What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader

Leslie Shaw-Hatchard shares the full experience of being a professional cheerleader in Texas. For the first time ever she honestly reveals a hidden and sometimes questionable side of cheerleading. The book is titled “What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader” as it documents the many lessons Leslie learned in uniform during her cheerleading journey. The book reflects good and bad times spent working as a cheerleader, choreographer, assistant director and director. Leslie was privileged to spend time working with the Dallas Mavs, the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Burn, the Coca-Cola Cheer team and the Dallas Sidekicks.

Leslie has spent the last 19 years performing and teaching dance throughout the U. S. as well as France, Germany and Switzerland. Her dance training began at the age of 5, and has since developed into a professional career, with such credits as performing for the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League. Leslie’s involvement with professional sports began in 1990 when she was selected as one of 36 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from a field of over 300. In 1991, Leslie began dancing for NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and she continued entertaining basketball fans as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer for the next five years, receiving recognition in 1996 as the Dallas Mavericks Dancers’ Veteran of the Year and Dancer with the Most Positive Influence. In 1997, Leslie joined the dance team for the Dallas Burn, Dallas’s outdoor soccer team. She most recently was the founding Director for the NBA D-League Texas Legends Dance Team in Frisco, TX in 2010. For eleven years Leslie was the Company Director at the Broadway Dance Center in Garland, Texas. She regularly choreographs award winning routines throughout Texas and the U. S. She often serves as a guest instructor and professional adjudicator for Marching Auxiliaries Dance, Crowd Pleasers drill team organization, and Halftime Entertainment (HTE). Leslie has been married for 15 years and resides in McKinney, Texas. She teaches full time as a dance instructor at Power House of Dance and is currently the Cheer Power Director in Frisco. Leslie is also the proud mother of 11 year old daughter, Kennedy and 13 year old daughter, Madison. Leslie recently completed writing her first book and is looking forward to its release.

 

DCC Alum Takes DWTS All-Stars Championship

‘Dancing With the Stars: All Stars’ champ crowned
Yahoo News
11/27/2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — She was dissed on “The Bachelor” and came in third place during her first stint on “Dancing With the Stars,” but Melissa Rycroft is now a winner.

The reality TV star and her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were named the champions Tuesday on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars: All Stars.”

The pair beat out fellow finalists (and former champs) actress Kelly Monaco and Olympian Shawn Johnson to claim the sparkly mirror-ball trophy.

Fellow contestants on the show’s first “all-star” season hoisted the new winners into the air as confetti rained down inside the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom.

On the eve of the final competition, Rycroft said she felt confident and excited.

“I want to feel like a champion,” she said.

Tuesday’s two-hour season finale featured performances by the three finalists and each of the returning cast members: actors Pamela Anderson, Sabrina Bryan, Kirstie Alley and Gilles Marini; singers Joey Fatone and Drew Lachey; race car driver Helio Castroneves; reality TV star Bristol Palin; Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno; and football star Emmitt Smith.

Six of those contestants — Johnson, Monaco, Lachey, Ohno, Smith and Castroneves — were previous “Dancing” winners.

Rycroft and Dovolani came into the final contest with a pair of perfect scores. Those points were combined with viewer votes and a last set of judges’ scores for an “instant dance” for which they had less than an hour to prepare.

Rycroft was a contestant on “The Bachelor” in 2009 and first appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” that same year. The 29-year-old also starred in a reality series earlier this year, “Melissa & Tye,” about her marriage to Tye Strickland and their move to Hollywood so she could pursue an entertainment career.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2013 Swimsuit Calendar Release Party

By Jay Betsill
Special to DFW.com
Nov. 19, 2012

[Photo Gallery]

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders officially released their 2013 swimsuit calendar at a private party inside the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine. The party on Friday included the calendar’s featured cheerleaders posing in front of life-sized photos of their “month” and autographing copies of the calendar.

Shot on location in Riviera Maya Mexico, the 2013 swimsuit calendar features select members of the latest edition of America’s Sweethearts. The home base during the shoot was the Iberostar Paraiso Maya Resort. For a behind-the-scenes look, the Cowboys Networks and affiliates (including CBS 11 in DFW) will air “Making the Calendar.”

