In a celebration of Father’s Day, we bring you a series this week where we asked a few of our Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as their dads, about their journey to becoming one of America’s Sweethearts.
This coming Sunday is when we’ll take the time to honor the old man, pops, papa, father, ATM machine or, of course, daddy. Wanting to show a little love to those dedicated few who sat through countless hours of dance rehearsals and cheer competitions, we posed questions to several of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the men who helped raise them. Today, meet Holly and John.
Happy Father’s Day!
What do you remember about your relationship growing up as a dancer?
Holly: My dad has always been one of my biggest fans, on and off the stage. As a dad to four girls, he really had to step into some new arenas, and one of them was the world of dance. He often took me to dance classes and was even brave enough to take me to my all-day dance competitions. In high school, before I could drive, he drove me to my 7 a.m. drill team practice every morning. For the drill team spring show my senior year, we danced together in the father/daughter dance. He basically thinks he taught me everything I know!
John: I remember a thousand screaming girls at competitions and spending entire days inside a convention center. I remember rounding up dance costumes, eating at the concessions stands, and it seeming like they had prepared all year for a five-minute dance routine. I remember the day when everything clicked for her – the lights came on and her abilities became evident – and I knew this would be her lifelong passionate pursuit. It was a huge deal because I could see the joy on her face when she danced. I knew she was in her element, that she was born to do it.
What was the conversation like when you talked about trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?
Holly: As a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, my dad was definitely excited, but also equally nervous for me. He knew that with the DCC being such a world-class organization, the competition would be intense. But as always, he cheered me on in every possible way. It was a huge blessing to have his support through the rigorous audition process.
John: I was a little scared for her, so I secretly hoped that she would dance another year as captain of her college team. But, she knew in her heart that it was the right time, so she gave it everything she had and proved me wrong. She even made the DCC Show Group. For such a gentle soul, Holly has nerves of steel. To this day, we refer to DCC auditions as an ironman competition.
Have you been surprised with what goes into being a DCC, from the tryouts to the games to the appearances?
John: I really had no idea, but now I’ve seen firsthand how they always have to bring their A-game. They have a big legacy to uphold. It’s why they are the best cheerleaders in the NFL. It is surprising to see all the hard work that goes into it, but it’s worth every minute and all the effort.
How does dad handle seeing you perform, not to mention posing in calendars, with millions watching you?
Holly: I honestly don’t think he gets nervous for me anymore because he knows this is something I was born to do. He is just extremely proud to see me cheer for the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite team!
John: I’m not going to lie, the swimsuit calendar was a little tricky the first year. After all, she is still my little girl!
What has your dad’s love and support meant to you?
Holly: To have my dad’s support has meant the world to me! He has such a big heart. He has taught me to work hard, but most importantly, to love what I do and have fun. Knowing that he supports me has given me the confidence to be the best I can be.