Sunday, June 17, 2007

World-famous Cowboys cheerleaders visit B-N 

Posted by Sasha at 8:58 PM ET

By Tony Sapochetti

BLOOMINGTON — The Twin Cities’ own Midwestern indoor football team hosted a little southern hospitality Saturday night as the world-famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders performed during a Bloomington Extreme game. | Photo gallery | Video

The Show Group, made up of 12 cheerleaders who travel throughout the country and the world, performed and signed autographs before the game against Rock River at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

Cheerleader Megan Fox said before the game that the visit was the group’s first in Bloomington, and the women had planned a traditional show, co-sponsored by the Pantagraph, to entertain the crowd.

The women are known around the world and are synonymous with professional cheerleading, Fox said.

“We created a newfound appreciation for professional cheerleaders,” she said. “A lot of people think it’s all about a pretty face and looking good in a uniform, but we have had women who are college graduates or who are in the work force as doctors, lawyers and businesswomen, and we are proud of that.”

Part of their celebrity may have come from their own reality show, “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,” which airs on Country Music Television and shows how much work goes into the team. But Fox said there is a great reward for all the time and effort that goes into training for performances.

“It’s an experience that very few people have the opportunity to go through, and for me it’s been a dream come true to have the opportunity to perform for a crowd like that,” Fox said of going out in front of crowds as big as 65,000.

Being able to travel the world and perform in front of thousands of people has been a lifelong goal for Fox, but she said more than anything being a professional cheerleader has given her the opportunity to grow and develop as a person.

“It’s not only taught me so much about the world ... but they form you in so many different ways. It creates you a little bit, in my mind as a stronger woman and a better performer. It’s a life-altering experience.”

The crowd attending Saturday’s Extreme game couldn’t match the number of people who usually attend a Cowboys game, but what fans lacked in numbers they made up with in enthusiasm.

“We are very excited to see them. My son is a big Dallas fan,” said Teri Tjaden of his son, David, both of Bloomington. “He has been a fan since he was 3 years old, so when he heard that the Cowboys cheerleaders were going to be here we all decided to go.”

Having already earned her degree in communications, Fox hopes to one day become a sports broadcaster. She said she will bring the work ethic she learned from cheerleading to her future career and everyday life.

“It’s realizing that you have a talent, drive and desire to keep pushing no matter what happens,” she said. “Don’t let them tell you no.”

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