National Football League Cheerleading
||This article's introduction may be too long for the overall article length. (May 2012)|
National Football League Cheerleading, or simply NFL Cheerleading, is a professional cheerleading organization in the United States. 26 of the 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise. Cheerleaders are a popular attraction that can give a team more coverage/airtime, popular local support and increased media image. In 1954 the Baltimore Colts became the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. They were part of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band.
Most NFL cheerleading squads are a part-time job. Often, cheerleaders have completed or are attending a university, and continue on to other careers after cheering for one to four seasons. The members participate in practice, training camp, games, appearances, photo shoots, and charity events. Apart from their main duties of cheering during the football games, the cheerleaders have many other responsibilities. Nearly every team member is available for appearances at schools, events, conferences, etc., for a set fee.
An anticipated annual event is the release of each squad's calendar, featuring members for each month in swimsuits, lingerie, or uniforms.
As well as being a mainstay of American football culture, the cheerleaders are one of the biggest entertainment groups to regularly perform for the United States Armed Forces overseas with performances and tours being enlisted by the USO. Teams send their variety show, an elite group of their best members, to perform combination shows of dance, music, baton twirling, acrobatics, gymnastics, and more. In February 2007, the Buffalo Bills even sent a squad of eight along with their choreographer into the war zone of Iraq. In 1996, the San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders and their director Angela King-Twitero helicoptered into the war inflicted country of Bosnia with the USO and the U.S. Army. The U.S. troops in Korea have been entertained during the holiday season with the USO's Bob Hope Tour. Over the years, the tour has featured NFL cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.
- 1 Cheerleader competitions
- 2 Teams
- 3 Notable cheerleaders
- 3.1 Arizona Cardinals
- 3.2 Atlanta Falcons
- 3.3 Baltimore Ravens
- 3.4 Buffalo Bills
- 3.5 Carolina Panthers
- 3.6 Cincinnati Bengals
- 3.7 Dallas Cowboys
- 3.8 Denver Broncos
- 3.9 Houston Texans
- 3.10 Indianapolis Colts
- 3.11 Jacksonville Jaguars
- 3.12 Kansas City Chiefs
- 3.13 Miami Dolphins
- 3.14 New England Patriots
- 3.15 New Orleans Saints
- 3.16 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
- 3.17 Philadelphia Eagles
- 3.18 St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams
- 3.19 San Diego Chargers
- 3.20 San Francisco 49ers
- 3.21 Seattle Seahawks
- 3.22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 3.23 Tennessee Titans
- 3.24 Washington Redskins
- 4 Pro Bowl
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The first "Battle of the NFL Cheerleaders" was held in 1979 in Hollywood, Florida. Two cheerleaders from each cheerleading team compete against other mini-teams in various athletic events. This includes kayaking, 100 yard dash, obstacle courses, and other events. The Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders took home the title in 1979. In 1980 it was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the Washington Redskinettes were the champions. The winners were Shiona Baum and Jeannie Fritz and each received a car as the grand prize. The competition was resurrected in 2006 by the NFL Network, and was called NFL Cheerleader Playoffs. The playoffs were taped between July 17 and July 21, 2006 at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts. Two-person teams of cheerleaders from 25 of the NFL's 32 teams participated in a four-event series of competitions. The first two events tested the cheerleaders' athletic abilities in events like the 100-yard dash, kayaking, tandem cycling, and the obstacle course. The third event was a trivia challenge called "Know Your NFL". The final competition was a one-minute dance routine, similar to what they normally perform on NFL sidelines. San Diego Chargers team (Casie and Shantel) defeated the Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams squads to win the overall championship. The 3 teams finished in a three-way tie, with 210 points. The Chargers were declared the winners based on winning the dance competition.