The annual party served as a reunion of photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, television crew members and others involved in the finished product. The big night also doubled as a celebration of the 35th year that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have published a calendar featuring the squad.

Since the 2012 DCC party was one of the best events we attended last year, award-winning photographer Roman Pena and I had this night long circled on our calendar. Guests were given goodie bags that included calendars, and were ushered up to the massive club’s second level where the 19 DCC rookies waited with big smiles. The featured cheerleaders were lined up along the outer edges of the club to give guests plenty of room to move about and meet each of the ladies.

Being among the first to arrive certainly had its perks; I was able to chat with five-year veteran cheerleader Melissa Kellerman before her calendar signing and picture posing began. She has already announced that this would be her final season on the sidelines of Cowboys Stadium.

“This is always a fun night,” Kellerman said. “It is great to see everybody from the calendar shoot again, as well as meeting new people.”

The season finale of CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team was airing on the flatscreen TVs around the room and the live music downstairs only added to the festive atmosphere of the evening. Around 8:30 p.m., the rookies began to mingle with the guests and sign copies of the 2013 squad photo. I was able to catch up with my fellow TCU Horned Frogs, Kelsey Lauren and Jordan Elizabeth, and chat about the upcoming games against Texas and Oklahoma.

Chelsea Elizabeth, a rookie on the squad that we met on the first day of DCC auditions, is still taking time to soak in the experience. “It has been everything I dreamed of and more,” she said of her first of what she hopes will be many years with the Cowboys. “Getting to experience nights like this makes it even better.”

With the night beginning to wind down around 9:45, we saved the best for last and caught up with old friend Brittney Schram as her line finally began to dwindle to a manageable length. Ever the epitome of a true America’s Sweetheart, when asked about her first calendar shoot, Schram was quick to praise the people behind the scenes.

“The people who worked the hardest are the photographers and hair and makeup artists,” Schram said. “They were up early every day to make sure the calendar was the best it could be.”

The 2013 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar ($15.99) is available in stores now or by visiting here.

SI.com: NFL Cheerleaders (Weeks 7-9)

I’ve posted some of these before, but I lost track and now I’m playing catch up.

Click here for week 8

Click here for week 9

Click here for week 10

Click here for week 11

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Release Their 2013 Swimsuit Calendar

See more photos from the calendar here.

[DallasCowboysCheerleaders.com]

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Joins Talons as Dance Director

A native of San Antonio, Cynthia Trinidad has joined the San Antonio Talons as Dance Director where she will be overseeing the Talons Sky Dancers. With a strong background in dance and cheer, Trinidad brings over 20 years of experience to the dance team including time as an NBA San Antonio Spurs Dancer and as an NFL Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

“I’m very excited to see my city get a pro football team and to bring my years of experience to the San Antonio Talons.” said Trinidad, “I look forward to putting together a first-class dance team to perform and be ambassadors at the games and at many community events throughout the year.”

If you’re interested in joining the Talons Sky Dancers, preliminary dance auditions for the Sky Dance Team will be held on December 8, 2012 at Gold’s Gym Fiesta Trails located at 12481 West IH 10, San Antonio, TX 78230.   Auditions will run from 9am-3pm.  Pre-registration is $25 and same day registration is $30.

Final Auditions are scheduled for Tuesday December 18, 2012 at Sam’s Burger Joint Live Music Venue in downtown San Antonio. Final Auditions will be open to the public and will give Talons fans the first chance to see the 2013 San Antonio Talons Sky Dancers.

The San Antonio Talons are entering into their second season in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team was moved to San Antonio from Tulsa, OK in 2012 and won the AFL’s Central Division title, as well as hosted their first AFL playoff game in the 2012 season.  To pre-register for dance auditions or for more information please call 210.227.TEAM.

[San Antonio Talons Sky Dancers]

Want to hang out with the Cowboys Cheerleaders?

Here’s an interesting opportunity offered by LivingSocial.com. If I was in Dallas I would totally do this! ~sasha

Shadow the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for a Game
Cowboys Stadium • Arlington, TX
December 16

[Click here to book it!]

