Dallas Cowboys Training Camp is underway in Oxnard, but, first things first. Before the football players ever step on the practice field for their first practice, the DCC has already beat them to the punch.
The DCC held its annual DCC Dance Academy in Oxnard on Friday at Rio Mesa High School for 380 enthusiastic, talented youth campers ages 5-17.
The DCC have made the Oxnard dance camp a tradition, giving local kids the opportunity to train with America's Sweethearts. Campers are grouped by age to learn dance routines and team spirit with a special emphasis on self-confidence, health, fitness, and technical style.
Views of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders conducting a youth cheerleading camp in Oxnard, California.
This summer's trip to Oxnard also served as a homecoming for three DCC originally from California: Gina (San Diego/Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Daphne (Newport Beach/UCLA), and Bridget (Orange County/San Diego Mesa College).
"It's the best of both worlds to be back: I've got the ocean breeze in my hair, I'm seeing the palm trees and the mountains in the background, and I'm working with kids and doing what I love with some of the best kids on earth," says Gina. "Our DCC Dance Academy campers (ages 5-17) are divided into age groups and this year I'm teaching the senior dance which is more advanced than the younger ages.
"We're doing technical elements like kicks and pirouettes and it's a little more stylized. It's to a song by J-Lo so there's a Latin/West Coast flare as well as advanced techniques. This is a more difficult routine and I know these girls can handle it.
"It's awesome to see them take on the challenge. I'm so impressed watching their progress today. They are so focused and ready to learn. It's inspiring to see."
Joining Gina as instructors for the senior group were Maddie, Carolina and Amber.
The junior group (ages 7-13) were led by Tess, Ashlee, Lexie, and Bridget. And the spirited minis (ages 5-6) were led by Amy, Heather, Daphne, and Rachel W.
All of the DCC agree that one of their favorite parts of DCC Dance Academy has nothing to do with dance routines. Each Academy, whether it takes place in Oxnard or back home in Texas, includes a segment of time to talk about the true meaning of "DCC": "Dedication", "Character", and "Community".
"We're so fortunate to be able to represent the DCC because these young girls look up to us as role models," notes Amber. "These girls are so inspired and we have the opportunity to teach more than dance. It's really awesome. And the campers are doing great and asking really good questions and enjoying learning these lessons.
"This is my first camp and first trip to Oxnard. It's like a whole new ballgame. It's an honor and this trip is something I've wanted to do since being a rookie candidate. I had seen so many pictures of the girls surrounded by the kids who are smiling ear-to-ear. I wanted to be part of that, and the reality is even better than I imagined."
With the Dance Academy portion of their Oxnard trip in the rear-view mirror, the DCC's focus now turns to their on-field performance during 2019 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Opening Ceremonies at the River Ridge Complex in Oxnard on Saturday afternoon, preceded by a DCC autograph signing event in the early afternoon.
Then it will be time to board a flight back to DFW to continue preparations for the 2019 preseason home opening on August 24
th at AT&T Stadium.
Between now and then, young dancers back home in Texas are invited to join the DCC for Dance Academies taking place at The Star in Frisco (July 29-31; August 57) and AT&T Stadium (August 1-2). For more information on the upcoming DCC Dance Academies (ages 6-16), link here: https://www.dallascowboys.com/fans/dcc-youth-camp