Casey Weldon and Scott Wegener
February 20, 2014
By day, Brenda Gold works as a teacher at School for Creative and Performing Arts in downtown Cincinnati. Some seem to think having a relatively conservative day job means she wants to spend her time traveling, going to shows or picking up any number of off-the-wall hobbies.
Even though she doesn’t hate those things, that’s not all she’s interested in doing with her life. In fact, she has her eyes set on a much more colorful pastime – one that’s decked out in orange and black.
The West Side resident said it is her dream to dance with the cheerleading squad of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ben-Gals.
To help prepare for her audition in May, Gold said signed up for 10 practice dance classes to train to be a Ben-Gal that begin March 4. She also plans to attend some of the squad’s workshops, though she’s not ashamed to admit she’s already in great shape.
One of Gold’s primary strengths is her personality, which she describes as “positive and enthusiastic.” She also likes to point out half-seriously that she was named “most spirited” in high school.
And she’s not going into this tryout on a whim, either. She has also trained for this her entire life, taking part in dance classes her entire life and cheerleading from the time she was in sixth grade.
But while she has the passion to make the team and is capable of performing the necessary dance skills, she believes she needs a little help in the glamor department.
“I noticed that they wanted glamor,” she said after the reviewing contract for the tryout.
The Bengals and several other NFL franchises recently came under fire for the lengthy list of model-like requirements they have for their cheerleaders.
Despite their lofty set of standards, Gold isn’t going to give up her dream — and neither are Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, a former professional football player.
Gold sent a heartfelt plea to the hosts of the popular morning show “Live with Kelly and Michael” to help her achieve her goal.
“The show can glam me up, and maybe they can get me ready try out for the Bengals cheerleading squad.”
Her aim is to win the program’s “LIVE’s Look As Young As You Feel Makeover” contest. The intended purpose is to give “age-defying” new looks — a head-to-toe makeover, a shopping spree and a fresh hairstyle — to a handful of people preparing for a special life event.
Or, in Gold’s case, a new part-time job.
“I am 54 years old and a math teacher at School for Creative & Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am going through my second divorce and decided to try out for the BenGals Cheerleading squad. I really want to be a BenGal!!!!” she wrote in a message to show producers.
“But, in order to do that, I seriously need a lot of glamour! I think that I can do the dance steps, and I think that I can get in shape enough to do this, but I really need some glamour lessons! I know you are probably thinking that there is no way that a 54-year old woman can do this, but I really think that I can.”
The people at “LIVE” were so impressed by Gold’s note that they chose her and two other applicants to appear on the show during the week of Feb. 24-28. Each person will get to model their transformation on-air.
Producer Michael Gelman said Gold’s willingness to go after he dreams is what impressed him most. He also called her decision to compete for a spot on the Ben-Gals against women 1/3 her age “really amazing.”
“The fact that she wants to be a cheerleader, and wants to try out is really amazing,” he said.
Gold will make her appearance Feb. 26 – and she wants the world to watch.
“I am so excited!!!! I was chosen as one of three finalists to appear on the Live with Kelly and Michael Show on about February 26th!!!!! If I win, I get to fly to Hollywood to hang out on the Red Carpet for the Oscars on March 2nd!!!! They are going to provide GLAMOUR!!!!!” she wrote on Facebook shortly after finding out the news Feb. 11.
“So PLEASE vote for me online between February 26th and 27th!!!!!! I want to go to Hollywood and be a Glamour queen!!!!!”
One of the three finalists will win a trip for two to Los Angeles, Calif. The trip comes with seats at the Academy Awards red carpet and tickets to “LIVE’s After Oscar Show.”
Of course, just meeting Ripa and Strahan and visiting New York City isn’t a bad consolation prize.
“P.s. I am not going to lie, I really want to meet you both! You are both awesome!!! Michael, are we “ALL IN”??”
After the last makeover airs on the show, “LIVE’s” viewers will vote determine the grand prize winner. The lucky person will be announced Friday, Feb. 28, on during the show.