Written by Jay Betsill
On Aug. 12, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders held their second annual "Meet the Team" party before a
packed house at the Gaylord Texan Resort's Glass Cactus on Lake Grapevine.
The invitation-only event included guests of the DCC such as team personnel, sponsors, friends and family members who were on hand to celebrate the official unveiling of this year's squad, as well as enjoy an evening of entertainment. The audition process began in May with over 500 ladies on hand at AT&T Stadium for the preliminary round, followed by the semis and finals, and culminating with the two-month long training camp that saw the 2014 group announced following practice at Valley Ranch.
"The Meet the Team party is the first step in officially getting our season started," said second-year veteran Paige. "It is the first time we get to perform as a team and to share it with the people who care so much about us makes it one of the more special nights of the year."
The evening got underway with the DCC's iconic "Thunderstruck" routine followed by an amazing solo performance from rookie Melissa that she also presented for the judges during the final round of auditions. The show continued with each of the 36 ladies split into their four groups of nine and performing together, intertwined with Show Group performances that included solo dances and group routines. Following each group's routine, the ladies stepped up to the microphone and individually introduced themselves to the crowd.
"During rehearsal for the Meet the Team party, I feel like I really got to know the other girls," said Melissa. "And actually putting on the uniform and performing, it really hit me that I was a part of this world-renowned team and how amazing this entire experience has already been."
A pinnacle of the event occurred when four-year veteran DCC Brittney, clad in a red dress and accompanied
on stage by five Show Group members who danced in the background, lit up the massive two-story nightclub with a classical rendition of the legendary Peggy Lee jazz song "Fever."
Following the final group performance of the night, the curtain closed and the DCC walked down to floor level and positioned themselves at the front of the stage. As fans have come to expect, they saved the best for last and the ladies watched along with the crowd as the curtain opened back up for the unveiling of the Texas-sized DCC squad photo.
"It was a huge honor to hear Kelli tell the crowd how proud she was and when we went out on the floor as a team for the first time the squad photo was unveiled, it really got my adrenaline going," Paige said. "Getting to perform the same routines as we will at AT&T Stadium and feeling the energy inside the room really has me pumped for football season to begin."
Just as he enthusiastically welcomes all of the candidates to auditions at the stadium, the legendary Phil
Whitfield joined DCC Director Kelli Finglass and Choreographer Judy Trammell on stage to pull back the curtain and officially welcome the ladies to the team. While the squad-photo reveal may have officially signaled the end of the program, the DCC all stayed to sign copies of the new photo and pose for pictures with those in attendance.
The CMT cameras were also rolling at the Glass Cactus, filming for Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Meet the Team 9 and will air segments of the Meet the Team party later this season on the popular reality show.
The 2014 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are: Sydney, Nicole, Angela, Brittney, Emma, Holly, Katy, Veronica, Ashley M., Danielle, Jacie, Jasmine, Jenna, Jennifer A., Jessica M., Jordan, Kelsey, Kinzie, Abby, Ashley N., Jennifer K., Jessica A., Jinelle, Paige, Rachel, Samantha, Courtney, Loren, Breelan, Mary, Victoria, Lacey, Caila, Ashley P., Erica and Melissa.
Photos by Velton Hayworth