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,
Being a fourth year veteran Miami Dolphins Cheerleader meant auditioning for the team all four times. Each year I’ve learned new ways to better prepare myself for the big day. Here are a few things to remember on the day of tryouts to make sure you have the best audition process.
There’s a lot of detail that goes into audition day. The best way to feel prepared is to make a checklist. I write down everything I need the night before, pack what I can, and go over it in the morning. Checklists always calm me down so I’m not a frazzled cheerleader the day of auditions. Some things you want to check off are extra tights, makeup and hair needs, any necessary outfits, a copy of your music, snacks and water.
- Take care of your body
Sometimes at auditions, I’m so focused on the routines that I forget to prepare my body. I make sure to warm up and stretch my muscles. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle while dancing. So stretch them out! On the day of auditions, it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast and take snacks that will fuel your body for the rest of the day. Be sure that you’re preparing your body to look and feel it’s very best prior to auditions as well. Preparation is key. If you’re eating well and working out before then the actual day of auditions will be a breeze.
- Apply what you learned at prep classes
If you attended prep classes (which I highly recommend), try to write down the criticism you are given. These are great notes to refer to on the day of auditions. The directors give a lot of helpful feedback at prep classes that can help you grow in many ways before the day of tryouts. Sometimes looking back at a reminder like how to stand when introducing yourself, can make a huge difference.
Auditions are very nerve racking, which is a good thing. You want to be excited and use that adrenaline when it’s time to dance. If you find yourself over-the-edge nervous, just take a moment and breathe. I always take 3 deep breaths right before stepping on the stage, so I’m ready to perform without any worries.
There is nothing that makes a cheerleader stand out more than her confidence. If you came out to auditions, it’s because you believe you have what it takes to be part of the team. Strut your stuff and show everyone what makes you the next Miami Dolphins Cheerleader.
Good luck to all the ladies auditioning this year. I wish you the very best on your big day!
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.