What you get:

  • Shadow the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
  • Team Meet and Greet
  • Field Access for Rehearsal
  • Cowboys Stadium Parking Lot Pass

Widely considered to be the most renowned cheerleading squad in professional sports, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have been dazzling fans for more than 30 years — and here’s your chance to be a part of the experience for a day. For $750 (regularly $4,000), you’ll shadow “America’s Sweethearts” on December 16 as they gear up to help lead the Cowboys to victory against Pittsburgh. Head to Cowboys Stadium the morning of the game — a parking pass and party pass ticket are included — where you’ll be escorted to the locker room for an initial meet and greet before heading out onto the field to watch rehearsal. Your personal guide for this unforgettable afternoon will be Brooke Wicker Alexander, a former Cowboys Cheerleader who’ll share her insider perspective of what it’s like to be a member of the storied squad. Once it’s kickoff time, you’ll enjoy field-level club access for the entire game. A once-in-a-lifetime experience at 81% off? Now that’s worth cheering about.

Need to know:
Shadowing begins: 10:30 a.m.
Kick-off: 3:25 p.m.
Valid for 18+

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

I randomly came across this gallery today. Great photos from last year! [Click here]

This is what happens when you’re the most famous cheerleaders EVER

Everyone wants to be you.

Happy Halloween!

Raise your hand if you ever dressed up like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for Halloween! I’ll admit I did it. (Not for long, though. My mother put a stop to it when she saw me running around with the hem of my blue t-shirt pulled through the collar so my tummy would show “just like the real cheerleaders.” I think I was 8 or 9 at the time.) I also remember being very disappointed in my pom poms. I had a blue one and a white one. They were kind of limp, and nothing at all like the real thing. And I didn’t have boots. I really wanted the boots. But my mom was a firm believer that the only white shoes kids should have are sneakers. (Scuff marks, don’tcha know.) But I digress…

I am 100% convinced that you could go to any state in this great country of ours and find somebody, somewhere, in a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader costume. (And you will also find someone else taking a picture of it to post on Facebook.)


Often imitated, never equaled.

Indeed.


That’s a 12k run. Can those “boots” go the distance?


Is this the “show group” on tour overseas?


Showing up to a game dressed like a DCC. That’s one way to get attention.


What’s with the shiny fabric on these outfits?


The belt was clearly a last minute decision.


Why the chair?


This one is Hooters girl at work. No, really.


This is Jennifer Gareis, a soap star (Young & the Restless, Bold & the Beautiful)


This is Caprice Bourret, American model who has her own line of clothing, “By Caprice Lingerie”

Is it me or do Jennifer and Caprice look an awful lot alike?


This is way better than the costume I had


“I have to do jump splits?”


Ok, she’s just stinkin’ adorable


Perhaps the DCC should explore the idea of a dress instead of shorts.


This one’s getting shipped right to Dallas.


The hat is a nice touch, kid


Cue the drag queens!

(Showing your ta-tas is the only way to get noticed when you are with these two fellas.)


He said it was “hazing.” Riiiiiight.


I get the feeling this guy does this for a living


Dee Snider as a DCC?


Like you didn’t see this coming


I’m glad the real DCC outfits don’t have a giant hole in the backside. Brrrrr – drafty!


Here’s a switch: a real DCC in a fake DCC outfit. Pennie Booker was a DCC from 1994 to 1999.
I think this photo was for the sales catalog. She didn’t actually were this trick or treating.
Or at least I hope she didn’t. That would be weird.

Cowboys Cheerleader & Former Appalachian State University Dance Team Capt Carisa Rose

By John Miller
AppStateNation.com

How long has being an NFL cheerleader been a dream of yours?

I actually never thought that I would pursue the career of a NFL cheerleader. Stage performance was always my focus growing up. When I got to high school, I joined the dance team, and then went on to join Appalachian State’s dance team, where I was the captain for my last two years. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I realized that I didn’t want my dance team experience to be over, and that is what led me to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
When did you start dancing/cheering?

I started dancing when I was three years old. I studied ballet and jazz intensively all the way until the end of college.
What do you think has been your biggest challenge transitioning from a College Dance Team to an NFL cheerleading squad?

My biggest challenge I’ve had to face in the transition from a college dance team to an NFL cheerleading squad would be the style of dance. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have their own unique style of dance. The style is very fun, but big and powerful at the same time. It is hard to adjust when coming from such a strong ballet background. I am learning though!
Why did you choose to attend Appalachian State and what was your major?

