Time-Out vs Routine Music in Cheerleading: What's the Difference?



Picking the right mix for your next performance can be a tough decision. You can start to narrow down your choices by considering the context. Are you selecting music for game-time or competition? The two typically require very different criteria. Competition music will be more structured and must hit all the right notes on the judge’s score sheet. Time-out music is more of a free-for-all, with the primary goal of entertaining the fans while pumping up the athletes. We’ve organized our music selection into a variety of categories so you can browse time-out tracks or cheer mixes, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are a few tips on how to choose music for competition or game time:

Competition Music

Competition mixes should be built around the structure of a set routine, created to “fit the score sheet.” Your typical routine will include the following skills, with one song dedicated to each skill section.

  • Opening
  • Stunts
  • Jumps
  • Standing tumbling
  • Running tumbling
  • Pyramid
  • Dance

Because of these requirements, competition mixes generally include 7-9 songs contained in a 2:30 timeframe, or whatever the guidelines are for your specific cheer competition.

An ideal tempo for cheerleading competition music is somewhere around 145 BPM, a lively pace suited to maintaining a sustained energy throughout your squad. And it’s important to make sure any competition song you choose does not violate copyright laws. You can browse our selection without anxiety, because all of our mixes are 100% legal to use for competition.

If you’re searching for your next competition mix, here are a few places to start:

Platinum Hip-Hop Cheer Mix: This mashup takes songs such as “Money” by Cardi B, “Wow.” by Post Malone, and “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and completely reinvents them as a compact, high-speed cheer train, with drops, sound effects, and lyrics miraculously packed into a 1:30 or 2:30 time frame.

Magic Cheer Mix: This mashup bridges the most magical songs across decades, with remakes of “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band, “Magic” by The Cars, and “24K Magic" by Bruno Mars. The mix is made all the more enchanting with dashes of sound effects and timely drops.

Time-Out Music

Because your audience for game-time will not be holding score sheets, you have much more freedom in your music selection. The goal here is to pump up the fans and have a good time. Whether it’s short stunt routines during a time-out or a dance routine at half-time, your game-time mix can help set the perfect mood for those on and off the field.

Crowd-pleasing mixes will likely include popular songs from the radio that anyone can sing along to and feel like they’re invited to be part of the action. You’ll also want to select up-tempo music to keep the energy level sky-high. Mixes that are anywhere from 125-145 BPM are a good choice, depending on the audience. These tracks also need to be relatively short, anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes, so they can nicely fit into brief time-out slots.

If you’re in search of the perfect time-out mix, here are a few places to start:

Youngblood Mix: This track, featuring “Youngblood,” originally made famous by 5 Seconds of Summer is the perfect transitional song for time-outs. Our mix starts strong and carries a steady beat with a climax ideal for a show-stopping stunt or dance breakdown.

Havana: This song miraculously never gets old and remains a hit with fans of all ages. Our remix is perfect for filling small spaces of time with action-packed stunts.

There you have it! Hopefully, these tips inspire you to take your competition routine and time-out performances to the next level.