When my alarm clock buzzed on Sunday, May 2, the sun had not risen yet but I was beaming with excitement. Driving to Miniaci Performing Arts Center, I imagined myself dancing on stage as I practiced all the routines in my head. The hard work I put in at prep classes, semi-final auditions, and boot camp had lead me to the climax of my dance career: The Finals of the 2015 Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Auditions!
Backstage, I was surrounded by 72 other hopefuls whose talent and dedication had brought us together. We warmed up, stretched, laughed, hugged and prayed until the show began at 9:30 a.m. The day was filled with energetic group dances, kick lines, and unique solos! I was thrilled to perform and completely immersed myself into the music, lights, and enthusiasm of the audience. As soon as the judges exited the theatre to evaluate scores, the dressing rooms filled with anticipation. I stretched and exhaled, knowing I had done my best. Time passed in slow motion while we waited for the upcoming announcement. Several of my friends and I played 20 Questions to preoccupy our anxious minds.
When the judges had finalized their decision, the finalists gathered in the wings. My heart sank into my stomach as I zoned everything out except Kenny Walker’s voice. Adrenaline carried me away when I heard him announce, “Number 16! Etta!” The moment I stepped back onto that stage was unforgettable. Gratitude and relief overwhelmed me. I was honored to be standing before the judges once again and so thankful for the support of my loved ones in the audience. Being selected as a 2015 Miami Dolphin rookie cheerleader has filled me with joy beyond comparison, and I am looking forward to every second of the upcoming season! Go Fins!
Peace and Love,
Where do I begin? Going on a Military Tour is something I will never forget. Now, having the opportunity to go on two of them is just something I did not think I would experience.
Stepping foot off that plane at our first destination just put a smile on my face and I was excited to begin this journey. It began in the UAE and we were just prepared to see what was on the agenda! We got a little feel of what it was like for the men and women living there. I enjoyed having our meals with the troops in their dining facility. I got to know them at a personal level and enjoy their company as I hope they enjoyed mine. We got to experience their little hang out area outside called the Thirsty Camel on base. I played corn hole, Jenga and hung out and talked to them. It was so great to see them have a chance to just relax and forget where they were for a while because being in that fun atmosphere even made me forget I was on a military base. We also had a tour of the base and got to see what everyone’s jobs were like out there. When we were touring the flight line they let us jump in the cars and tag along for a chase. This is when the U2 aircraft is coming down to the runway to land and we are in a car speeding, trailing behind right up until it flies over us and lands according to our drivers instructions. This was such a rush! Definitely like nothing I have ever done before. Our last day there we performed at the Thirsty Camel for them and it was great. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and had a great time and I was happy to bring some entertainment to them.
After we left the UAE we headed to Ethiopia and we were all so eager to land and start our next voyage. This base was very interesting because it was located right next to the flight strip at the airport and it was very small consisting of only about 80 people. This base was a U.S drone base and the soldiers lived off base at a nearby hotel, which we stayed at as well. This was an adventure in itself because baboons and warthogs were around the land at the hotel. We got to tour the base and really got to see what they do there and see the drones they fly. It was pretty remarkable seeing everything and getting to learn what everyone over there was set out to do. Everyone there was very welcoming and took us on different adventures such as one night we went on a hippo run where we ride in their truck and drive around the perimeter looking for hippos and wildlife. My group did not see a hippo but we did see lots of waterbuck, pigs and warthogs, which was so awesome! Another day we got to go on a boat safari where we traveled 40 minutes on Lake Chamo and pulled up to a piece of land where we hiked up a mountain and then got to see the beautiful views. Once we were there we got to see some zebras and so that was pretty cool. Actually on the boat ride back we saw some hippos sticking their heads out of the water so we were all thrilled to see that. Another day there they took us to a local village where we got to learn a lot about the culture of this village and see how they live and eat. We got to try their type of bread they made right there and they performed some of their dancing and singing to us that they do together on a daily basis. From the village, we drove and hiked through a trail that led to a beautiful waterfall. It was very sweet of the soldiers to take us to all these fun places in Ethiopia. I truly enjoyed myself. We did two performances there so the night shift and day shift could have a chance to watch it. Performing in Ethiopia was definitely a huge memory because behind us was a cliff and a beautiful view of the land and mountains all around us.
