Stopping point

We're at a brief intermission in the first round. There are about 500 girls here trying out, and they've been divided into groups of five for Round 1. Each group stands in a line and performs a free-style dance for about 30 seconds in front of the dozens of judges seated at the north end of Methodist Training Center.

Judges are already tallying up votes for the 300 or so contestants who have already gone through their first-round routine. The final squad will consist of 25-35 cheerleaders.

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