Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders: ‘Part-time job with Full-time Responsibilities’

By Tim Hawk
South Jersey Times

Standing in the north end tunnel waiting to walk onto Lincoln Financial Field for the first time, Philadelphia Eagles rookie cheerleader Pilar Martin, from Washington Township, was more excited than scared.

“A dream come true,” the 19-year-old La Salle University sophomore said. “One of the happiest moments of my life.”

But to be one of the 39 women ready to face 70,000 screaming fans on a sunny September day, it began with an audition process that stretched from March into May.

Six days after the final auditions, on Mother’s Day, many of the cheerleaders gathered for the first day of the trading card photo session at Lincoln Financial Field.

“Putting on the uniform for the first time, I was shaking,“ said rookie Alycia Guzman, a 21-year-old Rowan University junior from Deptford.

For the 14 rookies, that day was the beginning of a new way of life, juggling the responsibilities of family, school or a career, and cheerleading.

“You really have to be dedicated to the team to be on the squad,” said Alicia Marie Parks, a third-year veteran from Philadelphia.

That perseverance began in June, with 3-hour practices twice a week that continue through the end of the season. For some squad members, learning a new dance a week required additional work outside of scheduled practices.

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You can’t help but smile when you are standing there and everyone is cheering.

“What we learn Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m usually practicing throughout the week,” said Deonna Baquero.

The second-year veteran from Marlton added that she had less formal dance training than many of the other women on the squad.

“There really were no off days for me,” said Guzman, who practiced wherever and whenever she could because she wanted to be perfect on the field. “We want to be the best for our fans.”

But being a cheerleader is much more than practice and performing during Philadelphia Eagles’ games. They make approximately 350 appearances a year that include community, charitable and civil appearances, as well as fan engagement activities and corporate events.

“It’s a part-time job with full-time responsibilities,” said Parks.

Gameday begins with a quick on-field practice several hours before kickoff. After a second, longer practice in the service level of the stadium, many cheerleaders visit season ticket holders and sign calendars. They also make their way through a few of the crowded tailgating lots, having their picture taken with fans every few minutes.

Just before taking the field, choreographer Suzy Zucker fires up the squad with a quick cheer. Moments later, they burst out of the tunnel to perform their pre-game dance routine.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s really exciting too,” said Martin. “Being out there is incredible.”

One common reward shared among the cheerleaders is how being a part of the squad has helped them develop both personally and professionally.

“Being a cheerleader has forced me to have a confidence I never had before,” said Parks, who works for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, creating educational programs for students and teachers.

During the last home game of the season, with her family standing on the sidelines in awe at being so close to the players and the action, Parks remembered that she has the best seat in house. Her family had been brought down onto the field for the announcement that she was selected to represent the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders at the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona, and she realized that she had been taking all those things for granted.

“You can’t help but smile when you are standing there and everyone is cheering,” Parks said. “It’s just this beautiful moment.”

San Jose SaberKitten Auditions Are Fast Approaching

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How do I get an application?

The best way to apply is to complete the application below and submit it. You may also print out the application from this website and mail it to the San Jose SaberCats office at 600 East Brokaw Rd, San Jose, CA, 95112. If you are unable to print the application or submit it online, please contact the San Jose SaberCats office at (408) 673-3400 and we will mail you one.

What kind of photograph should I submit?

Although a professional photo is not required, it is recommended. Photos are used for identification purposes so please make sure your hair color and length are the same as the photo. The photo should be one that you feel makes you look your best. Headshots, half body or full body shots are acceptable (preferably 8×10). You may only submit one photo. Photos WILL NOT be returned under any circumstance. Please bring the photo with you the day of the audition. DO NOT mail it in ahead of time.

Can I register on the day of the audition?

Yes. Applications will be available the day of the audition at the registration area and walk-ups will be accepted at the door. Although you may register the day of the audition, we recommend you submit an application ahead of time.

How should I wear my hair and make-up for the audition?

