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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ravens Spirit: Calendar Shoot! 

Posted by Sasha at 6:04 PM ET

Cheerleader Leslie A. blogs about the Ravens' upcoming calendar shoot.
by Leslie A.
Baltimore Ravens
May 2, 2008

Hey everybody! This is Leslie, checking in once again from the RavensSpirit blog. It’s been an exciting offseason for the Ravens’ cheerleaders. We now have the entire team settled, which is nice to be through that process. But, there is even more exciting news. This is going to be the first year the Ravens are going to put out a Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar, and I am lucky enough to be a part of it.

They actually told us about the calendar on the final cut day, so once we found out we made the team, they also pulled 22 girls aside and told us we had a shot at traveling to the Dominican Republic for the shoot. It was a double-whammy for us.

I’ve never been out there to Punta Cana, so I’m excited to go explore that island. Going to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl two years ago was great, but the Dominican will be a new experience. I know it’s business, but I’m still excited about the trip, which is May 12-19.

After they told us we were down to 22, only 18 were really going to go. Surprisingly, the next day we had to do a test shoot. It all happened pretty fast. Basically, we were trying on bathing suits to get the right look down so we’re prepared when we get there. We had another test shoot last week, and that went really well.

The process has been nerve-wracking, to be honest with you. I’ve been with the team for a while and have done a lot of shoots with the Ravens, but for me in particular, it’s difficult to do. Most of us are inexperienced when it comes to modeling. A lot of us come from dancing or cheerleading backgrounds, and modeling is a different world. Feeling comfortable in front of the camera with the photographer and taking direction is another craft unto itself. If you’re not used to having the front office, coaches and other girls there, it is definitely something new. We’re all learning new techniques, but I really feel that we’re feeding off each other’s energy and encouraging each other. That makes it easier to handle and lets you have fun with it.

And you know what? Usually, those are the best pictures, when you’re not trying to pose and you’re just natural. In the end we want to make sure our fans are proud of us and that we represent our team well.

For our swimsuits, we basically had to pick a No. 1 and a No. 2 for the actual calendar. They had a bunch of bathing suits there for us to check out, and we had some of our own, too. I brought about 15 suits, and nothing worked out for me! I ended up switching with someone else to find the one.

There are other things we have to take care of before the trip, too, like getting passports, getting into great physical shape if you’re not there yet, and of course packing. It seems like time is flying by!

Other than that, we were involved with the Spring Football Festival down at M&T Bank Stadium. We were there until about 7:15, and I have to say it was very exciting. They had lots of activities with the fans and fun games for kids. I had a great time performing, which we did a couple of times this year, unlike last year when we only performed once.

I was actually in a suite for an appearance during part of the draft, so I got to see us pick Joe Flacco on TV. I really thought the fan reaction was great. You could tell they were pumped up. The festival is always a nice way to start the season. With the new coach - and now a new quarterback - there was a lot of energy in the stadium. We’re definitely ready take that energy and win some games.

Besides the calendar shoot, which is a huge thing unto itself, we actually start practice next week. I can’t believe that time is already here. We’re going to practice one day a week until July, so stay tuned for more from the RavensSpirit blog all offseason.

And, keep an eye out for BaltimoreRavens.com’s coverage from Punta Cana. I know we’re going to have a lot of pictures and video!

Thanks a lot of reading, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Go Ravens!

- Leslie

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