Jackie Bob is the DCC Pro Bowl Cheerleader

From DallasCowboysCheerleaders.com

Today, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders announced fifth-year veteran Jackie Bob as this season’s Pro Bowl representative.

She was selected by her teammates and the DCC staff based on her dance ability, showmanship, poise and leadership. Fans were also invited to cast a ballot for their favorite cheerleader.

Jackie will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Jan. 26 event, joining a prestigious group of NFL representatives. She will learn over 20 new routines, perform in a nationally televised halftime, and make public appearances throughout the entire Pro Bowl week of festivities.

Jackie’s selection is very unique in that she has cheered in the NFL for nine seasons, ­ four with the 49ers and five with the Cowboys. Having represented San Francisco at the Pro Bowl in 2009, she will become the ONLY NFL cheerleader in history to make a REPEAT appearance on different teams at the Pro Bowl.

[Jackie at DallasCowboysCheerleaders.com]

Game Day with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

By Jay Betsill
Special to DFW.com
Dec. 24, 2013

[Photo Gallery]

On a crisp football Sunday in December, the parking lot at Valley Ranch is filling up just before 9 a.m.

Rookies and veterans, wearing their sweatsuits and game faces, have arrived early to get in some extra practice for what will be one of the most crucial days of the season.

The bus leaves at 10 for the 3:25 p.m. kickoff at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where more than 91,000 fans will watch their every move on the giant HD screen hovering above the field. Millions more will see them in action on the national TV broadcast.

But the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, the most iconic and recognizable squad of dancers in the NFL (in the world, actually), are used to the spotlight. They’ve got their own TV show on CMT and four popular calendars, and the team’s 38 members regularly make public appearances and have growing fan bases on Twitter.

On weeks like these, though, the glitz and glamour of being one of America’s Sweethearts can be overshadowed by the sheer hard work it takes to make things look so seamless.

First off, the recent ice storm made it impossible for the squad to get in their usual number of practices before a game. Fifth-year cheerleader Jackie Bob sent videos of the new dance moves to each team member so they could work on them during the thaw.

When they were finally able to resume practice at the stadium, five days before the game, the pressure was on, because this game — Cowboys vs. Packers — would also showcase the DCC in their Christmas Extravaganza halftime show. The DCC would be joined on the field by several high school dance teams, tumblers and flag teams, which made practices even more intense and intricate than usual.

“For our rehearsals on the week of a home game, we are at the stadium every night. We get here at 6:30 with practice beginning at 7,” said Sydney Durso, a six-year veteran who is the only team member from the franchise’s days at Texas Stadium. “We basically run through the entire game — player introductions, all four quarter changes, our dances on the decks — and this week we have the Christmas show. Sometimes we will do everything twice, sometimes three times if they are not perfect.

“Each night this week, we have been here past 11.”

When they step onto the field on Game Day, all of that stress falls away and their sweat equity begins to pay off.

They are a study in grace, precision and synchronicity.

“The group leaders did an amazing job of making sure we were ready,” said third-year cheerleader Brittney Schram. “In spite of the added stress with the ice storm.”

The crowd loves them, too, and many of the cheerleaders have big groups of friends and family in attendance to see the Christmas performance. Nobody’s family came farther than Angela Rena’s. The third-year veteran moved here from Australia to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

“This week’s game has an extra meaning for me because my family will be able to see me perform as a DCC for the first time,” she said. “We work so hard for this uniform, and being able to look up in the crowd and see my family and being able to share this game-day experience with them is very special.”

And no matter how long you’ve been cheering, says Mia Greenhouse, a fifth-year DCC, each game day feels special.

“When I started cheering my rookie year, I was only 18 and everything was new. The stadium was new and we had new choreography,” she says. “Throughout the years, I’ve learned time management and I know the choreography, which allows me to perform with more confidence, but every time I go out there on game day, it’s like my very first time. You practice the routines all week, but the moment you go out and the stands are filled, it is a completely different vibe. Everyone’s excited, everyone is cheering, and every game, there are always new elements that make it great.”

‘A crazy juggling act’

On the Friday evening before the game, Kelli Finglass, director of the DCC for 22 years, invites the squad to her house for a tacky sweater/pajama theme party. They exchange gag gifts and compete for best dish — rookie Paige Elaine’s buffalo chicken dip takes top honors.

It’s a chance for the tight-knit group to relax and laugh after a tough week of practices.