Hair does not need to be a certain length, color or style. At games and appearances, the SaberKittens wear their hair either completely down or half up/half down. Please choose a style that looks best on you. Make-up should be worn a little heavier than your everyday make-up. Please wear colors that complement your skin colors and the audition outfit you are wearing.

What attire is required for the audition?

A two-piece leotard and flesh colored tights/nylons ARE MANDATORY. This outfit should complement you both in color and in style. Biker shorts, hot pants, skirts, capri pants and stretch pants are NOT ACCEPTABLE. Jazz shoes or athletic shoes (non-marking soles) are also MANDATORY. You may NOT dance barefoot. You may want to bring a couple of pairs of shoes to try out since you will be dancing on a gym floor.

Are there any special requirements to audition?

You must be at least 18 years of age by January 17, 2015 and must be a high school graduate. There is no maximum age limit.
There are no height or weight requirements.
All team members must have flexible schedules for rehearsals, games and promotional appearances throughout the season.
We are looking for bright, friendly, attractive women to perform at all San Jose SaberCats home games.

What time commitment is required as a member of the SaberKittens?

Being a member of the SaberKittens is not a full time job but does require 100% commitment. Most squad members work, attend college or both. The SaberKittens practice one or two nights during the week and on weekends. All home games are MANDATORY and the 2015 schedule can be found on the home page of the SaberCats website.

What can I expect the day of the audition?

Upon arrival, you should proceed to the registration table to check in. If you have not filled out an application you might want to get there early so you have time to fill it out completely. You will also be required to submit your photo at this time. Once everyone has checked in, you will go through a short group warm up. We recommend that you start stretching upon arrival. Then a choreographer will teach a short dance combination for each phase of the audition. You will be required to learn and perform these dance combinations in small groups in front of a panel of judges. A cut will be made after each phase. At the end of the preliminary audition, a group of finalists will be selected to continue onto finals the next day. Throughout the day you will be judged on your dance/cheer ability, showmanship and crowd appeal. If you are selected as a finalist, you will then receive instructions as to what will be required of you at the final audition on Sunday, January 18th.

What should I bring with me to the preliminary audition?

Your photo
Extra flesh colored tights/nylons
Extra shoes
Lunch/Dinner and snacks for breaks

If you have any additional questions please e-mail them to sabercatssales@gmail.com or call the San Jose SaberCats office at 408-673-3400.

[SaberKittens Audition Information]

Photos of the Year – December 31

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

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It’s the year of the selfie, so no better way to end it with this shot of the USA Sevens Sweethearts high atop PPL Park.

Homesickness, Training Five Nights a Week AND a Full Time Job! Aussie Girl Jinelle Esther Reveals What it Takes to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader… and She Loves it

Former Melbourne Storm cheerleader selected as one of 36 on the Dallas Cowboy cheer squad

The 27-year-old has been cheering professionally for eight years

Jinelle said ‘I am so honoured to be one of 36 women chosen to represent such an iconic organisation. It has been a lifelong goal’

She said she missed Australia and her family but has come to love the US

The cheer squad practices five nights a week for between three and eight hours, as well as balancing full-time jobs

Jinelle is passionate about exercise and eating healthily

By Heather Mcnab
Daily Mail Australia

Former Melbourne Storm cheerleader Jinelle Esther landed the job of a lifetime when she was chosen for the iconic Dallas Cowboy cheer squad in March last year.

The 27-year-old from East Hawthorn, Victoria, had to audition with 500 others from around the world before being selected for the final 18, who progressed to training camp, where just 12 were selected for the team.

Since being chosen for the team, it has been a whirlwind adventure for the bubbly cheerleader, who said that she feels blessed to have the opportunity to do what she loves.

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The 27-year-old from East Hawthorn, Victoria, had to audition with 500 others to make the final 12

‘Becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader has been an absolute dream come true,’ Jinelle told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I am so honoured to be one of 36 women chosen to represent such an iconic organization. It has been a lifelong goal, and it feels incredible to have this opportunity to do what I love most.’

Jinelle has been cheering since she was ten years old, starting out as a performer for her local Melbourne soccer club before cheering professionally in Australia for seven years.

