Scenes from the 2013 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Open Call

Click here for tons of photos from Saturday’s prelims!

What it’s like to audition to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

By Michael Florek
dallasnews.com
May 5, 2013

ARLINGTON — Lauren Herington is the last in her group of five. In a purple-with-pink trim dance outfit, she smiles as she faces the two rows of judges.

After the four other members introduce themselves, Herington takes the microphone. Cameras from a CMT reality show focus in. She has 10 seconds.

“I’m Lauren Herrington. I’m 19 years old and I’m from Decatur, Illinois. I’m a full time student working on my biology major and I’m also a client care representative at the local veterinary in my home town.”

After a moment, Kelli Finglass, director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, releases the group to the floor. Ninety seconds of freestyle dance would either validate or repudiate Herington’s past six months.

***

Herington made the decision back in October. This year was the year. She was going to audition to become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

She began working out three hours a day and found a full-time job in order to have the money to come to Dallas. When college got in the way, she switched to online classes.

“Some of my family was like, ‘Oh you need to just focus on your schooling,’ ” Herington says. “I’m still managing to go to school full time. I still have good grades. I’ve just got to stay up late and devote time to homework and everything like that.

“But my family has always been supportive. They know I’ve always wanted to do this.”

Herington is one of over 400 at Cowboys Stadium on this first Saturday in May.

They come from 36 states and four countries. They are missing graduations and coming home from honeymoons. They are 18-year-old high school seniors and experienced dancers in their 30s and 40s. They are twins and grandmas, collegiate dancers and cheerleaders from eight other NFL teams.

“Everybody knows the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are the cheerleaders,” Herington says. “Might as well shoot for the stars and miss rather just land on something that’s OK.”

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader hopefuls line up to getstamp a stamped signaling all their paper work was handed in before the start of the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)

The girls spread out among the concourse, applying makeup and fixing hair in the mirrors of the “Fluff and Puff Station”, taking pictures in front of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders sign, and finding empty spaces to practice steps and pirouettes. But most of all, they wait.

They wait for the others to check in. They wait for the first announcement. Herington arrives at Cowboys Stadium at 7:30 a.m. They aren’t brought to the section 123 and met by Finglass until 10:15.

Finglass is the leader, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader now in her 23rd year of overseeing auditions. She stands on top of the field-level suites and lays out the journey.

Today, Saturday, is the preliminaries, a simple 90-second freestyle dance. Make the cut and you’re into to the semifinals on Sunday, where you’ll learn a choreographed dance routine. Then it’s on to the personal interview. Ace that and the finals await, consisting of a written test, a 90-second talent presentation, and a choreographed dance combination and kick line. From there, it’s on to training camp, where the veterans await. And by the way, more of them are returning than ever.

The judges grade on four criteria: appearance, figure, showmanship, and free style.

“Do you look attractive?” Finglass says to the group. “Does it look like you fit into our uniform?

“We want showmanship and bright smiles, dynamic people who can bring notice to us.”

There is still an hour until auditions begin. More pirouettes, more puffing and fluffing.

Eventually, the auditionees are instructed to take their seats on either side of the dance floor. The judges are coming. There are 15 in total. Finglass and Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Cowboys Executive Vice President. Choreographer Judy Trammel and fitness instructor Jay Johnson. Media members, sponsors, even the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders official dentist.

Around 11:15, it’s time to start.

Herington is No. 345, closer to the end than the beginning, and for more hours of waiting. She watches some performances, keeps her head down for others.

“I try to think (positively) so I don’t get in my head like, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough to do this,’ ” she says. “You just have to go in and be like, ‘I’ve got this.’ ”

The hour lunch break arrives. Herington still hasn’t gone.

That means more counting of steps, more dancing, more thinking.

“You have so many people back at home that are like, ‘Oh, you’re going to do this! You’re going to do this!’ ” Herrington says. “You don’t want to have to come home and be like ‘I didn’t do it.’ ”

And if that happens?

“I don’t know. I’m living day-to-day.”

Just after 3 p.m., a full seven and a half hours after first arriving, Herrington makes her introduction and gets her 90 seconds.

When the Top 40 music dies down and the flurry of hair flips, spins, and leg kicks stops, the contestants are brought to the front for one more pose. The judges make their final “yes”, “no”, or “maybe”, marking on their scorecards. Herington’s audition is over.