Listed by name, with corresponding NFL football team.
|Current or Last Name||Year Established and Former Names||NFL Team|
|Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders||1964–1987 St. Louis Cardinals Cheerleaders
1988–1993 Phoenix Cardinals Cheerleaders
1994–present Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
|Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders||1960s The Falconettes
|Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders*||1998-present||Baltimore Ravens|
|Buffalo Jills||1960–1965 Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders
|Carolina Topcats||1995-present||Carolina Panthers|
|Chicago Honey Bears||1976–1985
|Cincinnati Ben–Gals||1976-present||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders||1960s–1971 CowBelles & Beaux,
|Denver Broncos Cheerleaders||1971-1976 Bronco Belles
1977-1980 Pony Express
|Green Bay Packers cheerleaders||late 1950s–1961 Packerettes
1961–1972 Golden Girls
1973–1977 Packerettes 
1977–1986 Sideliners 
2007–present college cheerleaders
|Green Bay Packers|
|Houston Texans Cheerleaders||2002-present||Houston Texans|
|Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders||1954–1983 Baltimore Colts Cheerleaders
|Jacksonville ROAR||1995-present||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders||1960s Chiefs Cheerleaders
1980s–present Chiefs Cheerleaders
|Kansas City Chiefs|
|Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders||1966–1977 Dolphin Dolls
1978–early 1980s Dolphin Starbrites
early 1980s Dolfin Star Brites
1983–present Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders
|Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders||1961–1963 Vi-Queens
1964–1983 The Parkettes (St. Louis Park High School)
1984–present Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
|New England Patriots Cheerleaders||1977-present||New England Patriots|
|New Orleans Saintsations||Angels
|New Orleans Saints|
|New York Giants|
|New York Jets Flight Crew||2006 Jets Flag Crew
2007–present Jets Flight Crew
|New York Jets|
|Oakland Raiderettes||1961-present||Oakland Raiders|
|Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders||1948–1960s Eaglettes
1970s Liberty Belles
1980s–present The Eagles Cheerleaders
|1960–1969 Pittsburgh Steelerettes amateurs
|St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders||1974–1994 Embraceable Ewes
1995–present St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders
|St. Louis Rams|
|San Diego Charger Girls||1960s-70s Chargettes
1990-present Charger Girls
|San Diego Chargers|
|San Francisco Gold Rush||1950's the all-girl Niner Nuggets cheerleaders and singers at Kezar Stadium. 1979 (as a coed squad before becoming an all-girl squad in 1983)||San Francisco 49ers|
|Seattle Sea Gals||1976-present||Seattle Seahawks|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
1999–present Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders||1975–1997 The Derrick Dolls
|Washington Redskins Cheerleaders||1962 Redskinettes
currently: Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
* Ravens Cheerleading Squad is technically a Co-ed Stunt and All-Female Dance squad.
Teams without cheerleaders
As of 2013, the only teams without cheerleaders are the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The February 2011 meeting of the Packers and Steelers at Super Bowl XLV was the first time a Super Bowl featured no cheerleaders. The Packers do however use a collegiate squad from time to time in a limited role to cheer at home games.
Teams of "unofficial" cheerleaders began emerging in 2010 for NFL teams that don't have their own dance squad. These unofficial cheerleaders aren't sanctioned by the NFL or any franchise in the NFL and therefore are not allowed to perform at games, represent the football team at any outside functions, or use any of the team's branding or trademarked colors on their uniforms. The teams are sponsored by local businesses, and the cheerleaders perform prior to the game, at tailgate parties, and other local events. Some also attend the local NFL games in uniform, and sit together in their block of season ticket seats. Their audition process, costuming, and choreography are very simiar to official NFL cheer teams. Some also produce an annual swimsuit calendar, just like the legitimate cheerleaders. All of the independent teams hope at some point to be embraced by the NFL as "official" cheerleaders of their local teams.
- The Detroit Pride Cheerleaders were the first independent professional team, put together in August 2010 to support the Lions. However, as the squad is not officially recognized by the Lions, it cannot use the Lions logos nor colors.
- The Gotham City Cheerleaders were organized in August 2011 to support all New York sports, but are most closely associated with the Giants. The team has also been known as the New York Unofficials, the Unofficial Dancers of the New York Giants, and the Gotham’s Team Blue Army Dancers.
- The Cleveland Spirit Cheerleaders were created in September 2012 to support the Browns as a test team to attract fan interest. This cheer team was created by the same people responsible for the Detroit Pride.
