University of Minnesota

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Minneapolis, MN 


COACHING STAFF

Head Cheerleading Coach: Samuel Owens

Coach's Contact Info: 

Cell : (612) 624-7367

E-mail: gopherspiritsquad@gmail.com


Head Dance Coach: Samuel Owens

Coach's Contact Info: 

Cell : (612) 624-7367

E-mail: gopherspiritsquad@gmail.com


SPIRIT SQUAD DETAILS

Website: gophersports.com

Team Colors: Maroon and Gold

Team Mascot: Goldy Gopher

Sports Conference: Big 10

Programs Offered: Large Coed Cheer, Small Coed Cheer, All Girl Cheer, Dance Team, Mascot.

Social Media Handles: 

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

Scholarships Offered: Yes

Cheer Scholarship Details: Book scholarships, Meal scholarships, and limited scholarships for 3rd/4th year team members.

Dance Scholarship Details: Book scholarships, Meal scholarships, and limited scholarships for 3rd/4th year team members.

Mascot Scholarship Details: Book scholarships, Meal Scholarships, and and limited scholarships for 3rd/4th year team members.


Program Details

Message from the coach

Dear Spirit Squad Prospect:

Joining the Spirit Squad program at the University of Minnesota, means joining a rich tradition and a legacy that started over 100 years ago. Cheerleading was invented in 1898 on the University of Minnesota campus, and our founder’s spirit and pride continue today. Very few people have had the privilege of participating in America’s ORIGINAL cheerleading program.

Within the last decade, our teams have had a variety of notable accomplishments. Goldy Gopher has won 4 Mascot National Championships, finished top 5 for the last 14 years, and twice named NCAA/ESPN Mascot of the year. The Hockey Cheer Team is comprised of talented figure skaters and has been recognized on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USFS Skating Magazine and is among the top Hockey Cheerleading teams in the country. The Co-ed Cheer Team has consistently placed among the top 10 teams in the country in one of the most competitive divisions at UCA College Cheer Nationals and finished 2nd place in Game Day in 2018. Additionally, the U of M’s All-Girl Cheer Team, over the last 10 years, has finished top 5 four times in the most competitive division at UCA College Cheer Nationals. The Dance Team has won 18 National Championships and is by far the winningest athletic team on the U of M campus, winning 10 Jazz titles and 8 Pom titles.

Along with this great history comes a very serious sense of responsibility. As a Spirit Squad member you are a representative not only of the athletic teams and department you support at this University, but also the entire State of Minnesota. You are the most visible ambassadors we have, and it is expected that you conduct yourself accordingly on and off the playing field.

The Spirit Squad is comprised of 6 teams and over 100 dedicated student-athletes who devote 15-20 hours weekly to practices, games, special appearances, camps/clinics, fundraising events, and competitions. Spirit Squad athletes are also expected to maintain high academic standards and carry a full credit load. Because of these responsibilities, we are looking for skilled and talented athletes, and well-rounded students, who embrace the ability to be coached, as well as find a healthy balance between athletics, school, family, and friends.

Our team members come from across the country and many from diverse backgrounds in dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and skating. The common-ground amongst all of our program athletes is their dedication and commitment to this program. Our athletes believe that improving as individuals, helps their team improve as well. 

We are excited for your interest and believe that the rewards from this experience cannot be measured. Imagine the excitement that comes with being part of a Big Ten athletic department, performing at some of the biggest, nationally televised games, traveling to storied venues around the country, and competing against some of the top cheerleading and dance programs in the nation. Every once in awhile you come across an opportunity and make a decision that will change your life, securing friends for a lifetime and your place in history forever.

Sincerely,

Coach Owens, Head Spirit Squad Coach


All Girl Cheer Details

The All Girl Cheer Team consists of all female cheerleaders who cheer for football and women’s basketball games with an opportunity to travel to away football games and basketball tournaments. Team members also perform at a variety of off-campus appearances and they participate in all Spirit Squad fundraisers. The team has a year-long time-commitment beginning each season at tryouts. All Girl Cheer Team annually commits to training for the UCA National Competition (in January). All-Girl and Co-ed Cheer Team members are awarded an allotment for books each semester.

Coed Cheer Details

The Co-ed Cheer Team consists of men and women who cheer for football and men’s basketball games with an opportunity to travel to away football and basketball tournaments. Team members also perform at a variety of off-campus appearances and they participate in all Spirit Squad fundraisers. The team has a year-long time-commitment beginning each season at tryouts. Co-ed Cheer Team annually commits to training for the UCA National Competition (in January). All-Girl and Co-ed Cheer Team members are awarded an allotment for books each semester.

Small Coed Cheer Details

The Small Co-ed Cheer Team consists of men and women who cheer for football and women’s basketball games. The Small Co-ed Cheer Team is a team designed for skill development. Team members also perform at a variety of off-campus appearances and they participate in all Spirit Squad fundraisers.

Dance Details

The University of Minnesota Dance Team consists of all female dancers who perform at home football and men’s basketball games, with an opportunity to travel for away football and basketball tournaments. The University of Minnesota Dance Team also competes nationally at UDA College National Championships, winning 18 titles since 2003. The team has also been chosen as Team USA twice in the last 10 years, earning gold medals in Jazz (2010) and Freestyle Dance (2010 and 2014), in addition to a silver medal in Hip Hop (2010) and Jazz (2014). Members of the dance team also perform at a variety of off-campus appearances and participate in Spirit Squad fundraisers. The commitment is year-round beginning each year at auditions. The University of Minnesota Dance Team is one of the most elite programs in the nation. If the idea of involvement in your school, completing nationally and taking your abilities to the next level interests you, then this team is for you.