She dons a smile as she returns to her seat. It felt good.

“The routine I had ready, it didn’t really happen,” she says with a laugh. “I just started doing something.

“Once we got done we were like ‘We want to do it again.’ I was just so excited just to be up there. … It’s such a rush.”

The rest of the girls perform. The judge leave to deliberate. They say they’ll be ready with the semifinalists by 5:30. The white board containing the numbers of the semifinalists isn’t rolled until after six o’clock.

Security guard Phil Whitfield has that honor. He takes it outside, where a gray morning has turned into a cloudless afternoon and the girls wait in front of CMT’s cameras. Slowly, Whitfield rolls himself in the sheet, revealing the numbers.

There are screams and hugs and interviews with CMT. Herington stands way in the back, wiping away tears.

One hundred and thirty seven names were on that board. No. 345 wasn’t one of them.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Auditions Draw Women From Australia, Japan

Dallas News
May 4, 2013

ARLINGTON — Jinelle Davidson doesn’t know much about football. It’s not really big in Melbourne, Australia.

Yet, she flew 19 hours to join the hundreds of girls at Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders auditions on Saturday anyway.

Davidson has been Rugby League cheerleader for the past seven seasons back in her home country. After seeing country mate Angela Rena make the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders a couple of years ago via CMT’s Reality Show, ‘Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team’, Davidson decided to try it out for herself.

“I was just really inspired by her,” Davidson said of Rena. “I love cheerleading so much that I wanted to come and have a go here too. … The NFL, it’s not big in Australia, so I’ve had to learn a lot so far.

“It’s really complicated.”

Davidson wasn’t the only international auditioning. Natsuki Kaito-Fritz, 31, was an “office worker” and cheerleader for Japan’s football league up until three years ago, when she came to Dallas and won a spot as a Mavericks dancer. She left the Mavericks and tried to dance for the San Antonio Spurs, but couldn’t dance due to visa issues.

“I kept getting approached to try the Cowboys,” Kaito-Fritz said.

Kaito-Fritz was one of two from Japan. Another came from Canada, another from Guam.

Kaito-Fritz didn’t made the first cut, as did Davidson, both advancing the semifinal round on Sunday.

“I’m really just kind of going day-by-day,” Davidson said.

She’ll last at least one more.


Paige Larkins, #71, of Temperance, Missouri and Shelby Haire of Frisco where among the 400 plus who tried out at the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader hopefuls line up to getstamp a stamped signaling all their paper work was handed in before the start of the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Jessica Tame of Round Rock uses a stair rail as a ballet barre to stretch as she waits for the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to begin Saturday May 4, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Nikki Kirby, #13, of Surprise, Arizona catches her breath after she danced in the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Shanelle Paine of Van Alstyne, Texas warms up before the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders begin Saturday May 4, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium. (Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Shauna Hamby came from Boone, North Carolina to attend the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Dancers had 90 seconds of freestyle dancing to make an impression on the judges at the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013. (Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer


Yijiao Zhuang of Dallas Is reflected in her makeup mirror as she makes some last minute adjustments on her hair before the preliminary auditions for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held at Cowboys Stadium Saturday May 4, 2013. This was her first time to try out.(Ron Baselice/ The Dallas Morning News)
Photo: Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

Susie Sanchez, grandmother and former Oakland Raiderette, tries out to become Dallas Cowboys cheerleader

Dallas News
May 4, 2013

ARLINGTON — More than 200 hundred women came to the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders auditions on Saturday. Only one was a grandmother.

Susie Sanchez is 39 years old and the mother to a 19-year-old, a 14-year-old, an 11-year-old and grandmother to a two-year-old. She’s also a former Raiderette.

Sanchez quit dancing for 11 years before picking it back up in her early 30s. The California native spent five years trying to become a Raiderette. In 2011, the dream was realized, shortly after her grandchild was born.

“The year I was on that team, some of the girls were born the year I graduated,” Sanchez said. “If you look at the numbers, it’s ‘What am I doing?’ ”

With 40 closing in August, Sanchez wanted to take one more shot. This time with the Cowboys.

“I thought why not?” Sanchez said. “I got to go to the big guys. I’ve got to go to the best team in the NFL.

Sanchez caught a flight in to Dallas on Thursday. Given no. 373, she was one of the last dancers of the day, but not the oldest, which was 41.

