Monday, April 30, 2007

2007 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders 

Posted by Sasha at 10:25 PM ET

By Bob Kent

While the Eagles will continue to build their roster through this weekend's draft, the Eagles Cheerleaders will showcase their 2007 squad at the official Eagles Draft Day Party on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eighteen rookies were selected to the 38-member team following the April 18 Final Auditions. They will join a group of 20 returning veterans that will perform at Eagles home games and will also represent the organization at corporate, community and charity-related events, both locally and globally.

"We were greatly impressed with the level of talent at this year's final audition. It was extremely competitive," said cheerleading director Barbara Zaun. "The squad is comprised of 38 extremely talented and multi-dimensional women that encompass all of the qualities that we look for in an Eagles Cheerleader."

The selection of the squad culminated a two-month process which included a pre-audition workshop, an open call audition, subsequent elimination rounds, rehearsals and one-on-one interviews. Members of the 2006 squad interested in returning were also required to re-audition, although they did not have to participate in the open call elimination rounds.

Sixty finalists competed in an intense final audition on April 18, during which they were judged on such criteria as physical fitness, appearance and dancing ability. In the end, only 38 young women earned a spot on the sideline as 2007 Eagles Cheerleaders.

The contestants actually learned their fate by calling a special hotline number the next morning. The waiting -- the 11-plus hours between the end of the finals and the next morning -- was almost as tough as the audition itself.

"I must have called every half hour. I barely slept," said Nikki, a rookie. "When I called in at 9 the next morning I was so suprised how calm I was. I was sitting on the phone and when I heard my contestant number I just started shaking and smiling and crying. I was so excited."

Nikki's parents, sisters, brother and boyfriend shared in her excitement and started spreading the news.

That wasn't necessarily the case for rookie Alaina, who actually surprised her fiance, Ian, by participating in the open call audition.

"I thought this could be the ultimate wedding gift," she explained. "He is the biggest Eagles fan, and I knew he would be so psyched and proud of his wife-to-be. I told him that I made it to the semi-final round after the first day of initial cuts.

"Trying out for the Eagles cheerleading team was probably the best gift I ever could have given him. I found that after those initial tryouts, my desire to be on the team was not only to make him happy, but to be a part of something that is so big."

A cheerleader in high school and in college at Rutgers University, Alaina said a move to the pros seemed like the natural progression.

"Cheering for an NFL team seemed only natural, and an exciting way to conclude my cheering career," she said.

A graphic designer herself, Alaina is part of a 38-member team that features a well-rounded group of young women, including an operating room nurse, an aspiring actress, as well as students majoring in dance and choreography.

Entering her fourth season, Amy says she treasures her time on the squad.

"As someone who was on the squad before, I know what is at stake, and how much my life would change if I was not part of the Eagles Cheerleaders," Amy said. "Dancing and performing has been my passion since I was a little girl, and now to be able to do it at a professional level for my favorite football team is a dream come true."

Chasing a dream is what it's all about for all these cheerleader hopefuls. For 38 of them, those dreams have been realized. And there is so much more ahead.

"I don't even think I know half of what to expect, but there is one thing I am looking forward to that I think is going to be an amazing rush ... November 4th against Dallas," said Nikki.

After the squad is introduced to the public at the Draft Party, the girls will immediately shift their attention to this year's calendar shoot.

"The new members of the squad will get to experience the celebrity aura that is associated with being an Eagles Cheerleader almost immediately as they will be traveling to the Rivera Maya in Mexico next week to participate in the annual calendar shoot," Zaun said. "They are about to embark on an exciting new season and time in their life."

The time commitment, hard work and dedication start now.

Returning veterans include Allison, Alicia, Alyssa, Amanda, Amy, Charissa, Jamie, Janet, Janipher, Jen, Kjersti, Kristie, Krystle, Lauren, Lora, Stephanie, Tawnya, Tiffany, Victoria and Vittoria.

Watch the video here and see some photos here

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