Furthermore, from Ethiopia we made our way to the NSA base in Bahrain. This base was very big and had a navy ship with about 3,000 sailors that pulled in the weekend we were there, so it was very packed with new people to meet at every corner. We toured the base and met so many amazing people and one of the days there we did a cheerleading/football camp with the military children on base. They were all so cute and the parents loved it! I love doing these camps here in the U.S so to be able to bring a piece of it to Bahrain was fun. We also got to meet the men of the SWCC, which is the U.S Navy’s special warfare combatant-craft crewmen. They took us out on their boats and let each of us have a chance at driving it. This was probably one of the most amazing things I have ever done to drive the SWCC’s actual boat on this beautiful body of water in Bahrain. We did two performances in Bahrain on a stage they had outside and the audience was packed with people super excited to watch us. I loved the crowd’s energy from the troops and I was glad to see that everyone enjoyed their selves. We spent our Super Bowl in Bahrain, which is something I never thought I would do along with everything else I got to do on this trip. They threw a Super Bowl party and it started at 2:30am, which was very interesting to experience. It was a nice event they did and we just got to hang out with everyone and enjoy the Super Bowl. On our last day of the tour we were invited to workout with the Navy during their morning P.T. I was so excited to jump in with them and see how they train together every morning. They started with a run and chanted a song together, which I tried to jump in and learn the words. Then we ended up on a field doing drills across the field and ended with a run. This was pretty fun getting to mingle inside the group of sailors and workout with them. It was such a great way to end our visit there and it was kind of them to open up and let us join in.
This trip couldn’t have been any better and I truly thank all the men and women of our military for what they do every single day for us here in the U.S.A. It was an honor to meet everyone and get a glimpse into a bit of their lives overseas and I will cherish every moment forever. I am just really grateful that I was able to experience another Military Tour because I enjoyed the first one so much that I was sad it was over. So being able to get this chance again was just very heartfelt and I will always remember everyone I met on these trips and everything I experienced because it was definitely once in a lifetime!
“Our job here is nothing else, except to give you a feeling of home; reminding you that America is standing with you, we appreciate you, you’re always kept in our prayers, and all of you are heroes.”
These words have always resided in my heart, but to be able to actually say it aloud on the Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the ones who need to hear it the most meant everything to me. I have seen every risk and every sacrifice our men and women of the armed forces take to be where they are today because I, myself, grew up in a military home. Having to move every three years and watch one parent or the other leave for temporary duty stations and deployments left me a feeling of absence. Looking back, I find myself with a grateful heart because I learned resiliency and to lean not on my own understanding but walk by faith instead. Growing up in this environment created a path of empathy and an understanding of what people in the military go through. It also gave me a huge love for all who serve and fight for our freedom. When I got the news about being selected to go on the AFE tour, you could imagine my excitement and sense of joy that came rushing in.
As a rookie, I felt so blessed and honored to be given this opportunity of a life time and to represent the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders on tour. Knowing that I was believed in and trusted to do a job well done was a Godsend. I could not wait to shake hands and get to know our heroes and what they do on a day to day basis while deployed. Visiting all the different job duties the military offers was such a learning experience. From chasing a U2 plane in a Camaro helping it land in United Arab Emirates, to touring villages and hiking in Ethiopia; then sitting in the cockpits of fighter jets in Bahrain, this was undeniably a trip I will never forget. They welcomed us with open arms and were so thankful about us being there. The special activities they had planned for us were extraordinary and we had so much fun, but my main highlight was being able to simply thank them in person.
Being overseas made everything surreal as I watched our heroes devote precious time in their element, yet enduring the pain of being away from family and friends. Having the chance to make a difference, seeing them smile, and letting them know we support what they do was an honor. Every person I met on this tour is part of this everlasting memory and has a special place in my heart. I can’t express the amount of genuine love and appreciation I have for all who serve in the military, but I will forever be grateful.
My first season as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader has been a life experience that will forever change me in the most amazing way!
My journey began the moment my name was called at auditions to represent and join the best organization and squad in the NFL. At this point I was so thankful for the opportunity to embark on a new adventure. Not only is it a dream come true, it is absolutely an honor and a privilege to be a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader.