While just about any of the 38 members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will tell you it’s a chance of a lifetime to be on the team — hundreds of women audition for the squad each year — they all have busy lives off the field.

“I’m a graphic designer, photographer and mother,” said Morgan Whitney, in her rookie year on the team. “I stay at home all day with my daughter, who is 2 years old. So after I get her situated, I am basically on the computer working for most of the day. Before I know it, it is her nap time, and that is when I get ready for practice. It can be a crazy juggling act.”

All of the cheerleaders are required to either be full-time students or hold a full-time job. This year’s squad has jobs ranging from patient care coordinator and pediatric physical therapist to personal banker and financial analyst. Several are dance teachers, while another manages the Bar Method fitness studio in Dallas.

Their pay — $182 per game, with 10 home games per season — can be supplemented with appearances, which are paid based on their tenure, according to Katelyn Nichols, spokeswoman for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

DCC alumnae have gone on to act and to appear on TV shows like The Bachelor and The Amazing Race, but most are lifelong Cowboys fans who have dreamed of wearing the silver and blue.

“I studied dance when I was younger and transitioned into cheerleading in high school and college, and deep down I always dreamed of being a DCC,” said Morgan Whitney. “My dad is a die-hard Cowboys fan and I have never seen him smile like when I spot him in the crowd during the games. It makes me all choked up just to think about it, knowing how proud my parents are that I achieved this dream.”

A flawless first half

As the squad’s Wynne Motorcoach steers through the underground tunnel at AT&T Stadium on Sunday morning, winding its way toward the DCC locker room, you can feel the energy building.

The women wheel in their gear in matching pink bags and begin to get ready — stretching, putting on makeup, going over the routines one last time. Each cheerleader has a “cameo” photo taken during training camp posted above their lockers — a reminder of how hard they worked to get here.

At about 10:30 a.m., nearly five hours before kickoff, they take the field in practice attire for a full dress rehearsal.

Later, back in the locker room, Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell give the dancers specific corrections to focus on. Then they break for lunch and to touch up their hair and makeup, and two groups head up to the party plazas to perform for fans arriving early.

Before you know it, the DCC are on the field performing their opening routine to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. The crowd is pumped.

After the national anthem, the cheerleaders divide into groups and head to the corners of the stadium. The first half could not have gone any better. The Cowboys dominated both sides of the ball and took a 26-3 lead into halftime. Division rival Philadelphia had already lost, so a win would put Dallas back atop the NFC East.

The cheerleaders make their way into the locker room at the 8-minute mark of the second quarter and re-emerge at halftime wearing Santa-inspired outfits with red and white long-sleeve tops and red shorts. Their Christmas Extravaganza performance, a six-minute routine consisting of a five-song medley of holiday music, is flawless.

“I was beyond proud and impressed,” Trammell said. “This was one of our more intense productions, but they delivered a high-energy, high-quality performance for our fans. It is a great feeling when everything comes together to pull off a perfect halftime show.”

A ‘difficult’ second half

And then the second half gets underway and the tide shifts.

Green Bay scores 14 points in the third quarter and begins the fourth with an 80-yard touchdown drive. The Cowboys faithful are stunned, and Packer fans are going nuts.

Though the Dallas cheerleaders are not a traditional cheerleading squad, this is the time in the game that can make the women’s job much more difficult.

“It’s always our goal to keep the crowd positive,” said four-year veteran Nicole Bulcher, who moved to Dallas from Idaho. “At the same time, we are invested in what the team is doing and do our best to get the crowd loud on defense and quiet on offense.

“Our job on game day is to make the experience for the fans more enjoyable, so it was considerably more difficult when the action on the field was not going our way,” she continued. “When there is an interception, the last thing our fans want to see is someone who is smiling ear to ear. So I’d say it’s actually more important that we are on our toes when something bad is happening on the field.”

When the two-minute warning arrives, the cheerleaders head up to the Touchdown Decks, the raised platforms behind each end zone. They are very close to the fans and in position to rally them, but on this day, in a cruel twist for the home team, the Packers intercept Tony Romo for the second time and put the game on ice: Green Bay 37, Dallas 36.

This was Green Bay’s first trip back to AT&T Stadium since its 31-25 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in 2011. This unlikely comeback victory was nearly as sweet.

In the locker room following the game, Finglass and Trammell give the squad positive feedback on their day, specifically the halftime show.

