In a celebration of Father’s Day this month, we bring you a series 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 is the month 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 Katy and Jeff.
What do you remember about your relationship growing up as a dancer?
Katy: Growing up, my dad attended (maybe sometimes against his better judgment) all of my recitals, competitions and games. He normally got paired with the dreaded late-night carpool pick-up and Sonic run with five noisy girls in the car. Nonetheless, he was always there when I needed him.
I think the ultimate test was my senior year of high school when I asked him to do the daddy-daughter halftime dance at our homecoming game with me. Let’s just say he is somewhat “rhythmically challenged” (sorry dad), and this was not the simplest thing he’s ever done, to say the least. However, he took the bull by the horns and attended all of the daddy-daughter practices with a washrag in his pocket to wipe the sweat off from all of his hard work. We even practiced on our own outside of team practices and somehow ended up on the front row on the 50-yard line of the formation!
I’ll never forget the night of the game seeing all of the dads lined up at the edge of the field ready to walk on and dance with their daughters in front of the entire town. My dad was so nervous that he couldn’t even find me right before he was about to go on, but we ended up making it to our right spots on the field (front and center) and he gave it everything he had out there. I was so proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and also happy that he got a chance to see how it is from my perspective when I dance at games. That is a memory that I will always cherish. Thanks dad!
Jeff: Yes, her dancing has always been a part of our lives, including sweet little tap dances, dance recitals, high school drill team, dance studio drama, SEC football weekends in Fayetteville and then the DCC.
What was the conversation like when you talked about trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?
Katy: I wanted to try out for the DCC my senior year of high school, and he insisted that I go to a university first and get the full college experience before I try out. At the time, it was hard to accept, but I am glad that my parents influenced me to go and dance on the pom squad while there.
I graduated college on a Saturday and my dad was there the entire weekend to help me pack up my whole life into a U-Haul and drive me back to Dallas that night after graduation. Sunday morning, I was getting dropped off at Cowboys Stadium to try out for DCC at 7 a.m. It has been a whirlwind ever since, but my dad (and mom) have always been there to support me through it all. I am so blessed and I can’t say thank you enough, daddy.
Jeff: I was excited, but really worried she would get her feelings hurt if she didn’t make it. We knew it was her dream and the competition was tough!
Have you been surprised with what goes into being a DCC, from the tryouts to the games to the appearances?
Jeff: We knew it was a big commitment but underestimated the time required. We are really impressed with the high standards that must be upheld.
How does dad handle seeing you perform, not to mention posing in calendars, with millions watching you?
Katy: I think that my dad has been to enough of my dance recitals and games to not get nervous every time I step out onto the stage or field anymore. Sometimes I think he is more nervous for the Cowboys than he is for me. Just kidding (kind of!)
Jeff: I really don’t get nervous because I am confident in Katy and know she loves performing. I must admit the swimsuit calendar makes me squirm, but if her brothers can handle it, then so can I.
What has your dad’s love and support meant to you?
Katy: I’m so thankful to have a supportive, loving father that has been there from my first recital to all of my high school, college and now NFL games. I know that he doesn’t understand all of the dance terminology like what a pirouette or a grand jeté is, but I know that he is proudest of me when I try my hardest and that means the world to me.