OK, we’re going to get this out of the way right now: Cheerleading is a sport. So is being on the Dance Team. Suggesting that the basketball or football players are more athletic than cheerleaders is ridiculous. Some say they don’t compete, so it’s not a sport, but we’d urge you to check out any collegiate cheer and dance competition and you’ll see stunts that few other athletes would even dare attempt, much less pull off.
Unfortunately, most schools still don’t recognize cheerleading as a legitimate sport. Some don’t even include the activity in their athletics section. There are few scholarships and they are treated like a third-tier activity. Those who do highlight their dance teams or cheerleaders deserve to be applauded. It’s ironic how so many of these institutions of higher learning that are supposed to be on the forefront of progressive thinking still treat these squads. We have nothing but respect for all of the hard work and practice these athletes invest in their passion.
So that’s out of the way. Let’s address the other side of the coin. We will stand next to them and defend their sports to our dying breath. However, any cheerleader or dancer that wants to play down or ignore the fact that a huge percentage of their appeal has to do with their sexiness as direct result of showing so much skin is delusional. It’s the biggest reason the sports haven’t been taken seriously for so long. That said, the world is finally easing up on how it views power and sexuality and a beautiful woman who knows she is strong and sexy is the best kind out there. With this all said, we’d like to introduce you to the 15 Hottest Cheerleading or Dancing Squads of 2016. It was a very good year.
15 New Mexico State
We love us some cheerleader selfies and this one from the New Mexico State Aggies is among our favorites. Selfies show the real personality of cheerleaders, not just the false enthusiasm and dead-behind-the-eyes Pavlovian chanting that comes with their hobby. For those schools who list their cheerleader rosters on their website, we think they should also include a link to their Instagram pages. Cheerleaders are sexy. Cheerleaders wearing bikinis are even sexier. Unless they’re male cheerleaders. That’s not sexy. So, ever wonder what you need to bring to tryouts when you want to be on the team? According to the Aggies’ tryouts page, ladies must wear a black sports bra, black shorts (spankies or bloomers must be worn under shorts), cheerleading shoes, have their hair half-up and half-down curled with a white bow and their makeup and lashes need to be worn. Good luck ladies! Remember, it’s not all about your looks.
14 Oregon State
For a state that isn’t a hotbed of excitement, it sure does churn out some beautiful cheer and dance squads. You’ll meet the Ducks from the University of Oregon later. These ladies are the Oregon State Beavers at one of their practices. They actually look way hotter here, sporting what you’d bump into them in the gym wearing, than with their orange and black uniforms. So...OK, let’s address the elephant in the room, or rather the picture. Yes, these are the Beavers. Those are animals that build dams, but not like the ones your dentist uses. Those are called dental dams. During the big events, these Beavers have to be flexible and ready to perform at any moment, especially if a player goes down. Somebody’s got to fill that hole while everybody waits for more action. And for the girl who works the hardest, she wins the Beaver of the Night award.
13 Santa Clara University
If you want to be a dance team member with Santa Clara University in California, but you happened to be from outside of the state, get ready to drop nearly $200,000 for your four years of education. This dance team is so full of hot ladies that they have their own Instagram page with plenty of more photos of this beautiful squad with our favorite being the bikinis-on-the-beach shots. Here’s an important thing to recognize in the difference between a cheerleading squad and a dance team. The dance team isn’t always just seasonal while cheerleading squads tend to stick to a single team at a specific time of year. Take the SCU Dance Team for example. They are busy throughout the year, performing at events and pep rallies, athletic benefits, off-campus appearances not to mention all of the home AND local away games for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. They work hard for their money because they don’t make any money at all.
12 East Central Community College
We’re going to give a little love to one of the community colleges because they can provide just as good, if not better educations and experiences as one people drop $40,000 a year for. They are great stepping stones to being admitted to larger schools and are more flexible for older students looking to return to school. ECCC, located in Decatur, Mississippi has a lot of lovely ladies in its dance squad, the Centralettes, as this picture illustrates. Unlike its much smaller cheerleading squad, the Centralettes are not considered part of an athletic team since they perform with the school band, known as the Wall O’ Sound. This diversified group, which also includes a color guard and drum majorette squad, is the largest student activity at ECCC, with around 100 people participating in one form or another. But trust us, the Centralettes are the sexiest part of the Wall O’ Sound.
11 Oklahoma University Twirlers
We’re going to break the rules quickly and include not just a cheerleading or dance squad. May we introduce to you the Alabama Crimsonettes baton twirling team. Technically, they are part of the school band, but they’re way closer to being a dancer than an instrument player. Interestingly enough, the biggest news story for the band, cheerleading or dance squads going into the 2016 season was with the baton twirlers. Their most famous twirler, Sarah Harris, decided to leave the school and move back home to Tennessee to be closer to her family. She was known for her flaming baton antics during the halftime shows, was a crowd favorite, served as Miss University of Oklahoma and finished in the Top 5 in the Miss University of Oklahoma Pageant. She said her 2015 season ended on such a high note she was not going to pursue the same position at her new school back home.
10 University of Oklahoma cheerleaders
No ladies, you didn’t quite make No. 1 on this list, but we still think you’re a super-sexy and talented bunch of ladies who will no doubt either make your mark on the world, or at least marry well. And hey, at least you did better than the baton twirlers on our list. The Oklahoma Sooners cheerleading team suffers from a malady that afflicts most squads at the nation’s universities and colleges: They are not included in the sports section of the school’s website. Perhaps at a small college in rural America this isn’t a big deal, but when you’re talking about one of the most visible offshoots of one of the most visible football teams in the history of collegiate sports, well, they deserve better. Maybe super famous coach Barry Switzer didn’t care about those cute girls screaming and doing tricks, but we’re going to guess many of the tens of thousands of fans in the stands did. Oh well, the least we can do is follow their Twitter page @OUCheer
9 Lawson State Community College
Millions of people read this site. Surely there’s somebody looking at this list that knows one of the 11 dancers (all freshmen except one - that’s right, we’re looking at you sophomore Talisha Samuels) on the Lawson State Community College Golden Essence Dance Team. Let them know we’re making them famous. The school is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and the dance team hopefully proves that you needn’t go to a giant, expensive college to find a team of women who are both beautiful and talented. While the school may not be a household name, it has a few impressive credentials, including being named one of the 50 Best Community Colleges in America in 2011, something not seen by an Alabama community college before. It’s No. 33 rank shot to No. 5 by 2013. The college has improved so much, it was used as the backdrop for one of President Barack Obama’s speeches in 2015. The school doesn’t have the money or boosters for its dance team the big ones do, but we urge you to check out a couple of their videos online and you’ll see why more eyes are focusing toward the school.
8 Virginia Tech
Here are three members of the Virginia Tech HighTechs Dance Team. We think they’re absolutely stunning and based on a couple YouTube videos we looked at, they’re quite competent at what they do. Here’s the problem...it’s nearly impossible to identify almost any cheerleader or dance team member from any college or university in this country. The official HighTechs site has individual photos, but you know how those studio shots are - they never look anything like the real person. We were able to ID the same ladies in other photos, but alas, those photos never mention their names either. Nobody would dare do that to a male football or basketball player, but media outlets and websites don’t seem to care when it comes to these athletes. It’s a shame. A real shame. We bet they have smokin’ hot pictures on their Instagram pages.
7 University of Miami
With a student body of just under 17,000, an acceptance rate of only 38 percent and a pricetag of $44,000 for out-of-state tuition, the University of Miami is not an easy school to get into. Many on this list have acceptance rates in the 70-80% range and have upwards of 40,000 students, but Miami is a bit more selective and that clearly is true for the cheerleading and dance squads as well. Considering the beauty and talent on the team, you’d think they were recruiting from a cast of millions. Speaking of talent, those guys on the team who the ladies (and a dude or two) are cheering on, have an impressive post-collegiate record. The school has the most players of any other university in the nation currently active in the NFL. Loyalty is huge for the Hurricanes as well. The 2009 documentary The U drew 2.3 million viewers, making it the most popular documentary ever aired on ESPN.