- Danielle Demski, Miss Arizona USA, 2004
- Phyllis Smith, actress on The Office (during the team's St. Louis days)
- Ashlee Tate DeMartino, broadcast meteorologist for KTNV-TV
- Mickey Crawford-Carnegie, President/Owner of Alumni Cheerleaders, LLC and creator of site www.AlumniCheerleaders.com (where former pro, college, high school cheerleaders/dancers reunite); Started the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Alumni group and is the Director with over 350 members.
- Nicole Duncan, Georgia State University Cheerleading Coach
- Laurie Flynn, wife of Matt Schaub
- Whitney Frink, Hollywood TV Producer
- Tiffany Fallon, Playboy Playmate of the Year 2005
- Stacy Keibler, (1998), former professional WWE wrestler
- Molly Shattuck, wife of Mayo A. Shattuck III
- Theresa Joy, actress
- Brooke Griffin, (2005–2009), personal trainer, author, and fitness model.
- Laura Vikmanis, (2009–present), currently the oldest cheerleader in the NFL at 45.
- Tina Hernandez, (1977–1978), actress, CHiPs TV Series (1982–1983)
- Janet Fulkerson, (1980–1982), actress
- Judy Trammell (1980–1983), Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders choreographer, mother of current DCC member Cassie Trammell
- Kelli Finglass, (1984–1989), director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
- Sheri Scholz, (1985), Miss Texas Teen USA 1983
- Kimberly Ball, (1993–1994), reporter of KTVT
- Jill Marie Jones, (1993–1994), actress, plays Toni On Girlfriends
- Michelle Parma, (1993–1994), actress, MTV's Road Rules: Europe. She died in a car accident in Texas on October 19, 2002
- Bonnie-Jill Laflin, (1996), actress/model
- Sarah Shahi, (1999–2000), actress, plays Carmen on The L Word, second season. Most recently on NBC's "Life". Now stars in USA Network's Fairly Legal
- Denise Garvey, (2000), director and coach of the New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleading Squad, former New Jersey Nets dancer, former New York Knicks dancer
- Kristin Holt, (2000–2001), television personality, entertainment news correspondent
- Jenni Croft, (2002–2005), contestant on The Bachelor Season 11
- Emily Kuchar, (2003–2004), wife of Zack Greinke
- Micaela Johnson, (2003–2005), Miss Nebraska USA 2008
- Starr Spangler, (2005–2007), winner of The Amazing Race 13
- Melissa Rycroft, (2006–2007), ABC's Dancing with the Stars contestant and Winner then runner-up on The Bachelor Season 13
- Kandi Harris, (2006–2008), wife of Hunter Mahan
- Brooke Sorenson, (2006–2010), wife of Laynce Nix
- Erica Kiehl Jenkins, (2007–2008), singer, member of The Pussycat Dolls
- Abigail Klein, (2007–2009), actress
- Ann Lux, (2010–2011), fiancee of Will Middlebrooks
- Lezlie Deane, actress, founder of techno group Fem2fem
- Shaune Stauffer, model and jewelry designer
- Tatiana Anderson, Host of ESPN'S TV show Kiana's Flex Appeal
- Michelle Beisner, NFL Network
- Katee Doland, Miss Colorado USA 2001
- Jamie Dukehart-Conti, Miss Colorado 2008
- Renee Herlocker, Spike TV, E! News
- Kollette Klassen, wife of Jake Plummer
- Katie Layman, Miss Colorado 2009
- Ashley Clay (2007–2008), wife of Ryan Cochrane
- Courtney Lopez (2013–present), Miss Wisconsin USA 2010
- Laurie Flynn, wife of Matt Schaub
- Carrie Milbank, hostess of The Hockey Show on the NHL network
- Carol Newinn
- Mindy Winkler (1998–2000), show personality of radio program, The Smiley Morning Show
- Megan Glaros (2002), meteorologist of WBBM-TV
- Megan Meadors, Miss Indiana 2008
- Stephanie Soviar, wife of Jeff Simmons
- Kristin Doakes, President and Co-Founder Professional Cheerleaders Alumni, Inc.
- Shenette Howard, Miss Florida International 2006
- Latricia Allen Ledet, Co-Founder Professional Cheerleaders Alumni, Inc.