Just like the 18-year-olds she was competing against, Sanchez got her 90 seconds in front of the judges. The dream ended a short while later during the first cuts.

“This year I decided this was going to be it for me,” Sanchez said. “I was telling myself, I’m going to end it here.”

Interview with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Jackie Bob

Eboni Graham
Amarillo Globe-News
May 3, 2013

While the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were in town for the 9th annual Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Cinco de Mayo Fajita Festival on Thursday, I got the opportunity to chat with veteran cheerleader Jackie Bob. Her journey to Texas is interesting, thus reinforcing the power of the Dallas Cowboys franchise/brand. I will say that Jackie is extremely personable and I’m not sure if she gave me a hug out of pity (I waited, like, three hours to get this interview) or if she’s just super friendly like that, but she just got a new recruit for the JB team!

Interview with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Jackie Bob:

Q: Since you’re from California, how did you make it to Texas?

A: I’ve always been a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I would sit at home and watch their show and I would find myself getting inspired. So I booked a ticket, not even really expecting to make it, and God willing, I made the team, and now I’ve been living in Texas for the past four years.

Q:What part of California are you from?

A: I’m actually from the Bay area. I was born in Los Angeles and lived in the Bay area.

Q: Thoughts on Amarillo?

A: The best fans I’ve probably met outside of Dallas. I mean, there have been hundreds upon thousands of people lined up, decked out in Dallas Cowboys attire. From the time we’ve got off the airplane, people were wearing Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader T-shirts. It’s just been so welcoming. I’m, like, overwhelmed with all this love and attention and it feels really good. I’m so happy to be here.

Q: What’s the most challenging part about being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?

A: There’s two things that I would say are challenging, although great: The one thing was being a Rookie. You have to go through a long, rigorous training process before you’re actually on the team. And the second thing is, you kind of have to manage your time. We all are full-time students or either have a full-time job, and so that can be a struggle, but I think if you manage your time and stay on top of things, you’re able to live your personal life, your career, and be a cheerleader at the same time.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Visit Amarillo

By Eboni Graham
Amarillo.com

Neither rain nor cold kept Amarilloans from attending the 9th annual Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Cinco de Mayo Fajita Festival on Thursday evening.

The annual festival, held downtown on Polk Street between Seventh and 10th avenues, brought out crowds in record numbers.

“Rain sleet, or shine” the event will not be canceled, said Dora Chavarria, executive director of the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, preparing for the worst of weather conditions.

The festival featured musical acts such as Smooth Condition, Trio Cortez, and Michael Salgado along with special guests, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

“We get local bands and have all genres of music for everyone to enjoy to make it cross-cultural,” Chavarria said. “Trio Cortez and Smooth Condition are local bands and they play all genres of music … and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are a neutral group since they reach all genres. I mean who doesn’t love America’s Sweethearts.”

Jackie Bob, a member of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, said this was her first time being in Amarillo and outside of Dallas fans, Amarillo had probably the best fans she’s met.

“Since I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, I pretty much stay kind of in that area, so events like this are really special to me because I feel like I get to reach out to fans all over Texas,” Bob said.

[DCC Amarillo Slideshow]

NE student cheers Cowboys when not in classroom

By Elaine Bonilla/se news editor
The Tarrant County College Collegian
April 30, 2013

Amelia Bren Smith is a typical college student who attends NE Campus when she’s not busy being a sweetheart, or rather one of America’s Sweethearts.

America’s Sweethearts is what the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are called, and Smith has been one of 39 cheerleaders on the squad for the 2012 season.

The Louisiana native moved in 2009 to East Texas, where she attended Kilgore College. Smith auditioned for the famous Rangerette dance team at the college and became part of the 70th line.

After her two years at Kilgore, she moved to Dallas to audition for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders along with 500-600 other women.

“I gave everything I had and moved to Dallas unknowing the outcome and auditioned,” Smith said. “I am completing my second year as a DCC as of now, and I will be auditioning in May for the opportunity to cheer a third season as one of America’s Sweethearts.”

Smith’s mom, Debbie Smith, said her daughter has been dancing since she was 5 years old, and she first started talking about trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders when she was in the eighth grade.

“She has always loved the DCC,” Amelia Smith’s aunt Sheri Kyle said. “She wanted to go and spread her wings in Dallas.”

