Saludos, Redskins Nation!
It's your favorite Latina, Christal. I just finished auditioning for my second season as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader and I am here to give you some behind the scenes perspective about this year's audition process.
There is no better way to start off spring than with the 2018-2019 First Ladies of Football Cheerleader Auditions. Auditions started with an Open Call on Saturday, April 7th and ended with our Final Showcase on Sunday, April 15th. As a returning veteran, I automatically advanced to the semi-finalist round, which took place on April 8th. This is when the veterans join all of the Rookie Hopefuls who made it past the first, two rounds held on April 7th. And boy, did all the ladies look stunning in their bedazzled outfits and glamorous hair and make-up. During sem-finals, the first thing we did was learn a sideline routine from an Alumni Cheerleader and Captain Courtney. Everyone quickly got into performance mode. When I perform, my goal is to entertain the judges/fans, uphold the Washington Redskins Cheerleader legacy, and most importantly, have fun. After learning Courtney's' sideline routine as a whole, we broke up into smaller groups of eight to perform for the judges. It was clear that auditions were underway because as each group performed, the vibe and energy in the studio gave me so much excitement to slay this audition process. After we performed for the judges, we took a quick break, while the judges deliberated. After our break, we learned two more routines.
By far, Monday evening, was one of my favorite round, the Swimsuit Photo Shoot! If you make it to this round you are a Finalist and are one step closer to becoming a First Lady of Football! For this round, I chose to wear a strappy, white cheetah print bikini to showcase my sexy & vivacious style. I felt in my element when I got in front of the camera with photographer, Drew Xeron. You can check out our photo gallery to view behind the scenes pictures from the Swimsuit photoshoot. Also, during this round, we had a solo interview with our very own Redskins Broadcast Network about health and wellness, and took another photo in one of our iconic WRC uniforms. After the shoot, we had practice again, with Alumni Cheerleader, Kelly, where we learned the opening routine for the Final Audition Show (hint: lots of Cardi B). Seeing the opening routine with all my fellow Vets killin' it, I knew this show was going to have everyone on the edge of their seats....and that is JUST the opening dance.
Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of us practicing our selected routines with our group and running through the show to make sure everyone looks their best! I was blessed to be selected to perform Kelly's hip hop dance. Her dance style and swag is what I aspire to live up to. I have never felt so confident in a dance like I do in Kelly's; let's hope I make her proud.
Last year, being new to the WRC Audition game, I would sometimes feel pressure, insecure, and not perform my absolute best. This year, I have found this new confidence. I feel that I can execute a dance AND also make it look entertaining, a la Christal. Now, it's one thing for you to feel it but you know its real when your WRC Sisters come up to you and say "Excuse me, where did this girl come from?" Nothing feels better than positive feedback from your teammates!
Often times people are surprised when I say veterans have to try out each year. We have to earn our spot on the team, just like the WRC hopefuls. The three reasons why I wanted to earn my place back on this team are: to grow as a dancer, to represent the Latin community on the field, and to continue to build lifelong bonds with this sisterhood. When I first auditioned, I came in with little dance background. However, in one year, I have learned to adapt to new dance styles, to challenge myself in areas that used to terrify me (i.e. technique), and to add my own personality when I perform. Who knew this little Dominican from Woodbridge, VA, would be dancing at FedExField? With hard work & dedication, no matter where you are from, the sky is the limit. Now, this is where I become a cry baby...I spent a whole year with a group of women who uplift and support one another through thick and thin not only on the field, but also off the field. Whether it's coming across a challenge in a routine or if one of us is having a bad day, we always have each other's back to get through it all. I have found some of my best friends on this team that will remain in my heart forever.
Hail To The Redskins,