Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rowlett residents train Cowboys cheerleaders 

Posted by Sasha at 6:32 PM ET

By Kenny Green
Staff Writer
Star Community Newspaper

The Dallas Cowboys’ season got underway last weekend with a win in Cleveland. This week the Cowboys have their home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. The rookie football players will not be the only ones trying to work through the opening day jitters.

For three local members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, it will be the first time this season that they will perform in a regular season game before the raucous home crowd.

Cassie Trammel, Lauren Castillo, and Meredith Oden are all members of this year’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad. The trio got their start dancing, singing, and performing with Calico Kids, Inc., co-owned by Rowlett resident Jeannie Strain.

“They were all outstanding girls with real talent,” Strain said.

According to Strain, the girls began their training as part of the company’s preschool program, Kiddie College. The girls learned a variety of talents from baton twirling to gymnastics in their more than six years at the studio.

“As the girls grew older, they became part of our show teams,” recounts Strain.

The girls performed at many venues during their time at the studio, everywhere from the Sachse Fall Fest to Texas Stadium for the Thanksgiving Day halftime show.

Among the many accomplishments during her time at the studio, Castillo won several awards at the Southwest Teachers Association of the Performing Arts Competition thanks in part to the choreography put together by Calico Kids co-owner Lee Ann Whittington.

According to Strain, Oden, one of the team’s few redheads, was known to stand in front of the mirror and admire her latest outfit or fluff her hair. Oden later used her training to become a Kilgore Rangerette before becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Trammel also shared the joys of success at the studio. She was part of the International Touring Troupe that performed during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. All three girls were members of the Junior Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

The competitions that they took part in prepared the girls for their current high-profile role as Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

For Oden and Trammel, they are following in the footsteps of their mothers, who were both also Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Trammell’s mother Judy is the choreographer for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

In a written statement Strain and Whittington said, “We are so very proud to have had a part in these girls journey to achieve their dreams. We realize that being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader is a dream for thousands of young American girls.”

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