Paige Elaine fell in love with the Dallas Cowboys when she was 14. Part of the appeal of America’s Team was the team’s iconic cheerleading squad. The 2006 Jacobs graduate just completed her rookie season with the 39-member squad after appearing on the reality show, ‘Making The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’’. She also continues her full-time career as a personal banker. For personal security reasons, we are not printing her last name.
Everyone knows the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and that kind of sets them apart from everyone else. The class that they bring to the organization and just the role models that they’ve been for little girls, I’ve never heard of another cheer team being talked up or talked about as much as The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. But there’s definitely a responsibility. You never know who’s looking at you, you never know what little girl is wanting to be you. I was that little girl at one point and so I know that they’re out there even though it’s kind of tough to think of yourself in that aspect.
Even now, even after a full season, there’s still the me that always wanted to be (a Cowboys cheerleader) and wanted to be on the show and that thinks ‘Be this’ and ‘Present yourself this way’. Then there’s the me that has lived it and who goes out every game and I do what I need to do and hit the routines I need to hit. I still get surreal moments and I almost want to cry when I see my family and friends in the stands because my worlds still haven’t combined that I’m actually living my dream that I have always watched (on TV). So that’s still kind of crazy to me.
I remember the exact moment when I found out I made it. Just sitting outside on our training field and it was unbelievable and surreal. I couldn’t believe it had just happened. I didn’t have words. The rookies either just teared up or kind of had blank stares just because for three months, you were on edge and stressed. Then, for it to just kind of wrap up and to be on the team and say, ‘Alright, that’s over and now we’ve got a game in a week’, there was no skipping a step. It’s just like, let’s get out there. It’s almost a tease to put on that uniform (before making the team) but when you put on that uniform in front of your locker with your photo above it knowing you’re going on that field as one of the 39 cheerleaders, I kept looking at my roommate saying, ‘We made it’. It’s the best feeling in the world.
I feel like I’m part of Texas. It’s kind of weird – being part of a tradition and being a big part of a Texas tradition, I’m learning the ropes a little bit. But I’m settled. It took me a season, but I feel like I was always meant to be here. It’s just a new life. It’s really exciting. There’s moments when people realize I’m a cheerleader and their eyes kind of get big and there’s a reaction. I’m still not used to it. Even when we’re making appearances and we’re in uniform and a little kid comes up and asks, ‘Are you the real Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’, you just want to tell them, ‘I’m real – I’m just like you’. But it’s different being in that light. But it just comes with the uniform and the territory just because it’s such a big tradition.
I’m Just Saying is a regular Sunday feature. If there’s someone you’d like to see featured, write to me at email@example.com or send me a message on Twitter @NWH_JeffArnold.