Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Behind the scenes with CMT's "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team"

There are a handful of iconic images that come to mind when you say the word DALLAS: Southfork Ranch, Big Tex at the State Fair, cowboy boots, the Dallas Cowboys... and of course, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.  CMT has spent the last six years documenting the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders tryouts in a reality series called Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

Back for a seventh season, I was invited to attend a rehearsal and check out what goes into filming this show.  I was going to be in Vail for this opportunity, but fortunately for me, Brittany Husted was eager to fill in for me. Seems her Mama was an infamous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader back in the day, so who better to take the lead on this one!? Here's her report:

CMT was on location at Gilley’s in Dallas to get some footage for the upcoming Season 7 of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, and guess who got to be right in the middle of all the action? Yep, that’s right…yours truly! I got to kick off the evening by interviewing 5 cheerleaders: 2 alumni and 3 “newbies”.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty intimidated by these fabulously fit chicks, but they were all super nice and did I say…FABULOUS!

I asked the girls to tell me a little about the whole process of becoming a cheerleader and let me say, it ain’t a piece of cake! Over 400 girls will begin this process.  They get one minute of improv dancing to impress the judges and get to the next round. After several grueling practices, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Director Kelli Finglass and highly acclaimed choreographer Judy Trammel make cuts and narrow it down to 42 girls. I asked if there were lots of cat fights with so many girls vying for thee coveted spots and they said, “No, not really. We are all one big family and we have the utmost respect for each other. This process actually brings us closer together and we develop really strong bonds.” 

I wanted to know what they did during their downtown and Brittany, one of the alumni cheerleaders, filled me in, “We really don’t have any downtime. When we are not practicing, we are either going to school or working - which is a requirement for all cheerleaders.”

Trammel and Finglass
After my interview with the girls I went to the next room to meet with the infamous coaches, Kelli and Judy. Now I know I said I was intimidated before, but now I was just plain scared! I have seen Kelli and Judy on TV and they are pretty fierce, but lucky for me the cameras hadn’t started rolling yet.

I asked them what their favorite part of creating the team was, and both agreed that it was being able to mentor the girls and watch them evolve in to strong, determined, confident women. Kelli and Judy also both agreed that the hardest part was cutting girls from the roster. “You never want to be the one responsible for crushing someone’s lifelong dream.”

I had time for one more question before the girls came out for practice so I made sure it was a good one. “What kinds of drama can we expect from Season 7?”   Their response was, “Well, you’ll have to wait and see!”

When the interviews were complete I got to sit back, relax, and watch some of the routines being performed. Little did I know that I would be completely exhausted after watching their performances. I never knew dancing and smiling required so much effort! Keep your eyes open for Season 7 and maybe you will even get a quick glimpse of me!

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Season 7 will debut September 27, 2012on CMT.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from this event on Facebook.  Photos: Shana Anderson

Brittany attended Texas State University where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Brittany and her husband live in Dallas with their two beautiful children/dogs, Marley and Kona. She currently works at Gangway Advertising as an Account Executive and in her spare time she enjoys her family and friends, traveling, shopping, taking pictures, and trying new restaurants. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyhusted.