A dance squad comprises a group of individuals that work as a team to perform group dances. Dancers may participate in exhibitions or take part in dance competitions. Several distinct styles are represented by dance squads, ranging from hip hop to Bollywood dance. These groups may also incorporate other skills into their routines, such as cheering or tumbling. Amateur dance squads include dance performers at the high school or collegiate level, while professional dance squads typically boast dancers with many years of formal training and experience.
Dance squad members typically have training in general dance and in specific musical genres. During this training, the dancers learn turns, steps, and choreography. For certain styles, jumps, splits, flips, and kicks characteristic of tumbling are also incorporated into classes.
Perhaps the most important collective skill a dance squad should possess is synchronization. In short, each member should be able to perform dance moves in precise harmony and sync with other group members. This team unity can best be achieved through frequent practice and familiarity with routines.
In competitive venues, synchronization is one primary criterion by which the dance squad is judged. Other team judging factors might include showmanship, creativity, and enthusiasm. Team members are also evaluated on the more technical dancing aspects like precision of turns and the execution of limb movements.
Performance dance is another area of interest for many dance squads. These are dances choreographed and performed for the entertainment of an audience. Squads may perform as part of a larger entertainment spectacle like an athletic competition. Some professional dance or drill teams, on the other hand, have entire shows built solely around their dance performances. In either case, dances are typically performed to pre-recorded music, although occasionally the dance squad may also perform in conjunction with live singing or band concerts. Props such as pom-poms or flags may be used in some performances as well.
Both amateur and professional showcases are available to dance squads. One area where younger individuals can gain training and experience is on a school dance squad, often in the form of cheering pep squads. These teams usually perform during school athletic events. Less formal dance squads and clubs often arise between groups of individuals with shared interests as well. Competitions are organized in various regions for local dance squads, whether they are school or club squads. Professional positions are available to highly skilled individuals who have successfully completed tryouts for a dance company, and membership on these teams can often become a career with paying benefits.