- Melanie McAlister, wife of Jaguars' mascot, Jaxson de Ville (Curtis Dvorak)
- Marsha McCoy - contestant from The Amazing Race 5
Kansas City Chiefs
- Krazy George Henderson (1975–1979)
- Dr. Jennifer Horrell, wife of member of the Missouri House of Representatives, Sam Page
- Najahe Sherman, anchor of KSHB-TV
- Suzy Tavarez, (1998–2000), On-Air Personality, Miami radio station Y100-FM
- Shannon Ford, (2001), Miss Florida USA 2002 and contestant on The Bachelor Season 3
- Hennely Jimenez (2003–2004), Actress, 200 mph
- Brenda Lowe, (2004–2005), contestant from Survivor: Nicaragua and Survivor: Caramoan.
- Jaime Faith Edmondson, (2004–2009), contestant from The Amazing Race in 2009, Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 2010.
- Ashley White, (2007–2008), reporter of WYFF
- Pamela Silva Conde, reporter and news anchor for Univision Network
- Jeanette Dousdebes, wife of United States Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio
- Brittany Freeman, Miss New Hampshire Teen USA 2004.
- Mireya Mayor, National Geographic Wildlife Correspondent and History Channel's "Expedition:Africa" Wildlife Expert and Explorer.
- LauRen Merola, Miss Pennsylvania USA 2008
- Fabiola Romero, Original member of the FSU Cowgirls
- Lilly Robbins, Maxim Model
- Cara Rosenthal, contestant from The Amazing Race in 2009.
- Nadia Turner, Season 4 American Idol contestant
- Natalie Vickers, news anchor of MountainWest Sports Network
New England Patriots
- Amber van Eeghen, (2002–2005), wife of Dan Koppen, and daughter of Mark van Eeghen
- Kristin Gauvin, (2003–2004), Miss Massachusetts 2005
- Meghan Vasconcellos, (2006), model and wife of Lonie Paxton
- Alysha Castonguay, (2006–2008), Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2002, Miss Rhode Island USA 2009
- Kelsey Fournier, (2009–2011), Miss Rhode Island 2012
- Lauren Marchetti, (2010–2011), contestant on The Bachelor Season 17
- Sarah Mitchell, dancer and actress
New Orleans Saints
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
- Aubrey Aquino, (2001–2002), TV reporter and host
- Danielle Gamba, (2002), Playboy Cyber Girl of the Month, October 2004.
- Erica Arana, actress, television host, and philanthropist
- Karen Baughman, wife of Bob Golic
- Patty Breton, Playboy Model
- Kelli Brook, Model & actress
- Ana Marie Carrasco, Model & actress
- Paige Green, wife of John Elway.
- Jennifer Grijalva, actress, MTV's The Real World (season 18).
- Anita Hart, Playboy model, actress (Baywatch, Vampires), stuntwoman (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (as stunt double for Demi Moore), Titanic).
- Anjelah Johnson, standup comedian.
- Jane Lubeck, Playboy Model
- Cole Martin, contestant on The Bachelor Season 8
- Tina Martin, Daytime Actress, Swimsuit Model & Playboy Model
- Brooke Morales, Model & actress
- Cheryl Moana Marie Nunes, television presenter
- Raydeen Revilla, actress
- Chandra Roberts, First female board member National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (LA); sole female member (Honorary) of National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), World Class Track & Field Athlete - High Jump/Long Jump.
- Linda Sobek - Model, victim of murder by photographer
- Kiana Tom, TV fitness instructor, model & actress.
- Krystle Campbell, (2005–2010), wife of Ryan Howard
- Amie Barsky, actress
- Gina Cerilli, Miss Pennsylvania USA 2010
- Yasmine Shaffie, Miss Pennsylvania International 2007
- Carol J. Woliung, wife of Pete Rose
St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams
- Jenilee Harrison, (1978–1980), actress, Three's Company
- Lisa Guerrero, (1980s) American sports broadcaster, actress, model
- Apollonia Kotero, (1980s) co-star of Purple Rain.
