Being an NFL Cheerleader – Not Just About Shaking Your Pom Poms! Part 2
BettyConfidential goes inside the locker rooms to answer questions about what it takes to become a high-kicking cheerleader … from keeping in shape (yes!) to dating players (no, no!).
Catch up on Part 1 of what it’s like to be an NFL cheerleader here — including the dirt on the perks and the scoop on dating players! In Part 1, we met Melanie Brown, 25, a former San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks cheerleader, and Vittoria Woodill, a former Philadelphia Eagles (2006-2008) cheerleader (pictured above). Here’s the rest of the cheerleading story:
GET THROUGH TRYOUTS, AND EVERYTHING IS GOLDEN
Your cheerleading squad may become your family in most respects, but, like a sorority, you have to pay your dues and go through some horrific hazing before you can win your sisters’ love and respect. However, once you’ve made it through tryouts, the rest is a breeze!
“Tryouts are intimidating,” Woodill confides. “It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done. Hundreds of girls show up with the intent of beating you out for one of 37 spots. They have incredible dance backgrounds, went to dance schools and art schools and, just like you, have made it through round after round. It was super nerve-wracking because I came from a competitive cheerleading background, but didn’t have any dance background at all.”
Her advice, after making the team at 18 — stand out. “During the open call – the initial cattle call – my director saw me helping some of the girls around me with counts, which came naturally to me as a cheerleading coach. So, I had formed my own little group in the corner and was doing choreography, which she mentioned to me later on. It was important [what I did to stand out] because [the higher powers] are always watching, and you never know what they’re going to see.”
Brown knows what the deciding powers want to see – and that’s very little clothing during auditions. “You have to come in looking the part,” she says, before recommending a specific outfit that worked in her favor. “Always wear sheer nylons, briefs or little bathing suit bottoms and a bra top; sports or support, whatever. Make it your own, though. I went into the Seahawks [audition] wearing a bedazzled jersey that I cut up into a top and little bathing suit bottoms. I wanted to stand out.”
But it wasn’t just her ability to look the part that got Brown through the terrifying tryout: dancing well is only half the battle. “If you do make it to finals, you go through a whole interview process. It’s pretty intense, all business.” For this interview, she recommends wearing an outfit that’s ever so slightly different from her skimpy bra and undies ensemble: business attire. Why the suit? You’ll meet with the team’s powerful people, who will “want to know about you and see if you’re smart and able to hold a conversation. When you’re done, there are cameras waiting for you outside and you do an on-camera interview. The whole process is an audition.”
ONCE YOU’RE ON THE TEAM, BEWARE OF FACEBOOK