Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
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|Washington Redskins Cheerleaders (1962-present)|
The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders were second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers in professional NFL cheerleaders (1961; the Rooneys eliminated them shortly afterwards), but continue to be the longest running professional National Football League cheerleading organization.
Originally called the Redskinettes, they have cheered for the Washington Redskins since September 1962. The first director of Redskinettes was Grace Hutton. Initially, they performed in Native American-themed (though not authentic) costumes, but subsequently changed to outfits similar to other NFL cheerleading organizations by 1970.[when?]
In addition to touring with the football team, they have performed around the world. In 1982, they were invited to be the first NFL cheerleaders to perform in Asia promoting U.S. commercial products throughout Taiwan. The following year, the cheerleaders produced their first calendar, which they have continued since. In 1984, they were the fourth NFL squad to perform in a United Service Organizations (USO) tour entertaining the armed forces in Turkey, Italy, Sicily, Spain and the 6th Fleet off the coast of France. Since then, they have participated in numerous Department of Defense (DOD) tours to entertain members of the U.S. military.
The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders were also the first cheerleaders in the NFL to form an alumni association. The Washington Redskins Cheerleader Alumni Association (WRCAA) was founded in 1984 by former cheerleader Terri Crane-Lamb.
- Maureen Gardner (1974–1976), wife of the 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)
- Patricia Gauani, Miss Delaware USA 1997
- The only rival claim for being first in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys had cheerleaders called the CowBelles & Beaux in 1960, drawn from local high school student volunteers, but they were entirely replaced, by a new professionally trained organization in the early 1970s "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2006-05-31. .
- Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni Association - The Washington Redskins Cheerleader Alumni Association
- Debbie Barrigan (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Miss Maryland USA (2007) Retrieved February 9, 2007.
- McKenna, Dave, "Pom Pom Diplomacy: Redskinettes look back on cheering 'Gimme a U! Gimme an S! Gimme an A!'", Washington CityPaper, October 28 – November 3, 2005
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