‘For two of those years I danced for the National Basketball League, Melbourne Tigers, and then joined the National Rugby Leagues’ Melbourne Storm squad,’ said Jinelle.

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‘I am so honoured to be one of 36 women chosen to represent such an iconic organization. It has been a lifelong goal, and it feels incredible to have this opportunity to do what I love most,’ said Jinelle

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Jinelle has been cheering since she was ten years old, starting out as a performer for her local Melbourne soccer club before cheering professionally in Australia for seven years.

‘This team quickly became my family for the next 5 years, where I gained life skills and experiences that have helped shape me to become a more well rounded, confident person.’

Being one of two Australians on the Dallas Cowboy cheer squad, along with Angela Rena, Jinelle said that Dallas can sometimes feel a long way from home.

‘I miss my family and friends everyday. The toughest part about being so far away is the time difference and not being able to communicate as easily with the people I love,’ Jinelle said.

‘I have also come to truly appreciate how beautiful Australia’s beaches are. I miss being able to enjoy some of the most incredible coast lines in the world!’

Despite her homesickness, Jinelle said that she has come to love living in the United States, and spending so much time with her ‘cheer family’ has meant she has experienced a side of American life she didn’t expect.

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Jinelle cheered for Melbourne Storm for five years before making the move to the Dallas Cowboys

‘Driving on the other side of the road was definitely an interesting learning experience. A few unforced errors helped me quickly adapt to Texas traffic!’ Jinelle said.

‘I also really enjoy being immersed in a new and welcoming, southern culture. I appreciate the hospitality the locals have shown me, and have loved getting to experience new festivals and holidays such as Halloween, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving!’

It’s not all fun and games for the cheer squad though, who balance full-time jobs outside of their commitment to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

In order to be prepared for the games, shows, and appearances, the squad trains five nights a week for anywhere between three and eight hours a night to perfect routines, the kick line and the iconic jump splits.

Jinelle said that she finds exercise to be essential in her day.

‘Whether it’s going for a peaceful walk, or running a marathon, exercising helps you to feel balanced and healthy,’ Jinelle said.

‘In addition to being physically active, it is important to treat food as fuel and resist cravings for products filled with chemicals and preservatives that are toxic to your body,’ she said.

‘My favourite way to exercise is to take Zumba classes! It’s the perfect combination of cardio and toning, and the music is motivating and engages you in the routines.’

LA KISS Girls Auditions are January 17th

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LAK Girls Aud update

[LA KISS Girls]

Photos of the Year – December 30

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

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James has asked us to provide our favorite photo of the year and to describe why we chose it for publication.  Well, here’s my choice.

This photo of Minnesota Viking Cheerleader Jeanne at the 2014 P-R-O Convention is one of my favorite photos of the year because I like the colors, the rich purple of her uniform and the yellow gold of her hair.  It is a challenge to represent motion in a still photograph, but there are instances where you can capture a dance movement and immortalize it as a frozen moment in time.  And I think this image of Jeanne comes close and for this reason, it is one of my favorite photos of the year.

Jenny was perfectly cast as Co-Director of the Ohio Dance Machine

Jenny was Co-Director/Co-Captain of last season's Ohio Dance Machine of Major League Lacrosse

Jenny was Co-Director/Co-Captain of last season’s Ohio Dance Machine of Major League Lacrosse

First Witch, MacBeth Act IV, Scene 1, Line 1699: Ay, sir, all this is so: but why Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?...

In theatre lore, Shakespeare’s play MacBeth is so cursed, superstition claims that even speaking the name “Macbeth” inside a theatre is bad luck that will cause unmitigated disaster. Well, for Jenny of the Ohio Dance Machine, a production of MacBeth was truly a blessing, not at all a curse. “It’s actually how I met my husband, because my first role at Capital (University) was in Macbeth, and I was the First Witch,” Jenny explains. “We met outside at the cast list and we were talking about what role I had. I said, ‘Oh, I made the cast, are you in it?’ He said, ‘Yeah. I’m Macbeth.’”

