed, April 30: Open Gym, 6-8 pm, Location TBD

Those trying out are welcome to attend these practices, but MUST have all clearance forms submitted. NO instruction will be given at these open practices. This is primarily a place to practice. But don’t hesitate to ask veteran cheerleaders, coaches or others for help. The required sideline will be the only piece of material taught at open practices and upcoming clinics.

Prospective Candidates ONLY and those cleared by the training room will have access to open gym practices. Insurance information, Waiver and Physical must be submitted prior to participation.

Do you offer clinics? Are they recommended?

We will offer upcoming clinics:

  • April 19: Clinic, 9 am – 2 pm
  • April 26: Clinic, 9 am – 2 pm

Cost: There is a $25 fee for attending clinics. Click here to register for a clinic.

What time do I show up for clinic and tryouts?
We recommend that everyone attending a tryout session or clinic show up a minimum of 10-30 minutes prior to the scheduled time for check in.

What do I wear to clinics, open practices and tryouts?
The dress code for practices and clinics should include: t-shirts, shorts (within reasonable length for women), pants, cheer and/or dance shoes. Midriffs and sports bra are NOT allowed during practices or clinics as we have a strict athlete dress policy within the athletic department.

The dress code for tryouts should include: PLAIN black sports bra, PLAIN black shorts or pants and cheer and/or dance shoes.

How many people tryout?
Each year is different. Typically has between 75-100 people tryout.

Do I need cheerleading experience?
No, not necessarily. We do ask that you know the “basic” cheerleading motions and have the minimum tryout requirements for each team. Requirements can include tumbling elements, stunting elements and basic dance elements. Please note these skills can be mastered at open practices and clinics!

Do I need tumbling experience?
For the CHEER program, yes, there are tumbling requirements. For dance, no tumbling is required although you may showcase tumbling if you have it.

Is being able to dance important?
Yes! We traditionally have been a dance focused program. But technical dance training is not necessary. Just be able to learn basic cheer dance placement, feel the beat, and learn routines quickly!

How do I coordinate cheerleading or dance, school, Greek life and maybe work?
You must be registered as a full time student (12 credits or more) at the University of WA (Seattle Campus, Bothell Campus or Tacoma Campus) and in good academic standing with the University. We expect team members to be capable of handling the academic workload and cheerleading commitments simultaneously and successfully. Good time management skills are a must if you want to be a successful student and cheerleader. Based upon “our” priority scale, academics are #1, SPIRIT PROGRAM is #2, and so forth. Please note we DO NOT deter you from extra activities or work, but put emphasize the importance of School and the Spirit Program.

Do you offer scholarships or out of state tuition waivers?
Yes. Scholarships are given on an application basis provided by the Alumni Organization. Additionally, we offer our version of “scholarships” which include a basketball stipends and book stipends. Amounts are determined up fundraising efforts over the course of the season.

Who pays for any travel related to cheerleading?
The UW Athletic Department and Spirit Program pay for travel to away games. Travel is a privilege determined by coaching staff. If the opportunity arises, travel to a national competition comes from fundraising efforts by the spirit program.

When and where is Summer Camp?
Summer Camp will occur in August and is MANDATORY FOR ALL MEMBERS.

What is the time commitment?
Spring quarter and summer practices are TBD. Fall-Winter Quarter: 3-4 days a week, 10 to 15 hours: Three 2-hour practices a week, two 2-hour strength and conditioning workouts a week plus any games for the week. Practices will take place are Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Class schedules MUST be completed by 3:00pm. Strength and conditioning workouts will be determined by the strength and conditioning coaches and will occur 2 times a week. Each member MUST participate in cardio exercises 3 times a week. Spirit Program will participate in Football season, select Volleyball games and Men’s/Women’s Basketball. Additionally, gigs, rallies, community service events, University events or fundraising may occur throughout the season.

Does the Spirit Program compete at nationals?
Sideline cheering is our priority at UW. For 2014-15, the goal will be for both Cheer and Dance to compete at UCA Nationals in January 2015. Many factors affect this possibility including the team structure, funding and scheduling. There will be a possibility for a select group of the team that will make up the competition team, although every member is expected to commit to the competition possibility at the beginning of the season.

Is there a height and weight requirement?
No. We do not maintain a height and weight requirement. We do require that all potential members maintain the appropriate physique in order to participate in the required movements. All members must also maintain the same physique that they had when making the squad at tryouts.

Do you accept VIDEO tape tryouts if I can’t attend the tryout in person? 
Yes. Videos are required if you can not attend tryouts. Videos will only be accepted by those who CAN NOT physically make it to tryouts. Please place footage on a DVD, Facebook page, or YouTube page accessible to the Spirit Program. It is recommended that you make every effort to attend tryouts. Video tryouts may be a disadvantage for you. Please consult with Spirit Coordinator at uwspirit@uw.edu about videos and required skills for tryout. Those trying out by videotape only need to submit the Application and Head shot photo.

What are you looking for in a UW Spirit Member?
UW Spirit members are well-rounded athletes. We are part of a prestigious University, so we want our cheerleaders to graduate and achieve in the classroom. Our program is comprised of well-mannered, spirit-oriented cheerleaders who are disciplined and have good work ethic. Our priority is to spirit raise, crowd direct and represent the University of Washington.