Fans often write me asking how I manage being on the team with a child. My answer is a bit complex, and my survival has been due to many factors.
The life of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader is a demanding one, kind of like the life of a parent. Mixing the two can be a crazy combination, but being able to juggle them is possible with some additional support. As a potential DCC candidate, one must keep in mind that this cannot be a spur of the moment decision. Making this choice should take time and should require the opinions of your loved ones.
Age of your child
Before deciding to audition, I recommend you think about the age of your child. There is not an exact age that your daughter or son has to be of course, however, try to use your best judgment in determining the needs of your child. For example, auditioning when my daughter was an infant up to three years of age would have made it difficult. During these fragile early years, you just never know when they may get sick, which could mean taking off multiple days from work. Even though this is a fun job, it is still indeed a job. Not showing up to practice can result in one losing their spot in a formation, and would require more practice for your teammates.
Along with this past football season, my daughter also started Kindergarten. I never thought that Kindergarten could be so demanding, but every night and weekend she receives homework, all of which requires parental help. A huge reason why I’m not auditioning again is that I didn’t feel that I was able to support her the way that I knew I could have if I didn’t have evening practices. I felt horrible knowing that I spent more time helping my students at school than my own child. So for sure make sure that the timing is good for both you and your family.
Next you need to determine whether or not you have a strong support system. Even though I moved to Texas with no immediate family, I still had family that helped me get on my feet. I also had a ton of coworkers that would do anything for my daughter and me. So if you are considering trying out, make sure that you have this network to back you up no matter what.
If you are considering this juggling act, you have to be sure that you are mentally ready to work 100 times as hard as everyone else. This means that you have to be driven to accomplish what you want. If you make it to training camp you’re going to have to learn a ton of choreography. While others are able to take the material home and practice all day, you may have to go to work or practice after taking care of your child or children. You must keep in mind your priorities – with your children coming first. With this reality you must be prepared to work so much harder when you are a DCC.
Before auditioning for DCC, you must also be aware of your finances. Before you officially make the team you will already be making financial sacrifices. You should take into account the amount of money you’ll be spending on driving, makeup or costumes for your solo and auditions. And if your support system includes babysitters, make sure you’re aware of those expenses, too. Before making this huge decision, assure yourself that you can still afford to take care of what is most important, your home.