On To Training Camp

Written by Jay Betsill

The 2014 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders final auditions took place on May 17 inside AT&T Stadium with a myriad of storylines encompassed in the 85 ladies from all over the world who were on hand to showcase their talents in hopes of making it one step closer to this year's team. Fifty-five candidates were chasing their dreams of becoming one of America's Sweethearts while 30 veterans returned in hopes of continuing their journey of a lifetime.

The final audition began with the individual talent portion, better known as the "solo," inside the AT&T Star Club. The ladies had 90 seconds to "Stand out from the crowd" and catch the judges attention with singing and dancing performances that allowed the judges panel to see each performer's personality and creativity. Songs for the solos ranged from Jimmy Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" to Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and featured three different renditions of Fergie's "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" from the movie The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Following a short break to change into DCC practice attire, the ladies reconvened down on the field at the 50-yard line underneath the monumental 160-feet wide by 72-feet high HD video board. The candidates would take the field in 17 groups of five and twice perform the choreography that was introduced in the semifinal round of auditions, before executing two rounds of the DCC signature kick-line. DJ EJ, the DJ of the Dallas Cowboys, DCC and AT&T Stadium, cued up "Move" by Little Mix for the routine and "Get Up (A Cowboys Anthem)" by Kelly Clarkson for the kick-line. The judges were seated in the stands looking directly at the video board, giving them the point of view of fans attending Cowboys home games.

Once the final group had completed their performance, the ladies work was finished and the results were in the hands of the judges as the deliberations were set to begin. The results could have come as early as 6 p.m., but with the importance to the organization as well as the hopes and dreams of 85 ladies on the line, it was expected to be a longer wait.

"On the field, that is my time to shine," said Nicole, who is re-auditioning in hopes of returning for her fifth season with the DCC. "I know the style and I feel very confident when I am down on the field dancing with my friends. This part, the waiting, is actually the happiest I have been in the last two weeks because it is out of my hands, and I am very proud of the hard work I put in to get to this moment."

While some of the candidates share her perspective of relief after leaving it all out on the field, many others grew increasingly more anxious as the minutes turned into hours. Some of the ladies began to worry that no matter how many prep classes they attended or how well they performed, the distinct possibility existed that with the decisions being so subjective, they could slip through the cracks.

Shortly after 9 p.m., DCC Director Kelli Finglass returned with Judy Trammell and Charlotte Jones-Anderson to an awaiting group of ladies sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

"This has been the most talented group of finalists we have ever had," Finglass said, before announcing the names of the 43 ladies who would continue on to the two-month long training camp with the opportunity to be a member of this year's DCC. She began by announcing the winner of the online Fan Vote, Loren from McKinney, and when she called the final name, Vivian from Carrollton, there were three returning vets who had re-auditioned and were not invited back to camp. There were tears of joy and sadness as those who made the cut were faced with the mixed emotions of continuing their dreams while knowing the harsh reality that those of some of their close friends were coming to an end.

The 43 ladies invited to training camp are:

Jennifer (Frisco, Texas)

Mary (Tulsa, Okla.)

Jessica (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Hannah (Prosper, Texas)

Christina (Fort Worth, Texas)

Jordan (Plano, Texas)

Chandler (Southlake, Texas)

Samantha (San Marcos, Calif.)

Courtney (Dover, Fla.)

Angela (Sydney, Australia)

Emma (Houston, Texas)

Nicole (Twin Falls, Idaho)

Jasmine (Maplewood, N.J.)

Kelsey (Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Ashley (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Jinelle (Melbourne, Australia)

Ashley (Chandler, Ariz.)

Holly (Denton, Texas)

Mallory (Plano, Texas)

Jenna (Orange County, Calif.)

Victoria (Arnaudvillle, La.)

Meagan (Gainesville, Fla.)

Veronica (Austin, Texas)

Vivian (Carrollton, Texas)

Erika (Friendswood, Texas)

Jessica (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Paige (West Dundee, Ill.)

Danielle (Holbrook, N.Y.)

Lacey (Southlake, Texas)

Brittney (Dallas, Texas)

Katy (Coppell, Texas)

Breelan (Rockwall, Texas)

Sydney (Mission, Texas)

Melissa (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Ashley (Russellville, Ark.)

Abby (Round Rock, Texas)

Loren (McKinney, Texas)

Rachel (Whitehouse, Texas)

Jennifer (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Kinzie (Plano, Texas)

Caila (Sunnyvale, Texas)

Alexandra (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Jacie (Monroe, La.)

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