The tryouts consisted of three rounds. The first was a freestyle round where the girls showed off their moves. The second round involved learning a jazz and kick routine, and the third round was a solo dance routine, panel interview and a jazz and kick routine.

“If you make it through all of this, you are invited into training camp, which lasts all summer with the possibility of being cut any night of the week,” Smith said. “It’s basically a time to learn the ins and outs of being a cheerleader and to become familiar with the 50-plus dance routines we learn for the year as well as the rules involved with the organization.”

Alexandra Gandara, a rookie alongside Smith, said the process was intimidating and takes a special young woman to show up at auditions.

“It’s scary to put yourself out there,” she said. “Showing up is half the battle.”

Game day is a long process that starts out arriving at Valley Ranch practice facility about four or five hours before kickoff.

“We travel as a team to Cowboys Stadium where we rehearse as if we were performing at the actual game. This means we go through each of our quarter dances,” she said. “We run pregame show, and we practice our entrances and exits.”

The practice takes almost two hours before they head back to the locker room and start getting ready, which takes about another two hours because of taking pictures and having fun, Smith said.

Football is just a small part of being America’s Sweethearts.

The majority of the time is spent making charity appearances. The appearances are on a volunteer basis, so it’s usually a small group at a time.

“We have worked with Make a Wish Foundation, Salvation Army, veterans hospitals of Dallas and Fort Worth,” she said. “We make appearances at local hospitals in the DFW as well as assisted-living facilities and elementary, middle and high schools.”

Smith said it can be difficult balancing school and the cheerleading squad, but cheerleaders are required to either attend school or have a career.

“I would consider myself a very focused person,” Smith said. “I take it one day at a time and do my best to accomplish each of my goals in my schooling and my cheerleading career.”

Smith said the charity events are the most rewarding part of being a cheerleader.

“Giving back to our community is the least we can do,” she said.

Gandara said Smith is kind and caring. She was the rookie who always volunteered most for community service.

Debbie Smith said her daughter likes her charity events.

“Being on the field is flamboyant and flashy, but the other moments are really what count,” Debbie Smith said.

Traveling around the country is also something the squad gets to do.

The cheerleaders recently came back from a swimsuit calendar photo shoot in Mexico.

“It’s definitely lots of fun to be there working and having fun with 38 of my best friends,” she said.

Smith has had the chance to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Kyle said.

Smith said being on the squad has helped her grow tremendously as a dancer and an individual.

“I have learned discipline, time management, life skills, and I have become more comfortable within myself and gained confidence in areas that I lacked it in,” She said. “I am very grateful for my experiences as a cheerleader because it’s shaped me into the person I am today.”

Smith plans to pursue a communications degree at the University of Texas at Arlington in the fall.

“She’s just your average, sweet, down-to-earth girl,” Kyle said.

“She’s still our Amelia even after she puts on her uniform.”

Scenes from the DCC Calendar Shoot

Veteran members of the 2012-13 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad are in the midst of fittings for the team’s annual swimsuit calendar shoot. The DCC have been tweeting and posting photos @DCCheerleaders.


Jackie, Collin, and Holly

Nicole Hamilton Goes From Mavs Dancer And Cowboys Cheerleader To Vegas Showgirl!

From Buzzfeed.com

Decades later that hasn’t changed one bit, nothing says Las Vegas more than those pink feather clad beauties strutting their stuff on a glittered stage! The spectacle comes at the price of hard work and dedication though, while the show-girls outfits can weigh in sometimes near 50 pounds, it’s obvious some extreme training goes into making the girls under the feathers shine like the sun!

Why not just ask Nicole Hamilton of VEGAS! the Show!? She will tell you right off the bat being a showgirl is not easy, and seeing as how Nicole holds 8 years of professional cheerleading under her belt, that’s saying something! Yep that’s right, Nicole is one of the main faces of the show and for good reason, having cheered not only for the Dallas Mavericks Basketball team, Nicole is also part of the 5 year veteran of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad!

While the passion for cheerleading came a little later in life, the passion for dance was something that started from as early as Nicole can remember. When she was fresh out of high school she caught wind of a Dallas Cowboys cheerleading tryout, unfortunately she didn’t get the spot but being the first time she ever tried out it was an inspirational moment that motivated her to make her way to be the best. A few weeks later she learned about the Dallas Mavericks Basketball team holding cheerleader tryouts as well, Nicole immediately set her sights on this new challenge and within the next couple months, trained and landed the spot!

