by Samantha Finglass
The girls are back and entering the third week of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders training camp. As the number of girls at rehearsals each night begins to slim down, the competition heightens. As Kelli Finglass and Judy Trammell, the Director and Choreographer of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, continue to split hairs in order to make the team selection, the girls are faced with a new variety of challenges to prove they have what it takes.
Finglass says it best by stating, "This is going to be a tough training camp to make roster decisions." With every candidate more talented than the next, good is not good enough in order to make the team.
This week the girls are challenged both inside and outside the dance studio. Because it is so important to the DCC style, Melissa Rycroft, former DCC and winner of ABC's Dancing with the Stars All Stars, delivers a performance workshop for the rookie candidates. Rycroft uses her expertise to serve as a mentor to those who need a little help finding the perfect balance of power, projection and punch.
Behind the scenes views of DCC Making the Team: Episode 1206Photo credit: Barry Bowden
When the girls return to The Star, they are faced with two expert choreographers, each with contrasting styles. Keith Green brings a funky hip-hop routine while Bree Hafen of So You Think You Can Dance brings a cool contemporary piece.
According to Finglass, the purpose is to highlight the diverse and smart dancers in the room. In previous years, training camp focused mainly on DCC-style choreography. But the DCC world is ever evolving. As the team continues to become more talented each year, there is a higher demand to find dancers who are skilled in all styles of dance, not just sideline pom.
As with any craft, being exposed to a wide variety is greatly beneficial and promotes growth as a dancer that can later be applied to a DCC performance. During the offseason, those who make the team will continue to work with choreographers of all styles in order to continue developing as dancers.
Outside of the studio, the girls will experience a daunting, yet thrilling day: uniform fittings. A day that is said to be as exciting as trying on a wedding dress for the first time, the girls will get to feel the fabric of a DCC uniform for the first time.
While overall it is an exciting day, it can also be a tale-tell sign of whether or not someone is right for the team. As Finglass explains, "We could make the decision to cut someone if they don't have the right proportions or look great in our uniform." The unforgiving uniform has filled the ladies' inspiration boards all year in preparation for this moment. Having the right look is one step closer to getting to wear the iconic 15 stars.
Each girl will be given the opportunity to put on the "Superman cape" of the pro-cheerleading world and have the garment custom fit to her body. As this prestigious uniform will soon be entering the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, getting to touch the fabric is an honor in itself.
Continuing to shape the young ladies outside of the dance studio, the girls will be challenged and coached in media workshop. To help the girls be poised on camera, Meredith Land of NBC 5 conducts a mock interview. While some training camp candidates are comfortable in front of a camera, others will endure Land's coaching and critiques.
Mickey Spagnola and Bryan Broaddus of Talkin' Cowboys put the girls through a live radio interview to show who would sink or swim through the airwaves. This exciting new addition to training camp helps to give the candidates an opportunity to showcase their unique personalities and test them as an ambassador for the Dallas Cowboys.
Back in The Star dance studio, the girls face "Linebacker Night." It's time to press, push and knock 'em down, as former DCC and choreographer Michelle Keys brings it all back to the roots of DCC power pom. Keys helps coach the girls to get game-day ready by practicing the moves that they will take to the field. Fast, fun and flirty, Keys produced a routine in the signature DCC style that will be seen at AT&T Stadium this season.
All this and more on tonight's jam-packed episode of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Tune into CMT at 10/9c to catch your glimpse into the blood, sweat and cheers of DCC training camp. See who will make it to Week 4, and who will face their last night.