6 University of Tennessee
We’re going to be 100 percent honest with you. The University of Tennessee Athletic Department’s website is horrible. We tried to identify the ladies in the picture above to confirm it was from 2016, but couldn’t give you the names. We hope you’ll let it slide and enjoy these four Volunteers (that’s the team mascot, although since they’re not being paid, technically they are volunteers) chilling out on the ground before a game. While the school hasn’t been a football powerhouse in recent years, participating in post-season contests such as the Outback Bowl and TaxSlayer Bowl, it does have an impressive alumni roster, including NFL Hall of Famers Doug Atkins, Reggie White and future HOF’er Peyton Manning and other well-known NFL players such as Jason Witten, Terry McDaniel and Jamal Lewis. One of these guys should throw the school a few bucks to make their website better than one produced at your average middle school.
Las Vegas has always been one of our favorite cities in the world, but we’ve always wondered if living there when you turn 21 would be a good thing or not. The best answer would probably come from one of the 28,000 students who attend the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The Runnin’ Rebels basketball was a powerhouse like few others have been in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. The team, under towel-chewing coach Jerry Tarkanian won the NCAA March Madness National Basketball Tournament in 1990, but they made the Elite Eight six times between 1984 and 1991. Tarkanian was forced out in 1992 amid alleged violation of NCAA rules. It took 20 years for the team to come even close to regaining its form. They made it to the tournament every year between 2007 and 2013 with the exception of 2009.
4 Virginia Commonwealth University
If we were going to give an award for our favorite use of social media by a cheerleader of dance team member at any college or university in the United States, it would go to Samantha Mellinger, one of the captains of the Virginia Commonwealth University Gold Rush Dancers. A senior who has been on the team for three years, Mellinger is not only beautiful and a heck of a dancer, she’s also a terrific choreographer and mixes up her Twitter enough to always be interesting. We echo her post from late November saying that Mondays always make her sad. Us too. VCU is located in Richmond and had a total enrollment of just over 31,000 in 2015. It’s not too pricey if you’re from Virginia, but anybody looking to attend from outside the state should be prepared to drop over $30,000 per year for an education.
3 University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is one of those schools that takes its cheerleading and dance seriously and the results are obvious when you take one look at the talent on the school’s Pomline. The team’s website is probably the best out there for any college team of its kind. In this selfie, you’ll see the lovely Briana Odell and the equally hot Gabby Goduco. Odell has been with the team three years and is originally from Colorado. She had to give up performing for two years after a pair of hip surgeries, but she’s bounced back and is working toward her degree in chemical engineering. Her teammate Gabby is from just outside of Chicago and is a journalism major. She first join the Arizona Pomline in 2014, but almost gave up the sport when she was in high school, taking a year off to try other things. Thankfully, she returned and is a major part of one of the best teams in the country. We just wish Gabby would make her Twitter public and Briana would update her's a little more often.
2 University of Oregon
If we had to pick one school that consistently turned out hot cheerleaders and dance team members years after year, it’s not a hard choice. Oregon’s ladies are simply the sexiest. Need some proof? In 2015, there was a big debate about whether or not to ban the dance team because of their sexy outfits and moves. One member of their board of trustees got everyone's panties in a bunch when she claimed she thought “overt sexual dancing” was contributing to a rape culture on campus. She also said people left at halftime because they were uncomfortable watching the cheerleaders. This didn’t mention lopsided scores or the fact people leave to buy food and souvenirs. Somehow she got other people on her side and, as in all great brush-offs, the university said they’d look into it. Don’t look too hard. The girls may be hotter than most schools, but the dance moves nor costumes are.
1 Weber State University
The Weber State Wildcats may have finished the 2016 football season with a 7-5 record, but for cheerleader sexiness in a single photograph, this one gets a 10-0. What can we say? We want to party with these girls. It’s nice to see a team actually having fun on the sidelines instead of taking themselves way too seriously and faking the enthusiasm. The Utah school got in a bit of trouble a couple of years back when a math teacher admitted to completing coursework for five students who were all on the football team during the 2013 spring semester. That’s a big no-no with the NCAA. The student-athletes also said the instructor gave them hints for quiz and test answers. The penalties for Weber State included three years of probation, a reduction in football team scholarships and a little over $5,000 in fines. If staying on the team meant hanging out with these girls, we can see why they might do whatever they needed to remain.
Sources: santaclarabroncos.com, soonersports.com