Friday, September 14, 2007

Making Squad Takes More Than Meets the Eye 

Posted by James at 7:00 AM ET

Okay, I got my dates straight this time. The second season premiere of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team is tonight on CMT. Here's a review from Michael Storey from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette with photos by David Tyau.

DCC Making the Team 2 logo

You may have to reconsider your preconceptions.

You’ve seen those comely Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders bouncing in sync on the sidelines. They are the very epitome of fresh all-American perky pompomish pulchritude.

Ah, but to be a Cowboys Cheerleader it takes far more than a dazzling smile.

It takes more than dewy bright doe eyes and silky blond hair. It takes more than toned dancer’s gams that go on ’til Tuesday. It takes more that a plunging decolletage and a bare midriff with abs you could bounce a quarter off of. It takes more than all that — it takes spunk. Spunk and grit and grim determination to make the squad. There are no wimps among these cheerleaders. They are the elite team — America’s cheerleaders. Every guy wants to date one; every gal wants to be one. And now we have another chance to see how they take ordinary housewives, barmaids, students and girls-next-door and turn them into Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 2 is a fascinating eight-part series that takes viewers behind the scenes during the tryout process. It covers all the hopes and dreams, cheers, tears and hugs as the girls struggle through training camp in hopes of making the squad. The series kicks off at 7pm (CDT) Friday on CMT with an hourlong episode featuring hundreds of hopefuls at Texas Stadium in Irving.

One of the most well-attended panel sessions during the summer’s press tour in Beverly Hills featured 12 of the 36-girl squad, cheerleader director Kelli Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell. Finglass told us a little of the squad’s history, how it was the idea of general manager Tex Schramm and how it got started in 1972 when the team moved from the Cotton Bowl to Texas Stadium.

Judy Trammell and Kelli Finglass

How about those now famous blue hot pants and white boots ?

“The uniform was basically the same uniform that you see today,” Finglass said. “It was the right choice at the right time, when Dallas, Texas, the city, was kind of bigger than life. J. R. Ewing and the show Dallas was huge. The Cowboys had won Super Bowls in ’ 71 and ’ 77. It was just the right idea, at the right time and the right place.”

Amen. Ever since, little girls have grown up dreaming of becoming a Cowboys cheerleader.

Current squad member Megan Fox said, “Most of us have danced or done some type of cheerleading our entire lives, so this is really that bar that we’ve really worked so hard to reach. So for those of us, it’s kind of the icing on the cake. I really think that this is a dream come true.

“ And for some of us, it will be the end of our performing careers, but for others, we’ll go on to teach, hopefully, and continue to be involved in the dance and performance world.”

For others, wearing the uniform is almost a spiritual experience.

“Yeah, [to ] anyone that’s worn the blue and white uniform, it is sacred,” Trammell said. “Kelli and I both started as cheerleaders and so we just really protect it. We do not want anyone to ruin our image in any way, so I guess that’s why, to us, it’s sacred.”

Finglass added, “Sacred... might seem dramatic. It’s special, because it’s a symbol of excellence, it’s special. Perhaps you’d like that word better. It’s magical. For the people that have worn it, yes, we would say it’s sacred. For the people that have been fans, it’s very magical.”

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