The Miami Dolphins football team might not always give the fans something to cheer about, but if there's anything that can turn a frown upside-down quick, fast and in a hurry, it's the world-renowned Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. And so the organization held auditions on Saturday to find who would get to be the next set of cheerleaders.
Over 150 young girls registered to try and become the next Miami Dolphins cheerleader, showing off their dancing skills to popular music and putting them on full display for the judges to evaluate. A lot of the girls had actually tried out in previous years, and they had returned to try and fulfill their dreams of becoming a Dolphins cheerleader, dreams that - for some - they have had for a very long time.
"Ever since I was in diapers." said Cassandra, a young hopeful who had auditioned in previous years. "My dad was a big fan, and I always used to see them with those beautiful white boots, strutting that field, it's a dream come true if I make it ... I tried out when I was nineteen and I'm currently twenty-one."
But there's more to the Dolphins cheerleaders than just the glory and glamour, Cassandra went on to explain the deeper aspects of the audition experience.
"It's a fun experience I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Being in a room with so many beautiful girls, you have to work hard. I tried out again when I was twenty, and I made it all the way to the end. I met friends that I'm going to have for a lifetime, we keep in touch, we go out for lunch, we work out together, you know, it's fun stuff."
Cassandra called the Dolphins cheerleaders a sisterhood, a sentiment shared by current Dolphins cheerleader Megan, who has been a cheerleader for three years now and is now entering her fourth year.
"Just making great memories as friends, dancing on the field, I've enjoyed the past three years so much. It's been so much fun, and I can't wait to make more memories."
For some young women, this experience of becoming a Miami Dolphins cheerleader is one of the very first experiences they have ever had in this country, as was the case for a young Japanese woman named Mami (for short), who has only been in America for about two weeks. While her English was not yet up to par, she did tell me that she loved America already, and that it would be a dream to become a Dolphins cheerleader.
Even when the dream of being a Dolphins cheerleader comes to an end and they decide to move on, for some young women, their time with the organization continues on. This was the exact scenario of Melissa, who as of the end of the last year, is an alumni cheerleader.
"I returned as an intern, I'm working in the cheerleading department so I'm a cheerleading staff assistant. I help the coordinator and the manager with anything they need, I'm just a helping hand here at auditions."
And while she's enjoyed her continuing work with the Dolphins, she's been given a fresh perspective on the organization as a whole now that she works on the inside rather than outside on the field during games.
"It's very different. It's a lot of fun, it's a lot of new things. You realize there's a method to the madness behind the director's choices and the coordinator's choices, and you kind of understand things and everything kind of just falls into place and you realize why things were done a certain way. It kind of gives me a little more appreciation for the staff just because they put so much work that we don't see as a cheerleader into the team."
Melissa has worked beyond her cheerleading duties before though, including a certain trip to Melrose Elementary school last season where she accompanied former Dolphins tight end Troy Drayton to help teach kids the importance of being "Dolfit". These types of experiences have shown her just how much of a first-class organization the Dolphins are.
"I look at some other teams, and I see that we're very professional, we're very organized. I could not have asked to work for a better team, I just feel like the band itself is in such a positive light and I feel like we keep growing in that direction and I'm really happy to be working for them as an employee now."
The average stint for a Dolphins cheerleader is two years, and with Melissa stepping aside, there is at least one open slot on the squad, one that could very well be filled by a young woman named Mackenzie, who turned out to be one of the forty-seven finalists who will compete with the returning veteran cheerleaders in the final round.
"I'm just overwhelmed with joy and confidence that they chose me and it's an honor to make it to this point. Whatever happens next is just going to be a blessing."
For some, the dream is only beginning. For others, the dream has changed into something a little more in-depth, and for others, they're still living the dream. To be a Dolphins cheerleader is more than just the glamour of dancing for the fans and in front of the cameras. It's about being a professional that can make the organization proud, and these young women do just that on an annual and everyday basis.
When the process started, there were about 150 girls, then after the preliminaries, that number got cut down to 90. After more dancing and kick lines (with lots of practice in-between), the number of finalists turned out to be 47. Now, it's our turn. Follow this link below and you'll get your chance to vote for the next squad of Miami Dolphins cheerleaders! Let's help make someone's dream come true.
Click here to vote for your next squad of Miami Dolphins cheerleaders!
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Do you want in-depth analysis leading up to the NFL Draft? The PhinManiacs Draft Guide is now available for purchase and download for only $5. It has just under 350 pages with over 300 scouting reports and three big boards! It's certainly a fantastic deal and one you can't miss out on. If you would like to purchase the draft guide, please click here. You will be able to download it as soon as you put your payment information through.
Latest Dolphins News