After three years with the Mavericks Nicole looked back to her first tryout with The Cowboys, she managed to land the spot on the Cowboys and for the next 5 years would be part of the most prestigious cheerleading club in the entire world! During her time with the Dallas Cowboys, Nicole managed to give back in some very big ways, touring with The USO military show across the world. Loving the fact she has the ability to bring a smile to people’s faces, Nicole claims her time with the USO not only made her smile, but really let her feel accomplished while giving back to her country and community!

While with The Cowboys, Nicole managed to work her way up to team captain, and even made a pro-bowl appearance which includes only the most elite cheerleaders from around the country. With all these accomplishments its fitting Nicole would look to Vegas for the next phase of her career, having been part of two of the county’s best sports franchises and boasting the looks of an A-list international model, its natural she take the stage as a lead dancer right? Exactly, so don’t miss your opportunity to see the lovely Nicole Hamilton do what she does best along with some of the best talent Sin City has to offer, pick up your tickets to “VEGAS! the Show” today and catch a glimpse of this Cheerleading Vet with your own two eyes!

Rick Perry Joins the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

by Jacie Scott
Big D Magazine
March 1, 2013

While my fellow interns were facing the perils of fact-checking, I spent my Hump Day jump-splitting on the steps of the Texas Capitol and schmoozing with Gov. Rick Perry. Why, you ask?

I’m one of 39 girls that have the honor of donning the blue and white star-spangled uniform as Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. (Insert hair flip.) During the season we spend our weekends in Jerry’s World, and in the off-season we can be spotted anywhere from hockey games in Georgia to, well, the steps of the Capitol.

As a rookie cheerleader born and raised in Louisiana, these past months have been similar to a ride on the old Texas Giant rollercoaster at Six Flags. Fast-paced, and a little bumpy and exhilarating. But, I digress. We’ll save those stories for a different post.

Twelve cheerleaders, including myself, ventured to Austin on a windy Wednesday for a performance and appearance. The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, a collection of independent oil and natural gas advocacy groups, gathered in Austin this week to discuss issues affecting the oil and gas industry at its 67th annual convention. Naturally, they invited the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to kick off the event… literally.

Despite a request from a young girl that we do “The Wobble,” we performed our signature kick line and jump-split. Following our performance, we signed photos, met a few officials, and moved inside to meet Gov. Perry. He greeted us with a “Howdy,” and I couldn’t help but feel Texan. (“Howdy” isn’t exactly a common word in Louisiana.)

Stay tuned for more tales. Meanwhile, here’s a treat for those who don’t quite grasp the concept of a jump-split. You’re welcome.

Jacie Scott is a D Magazine intern, too.

Cowboys Cheerleaders, Peyton Manning tour with USO

FromMySanAntonio.com:

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Cassie Trammell (front) and Jackie Bob, along with Peyton Manning, Curt Schilling, Austin Collie and Vincent Jackson arrive at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, to entertain the troops with a USO tour March 1, 2013. Photo: Staff Sgt. Dave Overson, U.S. Army

Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Jackie Bob addresses Sailors of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a USO sponsored visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Seth Coulter) Photo: SN Coulter

Dallas Cowboy cheerleader Cassie Trammell, left, performs a dance routine as American Idol finalists Diana DeGarmo, middle, and Ace Young perform for Sailors in hangar bay two aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a USO sponsored tour led by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld. John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate) Photo: MC2 (AW/SW) Kenneth Abbate

Dallas Cowboy cheerleader Cassie Trammell, left, performs a dance routine as American Idol finalists Diana DeGarmo, middle, and Ace Young perform for Sailors in hangar bay two aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a USO sponsored tour. (Pentagon photo)

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Wow Overseas Troops

By Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh
Defesne.gov

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have partnered with the USO for the last 34 years, and since that first performance in 1979 in Korea they haven’t looked back.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Jackie Bob addresses sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Jackie Bob addresses sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis

With two cheerleaders, Jackie Bob and Cassie Trammel, currently on a USO overseas troop entertainment tour with Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the high-stepping, high-kicking and high-energy ladies show no signs of slowing down.

