Two FAU Dance Team Members Make Miami Dolphins Cheerleading Squad

Fajala and Brittany
April 30, 2012

Two four-year members of the Florida Atlantic dance team, Fajala O’dneal and Brittany Murray, have made the Miami Dolphins’ cheerleading squad.

O’dneal, a native of Orlando, was captain of last year’s team. Murray is from Boynton Beach and was a co-captain. Both majored in elementary education at FAU, with Murray part of this spring’s graduating class, and O’dneal on track to graduate this summer.

The Dolphins’ squad has an official website at The first home game of the 2012 season will take place Week 2, September 16, against the Oakland Raiders, as the team opens the year on the road the week prior against the Houston Texans.

Video: 2012 Dolphins Cheerleader Finals

Scenes from MDC Prelims

Click here to check out some photos on Flickr.

2012-13 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

The 2012-13 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders were selected at the Dolphins Fin Fest on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

The 2012-13 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders were selected at the Dolphins Fin Fest on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

The new squad makes an appearance on the field stage at Sun Life Stadium.

The new squad makes an appearance on the field stage at Sun Life Stadium.

Video: Dolphins prelims

Dolphins Cheerleaders Make the Squad

Sean Logan
Miami Dolphins

At every Dolphins home game, the cheerleaders help contribute to the pageantry of the fans’ gameday experience.
The girls don’t hit the field, though, until they make it through a rigorous tryout period, which includes several rounds of cuts.

To determine who would represent this year’s team, the girls had to perform in a dance-off in front of a live audience of Dolphins fans and a panel of judges that would seal their fate.

Even for those with plenty of experience, the live tryout can still be a source of anxiety.

“Oh my goodness, the nerves,” said Amy, 25, who has been a Dolphins cheerleader for the past several seasons. “I can say that I get just as nervous now as I did five years ago. It never goes away.”

Their journey to making the squad, of course, doesn’t begin with the final performance. In the several weeks leading up to Fin Fest, new candidates had the opportunity toparticipate in cheerleader prep courses to catch themselves up to speed. Those who decide to go through with a tryout must participate in a boot camp with the returning members, who also have to perform again to regain one of the coveted spots.

From there, the cuts began and a pool of finalists was chosen for the final performance.

“We were just run, run, run,” Amy said, referring to the boot camp. “You learn dances, you learn style, you learn personality to try to make you glamorous for the whole big show today.

“It’s the final judgment.”

What started out as a group of about 300 girls was quickly whittled down to 79 finalists for the final performance on Saturday. During the first half of the final show on Saturday, the girls were introduced and performed in groups. Once the groups wrapped up, each girl picked a song and hit the stage by themselves.

Having the fans attend what is essentially a live tryout is certainly an added element for the candidates, but Madill said that their presence helps relieve some of the tension.

“The fans pump you up when you hear them cheering for you,” Amy said. “It’s so much better to have them there because it takes the pressure off the judges you know are staring at you.

When the show was completed, and the new cheerleaders were selected, the team was revealed for the first time on the field at Sun Life Stadium in front of a group of fans at Fin Fest.

Want to judge Miami Dolphins cheerleader tryouts?

By Ben Crandell
April 26, 2012

Who would be a better judge at the Miami Dolphins cheerleader tryouts than you?

How much more talented would the squad be if only the Dolphins would ask YOU to put your hours of intense research to good use? For the team.

The Dolphins heard you: For the first time the team is opening up the final round of cheerleader auditions to the public, and taking votes [click here] to help choose the squad for the coming season.

There are two ways to make your opinion heard. On Saturday, as part of the Dolphins’ Fin Fest party at Sun Life Stadium, the final 69 women will perform routines beginning at 10 a.m. There will be judges — including Dolphins announcer Kenny Walker from KISS Country radio, Lorenzo “Ice-T” Thomas of 99 JAMZ and Pamela Conde, Univision news anchor and former Dolphins cheerleader — but the Dolphins want you in the room, too.

During the tryouts, you’ll be asked to text the team with your votes on who should make the squad. The top three vote-getters will have points added to the final score from the other judges. The winners will be revealed at 4 p.m. on the main Fin Fest stage.

