Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Patriots cheerleader tryouts draw 200-plus 

Posted by Sasha at 10:46 AM ET

By Adva Saldinger
GateHouse News Service
Mar 02, 2009

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FOXBORO — More than 200 women jumped, clapped and body-rolled to Britney Spears’ song “Circus”’ Saturday in hopes of winning a spot as a New England Patriots cheerleader.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Patriots cheerleader,” said Alana Hicks, 19, of Weymouth. “Every dance teacher I’ve ever had has been one, so it’s just something I’ve always looked up to and wanted to do since I was just a little kid.”

The judges, said Julie Warner, a Patriots cheerleader captain, were looking for confidence.

Warner, 28, who works full time in addition to being a Patriots cheerleader, will have to try out again herself in the final rounds to keep her position. On Saturday, her role was to help the women learn the routine.

Sara Caldeira, 19, of Taunton said the cheerleaders “are very friendly. They teach you one by one; if you need help, they’re free to help you. It’s an awesome experience.”

Some women failed to make the cut after the first round. Those who remained performed a dance, choreographed to “Circus,” that Patriots cheerleading director Tracy Sormanti taught them at break-neck speed.

The routine was easier to pick up for Danielle Bailey, 20, of Easton, than she thought it would be. She wants to join the squad because she loves to entertain and perform but also because she has always done community service.

“I just want to do something for other people while I’m having fun doing my job,” said Bailey.

Meghan Bossa, 20, of Braintree said the cheerleaders are role models and get to represent the team abroad.

“I think it’s amazing they have that kind of influence,” she said.

Rebecca Kennedy of Bridgewater, who made it to the finals several years ago, said she wants the stature that comes with the job.

“People don’t just come to the games to watch the players; they come to watch the cheerleaders, and you can tell from all the apparel and calendars they buy that they are a huge icon in New England sports,” she said.

Near the end of the day, the judges made another cut and the remaining group of approximately 60 women stayed to learn another routine for another round of auditioning next weekend.

The ones who get through that will be interviewed and go through a two-week trial period, after which the team of up to 24 will be selected.

Once the team is picked, it’s straight to work gearing up for next season on the sidelines.

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