Cheerleading in the National Football League has been around for about 50 years starting in the sixties when the Baltimore Colts established the first ever NFL cheerleading squad. Several other teams followed suit and established squads as well but it was the Dallas Cowboys that made NFL cheerleaders the ones we know today with the revealing costumes and the dance routines. It was at that time that cheerleaders became hugely popular in the NFL.
Along with the notoriety received by the cheerleading squads, we find that like most anything else, there were cheerleaders who stood out and made such an impression that they went on to do other things and became hugely popular in the entertainment world. Such as Melissa Rycroft for instance who was a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader who went on to make an appearance on the 13th season of the reality show “The Bachelor”. She was chosen over Molly Malaney only to be jilted a short time later. She then went on to replace Nancy O’dell in “Dancing with the Stars” when O’dell became injured during practice.
Probably one of the most famous of the NFL cheerleaders is Teri Hatcher who got started as a cheerleader for the Forty-Niners and went on to great fame in shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and she also played Lois Lane in Lois & Clark among other things. There have in fact been a number of NFL Cheerleaders who went on to do other things including acting, news broadcasting and other professions.
So, as you can see, the myth that would indicate that cheerleaders are “bubbleheads” is not true as many go on to do other things as well. For those who may be interested in becoming a cheerleader, you should know that most cheerleaders make very little in the way of pay, however the position can be a stepping stone into other areas as noted above.
NFL Cheerleaders are not all about dancing and sexy costumes anymore, though that is still largely present. The cheerleading squads have now evolved into participating in activities that not only to help build on the public image of their sponsor team, but they also participate in many community events such as fund raising for various projects. They primarily represent the charity events sponsored by the NFL team they are associated with and make significant contributions of time and effort in raising funds for the needy in their local community.
The cheerleaders cheer at the team’s home games but very rarely go on the road with them and instead spend the majority of the time the team is away practicing and participating in the aforementioned community events.
Being a cheerleader on any professional team takes a great deal of commitment and most of them require cheerleaders to have full-time jobs elsewhere. Other than that the only real requirements are that you be able to get to practice and of course you must be able to dance though no formal dance training is necessary.
All in all the cheerleading squads have grown from just cheering on the team to doing great things in the community and for the people of that community.