“Dancing in front of a live audience challenges the candidates to perform as if they were at a game,” said Emily Newton Snow, director of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. “It helps give the judges a better feel for their performance quality under pressure as well.”

You can also put your cheerleader expertise to use by voting online. The squad is looking for your five favorites from among the hopefuls shown on its website. The top three will have points added to their scorecards. Online voting continues through noon Friday.

Fin Fest is a free family event with gates opening at 9 a.m. for a variety of outdoor activities at Gate G at Sun Life Stadium. Fin Fest activities inside the stadium run from 1 to 5 p.m., when you can meet current and former players, watch live NFL draft coverage, play on the field, tour the locker room and shop the Dolphins Equipment Room Garage Sale (proceeds benefitting the Miami Dolphins Foundation). Parking is free. Info:

Watch the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Finals at Fin Fest This Saturday

What: Current Player & Alumni Autographs; Dolphins Cheerleaders Final Auditions (open to the public at 10 am); On-Field Interactive Football Drills & Games ; Select a Seat; Analysis by The Finsiders
Dolphins Equipment Room “Garage Sale” (open to STM at noon); John Offerdahl’s GridIron Grill-OFF Tailgate Contest; Locker Room Tours
When: 1:00-5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 28
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Main Entrance: Gate G
347 Don Shula Drive
Miami Gardens, FL 33056
Cost: FREE Parking & Admission

[2011 Dolphins Cheerleaders Finals Gallery]

[2012 Dolphins Cheerleaders First  Round]

[Making The Squad – Fan Choice]

Weekend In Miami

I had a fun assignment this week—-bop on down from Tampa to Miami to cover the first day of the 2012 Dolphin Cheerleaders auditions. Being the sports fanatic that I am I arrived early enough to make an obligatory visit to the new Marlins Park. The stadium is located on the Orange Bowl site in Little Havana. The Cubbies were in town and I was able to move around the sections to view numerous seat site lines. The roof was closed for the afternoon but the glass retractable outfield walls offered a nice panoramic view of the Miami sky line—must be even nicer at night. I recommend checking it out for a game.

Marlins Vision Host, Katherine Akra, with two members of the Energy Dancers.

Marlins Vision Host, Katherine Akra, with two members of the Energy Dancers.

On Saturday I had the pleasure to cover round one thru the semi finals of the annual MDC audition process. More than 300 women signed up to showcase their talents for a desired spot on one of the more prestigious squads of the NFL. The audition process is called grueling by some but my definition would be dueling because it eventually comes down to mano-a-mano with the equally talented women on each side of you. Many people in the performers’ community consider the NFL as the pinnacle of the cheer/dance field and the competition is always great for such an elusive spot. Even the veterans have to re-audition each year—no returnees are guaranteed.

The MDC are led by Dorie Grogan, Senior Director of Entertainment and Emily Newton Snow, Cheerleader Manager who both came up thru the ranks of the DCC in Cowboy land. The MC for the audition was Kenny Walker, radio morning personality and stadium announcer for the Dolphins. Kenny humbly admits however that his true claim to fame is as the handsome (his words) husband of Dorie. His smooth styles of compliments to the candidates were helpful in calming down a few nerves during a very precision organized process.

The 9 person judges’ table included season ticket holder Rory Austin who true to his roots came dressed for a Sunday Game including head / wrist bands and team jersey. I asked him how he prioritized his selection criteria and typical of the demographics he represented they were “Looks, smile, personality and Looks”. Way to speak for the fans Rory.

The finals are Saturday and if MDC history tells us anything, rest assure that by next week the squad will consist of some 40 gorgeous, talented young ladies. James will be covering the finals—be sure to check back with us.


PS: I’ll be back to Miami in August when both the Bucs and LA Dodgers come to town to battle the locals. I love to double dip.

Dorie Grogan,  Kenny Walker and Emily Newton Snow

Dorie Grogan, Kenny Walker and Emily Newton Snow

Monica, Victoria, Rosamary and 2012 Pro Bowler Ariana

Monica, Victoria, Rosamary and 2012 Pro Bowler Ariana

Continue reading Weekend In Miami

Scenes from Dolphins Cheerleader auditions Approximately 300 candidates showed up for the tryouts for The Miami Dolphins cheerleader squad. Click here!

