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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dance Class Preps Women for Jets Cheerleaders Try Outs 

Posted by Sasha at 5:14 PM ET

by Kathleen Horan
WNYC.org

NEW YORK, NY May 02, 2008 —On any given day, there are countless auditions held in New York. Show biz wannabes of all stripes pound the pavement in the hopes of being cast in the next great play, movie, or TV show. But later this month, the New York Jets will hold an open casting call of another kind -they're looking to fill twenty two open slots on their cheerleading squad: The "Flight Crew."

WNYC's Kathleen Horan caught up with some of the hopefuls at a dance class recently in Chelsea.

REPORTER: If you ever wanted to bust a move in front of 80-thousand people, now's your chance. The Jets bill the Flight Crew as billed as more than just your average cheerleading squad:

They also perform pre-game dances, help to introduce the players and run flags after touch downs at the Meadowlands.

Sixty women who think they have what it takes crowded into a dance class recently to learn some of the required steps taught by Denise Garvey. She's the Director and choreographer of the Flight Crew:

GARVEY: You have to be really big and be able to deliver - its bigger and showier-you know, you have to be able to pop

REPORTER: She says they're looking for "goodwill ambassadors" and people fans can relate to:

GARVEY: We don't have any strict requirements - no weight or height requirements - we have all different girls on the team and all different girls looking to try out..."

REPORTER: There's not the kind of human variety you might find in a supermarket checkout line - the largest body is about a size "6" -and there are no male cheerleader wannabe's.

GARVEY: we haven't had any men apply... we are looking for young women.

REPORTER: If there was a mind blowing drag queen?"

GARVEY: I guess everyone deserves a fair chance - so that would be my attitude.

REPORTER: One of the hopefuls, Siovann Wolihan stands out a bit.. She's in her thirty's- so she's about ten years old than average candidate. She works in an IT department and is a single mother:

WOLIHAN: I'm going to the tryouts with an open mind...my friend said they are going to be professional dancers there - but we are good shape so - we'll just have fun."

REPORTER: The room is so full the women have to break up into small groups to do all the shaking, marching, spinning jumping and snapping that's required.

Twenty two year old Sandra Lee Shoblin from New Jersey says its her dream to become a professional NFL cheerleader - And she has some theories about why the squad is called "The Crew"

SHOBLIN: Maybe to give it a different name - they also hold the flags and stuff - its a better name than just the Jets Cheerleaders

REPORTER: Do you think it gives some street cred?

SHOBLIN: I think it sounds more appealing and like I want to try that - Flight Crew.

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