It's only January but I've already had several inquiries about auditions for the team that happen every year around May. For all of you new girls hankering to try out, mark Saturday, May 5, as the big day to arrive with your A-game, ready for prelims.
Over the next few articles, I'll try my best to thoroughly answer some questions in regards to auditioning. Of course, the first one I always get is, "Which studio should I take classes from to get ready for auditions?"
This is a loaded question because really, there is no quick or simple solution. Growing up with a history of dance makes auditions easier, but we have had a few girls who were strictly cheerleaders before making our team who still found success. I would look for Kitty Carter's audition prep classes because she knows how our summer training camp is run and will condition you accordingly. Her training will include the workout, fast combinations and across-the-floor choreography. Not to mention you will have to develop a mental toughness to "survive" Kitty's classes.
I would say that acquiring mental toughness is very important because many girls who first try out are just too sweet and don't know how to react to constructive criticism about their dancing or their appearance. Knowing how to keep your emotions in check and showing maturity is very important because many times, the issue that makes you upset is something you can fix.
Another option is to attend our DCC prep classes at Valley Ranch that will occur every Friday night leading up to auditions. Two group leaders will be present at each class and will teach combinations that reflect our style of dancing. Kicks and pirouettes will also be a focus during those sessions.
If you look at studios around DFW, you will notice that quite a few offer "audition prep classes" because so many professional dance teams have auditions in the spring/summer months.
However, if you want to know what I did, my preparations didn't reflect any of the above noted tips! I am from Idaho where we couldn't care less about NFL cheerleading audition prep classes. In fact, the town I lived in for nine months leading up to auditions didn't even have a dance studio where adults could pop in and take a class. Zumba at the local Gold's Gym was about as much dancing as I was around for those nine months.
About three months before auditions, I started to work out every day and stretched for hours on end to get my splits. I practiced dances I learned from college and did across the floor turns and kicks in the open aerobics room at my Gold's. They must have thought I was crazy because I didn't tell anyone! I also watched the first two episodes of every one of CMT's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team seasons so I knew what to expect during auditions. My best friend Keanna, who made me try out with her, was doing the same thing in Northern Idaho (she was still in school). Basically we prepared to the best of our ability with what we had available to us.
So overall, my suggestion is if you are serious about making the team, do what you need to do to get ready. If this means taking prep classes, do it! If you don't have access to classes, get on YouTube and get yourself onto a wood floor to practice your pirouettes … in tennis shoes, because that's what we wear during training camp!