There have been so many incredible experiences throughout my rookie year. I have to honestly say that every day is memorable. There is no greater joy than to prepare and perform for our fans with over 40 beautiful ladies. It began with training camp which was a time of learning new techniques and perfecting our skills for the season. It was a new environment where I was able to get to know my teammates better and learn more about myself. Soon after was the squad photo shoot. WOW! That day was the day I realized that I was truly part of this wonderful organization. It was a great bonding experience with the girls I call my “sisters”.
We start the week practicing and preparing for the games ahead. The popping in the ears will never get old when walking into the training facility for practice. It’s here where we physically and mentally prepare for what’s ahead of us. And then there is the day we are all anticipating….GAMEDAY! Driving to Sun Life Stadium on game day is loaded with Miami Dolphins flags on vehicles and fans waving to you as you approach the stadium. The stadium is plentiful of Dolfans awaiting the game. As I make my way into the parking lot, it is with pleasure to talk with some of the fans and take pictures with them. I approach the locker room to join my teammates to prepare for our exciting day. We attend our assigned appearances throughout the stadium for our fans.
Then the moment we have all been waiting for begins in the tunnel. Butterflies and excitement fill me as we begin our way on the field for our pregame performance. There are no words to describe the feeling of being out on that field with thousands of roaring Dolfans in the stands. I actually feel the energy as the music plays and we perform our routines. I am amazed at how beautiful this moment is. As we line up for player introductions, I take a deep breath and take it all in and appreciate what I’m experiencing. From military jet flyovers, to the heat from the fire canons, to the ground shaking and to the excitement of the crowd, this moment is truly incredible! My entire body fills with emotion during the National Anthem. It is so honorable to be here! Making our way to the sidelines and cheering on our fans is worth it all!
This season has truly been a blessing, one that I will be forever grateful! I’ve grown as a young woman and I am proud to represent the Miami Dolphins Organization. #strongertogether
XO, Adrianna M.
Sunday, I was the first one into our locker room and the famous Miami Dolphins Cheerleading practice studio. For a few moments, it was neat to look around by myself at the place that I had originally come for auditions just nine months before. This place has now evolved into a sense of home for our team. It’s always been a loud place full of life, so to sit in silence there gave me a different perspective. I was able to reflect on my first season and the tremendous journey it has been. We focus so much on perfecting all of our routines, line-ups and performances that I didn’t realize until this very moment that I will only be doing these one last time. As the girls starting entering and getting ready, I found myself taking the time to appreciate that moment with them. Each girl on the team went from being a stranger to now forming a group of sisters who understand not only how much hard work it takes to be on this team, but also how much we each have a love for it.
Entering for pregame, we stood in the tunnel awaiting to be announced. By this point, we already worked through our routines and were prepared to hit the field. This is such an exciting time, so I always take a few seconds to breathe deep and clear my mind for the thrilling game ahead. We started our performance on the field with the sun shining bright and a light breeze in the air. The perfect set up for our final game with anticipation in the air against our rival- the New York Jets. The activity along the sidelines is always action packed. From where we stand, we have the best “seats” in the house. Being able to watch the Dolphins so close is exhilarating!
One experience that I continually found myself wishing that I could share would be to actually feel the ground shake when the Dolphins made a tackle close by, or hearing the helmets and pads hit when the our defense made a stop. It’s incredible to then turn around to a full stadium of roaring fans. This game was especially exciting for the NFL and Miami Dolphins with the record breaking moments. Lamar Millar made history with his 97 yard touchdown run, the longest in Dolphins history and longest in the NFL since 2003. During this game, we also got to witness our quarterback Ryan Tannehill break Dan Marino’s record for most completions in a season for the Dolphins and pass for more than 4,000 yards. This game was just so memorable for myself and every person in the stadium. With the support of our fans, this made for an unforgettable time to be right in the center of the action.
I will definitely miss being able to meet and interact with so many memorable fans. These moments that I adore so much will now turn into a memory that I will always cherish. During the fourth quarter, I couldn’t help but look around at my teammates next to me and think about all of our hard work we put in and the happiness we gain from our job as a Miami Dolphin Cheerleader. I also kept looking up at the fans directly in front of us, the level beyond, and to the very top. I thought about how great it is that we get to come together and cheer on the best organization in the NFL. It takes so many elements and people to make game day so special, and today was the ultimate unforgettable finale to the 2014 Miami Dolphins season. #STRONGERTOGETHER
Since making the team as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, my Sundays have been quite a bit different. Normally I would hang out with my family and friends waiting until 1 p.m. to watch the Dolphins play. But this year I’m in the middle of all the action. It’s a surreal experience walking out of the tunnel to see 70,000 Dolfans in white, orange and aqua all screaming with excitement and anticipation for our team to take the field. Being a part of this organization is a dream come true. All the hard work really pays off every Sunday when I put on my uniform and take the field.
