A huge part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders tradition is the famous kickline during the pregame routine. Many people may think, “Kicks … not a big deal.” However, the grand finale to the kickline may catch you by surprise.
It’s called the jump split, and it sounds just like what it is. In unison, the DCC jump and land in the splits.
I originally witnessed this phenomenon when I still lived in Sacramento, Calif., and I was only admiring the DCC. The first thing I thought of was … pain! And second, I thought I could never be on a team like that since I was far from even having the simple splits. Yet the more I watched in admiration of the DCC, the more I wanted to test my body to see if I could get the splits someday.
After a lot of thinking and plotting, I finally got the nerve to say, “I want to be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.” Not only did this mean moving my life from California to Texas with a toddler, but it also meant I had to get the splits fast.
I remember having the splits back when I was five, but since then I really hadn’t had a reason to need them. The truth is that everything that I needed for cheerleading or dance in my past just never called for the splits. I had awesome leaps, toe touches and kicks, but asking me to hold my flexibility was just too much.
With the DCC on my radar, that was going to have to quickly change. I first began with research. I wanted to know if it was even possible for me to get the splits in such a short amount of time. From the moment I made my decision to audition, I had about six months to get my legs ready.
According to the research, it seemed possible, so from there I created my daily agenda. Everyday after work, and especially on weekends, I managed to stick to a schedule that would guarantee me the splits within six months. Even though it was difficult and often painful, it was so worth it. I would have felt horrible if I allowed the splits to stop me from following my dream.
But enough about me, what about you? Do you have the splits? If not, are you allowing that to be your excuse to not audition for this amazing team? If you’re guilty, then I want you to think about my story and reflect on it. And when you’re ready to make that next step, you can follow this checklist that will get you increased flexibility in no time.
Good luck and stick with it!
My Daily Stretching Agenda:
- Jog for 10 minutes. This warms up your leg muscles, allowing the muscle fibers to loosen up.
- Stretch each hip flexor for five minutes (You may be surprised to find out that this is the main muscle that prevents you from getting the splits).
- Sit in a straddle position and stretch each hamstring for five minutes.
- Sit in a hurdle position and stretch each hamstring for five minutes.
- Perform 10 high kicks on each leg (This will also help stretch out your hamstrings, in addition to helping your kicks).