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  1. #1
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    On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    http://www.stlouisrams.com/article/53376/
    On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader
    Saturday, April 8, 2006

    In every aspect of the National Football League, competition pours out. Jobs on the field are one of the most difficult things to come by as player rosters are limited to 53 with only 45 getting to suit up and play every week.

    But that competitiveness isn’t limited to the playing field. To become an NFL cheerleader requires plenty of hard work, discipline and talent. And oh by the way, jobs as cheerleaders in the NFL are even less abundant than jobs as players.

    So it goes every year around this time as the Rams begin their search to find 30 women to fill out their cheerleading squad for the 2006 season. Like future NFL players heading to the scouting combine and working to reach the highest level of what they do, about 150 women will converge on Rams Park on Saturday morning for the first official tryout.

    “We do it the traditional way,” Entertainment Manager Keely Fimbres said. “It’s your basic cattle call.”

    There is plenty more than simply “trying” out that goes into becoming a Rams cheerleader, though. Technically, the tryouts begin in the week leading up to the official tryout day.

    During the week before the first tryout, or preliminary tryout, the participants congregate at Rams Park for a pair of clinics. At the first clinic, which took place on Tuesday, the ladies meet with a choreographer who is brought in from Los Angeles to teach a dance routine.

    After spending a few hours in that clinic learning the dance routine, the women returned Thursday night for another clinic. That opportunity is used mainly to fine tune their understanding of the routine and get it down as much as possible before the preliminary tryout.

    “It’s competitive and not in the way I thought it would be,” first-year participant Jenny McLeland said. “It’s not at all catty and we all try to help each other out. Tomorrow will probably be more competitive.”

    When the women arrive for Saturday’s preliminary tryout, things will only become more difficult. With so many women from various backgrounds striving for so few spots, the competition moves at a dizzying pace.

    There is no limit on the background of any of the participants. Some are mothers, some are students and some are professionals. All have the common denominator of a love for dance as well as a love for philanthropy.

    “It’s been a really good experience,” McLeland said. “I’ve never done it before. I was surprised that it was girls of all shapes and sizes. It’s something I have wanted to do for a few years.”

    Each woman is given about 30 seconds to make an impression on a panel of around eight or nine judges. The judging panel includes a cross section of people such as a member of the media, a talent agent, a choreographer, Rams’ employees, players and even a coach.

    That variety in judges allows for different opinions to be given and helps create diversity in the group advancing to the next round. Each judge is given a score sheet which he or she will use to grade the women in a few categories including dancing ability, confidence and physical ability.

    The candidates step in front of the panel five at a time and each is given 30 seconds to make an impression on the judges by sharing some information about herself that will give a glimpse into her personality.

    But there are rules that go into the potential cheerleaders’ short meetings with the judges. Every year is different. Cheerleaders aren’t given long-term contracts with large signing bonuses. In fact, aside from the returning captains, every woman is forced to try out for the team.

    In other words, if you want to be on the team in consecutive years, you better figure out what made you appealing the year before and come with it again if you want to retain your spot. And while a few members of the panel, including Fimbres and cheerleader coordinator and entertainment assistant Theresa Mancini, know the girls from the previous year’s squad, you better not tell the judging panel who you are.

    One of the express rules of trying out states that you cannot mention you were on the team the previous year to the judges or submit a picture of yourself in a uniform. If you do, you will be cut on the spot. Needless to say, it’s a stern process that every one involved takes seriously.

    For candidates such as McLeland, it’s a new experience that took some getting used to. There are plenty of backgrounds among the cheerleaders. McLeland graduated from St. Louis University and works at Washington University. She has 12 years of experience in ballet and tap, among other disciplines. And there are all kinds of different experiences in the room with some women coming from hip hop backgrounds or dancing for as many as 21 years.