This past Sunday was no different, its week 14 and the Dolphins are right in the middle of the playoff hunt. I arrive at the stadium at 10:30 a.m. to see our fans already out and tailgating. Walking to the stadium, I take pleasure in meeting and talking with some of the fans and taking pictures with them before I prepare for the game. When I enter the locker room I see some of the girls getting ready and it still hits me, how lucky I am to be here. It’s a feeling that doesn’t seem to go away even after all these months.
Walking through the tunnel with my teammates we can feel that this isn’t just another game. The Baltimore Ravens were tied with us in our conference so this game was going to be pivotal in determining our future in the playoffs. There was a greater sense of passion from the fans. We walk out to the field and the fans stand and cheer as we perform our routine. The squad lines up for player introductions and the game begins!!!
The Dolphins jump out to a commanding 10-0 lead over the Ravens and the feeling in the stadium is intense. I always enjoy cheering on the sidelines but when the team’s doing well and the fans are going crazy like they were in this game. It takes it to a whole other level. Once again, I get an overwhelming feeling of pride to be here doing what I’m doing. The rest of the game didn’t go as smoothly as we lost control of the lead and unfortunately lost to the Ravens. My squad and I kept dancing to lift the fans spirits until the final whistle.
Being on this team has really been a life changing experience, one that I’ll cherish and talk about for the rest of my life. I’m proud to represent my team every Sunday on the field or when I’m out in the community. We will be back next Sunday to avenge this defeat and continue to make our run for the playoffs. Go Fins!
The military appreciation game was my favorite, most exciting and rewarding game thus far this season. We take for granted coming home and hugging our loved ones, talking about our day, celebrating holidays together, and, last but not least, watching football games with friends and family.
I was born 24 years ago on an Air Force installation during the Gulf War crisis because my dad was on active duty and packed to deploy. Growing up, I have a lot of memories that stand out about the military. We moved every three years and my dad wasn’t always present, but I had faith he would come home every time. When you are in the military, home is not a place where you physically reside, but a place where you make memories when you are together. The one constant memory that is near and dear to my heart is that I was taught integrity, love, respect, and the sacrifices these courageous men and women make each day for our freedom.
As I walked onto the field, my familiar goose bumps took over when I saw all the military branches wear their uniforms proudly. This feeling of appreciation once again reminded me how special it is coming together to sing our national anthem. It was an honor sharing the field with those who put their lives on the line so that we may live in freedom. It brought chills and tears of thankfulness to my eyes when I saw our American flag wave during the firework display to celebrate the home of the brave.
All of the military members were so thrilled to be a part of the player intro and our players surely showed their appreciation for the military during this game. The Dolphins were relentless and won by standing firm and never giving up. Having this opportunity to cheer for such a persevering team and being able to bring joy and smiles to the lives of others through dance makes me feel incredibly blessed. As a ‘Dolphins Nation’ we know that nothing is possible without the teammate next to you, which is also a key trait that the military holds. These are our heroes not just today, but everyday… we really are stronger together. We salute to your service!
I am truly overwhelmed with emotion as I think back to this past Sunday’s game. The sun in the sky, not a cloud in sight and the crisp, cool air made it the perfect fall day for a football game!
I arrived to the stadium around 8:30 a.m. to prepare for the Girls Scout Camp. This event allowed young girls from all over the state to come onto the field, learn a dance and perform as the music boomed throughout the stadium. Their faces lit up and their smiles took over the field as their parents watched proudly. I felt a little hand grab mine and as I looked down to see a young girl’s beaming face. She said quietly “I want to be just like you girls one day.” What an incredible opportunity to be a role model and a positive influence in the lives of these young girls! The heart that this organization has for the community is just one of many reasons that I love the Miami Dolphins.
As if it couldn’t get any better, we began to prepare for the game. The energy in the locker room and in the studio was ecstatic! My favorite part of preparing for a game is the time when all of the cheerleaders and the staff form a big circle in the studio and we say a prayer. We take a minute to focus and remember why we do what we do. We are thankful for the blessings we get to share on game day and for the opportunity we have been given to bring “joy and entertainment in the lives of others.” Talk about getting geared up for kick-off!
