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First Lady Melissa Shares Her Training Program Experience

Melissa Training Program 1

Hey Redskins Nation,

It's that time of year again when our annual Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Training Program begins. While hundreds of applicants sign up, only a special group of participants are invited to be a part of the program each year. But don't worry, if you are not in the program there will be a special Open Class and Fitness Workout held on October 24, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., where anyone can come out to train and rehearse like a First Lady of Football.

My name is Melissa and this is my first year as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader. Before I made the team, I participated in this program and I truly feel it was a major reason why I made the team! For those of you who do not know, the training program is a team of women who are either preparing to audition to be a First Lady of Football or who are just looking for a place to dance. This program consists of 12 classes held every Wednesday from 7:30-9:30 p.m., from September through December, and is coached by Assistant Director of Marketing & Programs and 10-year WRC Veteran, Jamilla Keene, along with our most recent Pro Bowl Cheerleader. This season that is captain, Kellie. In addition, current veteran cheerleaders will be teaching a few dances and sidelines throughout the program. There is an option too to take an additional technique class each night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for those dancers looking to really improve their dance skills. It is an added charge, but definitely worth it. Whether it is turns, kicks or leaps, technique is a huge part of what we do on the field and every bit of practice helps.

The year I was a participant in the training program, it was led by Pro Bowl cheerleader and alumni captain Rachel. During those four months, I had the privilege of learning first-hand the dance style, glam, and culture of the WRC. We learned three full-length, intricate dance routines. Assistant Director Jamilla and current captain Erika taught hip hop routines, former WRC alumni Pro Bowl cheerleader and former captain Tedi taught a beautiful lyrical/contemporary routine, and cheerleader Rachel taught a field/jazz routine. Each routine was so different and unique. I really loved performing all of them! In addition, we even learned a sideline routine and kick line. It seems like a lot of material to learn, but these are the same things I currently do now that I am on the team. At the end of my program, after months of hard work and preparations, we put together an hour-long show consisting of all the dance routines and sidelines we have learned to present to the current Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. I loved showing them how much we have all improved since September, and to hear valuable feedback from them on things we all can continue to improve on to make us even better dancers and performers.

One of the bonuses of being in the training program was that it gave me other dancing opportunities with the Redskins organization. Last year, training program ladies were invited to perform alongside the current Washington Redskins Cheerleaders at the Redskins halftime performance on Thanksgiving Day! Not many people can say they have performed at FedExField. 

Besides the dancing, one of the best things about being in the program was that I got to create lasting friendships with the girls I spent my time with. To this day, we still stay in contact and support each other.

Overall, I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking to audition to be a First Lady, or anyone that has a passion for dance or new challenges!



Melissa- Training Program Pic 2

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