Beauties and the Beach

The Washington Redskins cheerleaders were in town over the past week to shoot calendar photos on Marco Beach

By Lance Shearer

The Marco Eagle

The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders — all 43 of them — were on Marco Island this week, staying at the Marriott resort and shooting photos for their 2009 season cheerleader calendar.

As Kelly, one of the squad’s members (the team does not give out the girls’ last names) put it, “we can’t really call it a swimsuit calendar, since we haven’t been in them too much.”

An Eagle photographer went to the beach to witness a photo shoot. It’s a rough job, but someone had to do it.

The girl modeling at the water’s edge seemed to have lost the top to her suit, but was doing her best to cover up with her long hair, helped by a staff of stylists.

Large gentlemen standing at the edges of the group kept gawkers at a distance, and made sure no unauthorized photos of the shoot were snapped.

The calendar shoots are scheduled for near sunrise and sunset, when the lighting is best. This particular evening featured a typically gorgeous Marco Island sunset.

Along with the glamour of modeling comes a lot of work, believe it or not.

In addition to posing for calendar stills, the cheerleaders are recording video for upcoming Redskins’ promotions.

A cheerleader named Ashley strode toward the videocam, repeating the line “with our offense fully loaded, on the ground and in the air,” time after time, never losing her poise.

After her turn in front of the cameras, one of the girls took a few minutes to chat. Ana is a native of Bolivia, but has lived in the U.S. for most of her life.

Redskins cheerleader Ana is a rookie member of the squad. The native of Bolivia has completed a year of law school, but is also considering journalism as a career.

A rookie squad member at age 25, she has a year of law school under her bikini, but has put the profession on hold to follow her dream of dancing.

“I’ve always danced. I took ballet for 18 years. I’m an aspiring lawyer, but I’d like to take this as far as I can,” she said.

Dancing has opened doors for Ana before. She won her scholarship to college dancing at the Pro Bowl as an All-American dancer.

With a degree in communications, she is also considering a career in broadcast journalism. If she chooses that path, she will be following in her father’s footsteps.

Her dad, Raul De Villegas, is a reporter and producer with Univision. The proud papa came over from Miami to visit with his daughter while she was in Florida for the shoot.

“She told me three months ago she wanted to try this, and I said ‘all the time you have my support.’ ”

He got to watch Ana, along with the other girls, as they put on a show Saturday evening on the Marriott’s Tiki Terrace, after sunset had put an end to calendar photography for the evening.

To the sounds of tunes including “Bad to the Bone,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Smooth” and “Bad Girls,” the “First Ladies of Football,” as they call themselves, came out in groups of about a dozen wearing their various scanty uniforms, strutting, high-kicking, and dancing in the routines they will use to entertain the crowds during the football team’s games this fall.

Presumably, they also have some warmer togs, because the outfits they were modeling this evening would not provide much protection during a Redskins’ home game in a D.C. December.

For the 12 rookie members, this was their first time performing in front of a crowd of guys who wanted to be with them, and young girls who just wanted to be them, but there wasn’t a lot of time to bask in the spotlight.

Tomorrow morning, it’s back to work, with a 5 a.m. call, and another photo shoot.

Note: Earlier this year I speculated on a squad having members from 5 continents. It appears to 2009 Washington Redskins Cheerleaders are one such case: Bolivia (South America), Japan (Asia), Germany (Europe), South Africa(Africa) and of course North America.