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Monday, May 12, 2008

DCC Tryouts Have Texas Stadium Buzzing 

Posted by Sasha at 9:05 PM ET

LaToya Lewis
DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
May 12, 2008

IRVING, Texas - Some 400 hopeful women met at Texas Stadium over the weekend trying to claim their spot on the prestigious Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad for 2008, putting themselves through a fun but anxiety-filled process.

Women ranging from 18 to 40 came to dance and prove they have what it takes to be one of America's Sweethearts.

Though the tryouts did not begin until 8 a.m. on Saturday, many of the young ladies began arriving by 7 a.m. at Texas Stadium, some taking their third and even fourth shots at claiming a spot on the squad. This past weekend's tryouts were an intense two-part process. Everyone was asked to give a freestyle performance during the preliminaries, with the best asked to return for Sunday's second round.

The candidates all danced to a Billboard's Top 10 selection the DCC provided, and all dressed similarly in bright-colored bra tops and short shorts. And while this portion of the tryouts lasted more than 12 hours, 150 candidates advanced to Sunday's semifinals where they first learned a dance choreographed by former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Audrea Ulmer and Megan Fox.

This year's song for the tryout dance was Piece of Me, by Britney Spears. Ulmer and Fox also taught the traditional kick-line the ladies would also have to perform for the judges. The candidates were given one hour to learn the dance and kick line; and another to redo hair and makeup, and then it was on with the tryout process.

One of the young ladies taking her second stab at making the squad was Alexandra Benvenuto, actually moving from Rochester, N.Y., to Dallas and taking strenuous dance classes year-round to try to improve her chances this time around.

"I think since last year I have improved my dancing ability so hopefully they remember me from last year and understand it could have been an off day," Benvenuto said.

Benvenuto realized after being eliminated last year her whole image was wrong.

"This year my total image has changed, I lost 14 pounds, my hair is straight and curled and I am more physically fit this year," Benvenuto said. "If I had to lose 10 more pounds I would do it, if I had to dye my hair red, I would do it. Anything to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader."

The girls performed the dance and kick-line in groups of five twice so judges could eye each girl adequately to give a reason why she should advance to the next round or head home. And this time Benvenuto made the cut during a second consecutive 12-hour day out at Texas Stadium, chosen as one of the 63 semifinalists to join the 25 veteran cheerleaders from last year's squad heading into the May 23-24 finals at Texas Stadium.

Those heading into the finals will be required to go through a round of panel interviews on May 23 and then perform a dance routine the next day, all hoping to make the cut for the DCC's training camp, after which the chosen 38 will be selected for the 2008 squad.

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