    After the short introductions, the groups of five perform the routine and are subsequently graded on their performance. The scores are averaged and the number of women that advance are based on a median score. So, for instance, if the cutoff is a seven on a scale of 10, then all women with a seven or better advance. There is no cutting based on keeping only a certain number of candidates.

    Of course, this is just the first step in making the final squad. Any candidate that makes it past the first cut must then move into the final rounds, where things get even more interesting.

    The job of cheerleader in the NFL is far from a full time job as far as compensation and benefits. But it certainly has many tasks that come with the territory. Rams’ cheerleaders earn $75 a game. They also are given the opportunity to purchase tickets for games, but the $75 is the only tangible compensation they receive.

    Of course, there is more to being an NFL cheerleader than showing up to the 10 games and learning dance routines. Rams’ cheerleaders are required to make a minimum of 12 appearances at charitable promotions. While all of those opportunities are rewarding, some even get to take trips overseas to visit with troops and the like.

    “We look to our cheerleaders to be community ambassadors for the organization,” Fimbres said. “They get these rewarding experiences and also find plenty of networking opportunities along the way.”

    With that in mind, the process of selecting the team only gets more closely scrutinized and detailed as it goes along. For those that make it past the preliminary cut , the next step is a formal interview process.

    Those that advance are asked to prepare for and dress for a formal business interview. There, they are asked about any and everything that will help those making the decision get a more clear idea of their personalities.

    In addition, there will be more clinics and routines in the weeks to follow, leading in to the final cut which will be made on April 21.

    RamsFan16

  2. #2
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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Good luck RF16 on being a cheerleader. Do your thang little missy.

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    I'm not going to become a cheerleader. It was just an article on the Ram site plus I'm a guy so OH HECK NO
    RamsFan16

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    I'm not going to become a cheerleader. It was just an article on the Ram site plus I'm a guy so OH HECK NO
    Oh, come now. George W. Bush was a cheerleader, and look at what a manly man he turned out to be.

    On second thought....maybe you shouldn't.LOL

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam
    Oh, come now. George W. Bush was a cheerleader, and look at what a manly man he turned out to be.

    On second thought....maybe you shouldn't.LOL
    lmao hey atleast you can look up the girls' skirts when your a guy cheerleader...well on the other hand, most guy cheerleaders are gay, so idk if that would work haha


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    OK, RF16...I gave you enough crap. So, I will show you a pic of the 2002 KC Chiefs Cheerleaders. Before you say anything, the only reason I have this pic is because my niece was one of them, and because of her ability to get tickets, my father got to see 8 real NFL games in person before he died.
    Meagan (my niece) is the one with the blue arrows pointing at her. She is now going to law school to learn to be a drain on society, um, I mean, a lawyer....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader-kccheerleaders.jpg  

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam
    OK, RF16...I gave you enough crap. So, I will show you a pic of the 2002 KC Chiefs Cheerleaders. Before you say anything, the only reason I have this pic is because my niece was one of them, and because of her ability to get tickets, my father got to see 8 real NFL games in person before he died.
    Meagan (my niece) is the one with the blue arrows pointing at her. She is now going to law school to learn to be a drain on society, um, I mean, a lawyer....
    eace: :bling: :bow: hone: Wow man she is fine!!!!

    Sorry to hear about your father man!
    RamsFan16

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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    She looks and sounds like a nice young lady, RamsFanSam. Wish her the best of luck in her future!

  9. #9
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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Good luck RF16 on being a cheerleader. Do your thang little missy.
    That comment made me laugh at loud. When I saw the title of the thread, I thought the same until I saw RF16 name.

  10. #10
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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Hey, RF16 found an article that could have led him to potentially meet 150 hotties IN ONE SETTING.

    To me, that's using your noggin 16. These others are jealous that they didn't do it first.

  11. #11
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    Re: On the Road to Becoming a Cheerleader

    Yeah you have to admit it, it might seem gay to be a cheerleader, but those girls are hot


    my question: do all the cheerleaders shower together?

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