The dance industry is growing leaps and bounds with $4.4 Billion in revenue in 2022 alone, growing 1.6% year over year since 2017. Across the US, over 3 million cheerleaders participate in youth rec, all-star, school cheer, and STUNT. They all have big dreams, but just over 1,400 take that dream all the way to the top. With odds like that, it’s a good idea to get some help along the way.
That’s where Sideline Prep hits the football field and hardwood in a big way. Sideline Prep launched just over a decade ago in 2010. The company’s coaching and mentoring services quickly placed cheerleaders and dancers with the Washington Commanders, Washington Wizards, and Baltimore Ravens.
Fast forward to 2022: the academy now boasts placements with 19 NFL entertainment teams, 14 NBA dance teams, and numerous other pro and semi-pro dance and entertainment teams across the country. “We provide the guidance, advice, and feedback our clients need to succeed,” says GeNienne Samuels, CEO and president of Sideline Prep. “Ultimately, we can’t do it for them. They are the ones who put in the work that makes their dreams reality, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”
How to reach the highest level in cheer and dance
As an eight-year veteran of the NFL’s Washington Commanders (formerly Washington Redskins) cheerleaders and a three-year veteran as a Wizard Girl for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Samuels is intimately familiar with every aspect of the industry. “All of our coaches have participated on pro cheer/dance teams,” she says. “We’ve been there, done it, and have the knowledge to fast-track our clients to the pros.”
Sideline Prep is a network of current and former professional and semi-pro cheerleaders. It offers a 6-month accountability and coaching program combining one-on-one feedback, group coaching, mindset and motivation sessions, virtual learning, and in-person training. Graduates from the Pro Cheer Playbook Program are able to approach professional auditions with confidence.
“Over 70% of our Pro Cheer Program graduates land a spot on a professional or semi-pro cheer or dance team,” says Samuels. “Without exception, participants agree the program increases their knowledge, dance skills, confidence, and glamour. We’re so confident in the results that if a graduate doesn’t make a team, we invite them to come back and train with us again for free for another six months.”
Sideline Prep’s Pro Cheer Playbook Program
The Pro Cheer Playbook Program teaches clients everything they need to know for pro-level auditions. The first assessment evaluates current dance skills, as well as skills clients will need to develop by setting actionable goals to improve their fitness level, dance technique, kicks, flexibility, and professional appearance. The last assessment is a mock audition that allows each person to “show off” their improvement over the course of the last six months. Clients put feedback into practice during mock auditions, practice interviews, freestyle performances, and learned choreography. They are scored on all audition areas and given one-on-one feedback.
In between the two assessments, one-on-one Skype sessions allow clients to collaborate with the coach of their choice on any topic they choose. They can obtain help with technical dance skills, across-the-floor technique, stretches and flexibility drills, kick sequences, and interview poise. Coaches teach clients the styles and moves of the teams they love and how to add their own personalities to dance routines.
If Sideline Prep’s Pro Cheer Playbook Program sounds physically demanding, that’s because it is. But dance, kicks, and technique are only one part of the “physical” puzzle. You have to be in shape, fit, and have the stamina to make it through an audition. That’s where certified nutrition and fitness coach Jeanette Chandler comes in. Each person discusses the ins and outs of nutrition and healthy eating with Jeanette and crafts their nutrition and fitness goals with her. After the session, each person receives a tailored meal plan and personalized workout regimen, along with bi-weekly accountability sessions. This enables them to achieve their fitness goals, target problem areas, and create a healthy lifestyle around food and fitness.
But as any true professional cheerleader and dancer knows, mental strength is just as important as physical skills when it comes time to hit the floor. This is why, during Sideline Prep’s mindset sessions, coaches help clients get real with themselves about where they are in the process. “You need the right mindset to effectively prepare and perform with confidence,” Samuels explains. “We help you determine goals, and then we give you techniques to build your confidence and self-image.”
Each week, a new virtual training course is provided. Knowledge prep sessions address finishing details such as when to submit applications, what picture to include, and how to craft a killer resume. Sideline Prep’s coaches share exactly what teams audition judges are hoping to see and hear during speeches and interviews. Above all, they show clients how to maintain poise and confidence throughout the process.
“We teach you what to do before, during, and after auditions,” explains Samuels. “You’ll learn what an audition day looks like, what judges look for, and how scoring works. Most importantly, you’ll walk in with confidence knowing you can and will do it! We make sure you are prepared and ready to shine.”
Through her work at Sideline Prep, Samuels has proven that there is another “life” after high school and college cheer and dance. If you want to tumble, turn, or kick your way to the pro level in a fast, yet encouraging and supportive way, Sideline Prep can and will guide you there — one eight-count at a time.