America often celebrates the accomplishments of well-known African American figures during Black History month, however this month the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders would like to celebrate the accomplishments of two African-American “American Sweethearts.”
Many of our fans already know the history of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, but do they know the history of the Baker sisters? Meet Vonceil and Vanessa Baker—two Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader legends. These two sisters paved the way for future Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders like myself, proving that African American women can also serve as role models and ambassadors representing America’s Sweethearts.
Vonceil and Vanessa Baker are two sisters that were Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders during the 1970s and 1980s. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were the innovators of professional cheerleading, and among the seven women that were chosen for the 1972-73 season was Vonceil Baker. Vonceil had no idea that she was making history as one of the first African American professional cheerleaders. She was an original member of the infamous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders—the first professional cheerleading team to bring beautiful, athletic and glamorous women to the football field. Her sister Vanessa was a member of the high school squad that used to cheer for the Cowboys during the ’60s, yet she decided to follow in her sister Vonceil’s footsteps the following season.
Not only was Vonceil Baker one of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, but she also holds the record for dancing 8 consecutive seasons. Her sister Vanessa danced for 7 consecutive seasons and got the honor of receiving her Masters of Science degree on the Cowboys football field during a Cowboys/Broncos game in 1977. Both sisters were show group members where they got to travel the world performing on USO tours. They also made appearances at Super Bowls, graced the covers of magazines and appeared in movies and TV shows representing the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
The Baker sisters were more than just beautiful and talented cheerleaders—they were pioneers that set the pathway for future Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders like myself. I feel honored to have shared something with these two successful women. I can only hope that someday future Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders look to me with the same inspiration.