Written by Courtney Cook
I was all smiles yesterday in my excitement for our Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Banquet last night. This week has been a quick realization that our incredible season is coming to an end. We gathered again as a team at the Gaylord Texan for our banquet, where we also kicked off this season with our retreat. From team bonding and get-to-know-you games, to now goodbyes and reflecting on the amazing memories from our year together, this has been an unforgettable experience.
The Gaylord was also the VERY beginning for me. As a high school senior, I made my very first trip to this beautiful state of Texas in order to chase my dreams, and it was there, at the Gaylord, where I stayed while traveling from Utah for auditions. I will never forget how excited I was to see the stars everywhere. Of course, I thought they were stars for the Cowboys, but after living here, I realize all Texans love their stars!
I would probably never believe at that time where the journey toward my dream would take me. After the sweat and tears I put in my first time to audition, I learned patience along with positivity is the key to success.
Now I'm happily living in Texas with an excellent job and great friends surrounding me, while living my dream as a member of this special team! Every day when I open my closet and see that beautiful uniform, I am reminded how blessed I am for this opportunity.
Along with my uniform, which is waiting for my next memory I will experience in it, I have what I call "the shrine." Here I have set up my boots, poms, DCC Barbie, photos and other special memorabilia. If you have seen Kelly's office in CMT's Making The Team, you might have some idea of what it looks like: pink, blue, and DCC stars everywhere! The girls on the team often tease me, knowing how enthusiastic I am about the DCC, asking if I keep my perfectly clean uniform in a shadowbox on my wall. It may seem silly to some, but I have been dreaming of wearing those white boots for so long that the excitement hasn't worn off a bit.
I look down at my right pinky finger, overjoyed that it will now be forever decorated after last night. I have seen this special piece of jewelry gracing the hands of those I have idolized for years. From being far away in Utah and researching everything I could about the cheerleaders, to noticing it on the veterans hands in the locker room – something so small, but so sentimental to those who receive the honor of wearing it. A reminder of the nerves of auditions, the sweat of training camp, the smiles at the squad photo, and the best friends you stand in that tunnel with, looking out to the fans and field at Cowboys Stadium.
For me, this keepsake will stand as a token of hard work, patience and positivity. A constant reminder of the DCC creed hanging in the practice studio, of the woman I am striving to become and forever encouraging me to believe in my dreams.