Jenny loves plays, musicals, Broadway, particularly A Chorus Line, and she majored in theatre, and, of course, her role in The Scottish Play is her favorite role of her life, “It was so much fun,” Jenny recalls. “Oh my goodness, it was awesome.”

First Witch, MacBeth Act I, Scene 3, Line 110: Thou’rt kind.

Fast forward, now one of Jenny’s current “roles” is Co-Director/Co-Captain of the Ohio Dance Machine that performs at Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine games in central Ohio outside of Columbus. Her view of the entire Machine organization is also ebullient. “I just love it,” Jenny says. “The Machine are wonderful, the front office, and the players are so nice. It’s just a great team and a great organization to start up with. As far as the dance, it’s just like there’s not many other places where you can dance in front of people, perform, work, and challenge yourself for free. You either have to take classes, so it’s just really great to be able to do that every week, and to know that it’s coming each year, and to be a part of this organization.”

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And 2015 is on its way! With 2015 ODM prep classes this starting January 5th and auditions starting January 17th, let’s learn more about Jenny as she co-leads with her Co-Director Megan this impressive squad of pro dancers.

First Witch, MacBeth Act I, Scene 3, Line 98: Where hast thou been, sister?

“I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. And I haven’t stopped. I can’t,” laughs Jenny. “My sister had started dancing, and she was older so I just wanted to do what she did. She actually ended up not liking it, and leaving it for a while, but I just kept doing it. I think it was something to contain all my energy.”

Jenny continued studio dance through high school, and also began avidly performing in musicals during high school. Jenny is a native of Toledo, and she moved to Columbus to attend Capital University, where she received her degree in Theatre Studies. Jenny also started her pro cheer career with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew. ”At Capital there was not as much dance, so it wasn’t until I found about the Crewzers,” Jenny says. “I actually joined the Crewzers originally and so I was able to start dancing again.”

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Though Jenny was a long time dancer, being on the Crewzers was her first cheerleading experience. “Actually, I hadn’t heard about the Crewzers,” Jenny remembers. “I had a friend who was one of the co-captains, so she was a big recruiter for them. That was the first time I ever cheered was with the Crewzers.”

Were local fans familiar with the Crew and realized that they had a dance team? Jenny replied, “You know, it was about 50-50 when I’d say, ‘I’m a Crewzer,’ and people would ask, ‘What’s that?’ Or people would say, ‘Oh, I love the Crew.’ The first year or two, I’d say, ‘Ohio Machine,’ and they say, ‘What’s that?’ Now, fans are really starting to get excited about us, and I’ve had a couple people outside of games recognize me, so as they are building, we’re building.”

First Witch, MacBeth Act III, Scene 5, Line 1488: Come, let’s make haste; she’ll soon be back again.

After Jenny’s rookie season, the Crew discontinued the Crewzers, but some of the Crewzers like Jenny and Megan found a new sidelines home with lacrosse’s Machine. “The Crew was definitely different than the Machine, because now we’re interacting with the audience, Jenny explains. “They’re right there, but on the Crew we were way back there. But it was still neat because there was a lot of energy there.”

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Continue reading Jenny was perfectly cast as Co-Director of the Ohio Dance Machine

A Labor of Unrequited Love

The Gotham City Cheerleaders Perform Outside MetLife Stadium as the Unofficial Squad of the Giants

By Benjamin Norman
New York Times

The Gotham City Cheerleaders have one mission: to become the official cheerleading team of the Giants.

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The team, started in 2011 by a former Washington Redskins cheerleader, Ana De Villegas, operates like any official N.F.L. cheerleading squad: It practices a few times a week, performs at events, has its own uniforms and even produces a swimsuit calendar.

But you will not see these cheerleaders on the sidelines at Giants home games. Instead, they hit the pavement outside MetLife Stadium, performing at tailgate parties in the parking lot with the hope that word of mouth and a growing fan base will persuade the franchise to bring them inside.

The Giants are one of six teams in the N.F.L. without an official cheerleading squad. John Mara, one of the Giants’ owners, has said, “It’s just not part of our philosophy.”

