A few days before each game, the squad receives The Gameday Sheet, which is more than just a checklist, itinerary or memo. It is a fun, colorful and scrapbook-worthy handout that lists important gameday information like our report time, rehearsal attire, what to pack, our scheduled dances, fun photos and more.
Throughout the season, I will be sharing our Gameday Sheets and a candid recap of the game with you, our web fans, as a way for you to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we prepare for gameday. With each sheet, you’ll get to see personal photos, our gameday playlist, how early we report to Cowboys Stadium on gameday and more!
As you’ll recall, the first Cowboys preseason game was held at Cowboys Stadium on Thursday, August 11, against the Denver Broncos. This game was not only the Cowboys fans’ first glimpse at how the 2011 team was shaping up, but it was also the official debut of the 2011 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Unlike NFL football teams, who are still modifying/solidifying their 53-man roster during the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 30-something roster is officially set approximately two weeks prior to the start of the preseason games. Once the team is announced, the Squad Photo is taken, and the pregame show is casted and blocked – it’s regular season for us.
Our first game really sets the tone for what ownership, Kelli and Judy, our fans and esteemed alumni expect from the new squad. From the second our toes line up on the field for our pregame performance, through the four-minute, kick line-ending, signature pregame show to the end of the game, the weight of our world rests on our shoulders. The pressure that surmounts leading up to Game 1 is incredibly and indescribably intense – for rookies AND veterans. Butterflies, goose bumps and any other nervous/anxious/excited/scared analogies you can come up with don’t even begin to scratch the surface of how we feel just before stepping out onto the field for the first game of the season – whether it’s our first game as a DCC or 43rd.
For our debut game as the 2011 squad, we were introduced to an exciting, new twist to gameday – PLAZA PERFORMANCES! This season, fans will have the opportunity to see the DCC perform up-close and personal one hour prior to kickoff on the plaza just outside Entrances B, C and D. I love that we get to participate in another aspect of gameday and think it is an awesome opportunity for our Party Pass ticket holders to get a glimpse of what the field-level suite owners and guests get to see during the game.
Throughout the season, each of the four groups will take turns performing one of our quarter changes on the plaza. For the first game, Group One kicked off the Plaza Performances with LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” The crowd was awesome and obviously energized and eager to return to football after a summer in limbo, aka the lockout.
Following the Plaza Performance, Group One returned to the DCC Locker Room (a little wind-blown) to grab a quick drink of water, fluff and puff and circle up, where we receive final critiques and motivation from Kelli and Judy, then pray as a squad. From there, minutes later, we hit the turf for our first pregame performance: “Thunderstruck by AC/DC. From there we moved into our normal game routine – Player Intros, Anthem, four Quarter Changes:
Quarter 1 – “Give Me Everything Tonight” (Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer)
Quarter 2 – “Let the Cowboy Rock” (Ronnie Dunn)
Quarter 3 – “Favorite DJ” (Clinton Sparks featuring DJ Class and Jermaine Dupri)
Quarter 4 – “Party Rock Anthem” (LMFAO)
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, KELSI REICH, four-year Veteran, was our first Planet Tan & Palm Beach Tan GAMEDAY GIRL! Yea, Kelsi!
Immediately following the game, we returned to our locker room where we jumped up and down, screamed and blared fun music in the locker room in celebration of having our first game under our belt and, of course, the Cowboys WIN against the Broncos! Wow, what a day and what a great way to kick off a wonderful season with a fantastic group of rookies and veterans.
Looking back, we giggle at how nervous we were for our first game, but we will always remember and cherish the experience of our first game, a dream come true and hearing those famous words:
Often imitated. Never equaled. Internationally acclaimed.
YOUR Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!