The first thing that pulled me towards Appalachian State was the beautiful campus. I could really see myself fitting in there and being happy with the environment. The second thing that interested me was the dance department. I wanted to pursue a degree in dance, and choreography had always been a huge interest of mine. The dance program at Appalachian State provides a lot of opportunities for students to choreograph, and focuses on how to do so creatively. (I graduated with a degree in Dance Studies with a Minor in General Business.)
What did you envision yourself doing if you didn’t end up as an NFL cheerleader?

If I weren’t an NFL cheerleader, I probably would have auditioned for a few contemporary dance companies. That was kind of the plan my whole life. I trained hard growing up in the hopes of joining a dance company, but I ended up having a change of heart and falling in love with a different pathway.
What do you miss most about Boone/Appalachian State?

What I miss the most about Appalachian State is the close-knit community and the amazing weather! I loved that wherever I would go in Boone, I would run into at least one person that I knew, and everyone was so friendly to each other. And of course, the fall weather was my favorite part of the year. Boone is absolutely gorgeous when the leaves start to change, and I love it when the air starts cooling off just enough for it to be a little chilly, but still be enjoyable.
In all of the App State games you danced at, does one stick out in your mind as the most memorable?

I love the Home Opener games of every season. I think that is when the fans are the most excited because it’s their first time back at the stadium and they are anxious to see how the team will perform. The energy is always great! With that being said, I think the most memorable App State game that I danced at would be the first game of the season my senior year. I think it was that game that I realized how much I loved being out there cheering along with all of those crazy mountaineer fans. I knew that I was going to really miss the love and energy App State fans have during football games, so I did my best to hold onto every second of that game.
How do you think your ex-boyfriends must feel now that you’re a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?

I think that my ex-boyfriends are very happy for me now that I’m a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Most of them have reached out to tell me congratulations, which I appreciate deeply. It makes me happy that I’m still friends with a lot of them and that they are genuinely excited for my new success.
What drew you to the Dallas Cowboys in particular?

The Dallas Cowboys are an amazing organization. They really value their fans, and take pride in being “America’s Team.” They also adore their cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are known as the best NFL cheerleading squad in the world, and I think the growing success stems from the support they get from the Cowboys organization and the love that the fans have for them. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a great family?
What game on the Cowboys schedule are you most excited about?

I think the game that I am the most excited about is the Thanksgiving game. It is a little bittersweet that I will be away from my family this year for the holiday, but I know that it will be such a cool experience. I can’t wait to participate in the halftime show and find out which singer is performing!

[Carisa on Twitter]

Exclusive Interview: Cowboys Cheerleader & Former App State Dance Team Capt Carisa Rose

By John Miller
Appalachian State Athletics Blog
October 15, 2012

Awhile back, I broke the news here on the site that Carisa Rose, former App State Elite Dance Team captain, had been selected to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. That turned out to be one of the most popular posts EVER on the site.

So I figured why not ask her to do an interview? Luckily, she was kind enough to agree. In it, she talks about her favorite memories from App State, her transition from collegiate dancing to the NFL, and even what her ex-boyfriends think of her now.

The Dallas Cowboys were also kind enough to send a few pictures which I collected in a photo gallery at the end.

Besides seeing Carisa on TV during the games, you might catch her on season 6 of the hit reality show “DCC: Making the Team” which airs on CMT. Also be sure to follow her on Twitter.

So without further ado:

____________________________________________
How long has being an NFL cheerleader been a dream of yours?
I actually never thought that I would pursue the career of a NFL cheerleader. Stage performance was always my focus growing up. When I got to high school, I joined the dance team, and then went on to join Appalachian State’s dance team, where I was the captain for my last two years. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I realized that I didn’t want my dance team experience to be over, and that is what led me to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

When did you start dancing/cheering?
I started dancing when I was three years old. I studied ballet and jazz intensively all the way until the end of college.

What do you think has been your biggest challenge transitioning from a College Dance Team to an NFL cheerleading squad?
My biggest challenge I’ve had to face in the transition from a college dance team to an NFL cheerleading squad would be the style of dance. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have their own unique style of dance. The style is very fun, but big and powerful at the same time. It is hard to adjust when coming from such a strong ballet background. I am learning though!