Shortly after forming the cheerleading team, De Villegas reached out to the Giants, but she never got a response. So she decided to build her brand from the ground up.

As the team makes its way around the parking lot, the reactions are mostly favorable. Fans cheer for the women and often join their dance circles. Teenage boys and young female cheerleaders line up for selfies and autographed calendars. The squad frequently, politely, declines invitations for beer and burgers from tailgaters.

However, the women also often hear grumbling about “tradition,” and how the Giants need a new offensive line more than cheerleaders.

They also regularly hear, “Wait, the Giants have cheerleaders?”

To De Villegas, her squad and their fans, the Giants do — just not inside the stadium.


[NYT Slideshow of the GCC]

[Gotham City Cheerleaders]

Photos of the Year – December 29

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

Washington Redskins Cheerleader Allison was the Photo of the Day back in August after she steamed up my lens during a pre-season game.

Rams Cheerleaders season finale

No Rampage, you cannot fool us with that facade disguise!  We know the real Rams Cheerleaders!

No Rampage, you cannot fool us with that facade disguise! We know the real Rams Cheerleaders!

Like any last game of the season, there were some group hugs and tears among the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. But there were some local cheers of relief earlier in the week that the NFL will not allow teams to move to LA for the 2015 season, so this was the Rams season finale, but not their St. Louis farewell game. See ya next season St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders!

And thanks and congratulations to all the NFL cheerleaders taking the field for the last time of the year today!

More photos of the Rams Cheerleaders last game of the season at this link.

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Continue reading Rams Cheerleaders season finale

A Sea Of Green Invades Tampa Bay

What seemed like a million fans from the frozen tundra invaded Raymond James Stadium for the Buccaneers versus Packers NFL contest. I expected the Sea of Green Jerseys to show up but the Ocean of Cheese Heads was surprising. Really, who goes to a football game with a head of cheese as your hat?

Forget the game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders kept my attention for the day. The TBBC displayed new Christmas outfits for the afternoon and as the following photos will attest to, they were extremely popular with both home and visiting fans.

OK cheese heads take your win and get back to your 6 months of winter. Our two days of winter are almost over.

Fourth year veteran Cassie, two as line captain, will be the TBBC representative at the January Pro Bowl in Phoenix.

Enjoy the photos:

1-Cassie, Pro Bowl Representative
Cassie, Pro Bowl Representative

2-Megan
Megan

3-Cori

Cori

4-Jeanne
Jeanne

5-Christina
Christina

6-Stephanie
Stephanie

7-Kymberli

Kymberli

8-Amber and Jessica

Amber and Jessica

 

[Bucs Cheerleaders Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders]

Photos of the Year – December 26

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

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There was a photo sequence of Titans Pro Bowl selection Ashley P during the Halloween game that I love, and this is one of my favorites of the series. Ashley’s joy shines through and is infectious. Plus, at times photography can be economically intimidating, but because I used wide aperture fixed length lenses for most of the game, and I knew it would be sunny, I brought along a low end telephoto lens for on field performances. I am always happy to see that I could capture Ashley’s performance with equipment that does not break the bank. All of the photos in this sequence and more at this link. Have a wonderful 2015 everyone!

Photos of the Day – Merry Christmas

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From Scott – Delaney of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders

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From Gerard – The Baltimore Blast Cheerleaders

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From Jackson – Rebecca of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders (2012)

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Bonus from Jackson – Christine of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders (2013)

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From David Tyau – 2013 Pro Bowl Charger Girl Anjelica

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From James – A Miami Dolphins Cheerleader

Photos of the Year – December 24

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

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Not exactly great photography art but funny episode. During preseason practice I realized at the last minute that the squad would be facing away from me. As they were going on the field I yelled to Crystale to sneak a peek back to the camera. This is the “peek a boo” look I got. Haha. The TBBC are a fun loving group, even through they haven’t experienced a home win yet they maintain upbeat spirit.

Sam to represent the ROAR at Pro Bowl

Congratulations to 3rd year Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleader Sam, who will represent her teammates at the Pro Bowl next year!

2015 PB Jags Sam