Then it is time to make our way towards the field! Walking through the tunnel still feels surreal and every time I step onto the field is like a dream come true. My body is overcome with adrenaline as the music starts. I spend the next few hours trying to take in every moment and striving to perform with perfection. It is a feeling that is truly difficult to put into words.
This Sunday’s game had a surprise that flooded the stadium with tears of joy. As the crowd applauded the Everyday Hero announced before halftime, an emotional video of 1st David Farquharson came on the Jumbotron. He was overseas and sending his love through a video message to his family on the field. In the middle of him talking, the connection started to fade. I was so sad thinking that technical difficulties were going to stand in the way of his beautiful message to his mother. Just then, he came back on the screen; only he wasn’t overseas, but on the field! It was amazing as he ran and embraced his mother! It was a surprise homecoming that I will never forget!
The halftime show for this game was the icing on the cake. Each cheerleader was allowed to ask a male guest to come perform with him or her on the field! Nervous and excited, my dad accepted! Due to loved ones being out of town, one cheerleader needed a partner. My older brother gladly stepped in and they flew down from Michigan to perform with the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders! They spent several days practicing with the team and rehearsed the routine countless times before the big show! Smiling at my dad as we did the “cha-cha” and “hitch-kick” up and down the 30-yard line, it is a memory that will last with me forever. How special to be on the field, doing what I love, with my family! Does it get any better than that?
Yes it does! The Miami Dolphins took a 37-0 win over the Chargers!
Not just being a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, but cheering at this game in particular, really opened my eyes to how much of a blessing this whole process has been. Sunday was the perfect game and to say I am thankful is a great understatement. I have tried to take in the magnitude of each moment throughout this process, but being able to dance every day, being part of a team full of amazing women and to serve as an ambassador in the south Florida community has truly been the opportunity of a lifetime. Fins up!
Wow! It’s the fifth game of the home season smack dab in the middle of Pinktober. It feels like only yesterday we were back in training camp learning and perfecting our skills for the approaching season. Now we’re midway through the season. I’m wondering how it could be possible for time to move so fast!
I find that the nights before game day I can barely sleep! I mean, who can?! The excitement of cheering on the field as well as the nerves of performing in front of all the fans keeps me awake! So needless to say I start this morning on with a nice big cup of coffee! The hours leading up to kickoff start to wind down pretty fast, and the closer we get the more pumped I become.
We step onto the field sporting our pink pom poms and boot covers in support of breast cancer awareness, which is a cause near and dear to my heart. Seeing as breast cancer affects 1 in 8 U.S. women over the course of her lifetime, what better motivation do I need? I mean, besides aqua and orange, pink is my all time favorite color anyways!
Walking out of the tunnel for our pregame performance means game on! Let the fun begin! For our halftime show we performed with a group of extremely talented dancers from Show Stoppers studio under the direction of Susie Garcia and the incredible Nicole Henry who sang a cover for “I’m Every Woman” I was so honored to be entertaining the fans beside them all. We even incorporated pink sun hats into our routine!
The rest of the game is just a truly heart pumping experience. I’m literally having the time of my life out there cheering on our Miami Dolphins. And I couldn’t be more blessed and thankful for that opportunity. I have the best seat in the entire house, . What a thrilling game it was! Down to the very last second. I honestly can’t wait for next football Sunday to roll around.
I woke up on Sept. 21 feeling both excited and refreshed and ready for a great game. The game against the Kansas City Chiefs was our “Aqua Out” game. We received new pom poms and shorts to join the crowd in turning the stadium into a sea of aqua.
Before the game, we had an appearance which consisted of a short dance performance to get the crowd hyped up. As we lined up to perform I could see the stands filling up with our fans in their aqua.
There is not just one word that describes the feeling of cheering on the Miami Dolphins and our Dolfans make the experience special. We truly have the most amazing fans.
Throughout the game, looking up into the sea of fans wearing their aqua to support our team made me realize how special and once in a lifetime this experience really is.
Dance and cheer has not only been a hobby of mine, but also a passion. It is such an amazing and surreal feeling being on the sidelines cheering on the Miami Dolphins with such talented young women. I am so blessed be part of such an amazing organization.