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Go Skydiving with the US Army’s Golden Knights

From The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Website:

Skydiving with the Army’s Golden Knights was such an exhilarating experience. Hands down, this was the most frightening thing I have ever done! After the initial jump, I relaxed and felt like I was flying . . . so amazing. As soon as I landed I wanted to go again. This was a major check mark on my bucket list. Thank you Golden Knights!

I had the opportunity to skydive with the best of the best – the US Army’s Golden Knights! I have been mentally preparing myself to do this and I was so excited and anxious to skydive for the first time. Once I got strapped in the nerves started coming. When it was my turn to jump, nothing was holding me back from this amazing experience I was about to have. I had such a blast and I can’t wait to someday do it again! Thanks to the Golden Knights and my tandem partner, Joe, for my memorable skydive!

Skydiving was an awesome experience. I would not have been able to live with myself if I turned this opportunity down. The feeling I got was almost unexplainable; fear, excitement, thankfulness, and sadness all for so many reasons. I have always been afraid of heights but by going skydiving, I conquered my one of my biggest fears. The Golden Knights made this even easier because they were so welcoming and positive about it all. Jumping at an altitude of over 13,000 feet isn’t the easiest pill to swallow, but I did it! They are truly the best.

I had the unbelievable experience to skydive with the one and only US Army’s Golden Knights Tandem Team (the best in the world!). I had the privilege to tandem with SSG Noah Watts and could not ask for a better partner! This was the most daring and unforgettable experience I ever had and will NEVER forget. I hope to do it again in the future… yes, again! It was that incredible!

Watch a video here.

Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Auditions Are April 21st

[Complete Audition Information]

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Spend Super Bowl Sunday at GTMO

by Sgt. Saul Rosa

They motivate the team and use their energy and enthusiasm to boost morale and they came down to Guantanamo Bay on a C-12. No, it’s not a reference to your new supervisors, it’s the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.

The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders came to pump up the troops and community for Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5.

The cheerleaders started the day off the by teaching cheers and signing autographs at Denich Field. After the cheers Morale Welfare and Recreation held a small football focused sports competition that included punting and passing.

Lt. Andrew Phipps was one of the competitors in the contest and placed second overall.

“It was fun, there was a lot of friendly competition,” said Phipps. “Travis Gray came out to support me and hold the ball, but he ended up winning it, so I have to give a shout out to him.”

The cheerleaders then headed to O’kelly’s Irish Pub for a meet and greet and a pregame performance.

“This is my first year as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader and its my first military tour, so its so amazing to come down here and meet the troops,” said Lara Ryans

This was the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders second invitation to Guantanamo Bay, but a first for the cheerleaders who were selected to travel to the base.

Jamie Quadrozzi, the entertainment and event coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, explained that the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have done tours for military in the past but they’ve never toured the same instillation back to back.

“This is the first time we’ve done a military tour and have been invited right back the next year,” said Quadrozzi. “It speaks volumes for what the girls did last year and hopefully we did a good enough job to be invited back next year.”

For the girls of the Miami cheerleaders traveling with the team is an earned privilege.

“We hand select the girls who get to travel, it’s a privilege,” said Jamie Quedrozzi. “There are 39 girls on the team and many girls will never get to travel, so they’re all very excited to be here.”

Some of the cheerleaders had a special connection to the island, such as Nicki Boston. Boston’s brother was stationed at Guantanamo Bay with the Navy.

“My brother was just based here last year, so to have this experience, to see what the troops go through and to hear it about it from my brother makes this a truly special experience for me,” said Boston.

Although the Super Bowl was between the Giants and Patriots, many Dolphin fans showed up to support the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. One such fan was Spc. Justin Collins who missed the cheerleaders last year.

“It’s a great thing to see them down here having fun with everyone while we watch the Super Bowl,” said Collins “They were down here last year for the Super Bowl Sunday and I missed them by two days, so its feels good that I get to see them two days before I leave.”

The Super Bowl ended with a Giants victory and the community enjoyed the company of the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders during the game. But it was a give-give experience for the cheerleaders and Guantanamo Bay.

“We’ve been told everywhere we go ‘thank you for coming it does so much for our morale,” said Quadrozzi “But what they don’t understand is that its does so much for us too. We learn so much and meet amazing people who are volunteering time and risking their lives to keep us safe, so its not one sided at all. It works so well both ways.”

