After weeks and months of hard work and preparation, we are finally finished with tryouts for the 2007 Cheerleader Squad! 35 amazing women are on the squad this year, including 20 returning vets.
And I, for one, am thrilled to be back! Since I was a rookie last year, this was my first time to tryout knowing what I would be losing if I didn't make it again. And that made it even more stressful.
Preparations for tryouts start months in advance. Eating healthy, working out, tanning, nails, and hair and all a part of the process. Elizabeth and I used a personal trainer to help us get in shape, and I tried to follow a diet of five meals a day high in fruit and vegetables.
Tryouts themselves went very quickly this year. Normally, the first weekend of tryouts lasts for two days and includes four separate rounds. This year, the first four rounds all happened in one day! After several grueling and stressful hours, they read the numbers of the people moving on to finals.
Finals were also very fast this year! Last year, we had two weeks of practice to get ready for our final judgement. This year, because Draft Day was the next Saturday, we had only 3 short days.
On the night of finals, I felt ready and prepared, but my nerves were shot! On finals night, we all have a number and a letter assigned to us. There were 14 groups of up to four people in each. I was 5B, so I was the second person in the fifth group. Our turn came up quickly, we went out in front of the judges, and I focused on just doing my best.
Then came the long wait. Waiting for the rest of the groups to perform and then waiting for the judges to decide on who they would like to call back. Call backs are a time when the judges can take another look at a finalist. If you get called back, it means you are being considered. If you don't, it can mean you are either definitely in or definitely out. But in reality, you never know what it means if you get called back or not!
Finally the last group was done auditioning. And then we waited. And waited. I had decided that if I was called back, I would just take that opportunity to prove to the judges why I should be back for another year. I was okay with being called back if that's what it would take.
Then the list was brought in. But it wasn't a callback list. It was the list of the girls who made the squad. Wait! I hadn't prepared myself for the final decision! I had prepared myself for callbacks. But here it was. The moment of truth.
Last year, the numbers were called out in order. I was 13D that time, and I counted as the 34 numbers were called. When they got to group 11, I thought for sure they would run out of numbers before they even got to mine. And then my number was the last one called. The last one!
One consolation I had during finals this year was that my number, 5B, would quickly be either read or not read. I wouldn't have to wait and count as the positions passed me by. But then, they said that they would be reading the numbers in random order. Of course, I instantly lost track of how many numbers they had called because I was frantically listening for my own.
Number after number went by and still no 5B. Danielle was on one side of me and Elizabeth was on the other. Neither of their numbers had been called either. And then I heard it. 5B!! Immediately after mine, Danielle's number was called and then Elizabeth's. Whew!
Once the list was complete, we immediately began checking in with the other vets to see if our teammates had also made it back. I can't explain how relieved we all were when all 20 of the vets who were in finals made it back onto the squad!!!
Now that tryouts are over, the hard work has just begun! Right now we are in the middle of shooting photos for the website and this year's poster. And soon we will start the long hours of practicing that it takes to learn all of the dances we do out on the field.
And I can't wait for every minute of it!! Welcome to the beginning of the 2007 Season!
In keeping with the tradition of last year's blog, here is the first trivia question of the new season:
Who was voted on by the fans this year to fill the 35th spot on the 2007 squad?
It's an easy question this time so I hope everyone gets it right! :) Email me your answers!
[CLICK HERE](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Trivia answer) to send an e-mail to Lindsay