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Cheerleaders

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Jackie's Story: Perseverance = Achieving Goals

Posted Mar 19, 2018

Do you have what it takes to #BeFirst? Jackie shares her story.

Well hello there Redskins Fans!

Guess what time of year it is….audition season!! With auditions right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to share my journey to become one of the First Ladies of Football. Although you may see a team of pretty faces, there is a lot of blood sweat and tears that go on behind the scenes on the road to becoming a Washington Redskins Cheerleader.

It all started in the stands. Being a huge Redskins fan for life, I loved going to games. I remember being at a game, and oddly enough,

I couldn’t tell you what the score was, who won, or who we were even playing, because I was so enamored with the cheerleaders. They looked like beautiful dancing barbies. Flawless makeup, perfect curled hair, and beautiful smiles; not to mention, some killer dance moves! I was mesmerized! I knew then and there that I wanted to be a Washington Redskins Cheerleader, and I wasn’t going to stop until I was on that field.

But how was I going to do this? I had no dance, gymnastics, or cheerleading background. After looking online for a while and researching this, I found that I could be a Cheerleader Ambassador. Which is basically a non-dancing cheerleader. I tried out my first time, and made it! As an ambassador, I was at every game, interacting with the best fans in the NFL. I went on to do Ambassadors for a second year, and made Captain! Being involved in the Ambassador program was such a great introduction into the cheerleading world. I was able to learn all of the ins-and-outs of what it took to make the cheerleading team; so I decided the next year, I would try out for Cheerleaders, like I had always dreamed.

This is when I really had to test my limits; mentally and physically. I thought- How am I going to kick like that, or split like that, when I can’t even touch my toes? How am I going to learn to dance like that, when I’ve never danced to an 8 count in my life? How am I ever going to compete with hundreds of other professional dancers out there? Well the answer is…hard work, and one heck of a positive attitude. I took countless dance classes on the weeknights. I went to stretch therapy (yes that’s a thing). I made friends with as many girls as I could, and asked them to teach me everything they knew. I changed my eating habits and workout regimen, to get my body healthy and into shape. I stayed in close contact with the coaches and always asked for feedback, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. It was a journey, but it was one I was excited about.

After all of that, I did not make the team. So I tried out the following year; I did not make the team again. So I tried out the following year; you guessed it, did not make the team again. At this point, not making the team three years in a row, you would think that I would get the hint. But I was determined. I had set a goal 5 years prior to be on that field, in that uniform, and I wasn’t stopping until I was. On my 4th tryout, I made the team.

I wanted to share my tryout journey with you because I want anyone who is thinking about trying out, or going for any goal in your life for that matter, to know that although it might not come as easy as you’d like - it is completely worth it. Being on the team has changed my life in so many positive ways, that I can’t imagine where I would be if I decided to quit the first, second, or even third time that I tried out. It’s determination that will set you apart from all the rest.

If you have a dream, go chase it! Because I believe in you.  ;-)

Xoxo,

Jackie