The bus ride back to Valley Ranch is quiet — the cheerleaders are busy on social media, posting pictures and answering questions from fans on their official DCC Twitter accounts. There is little time to dwell on the heartbreaking loss.

The 12 cheerleaders who make up the DCC’s elite Show Group are scheduled to leave the next morning for the organization’s 77th USO tour. So they exchange hugs with their teammates and head home to finish packing for the eight-day trip to South Korea.

“We are going to visit some troops overseas to show our thanks and gratitude for what they do for us,” Schram said. “It is truly a win-win situation because the soldiers are happy to see something from home and we are so grateful for them. It is such an amazing experience that I’d say it’s the highlight of my entire 20s.”

There is no rest for the other DCC members, either.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Cowboys players and cheerleaders visit Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas and Medical City Children’s Hospital.

For many, the trip overseas and the visits to the hospital put everything into perspective, especially the loss Sunday.

“Hospital visits are my favorite day of the year. It doesn’t matter if we won or lost, it’s all about the kids,” said second-year veteran Kelsey Lauren. “It is one of the greatest feelings in the world to put on this uniform and make these kids’ day, and it warms my heart to see their smiles and know that I can make a difference in someone’s life.”

Vote for the Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Bowl Cheerleader

DallasCowboysCheerleaders.com: In January, we will send one cheerleader to Hawaii to represent the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in the Pro Bowl!!! The Pro Bowl requires a DCC that can handle a rigorous appearance and performance schedule in addition to learning approximately 10 new sideline dances. She will be heavily photographed, make numerous appearances, and dance alongside other NFL cheerleaders.

Like the NFL Pro Bowl player representatives, this year’s Pro Bowl cheerleader will be selected through a combination of DCC, staff and fan voting. We’d like to hear who YOU think deserves this honor.

You should choose the one DCC who has exemplified the following:

Attitude
Cooperation
Team Spirit
Personal Behavior
Performance
Leadership
Self-confidence
Public Speaking Skills
Poise
Powerful Dancer
Showmanship
Projection

[Click here to cast your vote for one of this year’s veterans.]

Photo of the Day – December 5


2011 Pro Bowl Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Brittany at Ohana Day

Photo of the Day – November 12


A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

Fmr DCC Expecting Baby #2

‘Bachelor’ winner Rycroft expecting baby
Newsday
October 22, 2013

Season 13 “The Bachelor” winner Melissa Rycroft and her husband of nearly four years, Tye Strickland, are expecting their second child, Newsday contributor Frank Lovece reports. The reality star and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, 30, said yesterday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she is due next spring. The couple have a daughter, Ava, 2.

Get “On The Mat” with Makenzi Swicegood

CHEER CHANNEL INTRODUCES NEW INDUSTRY TALK SHOW “ON THE MAT” WITH MAKENZI SWICEGOOD


Cheer Channel Inc. (CCI), the #1 online news and entertainment network for the spirit industry, announced today that it will launch a new cheer industry talk show On The Mat, hosted by Makenzi Swicegood. The show will take viewers behind-the-scenes of cheerleading gyms across the country and offer an inside scoop on gyms and teams throughout the industry. The CCI original series will have its world premier in October and will continue with bi-weekly episodes which can be viewed on the Cheer Channel Network YouTube channel, Cheer Channel website, and On The Mat Facebook page.

The host of On The Mat, Makenzi Swicegood, is an actress, model, spokeswoman, former Cheer Athletics and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. She is the daughter of Jody Melton and Ginger Swicegood-Melton, owners of Cheer Athletics All Stars in Plano, Texas. Swicegood has also previously been a host for the Cheer Channel at cheer events. “I am thrilled to join this project with Cheer Channel,” commented Swicegood. “Creating an outlet for exciting, unique, and uplifting messages from gyms across the country is a great way to show that all-star cheerleading is more than just cheerleading. It is a world of strong and positive individuals making a difference in their communities as well as on the mat.”

Viewers of On The Mat can expect to see industry highlights, two featured “Gyms-of-the-Month,” coach and cheerleader interviews, and who to watch on the road to worlds. Swicegood will also be following causes and showcasing teams from around the country that are making outstanding achievements in communities, causes, and campaigns. Viewers will also have the chance to get involved in the show by participating in show contests for a chance to win prizes from Cheer Channel and On The Mat sponsors. Fans may submit special stories or teams for recognition on the official show Facebook page.