Why did you choose to attend Appalachian State and what was your major?
The first thing that pulled me towards Appalachian State was the beautiful campus. I could really see myself fitting in there and being happy with the environment. The second thing that interested me was the dance department. I wanted to pursue a degree in dance, and choreography had always been a huge interest of mine. The dance program at Appalachian State provides a lot of opportunities for students to choreograph, and focuses on how to do so creatively. (I graduated with a degree in Dance Studies with a Minor in General Business.)

What did you envision yourself doing if you didn’t end up as an NFL cheerleader?
If I weren’t an NFL cheerleader, I probably would have auditioned for a few contemporary dance companies. That was kind of the plan my whole life. I trained hard growing up in the hopes of joining a dance company, but I ended up having a change of heart and falling in love with a different pathway.

What do you miss most about Boone/Appalachian State?
What I miss the most about Appalachian State is the close-knit community and the amazing weather! I loved that wherever I would go in Boone, I would run into at least one person that I knew, and everyone was so friendly to each other. And of course, the fall weather was my favorite part of the year. Boone is absolutely gorgeous when the leaves start to change, and I love it when the air starts cooling off just enough for it to be a little chilly, but still be enjoyable.

In all of the App State games you danced at, does one stick out in your mind as the most memorable?
I love the Home Opener games of every season. I think that is when the fans are the most excited because it’s their first time back at the stadium and they are anxious to see how the team will perform. The energy is always great! With that being said, I think the most memorable App State game that I danced at would be the first game of the season my senior year. I think it was that game that I realized how much I loved being out there cheering along with all of those crazy mountaineer fans. I knew that I was going to really miss the love and energy App State fans have during football games, so I did my best to hold onto every second of that game.

How do you think your ex-boyfriends must feel now that you’re a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?
I think that my ex-boyfriends are very happy for me now that I’m a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Most of them have reached out to tell me congratulations, which I appreciate deeply. It makes me happy that I’m still friends with a lot of them and that they are genuinely excited for my new success.

What drew you to the Dallas Cowboys in particular?
The Dallas Cowboys are an amazing organization. They really value their fans, and take pride in being “America’s Team.” They also adore their cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are known as the best NFL cheerleading squad in the world, and I think the growing success stems from the support they get from the Cowboys organization and the love that the fans have for them. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a great family?

What game on the Cowboys schedule are you most excited about?
I think the game that I am the most excited about is the Thanksgiving game. It is a little bittersweet that I will be away from my family this year for the holiday, but I know that it will be such a cool experience. I can’t wait to participate in the halftime show and find out which singer is performing!

____________________________________________

Special thanks to Carisa for taking the time out of her busy schedule to help me out! Also, thanks to the Dallas Cowboys Organization for giving me permission to do the interview!

Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Released, CMT to air Mexico Swimsuit Photo Shoot


June 2013 features Melissa

Here’s the date to remember for CMT’s show Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team: Friday, Nov. 2.

That’s the air date for the episode when the cheerleaders fly to Mexico for the annual Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders swimsuit calendar photo shoot.

For the current season, the CMT reality show has expanded to 11 episodes and this will be the first time the calendar shoot is included in the TV show.

Video: The History Of The Dallas Cowboys’ Cheerleaders

This year marks the 40 Anniversary of America’s Sweethearts!

Kaime is a “Southwest Girl”

I’m not entirely sure how this works, but Fox Sports seems to have two or three “Sports Girls” for each of their regions. The girls are out and about, visiting various college, pro, and semi-pro sporting events in their region. They do interviews, hang out with fans, help generate excitement for the game, etc. There’s the North Girls, the Arizona Girls, the Carolinas Girls, the Florida Girls, and so forth. When it comes to the Southwest, they’ve got two sports girls, one of which is Kaime O’Teeter, former Dallas Stars Ice Girls, and someone you may remember from a few seasons of CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Squad. I’m not sure how long she’s had the gig, but it looks like fun!Click here to see what Kaime (rhymes with Jamie) has been up to since she retired from the Stars.



Southwest Girls Liddy (left) and Kaime

2012-13 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

The Dallas Cowboys CHeerleaders website has been completely redesigned. The new site looks great, and includes the team photo, individual photos, and profiles for this year’s team. Click here to check it out!