At every Dolphins home game, the cheerleaders help contribute to the pageantry of the fans’ gameday experience.
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.
By Ben Crandell
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: Miamidolphins.com.
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
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.
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.
SouthFlorida.com: Approximately 300 candidates showed up for the tryouts for The Miami Dolphins cheerleader squad. Click here!
Watch a video here.
by Sgt. Saul Rosa
The NFL’s 10 Best Cheerleading Squads 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week’s Sports Illustrated NFL Cheerleader gallery features the Cardinals and Texans Cheerleaders, plus a few shots of the squads from the Rams, Dolphins, Bengals, Raiders, Broncos, and Falcons. Click here to go there now.
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