- Amy Holland Pennell, actress
San Diego Chargers
- Charisma Carpenter, (1991), actress, played Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and had the same role in the long lived spin-off Angel
San Francisco 49ers
- Teri Hatcher, (1984), actress
- Bonnie-Jill Laflin, (1994–1996), model, actress, television personality
- Ashley Clay, (2008–2009), wife of Ryan Cochrane
- Julie Durda, meteorologist of WSVN and contestant on The Bachelor Season 5
- Angela King-Twitero, author of The Business of Professional Cheerleading, and dance costume designer (eight NFL Cheerleading teams wear her designs) Angela transitioned from cheerleader to director of the Gold Rush Cheerleaders, and led the team from 1992-1997. She also was the founding co-director of the NFL Pro Bowl Cheerleaders from 1992-1997.
- Ali Dudek, singer
- Christina Clarke, Miss Washington USA 2012
- Amber Lancaster, model on The Price Is Right and actress
- Lauren Leeds, reporter of KVEW
- Heidi Meili, reporter and anchor of KECI-TV
- Julie Shipley-Childs, fitness competitor and IFBB professional
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Maribel Liliana Delgado, (1993–1999), winner on The Bachelor Season 6
- Bobbie Shay Lee (1996–1998), first NFL cheerleader with a short hair cut, also called a pixie cut. Since then, the team reserves a spot each year for a cheerleader with short hair.
- Victoria Vodar, (2003–2006), actress
- Brooke Newton, actress
- Dr. Monica Williams, Vanderbilt University cancer research fellow
- April Pennington, former TNA Wrestling ring girl and manager. Metro-Nashville Juvenile court clerk
- Maureen Gardner, (1974–1976), wife of 71st governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell
- Debbie Barrigan (1994–1995, 1999–2001), Blast! dance troupe member
- Michaé Holloman, (2002–2007), Miss Maryland USA 2007
- Monique Thompkins, (2010–present), Miss District of Columbia USA 2012
- Kelley Cornwell, wife of Jeff Halpern
- Terri Crane-Lamb, Founder of the First NFL Alumni Cheerleader Association (1984)
- Christy Oglevee, wife of Chris Cooley
A top honor for an NFL Cheerleader is to be selected as Pro Bowl Cheerleader. The group is composed of an all-star cheerleader (one from each NFL cheer team) that represents her NFL team at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The Pro Bowl Cheerleaders were founded in 1992 and directed by Jay Howarth and Angela King-Twitero. Each year, one squad member from every NFL team is chosen to participate in the collective Pro Bowl cheerleading squad.
- Cincinnati Ben-Gals
- Dallas Cheerleaders History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.[dead link]
- Green Bay Packerettes, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Retrieved September 21, 2007
- Ex-Packers cheerleader writes winning slogan for fence, September 9, 2007, Retrieved September 21, 2007
- Legends on Parade to highlight Packers' Glory Years, Green Bay Press-Gazette, August 24, 2007, Retrieved September 21, 2007
- Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.[dead link]
- Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders History (2010) Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- Oakland Raiderettes History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.[dead link]
- Steelerettes History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Charger Girls History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007. Archived February 2, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Gold Rush History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Sea Gals History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007. Archived January 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- www.buccaneers.com Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- Redskin Cheerleader History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007. Archived January 26, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Plaschke, Bill (2011-01-27). "No Super Bowl cheerleaders? He says rah!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Pumerantz, Zack (2011-10-09). "Detroit Lions Cheerleaders: The Hottest Pics of the Detroit Pride". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- "Top 6 NFL Teams Without Cheerleaders". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- Benton, Dan (2012-09-24). "Meet the Gotham City Cheerleaders, Unofficial Dancers for All New York Sports". Giants 101. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- Bonchak, Jean (2012-09-27). "Cleveland Spirit cheerleaders coming to Browns Town". The News-Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- Georgia State Cheerleading (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.
- Brooke Griffin's official website
- Sarah Shahi (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007
- Up & Down: It's good to be Hunter ... Mahan, that is Retrieved August 10, 2010
- Tatiana Anderson (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.
- Miss Florida USA (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007. Archived February 6, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Brittany's Scrapbook". Miami Dolphins. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
- Pageant History (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Jenilee Harrison (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.
- Angela King (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Angela King Designs (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Dr. Williams (2007) Retrieved February 8, 2007.
- Debbie Barrigan (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.[dead link]
- Miss Maryland USA (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.
- "Pro Bowl Cheerleaders". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- NFL Cheerleaders on Football Babble