How Much Do NBA Cheerleaders Make?

The NBA is synonymous with electrifying games, thrilling moments, and world-class athleticism, but it’s not just the players on the court who contribute to the excitement.

NBA cheerleaders, with their high-energy routines, impressive acrobatics, and undeniable enthusiasm, play a vital role in keeping fans engaged and entertained.

However, despite their significant impact on the overall NBA experience, these talented performers often find themselves under the spotlight for their compensation.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the topic of NBA cheerleader salaries, shedding light on what these dedicated professionals earn for their captivating performances and exploring the factors that contribute to their income.

How Much Do NBA Cheerleaders Make

How Much Do NBA Cheerleaders Earn?

NBA cheerleaders typically earn between $50 and $150 per game, depending on the team and location.

Some teams may also provide additional compensation through paid appearances, merchandise, and travel stipends.

However, it’s important to note that cheerleaders are generally classified as part-time employees or independent contractors, which means they may not receive full benefits or job security.

Moreover, they often invest considerable time and effort into practicing and maintaining their fitness, which is usually not compensated.

Basics Of The NBA Cheerleader Job

NBA cheerleaders are responsible for engaging the crowd, performing energetic routines, and promoting team spirit during games.

Their duties extend beyond the court, as they frequently participate in community events, charity functions, and promotional appearances.

They are also expected to maintain a high level of physical fitness, undergo rigorous training, and adhere to strict grooming standards.

Additionally, they must be able to work long hours and balance their personal and professional commitments, as game schedules and practice sessions can be demanding.

Basics Of The NBA Cheerleader Job

Education Qualifications

While there are no specific educational requirements to become an NBA cheerleader, having a strong background in dance, gymnastics, or cheerleading is highly advantageous.

Many cheerleaders have received formal training in these disciplines, either through dance schools, gymnastics programs, or competitive cheerleading teams.

Some teams may also prefer candidates with a college degree, particularly in fields related to dance, fitness, or communications.

Overall, a combination of talent, experience, and passion for performance is essential to succeed as an NBA cheerleader.

NBA Cheerleader Pay per Team

NBA cheerleader salaries can vary significantly depending on the team they work for.

Teams in larger markets or with a higher fan base generally offer higher pay, while smaller markets may provide lower compensation.

Here are a few examples of NBA cheerleader salaries per team:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: Cheerleaders for the Lakers, a high-profile team with a massive fan following, can earn around $130 to $150 per game.
  1. New York Knicks: Knicks City Dancers, the cheerleading squad for the New York Knicks, reportedly receive around $100 per game.
  1. Miami Heat: The Heat Dancers, who perform for the Miami Heat, make approximately $50 to $75 per game.
  1. Golden State Warriors: The Warrior Girls, who cheer for the Golden State Warriors, can expect to earn around $75 to $100 per game.
  1. Boston Celtics: The Celtics Dancers, who perform for the Boston Celtics, receive approximately $50 to $75 per game.
  1. Houston Rockets: The Rockets Power Dancers, representing the Houston Rockets, make about $75 per game.
  1. Chicago Bulls: The Luvabulls, the cheerleading squad for the Chicago Bulls, can earn roughly $50 to $75 per game.
  1. Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers Dancers, who perform for the Philadelphia 76ers, earn around $50 to $75 per game.
  1. Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs Dancers, representing the Dallas Mavericks, make approximately $50 to $75 per game.
  1. Toronto Raptors: The Raptors Dance Pak, who cheer for the Toronto Raptors, can expect to earn about $50 to $75 per game.

These salary ranges are approximations and may vary based on factors such as contract negotiations, team budgets, and individual experience levels.

It’s essential to consider that NBA cheerleaders, while not receiving the same level of compensation as the players, contribute significantly to the fan experience and team spirit through their dedication and talent.

Are NBA cheerleaders entitled to benefits like health insurance and retirement plans?

NBA cheerleaders entitled to benefits

Generally, NBA cheerleaders are classified as part-time employees or independent contractors, which means they may not be eligible for the same benefits as full-time employees, such as health insurance and retirement plans.

However, some teams may offer limited benefits or perks to their cheerleaders, depending on their contract terms and team policies.

How does the salary of an NBA cheerleader compare to that of an NFL or MLB cheerleader?

The salaries of NBA cheerleaders are relatively similar to those of NFL and MLB cheerleaders.

NFL cheerleaders typically earn between $75 and $150 per game, while MLB cheerleaders, if they exist for a team, may earn comparable amounts.

Like the NBA, cheerleader compensation in these leagues depends on the team, location, and individual contract negotiations.

Do NBA cheerleaders receive any additional income from endorsements or sponsorships?

While NBA cheerleaders generally do not receive income from endorsements or sponsorships individually, they may benefit from team-level partnerships.

Some teams have deals with apparel, cosmetic, or fitness companies that may provide cheerleaders with free or discounted products and services.

Additionally, cheerleaders can earn extra income through paid appearances, promotional events, or other opportunities arranged by the team.

How does the audition process work for aspiring NBA cheerleaders?

the audition process work

The audition process for NBA cheerleaders typically involves several rounds of tryouts, including open calls, callbacks, and final selections.

Candidates must demonstrate their dance skills, athleticism, and showmanship through a series of choreographed routines and freestyle performances.

Judges, usually consisting of team representatives and industry professionals, evaluate candidates based on criteria such as technique, personality, and overall performance quality.

Those who advance through each round may be invited to join the team’s training camp, where they will undergo further evaluation before being offered a position on the squad.


NBA cheerleaders play a vital role in enhancing the game experience and promoting team spirit both on and off the court.

While their salaries may not be as high as those of the players, their dedication, talent, and passion for the sport are invaluable assets to the NBA.

As we’ve explored in this article, factors such as team location, contract negotiations, and individual experience levels can influence a cheerleader’s compensation.

Despite the challenges and demands of the job, these skilled performers continue to bring energy and excitement to NBA games, making them an essential part of the league’s success.

Avatar photo
About Chris Green