CNBC ranks NFL Cheerleaders

The NFL’s 10 Best Cheerleading Squads 2012
By Darren Rovell & Paul Toscano
17 Jan 2012

Last year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers was memorable for many reasons, but one key aspect missing from last year’s championship game was a squad of professional cheerleaders. This year, a team with cheerleaders is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl, after Pittsburgh, the only AFC playoff team this year without cheerleaders, was eliminated.

In the off-season, one of the best ways for teams to generate buzz and get significant page views on their websites is to have a strong cheerleader page. So we went through all 32 teams, including the ones still in the playoffs, and ranked the top cheerleading squads, taking in consideration everything from presentation of the cheerleaders online, to fan interaction, community outreach and overall success of the cheerleading teams.

Although there is certainly a measure of subjectivity that goes into rankings of this nature, the cheerleader websites and the team’s cheerleader-related marketing campaigns were the major factors in determining this list.

In 2011, 26 teams had cheerleaders for games and have found ways, especially online, to generate revenue from their top cheer teams. As valuations go, NFL teams are hesitant to put a dollar figure on their cheerleading squads, but the use of cheerleaders as a vehicle for marketing is certainly in the public eye.

Here is our ranking of the top 10 teams that make the most of their cheerleading squads, both on and off the field.

10. Atlanta Falcons
Although the Falcons have an extensive library of cheerleaders’ photos and videos, the team’s web site is relatively clunky — you have to click on individual photos to see them. Odd strategy, but might lead to more clicks overall. It also created a stand-alone website for the team’s cheerleaders, but it doesn’t look like it’s been updated since last season, with the 2010-2011 swimsuit calendar still “coming soon.”

Regardless, the Falcons have a wealth of interaction with their fans, with plenty of blog posts and Twitter feeds, a great junior cheerleaders program, and a sponsor list that includes nine local and regional businesses.

9. Oakland Raiders
The Raiderettes should be much higher on this list. The cheer team has a slew of sponsors, including categories such as beer, shoes, makeup, a hair salon and nail salon, but the team’s website doesn’t really offer anything special for fans. It does translate many of its blog posts into Spanish, often doubling up posts on the team’s “News and Blogs” page.

The Raiderettes, however, do have a nice interface on their cheerleader bio pages, which include videos and individually selected photos of each member of the squad, along with a big bio picture. The squad has a tiered level of pricing for appearances, which starts at $400 per cheerleader for four hours in the standard package, but the fee shrinks considerably for fundraising events ($100 for three hours) and charitable events ($35 for three hours), all with a minimum of two cheerleaders each.

8. New Orleans Saints
We liked two things about the Saintsations. It’s the only team that offers an autographed swimsuit calendar (though it costs $20 more) and the cheer team is among the least expensive when it comes to public appearances: $250 per cheerleader, per hour.

The team’s outreach to the community also can’t be discounted. This year, the squad paired with its official sponsor, The Royal Sonesta Hotel, to raise money for a college scholarship for high school seniors on a cheer or dance squad. The team also has a long list of charity appearances and is currently developing an alumni team to increase presence in the New Orleans community.

7. New York Jets
The New York Jets may be coming off a disappointing season, but they are the standout team in MetLife Stadium in one major way: The team’s cheerleaders. The New York Giants are one of six teams without a cheer squad and the Jets have a distinct advantage in the nation’s largest football market.

The team also makes the list for another reason – it features more game-day photos on its website, The Flight Club [sic], than any other team. An added bonus is a nice selection of desktop wallpaper for your computer. The Jets cheerleaders also have a fantastic diversity of outfits, from flight jackets and Santa uniforms to pink pom-poms for breast cancer awareness.

6. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ cheerleader site is the only one in the league that, before entering, displays a button warning you of “mature content.” The Eagles continue to be among the most aggressive cheerleading squads. The team was the first team to launch a swimsuit calendar app this year (cost $1.99 on the Android), it encouraged fans to “Celebrate the Holidays with the Cheerleaders,” and members of the squad maintain a robust blog.

The squad has engaged in a number of activities, including a trip to the U.S. Military installation Camp Buehring in Northern Kuwait. This year, the cheerleaders will be performing at the Senior Bowl, one of the league’s premiere pre-draft events.

