NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Tennessee Titans cheerleader and full-time student Evony Thompson recently gave a first-hand account about how it is to be an NFL Cheerleader.
In a Q & A session she did in May 2015, Thompson explained how it was to be a rookie trying to fit in amongst the veterans and being treated as an outcast. She explained that newcomers need to prove themselves worthy of their spot and work their way up to build their brand. Eventually, their bookings will increase and this will lead to other opportunities.
Thompson also specified that being an NFL Cheerleader is not a full-time job, as they only get to practice for about 2 hours after their respective day jobs, from Tuesdays to Thursdays. During game day, they arrive as early as 7:30 a.m., if the scheduled kickoff is at 12 noon, to make the necessary preparations. Their choreography is also different for every game day.
Another NFL Cheerleader who chose to remain anonymous shared her personal experiences. In a column she wrote in November 2015, she explained that there are physical fitness standards for each one. In her case, she stands 5’3” and is required to weigh no more than 122 pounds. It is also stated in her contract that she needs to be in her best behavior and is not allowed to drink, cuss, smoke, chew gum, or even identify herself as a cheerleader in public.
Their salaries are also not as attractive, contrary to the glamourous image that they tend to portray. In another 2014 report, the Dallas Cowboys are said to be paying their cheerleaders $150 per home game, with practice sessions being unpaid. The San Diego Chargers pay $75 per home game, including two tickets, and a parking pass. The Oakland Raiders, meanwhile, pay $5 per hour and impose fines for minor infractions such as bringing the wrong set of pom-poms to rehearsals, among others.
Now that you have an idea of how their lives are, do you think you have what it takes to become an NFL Cheerleader?