Preparing for Tryouts
So what should you do while you are waiting to find out about tryouts? Keep cheering, dancing or doing whatever skills your activity requires! Give it your all! Practice teaching by helping new team members, and continue to sharpen your own skills at every practice, game, and competition. Identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Focus on becoming more versatile as a performer. If you’ve always been a top in stunts, give basing a try, and if your feet don’t usually leave the ground, get in the air! The same goes for all the programs that USA offers. The more versatile and all-around you are the better chances you have of making it onto the USA Staff.
Most of the tryouts will take place in late winter/early spring. The number of instructors that will be chosen depends on the number of staff we have returning and the number of camp enrollments we foresee for the upcoming summer, both with respect to the region/area in which you preside. Hundreds of “Apps” are given out at camp each summer but only about 30-45 new instructors will be hired for the cheerleading program and 5-10 for each of our other programs.
Applicants are evaluated in these general areas:
CHEER – Taught a cheer & dance at the tryout, Asked to bring an original game-action cheer to teach, Jumps, Tumbling (standing and running), Stunts (all girl and coed), Interview
SONG/POM – Taught a cheer and short dance combination at the tryout, Asked to bring an original routine to teach, Turns, Kicks, Leaps, Interview
DANCE – Asked to bring 3 original choreography combinations across 3 different styles. Dance Staff Auditions will be January 12th (Nor Cal) and January 13th (So Cal). Turn in your application early and get all the details to help you best prepare for auditions.
DRUM MAJOR -Demonstrate Drum Major Skills, Conducting/Spinning Skills, Interview
The in-person tryout process varies from region to region. The judges (Program Directors/Managers & veteran staff) will interact with applicants in a workshop setting. They will be looking at the technique with which you perform the material and/or skills required for the program that you are auditioning for (jumps, stunts, and tumbling for cheer) (turns, kicks, leaps for Song/Pom and Dance) (spinning, conducting and leadership skills for Drum Major).
Perform your skills as if you are already on staff. Project the qualities that embody a USA instructor: confidence, capability, poise & energy. You’ve been selected to try out because you’ve got the skills, now focus on how you execute them!
What are the judges looking for during the interview? Well, that’s hard to nail down. The judges are looking for a certain special unnameable quality, so the best advice is to just be yourself. Here are some more interview tips:
- Portray the real you. Don’t fake it!
- Dress appropriately. If you’ve been practicing all day, make sure to change into a clean shirt for the interview. Make sure your hair is brushed, out of your face, and females should avoid excessive makeup. Males should avoid wearing a hat, and make sure you are cleanly shaven.
- Know yourself. You should have a pretty good understanding of your major goals, interests, abilities, and your best attributes before the interview!
- Be courteous when introduced to the judges and thank them for their time at the end of the interview.
- Be confident and self-assured, but don’t be overconfident!
- When answering questions, be brief and to the point. Accentuate your strengths.
If you have been selected and offered a USA summer camp instructor position, you will receive a letter within a month after your tryout. You will then have approximately one month to notify the USA office of your intent to work next summer.
Good luck and remember that individuals are chosen based on their ability to continue a legacy of greatness. The USA is successful because of its teaching staff. Being chosen means that you have the potential to fulfill a tradition of excellence!
Unfortunately, not everyone gets noticed. So just because you may not have gotten an invite for the USA application process at camp, that does not mean that you cannot submit an application. If you are 18 or over, a senior in high school or have graduated from high school, please connect with the appropriate contact below for your program and region.