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What Is a Dance Squad?

By T. Carrier
Updated: Jan 22, 2024

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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By sunshined — On Jun 10, 2012

Two of my daughters have been part of a dance squad and I have sat through many competitions. Sometimes I wonder how the judges can really choose one team that stands out from the rest.

There have been times when teams with more enthusiasm and creativity win over another team that appeared to be a little bit more precise.

I have often wondered how much personal preference is part of the judging process. If one judge likes very tight, structured routines over those that are more free flowing, does that influence their judging decision?

The big competitions can get pretty intense. I just know I am glad that I am in the stands watching instead of performing or judging.

By bagley79 — On Jun 10, 2012

I have never been part of a dance squad, but I could spend hours watching them perform. Their rhythm, routine and synchronization can keep me entertained for hours.

When I see so many performers with such precise movements at the same time, I am simply amazed. I can only imagine the number of hours of practice it takes to be really good at this. It would be a lot of repetition of the same thing over and over again.

Our public television station shows our high school dance competitions, and I look forward to watching these. The bigger screen you have the better it is, but it is still not as good as seeing them perform in person.

By myharley — On Jun 09, 2012

I don't have a daughter, but have two young nieces who love their tumbling class. This seems to be the place where many of the young girls begin their love of dance.

The place where they have their tumbling class offers just about any kind of dance class you could want. Many of the older girls are involved with tap and jazz which I imagine my nieces will try as they get a little older.

They love to show me the new moves they have learned when I see them. It's a good thing they learn this when they are young. Parts of my body hurt just watching them sometimes.

By LisaLou — On Jun 08, 2012

My daughter is part of the drill team at her high school. She has been involved with this for three years and it is probably her favorite extracurricular activity.

Their team puts in hours of practice, yet my daughter never seems to get tired of it. I think there is as much socialization time as dance time.

Their drill team will perform at every home football game during half-time. I know the parents really look forward to watching these performances. Many times they are on the field the same time the marching band is playing.

Other times, they will perform to music from a CD when the band is not on the field at the same time. This is probably something she won't do after she graduates, but I think dance will somehow always be a part of her life since she enjoys it so much.

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