Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (Behind the Scenes)

Posted by    |    June 20th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Yesterday, a one of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders woke up with blonde hair and a side part. Today, she has dark brown hair, parted down the middle. It’s all just part of the job.

We caught up with the girls at one of their training camps at Gilley’s yesterday to shoot a behind the scenes look at season 7 of CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. The new season debuting this September will go beyond the training camps, showing more in-depth storylines, drama, and dance.

Kelly Finglass and Judy Trammell

We interviewed Kelli Finglass, Director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and Judy Trammel, Head Choreographer, who have been with the organization since the 1980s and have literally been in the same boots as the girls. There is an air of power around the two ladies. They have an image and a brand to maintain, and they were perfect representations of that. With their big beautiful hair, perfectly applied makeup and impeccable ensembles, each looked like a force to be reckoned with. During the interview, they recalled the transition from the bleached blonde hair and eyelash extensions of the 80s to a more natural, diversified look for the girls. They also discussed the welcome move from the hot and humid Texas Stadium to the new, climate-controlled Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

The select group of cheerleaders spilled their beauty routines and makeup essentials. Hairspray, eyeliner, and a teasing comb were all listed but everyone agreed that the ultimate beauty essential will always be that perfect spray tan. They also discuss what they have had to sacrifice in order to wear those iconic boots. I was immediately struck by how put together these girls were. Their posture was impeccable (maybe because they were in a sports bra and hot pants) but they were lovely and eloquent: perfect representatives.

Then it was on to the dancing. The girls huddled in a semi-circle facing Kelli and Judy. Half of the girls wore a pink bra with a Texas star in the middle and a pair of very unforgiving pink shorts. The other half wore the same in navy blue. They’re hair was perfectly styled or curled. Some of them looked like they were still adjusting to their new looks; the makeover episode had been shot the day before. They sat according to color: pinks on one side of the huddle and navy blues on the other. 

Kelli stood up in front of them, demonstrating her commanding presence. She addressed  specific girls by name and asked them a question. The first girl immediately knew the answer , the second was not so lucky. I cringed as she frantically searched her brain for the answer (I didn’t catch what the question was). Kelli was clearly becoming more and more irritated as she moved from girl to girl, none of whom knew the correct answer. I was praying for someone to get it right which luckily they did. A girl in the front row made a tentative but correct guess, putting the entire room at ease, but only for a moment.

The girls split into four groups and took turns performing four different routines. The choreography was outstanding, combining sex appeal with catchy songs and Texas charm. The difficulty of the dance was immediately apparent and the complicated moves were executed with lightening speed.

CMT’s cameras were there to capture it all, including Kelli and Judy’s cut throat critiques. After the routine was finished the girls would stand in their positions and someone’s name would be called. Some girls were praised for their showmanship while others were cut down to size for missing a step or forgetting to smile. But no matter what the nature of the critique, the girls always responded with their most polite, “yes, ma’am.”

Keep an eye out for the upcoming behind the scenes video.

Caitlin Clark is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Social Media Director for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @caitlinclark

Caitlin Clark is the Arts & Entertainment and Style Writer and Social Media Director for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @caitlinclark

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