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Cara Peoples Miller, a Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School graduate, earns spot on Falcons’ cheerleading squad

By Chris Gay
The Augusta Chronicle
July 23, 2014

As a teenager, Cara Peoples Miller always wanted to try cheerleading. With dance and competitive roller skating taking precedent, she never got a chance to try out.

Now, she is making the most of cheerleading on the highest level. A Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School graduate, Miller earned a spot this summer as an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader. Miller and Evans High School graduate Cayla Hale are two of the 12 newcomers to the 36-member Falcons squad this year.



Cara and Cayla

“We can learn together,” Miller said. “The rookies on the team can turn to each other.”

Miller, 32, grew up in Augusta and once attended Augusta Christian. There, she inquired about cheerleading, but her mother told she didn’t have the time.

“You can only do so much,” she said. “I get it.”

Miller, whose parents Craig and Charlene live in Augusta, started dancing at age 6 and continued to do so throughout her days at Davidson.

After graduating from Augusta State with a degree in health and physical education, she moved to Savannah, Ga., and started a Zumba class. While there, she reconnected through Facebook with her old Davidson classmate, Jeremy Miller, a chef who lived in Atlanta. A successful first date eventually led to their marriage.

In 2009, the Millers moved to San Francisco before returning at the end of the year to Atlanta. After having her first child, Miller decided to try out for the Falcons. Despite her dance experience, she didn’t make the team.

“I had no idea what I was doing,” she said. “I thought it was all about dance, but they were looking for a well-rounded person. They look for a wow factor.”

Miller, who has two daughters, Caroline, 4 and Claire, 15 months, earned a spot as a cheerleader with the Arena Football League’s Georgia Force in 2012. She gained experience dancing on the field, interacting with fans and networking with others.

Miller’s time with the Force prepared her for her Falcons tryout this year. With several hundred women competing, Miller advanced to the final round of 60. After interviews, dance camp, boot camp and a 2½-hour final performance, she was selected as one of 12 newcomers to join the 24 returning cheerleaders. Of the 36, Miller is the lone mother on the team.

“I’m sure it’s probably interesting. But they really get along with me,” she said. “They say, ‘You really don’t look like a mom.’ ”

As the Falcons football team starts gearing up for the season, the cheerleaders are working hard as well. The squad practices twice a week in preparation for the first home preseason game, Aug. 8, against the Miami Dolphins. When the team isn’t playing, the cheerleaders stay busy with appearances.

Miller, who stays active with early-morning workouts and taking care of her children, plans to enjoy her time this season. She knows she can’t be an Falcons cheerleader for long, but at least now she’s getting her opportunity.

“I’d like to do this for a few more years,” Miller said. “My husband would like to have a third child. I know there’s a time limit. I want to do it while I can.”

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