Pumped-up For Cheerleading

15 Sep

Popcorn Palace is pumped to welcome back school athletic programs for another exciting year! To rev things up, we’re writing a series about the spirit of cheerleading. At Popcorn Palace, we understand that cheerleading is more than synchronized dance and routine — it’s about leaders inspiring other to believe.

Why Cheerlead?

Cheerleaders rely on the hard work of their squad to take their routines to the next level to combine a series of acrobatic gymnastics, to the intrinsic beat of cheers. Squads spend hours together training on their athleticism and cohesion for routines that require a high level of coordination and ability. Although most routines last two minutes, it can take weeks of training raw-talented members into a squad that move as one.

While cheerleading has earned its place as spirit leaders for sporting events, it wouldn’t be the same without competition. Tournaments allow squads to showcase their athleticism, as well as earn spots to greater events and awards. There are also private scholarship opportunities available to squad members who present an extraordinary talent for leadership and dedication to success.

Join a Squad

There are two main branches of cheerleading that youth can get involved in — school and club squads. Both branches host wonderful athletic programs that are challenging and exciting. However, each branch is different in their approach.

High School Squads

Students can join their school’s cheerleading squad and travel with their teams. Practices are often times held after school with conditioning camps during the summer to keep squad members in shape when school is out. Traditionally, schools hold cheerleading tryouts for squad hopefuls to join.

Most tryouts ask that participants learn a routine that they provide and one other that is created by the participant. This allows the judges to see how well a participant can learn the squads’ routines, as well as giving an opportunity to express creativity for fresh and new routines.

Club Squads

One of the noticeable differences between club squads and high school squads is in their priorities. Cheerleading at a club puts greater emphasis on athleticism than they do on the cheer itself. The aim of high school cheerleading is to bring energy into the school’s athletic program. This shapes routines to have more focus on visibility and dance. While dance is a major part of all cheerleading routines, cheerleading at a club puts greater emphasis on gymnastics and shows of strength (flipping, stacking, speed and stability).

Club squads have practice all-year long to keep themselves in prime condition for several tournaments throughout the year. Tournaments are a major part of cheerleading at a club because they bring recognition and local sponsorships to their programs. Although club squads can cheer for other athletic clubs during their events, club participation varies from club-to-club.


School and club squads have the opportunity to compete in tournaments throughout the nation. Like many other athletic organizations, tournaments are multi-tiered dependent on age, locality, and skill. School districts sponsor the majority of their tournaments with winners advancing to State, region, and national competitions.

Club squads have their own tiers of competition where winning one gains entry into another for more fierce competition. Two of the most prestigious cheerleading competitions are The Summit and The Cheerleading Worlds Championship. The Summit invites 10% of the best teams from around the United States to compete at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Cheerleading Worlds Competition is a world-wide competition, inviting the best squads throughout the world to compete.

Getting a team to a competition requires consistent fundraising from its members. While most schools and clubs sponsor their squads, travelling and other personal expenses are high and squad members must find their own way to get to competitions. For fundraising ideas and other resources, such as permission slips, read our blog or fill out our contact form below!

If you have any questions about fundraising, please visit our popcorn fundraising page.


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