5. Denver Broncos
The headlines in Denver this year may have focused on Tim Tebow, but the Broncos also clearly know how to cash in on its cheer team. The squad’s sponsors include a spa, a tanning resort, a yoga studio, a cosmetic dentist and a uniform company. It was also the only team to sell tickets to a cheerleader talent show, which this year included a meet-and-greet afterward.

In addition to their work on game days, the cheerleaders commit nearly 1,000 hours per year to charities and other events in the Denver area, according to the Broncos. It also has a robust junior cheerleaders program for girls between the ages of six and 14, covering seven months of instruction by team cheerleaders. The program is “designed specifically to promote self-esteem, pride, commitment and discipline,” and offers young girls the chance to perform with the professional squad during a regular season game, both during pre-game warm-ups and at halftime.

4. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans were one of the top teams in the league this year, and the same can be said for its cheerleaders. On the cheer team’s website is a convenient scrollable list of its cheerleaders, allowing fans to familiarize themselves with members of the squad. We awarded extra points for the relatively long videos on the team’s site — there’s a six-minute piece on the cheerleaders getting ready for a game — as well as being the only NFL cheerleading squad to feature two sets of twins.

The cheer team also held the fifth annual “Bulls and Birdies” charity golf tournament in late 2011 to raise money for the Houston Texans Foundation. At the event, a cheerleader photo was displayed near the tee for each hole at the course, and cheerleaders were on hand to sign autographs and take photos with fans. According to the Texans, the tournament sold out this year, even with a $3,500 entry fee.

3. Miami Dolphins
While the Miami Dolphins haven’t given football fans much to look at on the gridiron in recent years, the same can’t be said for the team’s cheerleaders. The Dolphins are the only NFL team to have links to the cheerleaders’ Twitter and Facebook pages right on the front of its website. There are plenty of photos that can be enlarged, as well as high-quality video.

The Dolphins cheerleaders take their auditions very seriously, holding prep classes before their auditions twice per week from February to April, leading up to official auditions on April 20. The squad has also sent its members on outreach programs, including visits to military bases, charity events, and in support of NFL Mexico in Mexico City.

2. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are not only the most prestigious squad in the NFL, they’re also the most heavily marketed. On the team’s website are endless photos and updated cheerleader blogs, not to mention more than 130,000 people have “liked” the squad on Facebook. Additional fan interaction takes place through youth programs and public appearances, including store openings and trade shows targeted at football’s key demographic: men.

The Dallas Cowboy website is truly comprehensive, including a section called “our secrets”, which endorses the squad’s favorite local businesses, listing everything from the team’s official dentist and where the women have their hair and makeup done, to their bootcamp and yoga exercises. If there’s a negative for this cheer team, it’s that the Cowboys don’t let the cheerleaders have their own individual social media accounts… and that’s a shame.

1. New England Patriots
Chances are that you were shocked to find a cold weather team at the top of this list. In reality, in order to have the best cheerleading page what you really need is a great mind behind it. What makes this team so good? Let’s start with its website, which contains 16 years of photos and something called “Cheer 365″ where fans can vote on which picture they find most attractive.

The team is also successful in marketing its top squad, sending cheerleaders to local charity events, such as the Doug Flutie Bowl, Fitness for a Cure and the Lowell General Hospital, among other events this spring. Not only that, but the cheerleaders recently geared up to shoot their 2012 swimsuit calendar in Aruba, which the team is marketing through “Postcards from Paradise” videos produced from the perspective of the cheerleaders.

The squad also has a “Junior Patriots Cheerleaders” program that hosts clinics for aspiring cheerleaders at Gillette Stadium a game-day performance, and the opportunity to make community appearances with Patriots cheerleaders throughout the year.

Dolphins and Bucs Cheerleaders Face Off in Boca

Battle of the Beauties: Dolphins and Bucs Cheerleaders Face Off in Boca

They usually cheer from the sidelines, but on Sunday, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders took the field — well, the beach at Spanish River Park — to compete in volleyball, tug of war, flag football and on an obstacle coarse.

[Click here to view the photo essay]

Playing to WIN! No sissy-girls on this team.