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Thursday, May 10, 2007

MVC Tryout Journal 

Posted by Sasha at 10:53 PM ET

by Heather, Vikings.com
May 8, 1007

When reflecting back on this year's tryouts, it's hard to believe how many memories I have made in both the training process and during the audition.

I had been planning on trying out for the 2007 team since the first day of practice for the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders Training Program in June 2006. I prepared for ten months, working on everything from dance technique, various dance styles, cheer, performing, modeling, public speaking, fitness and overall general health and wellness. Additionally, during the final months of practice with the Training Program, we had the opportunity to perform multiple "mock auditions" where we were quickly taught choreography to perform in small groups similar to what occurs at open auditions.

Because of the training program, I felt confident knowing what to expect the day of open auditions. However, the combination of excitement, nervousness and extreme concentration is something you cannot prepare for.

The day of open auditions begins with registration. It's very exciting to watch as the eager candidates enter Winter Park looking glamorous with big hair and makeup. After receiving my audition number for the day I headed down to the field house and immediately started learning choreography. The first dance we learned was a sassy jazz dance to "Wait a Minute" by the Pussy Cat Dolls. Shortly after learning the dance, the staff broke the crowd of 100+ women into small groups of four to perform the dance twice for the judges. After everyone finished performing, the judges left to deliberate and the candidates learned the second dance. Upon finishing learning the second round of choreography, one of the judges returned to read the numbers of the girls they wanted to continue onto the second round of judging. This is what one cannot prepare for. All the women grouped together in a crowd around the judge reading the numbers and hoped that their number would be called. Anyone whose number did not get called was asked to leave the facility. For me, these cuts were by far the most intense moments of the tryout process. The remaining women were regrouped into small groups of four to perform a different dance/cheer for the judges. There were two additional cuts similar in fashion to this after learning kick/cheer and funk routines. By the end of the day there were 55 women left who were invited to the training camp portion of auditions.

Training camp was so much fun. During the three-week period all the women endured an interview and seven nights of intense workouts, which included learning more dances, perfecting choreography, running, athletic drills, conditioning and public speaking - all in preparation for the final audition at the Mall of America. The camp was a fun opportunity to meet the final candidates and also work with them as a team.

The final segment of the tryout process was the final audition at the Mall of America. This was by far my favorite part of tryouts. I had taken four years off from dance and was extremely excited to have the opportunity to perform again. This performance was like no other that I have experienced. The setting emulated the feeling of the Metrodome with people surrounding all sides of the stage and on all four levels of the rotunda. I had so much fun while I was up on stage performing but also enjoyed watching all the candidates perform. It was amazing to see everyone's hard work over the last three weeks culminate into an amazing show. I was disappointed after the show ended because I wanted to continue performing and it hit me at that instant how much I wanted to make the team.

The day after the final audition is the day I had been awaiting since June of 2006. My life was about to change, whether I was selected to be a member of the 2007 MVC or not. The day is still a blur to me. I waited patiently all morning for my phone call and at the end of my lunch break I received a call from a number I did not recognize. My heart was pounding as I answered the phone and on the other end of the receiver was Tami, the head coach of the MVC, congratulating me on making the 2007 MVC. I was so overwhelmed with joy the only words I could muster were "Thank You".

The rest of my afternoon at work dragged on as all I could think about was the team meeting scheduled that same evening and seeing who my new teammates were. That evening was the start of a new chapter in my life. I am so excited about this year's team. There are so many talented women from such diverse backgrounds and I'm positive that Vikings fans will be blown away by the MVC this season. I truly look forward to working with my 33 incredible teammates and cheering for the best fans in the NFL.

I cherish all the memories made from the tryout process and look forward to the many amazing memories that I will make during the 2007 football season with the MVC.

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