“The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders take pride in showing support to our troops in the U.S and all over the world,” Bob said. “We’ve been doing this for so many years because it’s the way we can give back to the men and women who sacrifice so much for us. This is my third tour and I’ll do as many more as I can during my tenure as a cheerleader.”

The USO tours began in 1941 when Bob Hope and a cast of other entertainers sought a way to give back to the troops. Winnefeld, who’s accompanied on the tour by his wife, Mary, felt the same calling to bring entertainment to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen stationed and deployed around the world.

This is the second USO tour headed up by Winnefeld since taking his post as Joint Chiefs vice chairman in August 2011.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Cassie Trammell, left, performs a dance routine as American Idol finalists Diana DeGarmo, middle, and Ace Young perform for sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Cassie Trammell, left, performs a dance routine as American Idol finalists Diana DeGarmo, middle, and Ace Young perform for sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis

“These women are so professional, they work so hard and they train very, very hard,” Winnefeld said. “They are in a sport — it’s so physically demanding that they can only do it for a few years. They are so poised that there was no question in my mind who I wanted to bring on tour with us again.”

Aside from showing off their dance moves on stage, the pair of “America’s Sweethearts” shared their stories with the audience and why it’s important to them that they are on the USO tour.

“It’s a joy,” said 24-year-old Trammel of her fifth USO tour so far.

“I’ve spent the last four Christmases and New Years away, and people come and ask me, ‘Why would you do that? Why would you want to be away from your family to go visit people overseas?’”

The troops are “away from their families all year. Why can’t I give up one day?” she replied.

For Trammel, a Garland, Texas, native, traveling on USO tours is something her family knows a lot about.

“For me, this is really special. My mom went on USO tours when she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader in the ’80s so I’m just walking in her footsteps,” she said.

Bob, the other half of the dancing duo, had a different reason for joining the team. The four-year veteran cheerleader opened up to the military audience in Naples, Italy, and let them know she, a California native, was cheering for another NFL team, but wanted more.

“I was a 49ers cheerleader for four years,” she said. “I left California to join an organization that took pride in serving those that serve us. I left home, I joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and am now honored to be here on my third USO tour.”

She continued, “When I turned in my time-off request to the physician I work for, in the reason for leaving section I wrote, ‘To be able to serve those that serve us.’

“This is a tradition that we know the team will carry on for many years to come, and we’re glad to be part of it and to have the chance to say ‘thank you’ to the men, women and family members who help us have the freedoms we enjoy,” Bob concluded.

Go on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Trip

LivingSocial.com is offering a three-day trip for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the annual Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ swimsuit calendar.

What you get:

•Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience!
•Round-Trip Air Transportation from DFW Airport for You and a Guest
•Three-Night Stay at All-Inclusive Five-Star Resort
•Chance to Watch the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Fashion Show
•Meet-and-Greet with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
•Group Dinner with Staff and Guests

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders spend the whole season on the sidelines, but once a year they take center stage for the annual swimsuit calendar. Pay $6,999 ($16,000 value) for an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this fan favorite.

With this once-in-a-lifetime package, you and a guest will be whisked away to Riviera Maya, Mexico, from April 7 to 10. There on the sunny shores of the Rivera Maya you’ll enjoy an all-inclusive three-night stay at a five-star hotel and a chance to watch the swimsuit fashion show featuring the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. You’ll also be able to mix and mingle with the cheerleaders at a meet-and-greet and enjoy a group dinner with staff and guests. Once you arrive back at DFW on April 10, you’ll have a lifetime of memories to share with friends and family. Mark your calendar, because this is one date you don’t want to miss.

[DCC Calendar Trip at Living Social]

Photo of the Day – January 21


A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

Vintage Gold: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Movies on Ebay

Someone on ebay is selling the two Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders movies on DVD. $18 for the set, and he has a few copies to sell. If you’ve never seen these movies, they’re a hoot. The movies aired on tv in 1979 and 1980. Huge ratings the first time, hence the sequel.

[Interested parties click here]

HUGE disclaimer here, folks. I don’t know the seller and am not involved in this auction in any way. As far as I know, these movies never been “officially” released on DVD, so you’re taking your chances in terms of quality (the video below is from youtube, not from the auction.) However, if you’re willing to risk it, and haven’t seen these movies, they’re awesome.