Hello Redskins Fans!
My name is Erica H. and I am excited to share my very first Draft Fest experience with you! It was just a few weeks ago that the 2018-2019 Washington Redskins Cheerleading team was announced at finals and over the past few weeks, we’ve put in A LOT of time and hard work to prepare for this year’s Draft Fest.
The night before Draft Fest I remember gathering everything on my packing list that the captains handed out, packing up my bag for the day with my uniforms, boots, makeup, and snacks of course! Once I finished packing, I found myself laying restlessly in bed because I was way too excited to sleep! I kept thinking about how it would feel to step out onto the field in uniform for the first time. I had dreamed of this moment ever since I was a little girl and the time was finally here.
That morning I woke up bright and early to get ready. I sleepily curled my hair and did my makeup as the sun was rising to make sure I was on time for the big day. Once I was ready to go, I stopped for a minute to look at myself in the mirror and take it all in. It was official. There I was, for the first time, in my Redskins Cheerleader uniform. I’m not sure how else to describe the feeling besides that it just felt, right.
I picked up my fellow Rookie sister, Seanne, on the way to the field. We couldn’t contain our excitement. As we drove up to the stadium that morning we looked at each other and said, “It’s all happening!” When we walked into the stadium and scanned our new staff badges someone asked, “Are you two cheerleaders?” We definitely sounded like teenage girls getting asked to prom as we giggled and said Yes!”
I started out my day by taking photos with fans and cheering on the 5K runners. Next, we went to sign autographs with the rest of the team. When we all sat down and put our poms at the edge of the table, I remember looking down the line and thinking about how blessed I was to have my spot at the table. It was so much fun interacting with fans, especially the little girls who told me they wanted to grow up to be cheerleaders! There was one girl who I let hold one of my poms and the way her eyes lit up melted my heart.
As Rookies, it is tradition that we learn the same dance that every Rookie class has learned for the past 20 years. I loved that we would be performing the same choreography as past WRC sisters. When it came time for us to perform, we all lined up and took the field for the very first time as the 2018-2019 WRC team. I looked out at the crowd of fans that were there to watch the performance and couldn’t help but smile. At that moment I was filled with emotions and anxious to hear my name announced as one of the newest Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. Rookies were first up to perform the legendary ‘Rock’ routine. I will never forget the rush of adrenaline I had stepping onto the stage for our big debut. They announced the Rookies one by one. All I remember is hearing, “Next up, Erica H. from Waterford, Connecticut!”, fans cheering, and then the music started. It was time to dance! It was all over so fast. I wish I could relive that moment over and over again.
If I could summarize my whole Rookie Draft Fest experience into three words I would say it was exhilarating, humbling, and unforgettable. I am so grateful for this opportunity to stand beside such impressive and talented women and I am looking forward to what the rest of the year holds for me and the rest of my WRC sisters.
That’s all from me for now, ‘Skins fans. I can’t wait to see you from the sidelines this season!
Hail to the Redskins,