Every year a new squad makes its way onto the field to cheer on the Miami Dolphins, and on Saturday, fifty candidates were chosen to participate in the finals and see if they have what it takes to be the next group of Miami Dolphins cheerleaders.
"As a cheerleader, we're not only on the field cheering the game, but we also do things with the community," said Estefania, who had been on the squad for three years. "We visit hospitals, schools, and we also do military tours which is amazing because they do so much for us."
The point is always made that there's more to being a Dolphins cheerleader than just doing high-kicks on the field or the sidelines and looking pretty, there's also a responsibility to represent the organization.
Together, the squad has built friendships with each other as they go out and show the world what it really means to be a cheerleader, and a lot of girls were looking forward to that camaraderie, and perhaps even aim for a leadership role with the squad.
"I'm hoping that I'll gain leadership experience because I've had the experience in the past," said Avia, who was a former cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals before coming to audition for the Dolphins. "I'm hoping that I can maybe get to a captain or leadership position, just to be around the girls that want the same thing as I do."
And there were many candidates who did indeed share Avia's ambition. Some - like her - had been cheerleaders on other teams' squads beforehand, some had family members who had once been Dolphins cheerleaders themselves and felt that being one was in their blood and they wanted to continue that legacy.
Then there were some like Maggie, who had auditioned once before many years ago and was taking another shot at making the squad as it had been something she'd wanted to do for a long time.
"All my life," Maggie said. "I was one (a cheerleader) in high school, I love dance, I love football and I love the energy. It's all involved, it's all intertwined. I can only pray and if not I still had a great time, met a lot of great people, and if not I'll try again next year."
Nearly 300 registrants with varying cultural backgrounds huddled into the practice bubble at the Dolphins practice facility in Davie, and only fifty chosen ladies will move on to the finals where they'll compete with returning Dolphins cheerleaders and the twenty finalists from the international auditions that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mexico City. Mexico and Bogota, Colombia to see who will make the final squad.
It isn't easy to do this job, but most who have gotten to be cheerleaders have said that the experience was more than worth it. If there was one message that Estefania could send to the participants, she said it would be this:
"Give it your all, always have fun, always smile and they've made it so far and just be confident with yourself."
And confidence is something the participants will need going into the finals which take place on May 1st. It will be held at the Miniaci Theater at Nova Southeastern University and it will be open to the public. The next squad will be revealed soon, and there's no doubt that these ladies will be giving it their all to make their dreams come true.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Header Photo Credit: Miami Dolphins
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