“Makenzi was the obvious choice for this show,” said Cindy Villarreal, CEO of CCI. “She is such a known and respected figure in the industry and we know she will do a terrific job bringing the real world of cheer gyms to life.” CCI and Swicegood were present at the Cheer Athletics Showcase in Plano, Texas on October 3-5 to film and conduct interviews for On The Mat.

[CheerChannel on YouTube]

Kelli and Judy Will Be Live Tweeting Tonight’s DCC: Making the Team

[Kelli on Twitter]

[Judy on Twitter]

Photo of the Day – September 13


A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader performs at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

Picture a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — then get ready to be thrown a curve

Steve Blow
Dallas News
September 7, 2013

Dan Eddy is a life-of-the-party sort. And one of his favorite stunts at a gathering is to pull three attractive women on center stage with him and challenge the crowd to guess which one is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

After drawing out the fun for a while, it comes time for the big reveal. With great fanfare, he asks the former Cowboys cheerleader to raise a hand.

And then he raises his own.

Well, you can imagine the groans. And, really, don’t try to picture 66-year-old Dan in a blue halter and short-shorts. Please.

But it’s a fact. He’s an actual, honest-to-goodness former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Just not of the era — or curvature — we all think of now.

So today, as the Cowboys open another season, let’s visit a forgotten chapter of team history.

Over the last 40 years, the image of what a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader looks like has been seared into our psyche. So much so that I just about guarantee you could win this bar bet:

“Five dollars says you can’t name the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader elected to public office nine times in Dallas County and considered one of the best public officials ever to serve the area.”

The answer: former state Rep. and Dallas County Judge Lee Jackson. “My deepest, darkest secret,” he jokes.

The reserved, soft-spoken Jackson is now chancellor of the University of North Texas System — and is about as far removed from our image of a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader as is humanly possible.

“People who know me as an adult find it hard to believe I spent that much time raising my voice,” Jackson said. “But you can yell for a football team and still be a quiet person.”

This was back in the mid-1960s, when the Cowboys recruited cheerleaders from high school squads around town. And back when it was common for boys to be on those squads.

Jackson was a cheerleader at Kimball High School in Oak Cliff and was a Cowboys cheerleader for the 1965 and ’66 seasons.

Eddy was a cheerleader at Adamson High School, also in Oak Cliff, and was on the Cowboys squad in 1963 — the first year guys were included, he said.

Archival photos on the DallasCowboysCheerleaders.com website don’t show the boys that year. But they’re in the squad photos from 1964 through 1969. In the 1970 photo, go-go boots and a sexier pose show up. And by ’72, the iconic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders look was in place.

Eddy said Cowboys games in 1963 were nothing like today. “The stadium back then was, at best, about a third filled,” he said. And that was the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, of course.

He said the cheerleaders got $15 and three tickets for each game. “More than once, I hocked my tickets before the game,” Eddy said. “Seems like face value was $8.50, but I could only get four or five bucks.”

In one of the few televised games, he managed to embarrass himself. “I tried a front flip right in front of the camera and landed right square on my butt,” he said. “I was red-faced for about 2½ years from pure humiliation.”

By the 1965 season, when Jackson joined the cheerleaders, the Cowboys were winning and drawing big crowds. But the cheerleaders were almost invisible on the sidelines, he said.

“All we had were our little high school cheers. And people at a pro game weren’t going to say ‘Go! Fight! Win!’ on command,” Jackson said.

“Like a rotary-dial phone, it all seems so quaint and old-fashioned now,” he said. “But I have nothing but fond memories. It was just fun.”

Eddy, too, has great memories of his year as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — even if few others remember that men were ever there. He said, “Even the emails I get now from the cheerleaders alumni association start out: ‘Hey, Ladies.’”

But he always reads those emails carefully. “I’m still watching for the first All Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders sleepover,” he deadpanned. “I don’t want to miss that.”

More Familiar Faces In New Places

(Thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions)

Redskins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Cover Model Heather is a former Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader



Colleen of the Gotham City Cheerleaders is a former member of the New York Jets Flight Crew

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Continue reading More Familiar Faces In New Places

Behind the scenes with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders before ‘Making the Team’ returns this week

By Meagan Clark
DallasNews.com
September 4, 2013

Ready? OK! The eighth season of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team premieres at 8 p.m. Friday on CMT. On the night of the final rehearsal last month, we got to go behind the scenes and talk to a few veteran cheerleaders to see how they were handling the pressure of trying to be one of the 37 who make the roster.

