They are eager newcomers and practiced vets; skilled dancers and enthusiastic entertainers; students, nurses and adoption specialists.
They are the 2011-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, a team that was introduced to the public for the first time on Friday.
The Bucs new cheerleading squad is comprised of 34 talented women, chosen from a field of approximately 250 candidates during a process that lasted more than two months. Scroll down to see the entire list, which splits almost evenly between 16 returning cheerleaders and 18 promising newcomers. Buccaneers Cheerleading Manager Cathy Boyd conducted the auditions and was thoroughly impressed with the field of candidates, and especially the final squad.
"We were very happy with the tryout process this year, and obviously with the results," she said. "We want to thank each and every woman who took a chance and tried out for the team. There was so much enthusiasm and effort during the tryouts this year, and so many talented candidates. It was extremely difficult to narrow the choices down to just 34 women, but in the end we feel like we've put together the best Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders squad yet."
Buccaneers Cheerleaders devote countless hours to practice, performances, charitable appearances and even worldwide military support tours. These hardworking women balance those responsibilities with schoolwork and/or full-time careers. Second-year vet Kara Partin, for instance, is the adoption specialist mentioned above, and among her new teammates you will find a dental hygienist (Jaime Hanna), a director of marketing and communications (Cassie Kilcoyne), several teachers (Monica Arrington, Jessica Jordan, Holly Sellers and Jacqueline Waldron) and many more professionals.
All 34 of the selected cheerleaders are already finding ways to divide their time between rehearsals, schoolwork and office responsibilities.
"We informed everyone of our final selections last Friday, and we've already started team meetings," said Boyd. "We're working hard already and really looking forward to our first opportunity to show off the new team."
THE 2011-12 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS CHEERLEADERS
Project Manager/Electrical Contractor
5 Year Veteran
Director of Marketing & Communications
Student Finance Planner
ER Registered Nurse
COO & CEO
The auditions for this year's squad began on May 1, after several weeks of optional but very helpful workouts and dance classes in various locations around the Bay area. The two weeks of tryouts were held exclusively at team headquarters.
From the original field of new candidates, 100 women were tabbed for callbacks, at which point they were joined by returning veterans and those who had received a pass to that round by attending pre-audition classes. From there, the group was again narrowed down to 55 finalists. Paring those 55 down to 34 was a tough process, as it is every year.
"That is the hardest part, of course. You spend two weeks really getting to know all of these women, and they are all so talented. You find out what makes them unique, what they could bring to the squad. It becomes very hard to narrow the list down at the end. There were a few that were right on the cusp, and we're hoping we'll see them back at next year's tryouts."