National Football League Cheerleading, or simply NFL Cheerleading, is a professional cheerleading organization in the United States. 26 of the 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise. Cheerleaders are a popular attraction that can give a team more coverage/airtime, popular local support, and increased media image.
In 1954, the Baltimore Colts became the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. They were part of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band.
Most NFL cheerleading squads are a part-time job, and it is common that cheerleaders have completed or are attending a university. The members participate in practice, training camp, games, appearances, photo shoots, and charity events. Apart from their main duties of cheering during the football games, the cheerleaders have many other responsibilities. Nearly every team member is available for appearances at schools, events, conferences, etc., for a set fee.
An anticipated annual event is the release of each squad’s calendar, featuring members for each month in swimsuits or uniforms.
The cheerleaders are one of the biggest entertainment groups to regularly perform for the United States Armed Forces overseas with performances and tours being enlisted by the USO. Teams send their variety show, an elite group of their best members, to perform combination shows of dance, music, acrobatics, gymnastics, and more.
In 2018 the first male dancers were added to National Football League Cheerleading.