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Virginia Cheerleading

2017 Cheerleading Tryout Information - See Below

About Virginia Cheerleading

The University of Virginia has two cheerleading teams:  Coed and All Girl.  The Coed team consists of 7 to 9 couples and cheers for football and men's basketball games.  The All Girl team has 20 athletes who cheer for football and women's basketball games.  Both teams practice 3 days per week and volunteer for additional appearances and university promotions throughout the academic year.  ACC rules permit 12 team members to travel to away games football games.  The ACC and NCAA permit 12 cheerleaders to travel to post-season games for both men's and women's basketball.

Cheerleading Information

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Coaching Staff

Leanne Higgins-All Girl coach

Leanne joined the staff in August of 2016.  She is AACCA certified and is a member of the USA Cheerleading Safety Council.  Leanne is a former cheerleader and team captain at Penn State University.  She is a former Head Coach at the University of Delaware.  Leanne teaches health and fitness classes at both the University and ACAC.


Matt Schray--Coed Coach

Matt has been on the staff for five years.  He is AACCA certified.  Matt is a former cheerleader and team captain at Virginia Tech.  Matt is a Resident Supervisor at Shenandoah Juvenile Center. 


Kelley Haney--Spirit Coordinator

Kelley has been the spirit coordinator at the University of Virginia since 1997.  She is AACCA certified.  Kelley was a cheerleader and team captain at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She was also the head coach at VCU for five years prior to coming to the University of Virginia.  Kelley is an Assistant Director of Athletics for the Virginia High School League.

Summer Activities

For the 2017-18 year, the cheer teams will be required to report for pre-season practice on August 10, 2017.  The athletes are also required to follow a prepared weight-training program, tumbling and cardiovascular schedule throughout the summer. 


Cheerleaders at the University of Virginia are required to participate in several fundraisers to offset the costs of uniforms, camp and travel.  Team members taught 10 cheerleading camps and clinics throughout the state of Virginia in 2016.  With the assistance of the UVA athletics media relations department, the cheerleaders create and market a team calendar each December as part of the fundraising effort.   Each winter, the cheerleaders host a youth cheerleading clinic in conjunction with a women's basketball game. 


The University of Virginia offers a stipend to the people that make the team in April.  The stipend increases with the number of years the athlete has been on the team.  We would like to be financially able to offer merit scholarships to those cheerleaders that go above and beyond.  If you would like to donate to a scholarship fund specifically dedicated to the cheerleaders that participate in the most community service events or carry the highest GPAs, please contact Kelley Haney ( to make a donation.  All donations run through the Virginia Athletics Foundation and are tax deductible. 

2017 Cheerleading Tryout Information

Required Documents

The documents listed below may be downloaded by clicking here and must be completed for an individual to be eligible to tryout.

  • Medical Identification Form
  • Tryout Participation Waiver
  • Physician's Affirmation of Physical Fitness to Participate
  • A copy of the front and back of your insurance card.
  • GPA Tryout Requirement: 2.5 (current UVa students must bring proof of GPA to the first day of tryouts)

Download Tryout Forms

Tryout Dates and Location

April 7-9, 2017

  • Friday, April 7, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena (use student entrance adjacent to Massie Road)
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9 a.m. - noon, 1-3 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena
  • Sunday, April 9, 2016 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena
  • Tryouts are closed to family and friends

Tryout Fee: $20 cash or check made payable to UVA Cheerleading

Please be sure to bring the paperwork and tryout fee to the first day of tryouts, April 7.

Tryout Requirement: Appearance

  • Please be aware that appearance is an important part of the selection process. You should be "game ready" at all times of throughout the weekend.
  • Ladies - we ask that you have game make up on at all times and have your hair styled as if you were at a game.
  • Gentlemen - you must be clean shaven and have trimmed hair. No earrings.

What to wear: Cotton shorts(ladies), gym shorts(gentlemen), athletic t-shirts, sport tops, sports bras, white socks and tennis shoes are acceptable. Please be tasteful in your selections. Wearing other university/college logos is NOT recommended. We are asking that everyone wear orange, navy, gray or white.

  • Ladies-you will be asked to wear sport tops/sports bras during the stunting section of tryouts.
  • All athletic t-shirts must be tucked in for both males and females.
  • No hats are permitted. Shoes must be worn at all times during the try-out weekend.


Standing Tumbling Requirements

    • Standing tumbling: standing backhandspring(both all girl and coed ladies), standing back tuck(coed ladies)
    • Running tumbling: tumbling passes that consist of at least 2 backhandsprings
Band Dance and Sideline
  • This material will be taught on Friday night, April 7. Material should be executed in a collegiate manner.  Excessive facials are not encouraged. Sharp motions and excellent motion placement will be expected.


  • Coed Team:  Toss to Shoulders and Stetch
  • All Girl:  Stretch full down and full up extension/full down
  • Candidates will be placed in stunt groups by the coaching staff and evaluated the entire weekend.  We will be looking at the ability to work with multiple people.  Being as versatile as possible with stunting is highly recommended.  You will be asked to work with more than one group or partner.

Tryout Q&A

Question: Can I bring my own partner for my personal try-out? Answer: No, we will use people that are part of the team.

Question: Will all stunts be spotted at the selection weekend even if I can do the stunt? Answer: YES. This is for safety purposes.

Question: I am a flyer, can I try out for both the co-ed and all-girl teams? Answer: Yes, you can also note which team you would prefer to be on. Team selection comes down to overall tryout.

About Appearance...

Appearance will be considered at all times during the tryout weekend.  You should wear what makes you comfortable. It is very important that you understand that you are trying out for a high profile position representing the University of Virginia.  We are looking for All-American type men and women.  Men:  please shave before attending the tryout weekend.  This is required and expected from those that are selected for the team.  Facial hair may not be grown during the course of the year in this program.  This includes goatees.   Ladies:  You will need to look like you are game ready during the tryout weekend.  This includes make-up and hair curled and pulled up, etc. Do not wear jewelry during the tryout weekend as you would not be permitted to wear jewelry during practices, games or special appearances, should you make the team.  Do not wear anything during the tryout weekend that features another school/university's logo or mascot.


If you are selected  for one the two University of Virginia Cheer teams, you will be required to stay for a meeting(approximately 1 hour) after the teams are announced.  The teams will be announced by a posting showing those who make each team. 

The incoming students who are selected but have not been accepted to the University of Virginia will have until June 1, 2017 to be accepted.  Coaches and athletic department staff do not have any influence on your acceptance to the University of Virginia.

For questions regarding tryouts, contact Kelley Haney, Head Cheerleading Coach and Spirit Coordinator at or 434-996-8084


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