Jenna from California, Kelsey from Minnesota, Jasmine from New Jersey and Jessica from Iowa made the cut as newcomers last year, but even returning cheerleaders have to audition every year and hope a newbie won’t outshine them. We asked them about their experiences leading up to this season:

What’s it like being on camera while you’re auditioning?

Jenna: Being on camera for the Making the Team show, it’s a little nerve-wracking, especially coming in for your first year, you’re just like, ‘OK, I’m just trying to prove myself. I’m just trying to get on the team.’ But at the same time, there’s a camera right up in your face, the whole time you’re dancing. It’s a little distracting… Coming in for my second year, it’s better because we just learn to ignore it.

Jasmine: It’s just stressful. It never really gets easy, because you know the world’s gonna see it, and if you mess up, someone’s gonna notice it.

Jessica: As hard as it is having the cameras around, with the added stress and pressure, it’s kind of nice that we have these little moments captured because then my family got to go through the process with me. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise.

What did you learn from your experiences on the team last year?

Jenna: They’re teaching me little things like how to speak, how to present myself.

Kelsey: Our first public appearance, we had to mix and mingle with all of these people we didn’t know. I had never been in a situation like that where you’re representing the whole organization, you’re wearing the uniform and so much is expected of you, you have these standards to uphold. I definitely think I’ve developed a lot more confidence and have developed how to be a role model and a leader.

Does everyone get along or is there drama the cameras don’t catch?

Kelsey: It’s kind of like a sorority because everyone has the same drive and passion for what we’re doing. Everyone just automatically clicks. It’s kind of like going through rush, you’ve gone through so much to make it together that you just bond over that. So everyone is really close, surprising as that is.

What are your plans if you don’t make the team?

Kelsey: You’re living your dream, so you really don’t want a plan B, as sad as that sounds. If I didn’t make it back on the team, I’d probably go back and get my master’s (degree).

Jessica: Some girls move back home.

Kelsey: Other girls go on to try out for other professional teams. If you love dancing and it’s your passion, you try everything to make it on a team.

Jasmine: DCC is like a platform. Girls can use being on this team to help them in their future, like being a director of another team. Making different connections has helped a lot of people to open studios, teach Pilates, yoga. … Not making it back isn’t the end of the world, it’s just something to say we did, and I loved it and I can move on and try something else.

Videos by Tommy Noel/The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders sing the National Anthem

Well done Jasmine, Brittney, and Jordan! How you were not completely terrified, I will never know.


Click here if video does not play

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team is back on CMT!

Summer heats up as America’s hottest cheerleaders return for the eighth season of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team beginning Friday, September 6 at 9/8c!

This season, the Lone Star State’s most iconic group of women take on more challenging dance routines and face incredibly talented candidates while navigating all the drama that comes with competition; with more action packed episodes, heart-tugging storylines, challenges and surprises.

[DCC Making The Team on Facebook]

[DCC Making The Team at CMT.com]

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Receive American Legion Distinguished Service Medal

Legion.org

The American Legion presented its prestigious 2013 Distinguished Service Medal to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders this morning at the 95th National Convention in Houston.

National Commander James E. Koutz praised the Cheerleaders’ dedication to community service and support for the U.S. military.

“Since 1979 the Cheerleaders have made 75 USO tours to more than 200 locations worldwide and have conducted cheerleading classes for the children of military families,” Koutz said. “When not performing at football games or traveling overseas, they spend time supporting charities and visiting hospitals, including many VA facilities. They have also given their support to the Salvation Army, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Association for Hearing Impaired Children, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, the Make a Wish Foundation, nursing homes and children’s homes.”

During the presentation before thousands of convention delegates, Koutz said, “If the Dallas Cowboys are America’s team, our next guests can be appropriately called America’s Cheerleaders. Not because of what they do on the football field but because of how they conduct themselves away from it.”

Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Anderson and DCC Director Kelli Finglass accepted the award on behalf of the entire organization.

“It is an honor to join such a respected group of recipients of The American Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal,” Anderson said, flanked by cheerleaders.“During their USO tours, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have always strived to bring a touch of home to the men and women of our Armed Forces serving abroad. It is just a small thank-you for the enormous sacrifices our service men, women and their families make to protect our freedom.”

The Distinguished Service Medal is The American Legion’s highest honor. Previous recipients include presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush, Gen. Colin Powell and former Sen. Richard Lugar.