Monday, May 20, 2013
Photos: Cowboys Cheerleaders strut in final rounds of auditions
The new roster of America's Sweethearts has been chosen.
ARLINGTON How much would you give up for a part time job, one that’s only guaranteed for a year and pays as little as $150 a week? What if that job involved stars and white boots?
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders practice anywhere from two to five times per week during the season. Attendance is mandatory, and there are extra sessions for rookies and the Show Group — a sort of special ops group of 12 cheerleaders who dance and sing — on weekends.
Training camp in the weeks before the season is tougher, with its nightly rehearsals that can last up to five hours and could result in more cuts.
If the cheerleaders make it out of training camp, they’re are paid $150 per home game, with opportunities for paid appearances. Oh, and just because you make it one year doesn’t mean you’re back the next. Everybody has re-audition.
“It’s really common for veterans to get cut,” said Sydney Durso, now in her sixth-year on the team. “I remember when I first made the team five years ago, I think five or six veterans were cut.”
Final auditions concluded on Saturday. Those chosen will take on the burden and head to training camp. Some left their lives in other states or countries for the right to wear the uniform.
“It’s a worldwide brand,” said Brijet Finister, who made two trips from Stockton, California in order to audition for the first time but didn’t end up making the cut. “The image of the DCC is one that a lot of people desire to be a part of.
“You almost become a hero to thousands of girls across the world.”
Perhaps no one knows more about the opportunities than Durso. The 23-year-old is now the longest tenured Cowboys Cheerleader on the team.
She has been on three USO tours with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, making trips to Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, and Bahrain to visit troops.
“I love performing of course, but there’s something about our iconic uniform about that is so different than anybody else’s,” Durso said. “You can make people smile with just our uniform.”
Jinelle Davidson came to Texas from Australia two weeks ago for opening auditions, leaving her job, her studies, her family, and her cheerleading team in Australia.
“I literally left everything behind,” Davidson said. “There’s an energy behind cheerleading that I’m really passionate about.”
And the Cowboys were the best, so she wanted to follow in the footsteps of fellow Australian Angela Rena and try out.
It ended in success. Davidson, Rena, and Durso heard Kelli Finglass, director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, call their name called after a 12-hour day audition day.
They’ll be training camp at the end of the month, ready for another year being "America’s Sweethearts."
“It is perfect,” Durso said. “I love it. I love what we do.”
That’s all the justification she needs.
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