Mascot Details

This team consists of outgoing and friendly people who assist in every Gopher sporting event, including all football games, with an opportunity to travel to away football games and postseason tournaments. They also help with on and off campus appearances and events and participate in all Spirit Squad Fundraisers. This team is also committed to training for local and national competitions, or as an alternate member with the same responsibilities. This team has a year-round time commitment.


TRYOUT INFORMATION

CHEER:

Clinic & Tryout Dates: Early/Mid April. Check our social media and website for dates and more info.

Tryout Requirements:

ELIGIBILITY:
Spring tryouts are open to individuals who have been accepted by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for Fall Semester [of the next school year]. All participants, including transfer students and current team members, must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and have graduated from high school. Incoming students must bring a copy of their letter of acceptance on the first day of tryouts. Current U of M students must bring an unofficial transcript.

TRYOUT PROCESS:
Throughout the week of clinics and the final tryout you will be observed by the U of M Coaching Staff as well as a selection committee. There may be a tryout cut at any time during the clinics. At the final tryout, you will be asked to individually perform specific skills; however, there is not a point system. The final decisions are made by the coaching staff and/or a tryout selection committee.

SKILLS:
You will be asked to execute the skills listed below for tryouts. If you haven’t mastered all skills, do not be discouraged. We are not necessarily looking for perfection at this time, but we do want you to concentrate and perfect the skills that play to your strengths. In addition to the skills listed, you will be observed throughout the tryout clinics on your attitude, ability to learn and make changes, enthusiasm, projection and overall performance. We will be looking for current and potential skills to become a collegiate cheerleader. (NOTE: requirements are subject to change; you will be informed of any changes at the first day of clinics.)


TRYOUT MATERIAL AND REQUIREMENTS:
• Interview with coaches
• Fight Song - Minnesota Rouser
• Fight Song- Minnesota Fight
• A Sideline Cheer

Tumbling
• Standing: Handspring, Tuck, BHS-Tuck, BHS/BHS-Full
•  Pass: Round-off followed by three consecutive skills


All-Girl Partner Stunts
• Full up stunt
• Single-base extension or Liberty
• Elite partner stunt sequence including a flipping stunt or inversion with a full down or double full down


Co-ed Partner Stunts
• Stunt 1: Toss extension/ lib, bonus for full up
• Stunt 2: Round off/backhand spring up, hand to hand, or rewind, bonus – high to high at the end
• Elite partner stunt sequence (suggested: 1-Arm stunt or flipping stunt, may link skills together)
• We would like to see one of your chosen stunts end in a heel stretch body position.

DANCE:

Clinic & Audition Dates: Early/Mid April. Check our social media and website for dates and more info.

Audition Requirements:

ELIGIBILITY:
Auditions are open to individuals who have been accepted by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for Fall Semester 2018. All participants, including transfer students and current team members, must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and have graduated from high school. Incoming students must bring a copy of their letter of acceptance on the first day of tryouts. Current U of M students must bring an unofficial transcript.

AUDITION PROCESS:
Auditions are held over multiple sessions with cuts occurring at the end of every session. During each session, you will be observed by the coaches and a judging panel. If you qualify for the final audition, you will be asked to perform choreography, technical skills and interview with the coaching staff. The final decisions are made by the coaches. Auditions are CLOSED to the public.

AUDITION ATTIRE:
Dancers should wear fitted clothing. Most choose to wear spandex shorts/briefs and a sports bra/crop top. There are no specific color requirements. Dancers should look presentable, with no excess jewelry.

SKILLS:
You will be asked to execute the skills listed below for auditions. In addition to the skills listed, you will be observed throughout the clinics on your attitude, ability to learn, enthusiasm, projection and overall performance. We will be looking for your ability and potential to become a collegiate dancer.

NOTE: Auditions for the University of Minnesota Dance Team are ONLY held in the Spring.


AUDITION MATERIAL
CHOREOGRAPHY
• Jazz combination taught at auditions
• 2-4 eight count combinations choreographed by YOU.
• This should incorporate your strengths.
• Music will be provided at auditions, so your choreography should be adaptable to various styles and tempos.
• You will have time during the audition process to choreograph and work on this material.
• 4 eight count pom combination taught at auditions.

TECHNIQUE
TURNS
• Pirouettes: Double, Triple and Quadruple
• A la seconds


ACRO
• Aerial, front/back walkover, etc.


LEAPS
• Jete
• Open Second
• Calypso
• Firebird


JUMPS
• Toe Touch (or Russian)
• Jump combination

INTERVIEW WITH COACHING STAFF:
• Conducted with individuals that make it to the final round of auditions

MASCOT:

Clinic & Audition Dates: Early/Mid April. Check our social media and website for dates and more info.

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Competition Involvement: Coed, All Girl, Dance and Mascot all compete at the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, FL. 

Program National Championship Titles:

Dance National Championships - UDA Jazz: 2003-2004-2005-2006-2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2017
Dance National Championships - UDA Pom: 
2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017
Mascot National Championships - UCA: 
2011-2013-2017-2018


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