Welcome to the University of Arkansas Spirit Squad Website. The following reflections from a former squad member describe our program very well and we are happy to share them with you.
High achievement in any sport requires great focus, dedication and action. This is no different for the Arkansas Razorback Spirit Squads. Most people who follow the world of sports have an idea of how much time is devoted to practice. Players’ hours are documented and praised, justifiably so. However, many do not realize the time, commitment and practice the cheerleaders, pom squads and mascots also devote.
The dream of being a part of the Spirit Squads at the University of Arkansas for many of us began as far back as preschool. For future cheerleaders it is each tumbling class, stunt class, technique class and competition. For future pom squad it’s each dance lesson, recital, performance, competition and countless hours of practice brought all of us to this goal. When the time for tryouts finally came and we made the decision to go for it, we all knew what would be in store for us if we made the squad. We all made it through the intense tryout process of interviewing and learning and performing many different tumbling, stunting and dance routines in less than a week’s time. The rush of emotions and amazement when you see your name on the list for the new Razorback Cheerleading, Pom Squad or Mascot is an indescribable feeling. All of the years of preparation and practice have finally paid off. However, at that point the work and fun really begins.
As coaches, Brooke Bailey, Shawn Burns, Carolina Adkins, and Connor Pitts will tell you, the first time you put on that Razorback uniform is a very humbling experience. At that moment you become bigger than yourself and are not only representing yourself, but your University and the entire State of Arkansas.
Whether it is football, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics or baseball season, be assured the spirit squads are prepared. Each sport brings a different variety of exciting duties for the squads.
Our year on the squads begin with the spring football game. After our tryouts are over in April, the new members begin learning the fight song routines along with all the other classic songs played by the Razorback Marching Band. In July we return to Fayetteville to go on our annual trip to attend Universal Cheer and Dance Association collegiate dance and cheer camps. This is where our squads really form and bond. When spending weeks of practice and stressful situations with a group of people, it is impossible not to get to know each other and become close extremely fast. It is through this time of bonding that we are able to achieve our goals throughout the year. Without the close knit aspects of our squad and the friendships we share, we would not be able to accomplish half of what we do in a year. When we return, our practice and prep work for the year ahead is in full swing. At times two or three a day practices are called and extra practices are needed in order to be prepared, but in the end we all know it is worth every ounce of work when the game/performance goes off perfectly.
Football games are an all day journey beginning hours before kickoff. The squad arrives at the stadium dressed and ready over three hours before kick-off of each home game. We begin pre game festivities with the team walk through followed by a series of pep rallies around the stadium. Then comes the boarding of our beloved Tusk and our trip around Broyles Field, NOW IT IS GAME TIME! LET’S CALL THOSE HOGS!! Once the team runs through the A it’s a non-stop adrenaline rush and excitement.
Basketball season is when the pom squad can show off their creative side. In preparation for our themed halftime performances we have committees within the squad that are assigned different dances. Each group is responsible for the choreography, formations, costumes and teaching the rest of the squad the routine. Another highlight of the basketball season for us is when the cheerleaders and pom squads combine for their annual halftime performance.
Although we all have a blast cheering on our Hog teams, there is much more to the spirit squads than simply cheering. Whether it is the Red Ribbon Rally, the Northwest Arkansas Walk to cure juvenile diabetes, visiting the Veterans Hospital or many of the other events we participate in, there are always spirit squad members ready and eager to volunteer. Through the year we have the privilege of giving back to the state and fan base that are so good to us.
As rewarding as cheering and performing in front of thousands of razorback fans is, most of the squad will say the real reward is helping make a fan’s day. Anytime we can make a fan smile by taking a picture or by simply saying hello, there is no better feeling in the world. If we can make one child happy and feel special, we feel our job is complete. As children, many of the current squad members had our own pictures made and looked up to the cheerleaders, pom squads and mascots as positive role models. Now that we are those role models, nothing is more pleasing than to know we can make a positive impact on the lives of so many. We want all our fans to have a wonderful game day experience and to know how much we appreciate their support of all our Razorback teams.