Buccaneer Cheerleader Danielle Dolen was amazed at how much effort goes into a magazine photo shoot
Danielle Dolen calls Maxim her favorite magazine. Seems they're pretty fond of her, too.
Chances are, Maxim readers will share the feeling when the magazine's September issue hits the newsstands. Dolen, a third-year veteran of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders squad, will be featured along with nine of her peers in a multi-page photo shoot celebrating the cheerleaders of the NFL.
Dolen recently returned from Los Angeles, where the photo shoot took place during one endless – and endlessly fun – day. The issue should be out by mid to late August, and Dolen will be one of the first to know because a copy will be waiting in her mailbox.
"Yeah," she admits, "I'm a subscriber, but I'm sure I'll run to the store for a few extra copies!"
Dolen, 20, had only been back in Florida for a few weeks when Bucs' Cheerleading Coordinator Sandy Charboneau called to offer her a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Along with the rest of the Buccaneer squad, Dolen had been in Germany to perform at the NFL Europe League's championship game, World Bowl XII, in June. Now it was off to L.A.
"Oh, I was so excited because that really is one of my favorite magazines," she said. "Seriously, I love Maxim; I read it all the time and think it's great. I was so excited. And then to find out I was going to L.A. – that's my ultimate dream place – I was just stoked. It was awesome."
Dolen and Charboneau arrived in California at midnight the day before the shoot. They were due on the set at 6:00 a.m., but Dolen was too keyed up to sleep much, anyway. The next day, they joined the other cheerleaders from Washington, Dallas, Miami and other NFL locales on a shoot that lasted long into the evening. Though Dolen's own participation was over at about 3:00 p.m., she hung around until the whole shoot wrapped at 11:00, supporting her new cheerleading friends.
Dolen might have an even greater appreciation for Maxim after seeing how much effort goes into one photo shoot.
"There were so many people – the crew, the production staff, the editors, the photographer, the makeup and hair people," she said. "It was just such a production and there were so many people there. It was really cool to be a part of something like that. Everybody was very cool and laid-back, and they gave you feedback and made you feel completely comfortable. It was wonderful."
Dolen posed in a red-and-black ensemble that only vaguely resembled the usual outfit of a Buccaneer cheerleader. The other young women on the set were similarly clad in their own teams' colors. They were fussed over by dozens of people, working to get every hair in place and every shot just right.
They were also armed with plenty of technology, and that helped Dolen and the other photo subjects become involved in the process.
"All their pictures were digital and they had this huge plasma-screen TV," said the mass communications student. "Every time a shot is taken, it automatically shows up on the screen, then in the bottom corner it zooms in on the face so you can see if the lighting was good. They would let us look at them to see what need to be changed or if it was right. That made me feel comfortable to see what I looked like. It was high-tech, very cool."
Dolen has never specifically pursued a career in modeling and won't be dropping her studies now. If other doors are opened by the Maxim shoot, she may take interest, but mostly she went to L.A. to enjoy the experience and represent the entire Buccaneer squad.
It has been a summer of great experiences for Dolen, who also thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Germany. The two trips, she said, put her on 'cloud nine.' Even so, the best part of being a Buccaneer cheerleader is yet to come, with the 2004 season right around the corner.
"Yeah, being a Buccaneer cheerleader opens doors to new experiences, but I don't think that's why any of us are there," Dolen insisted. "All those things that I've gotten to do this summer, to me, are just an added, great bonus. I'm there for the football games and the charity appearances. That's the part that we love about it. The rest of it is just a cool bonus and it makes it even more worthwhile."
The Bucs will be in the middle of their preseason schedule when the September Maxim arrives in stores. Dolen will be one of the first in line…but then again, she probably would have read the issue cover to cover, anyway.
"It really is my favorite magazine," she gushed. "I mean, I'll buy a Maxim magazine before I buy Cosmopolitan or something like that. Maybe that's the guy side of me, I don't know. I just think it's funny and a great read."
The pictures are usually fairly popular, as well.