By now most of Canada’s magnificent migrating geese have followed their instinct and raced away from winter’s bite in search of warmth and southern comfort; leaving behind a trail of frosted orange leaves and cool air…the perfect weather combination for anyone who loves watching football in America.
But the Maryland skies warms quickly once the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens stunt cheerleaders soar above the field on game day.
Red, white and brunette all-American beauties fearlessly twisting with acrobatic daring giving hometown fans fireworks not seen locally since Frances Scott Key watched a night battle during the War of 1812. He later penned those observations with mighty words known now as the nation’s national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Cheerleader talent is strong along the east coast and hundreds of candidates drive to Baltimore each March to tryouts hoping to prove their “look” compliments Ravens purple. Competitors face three humbling days of sudden-death eliminations against those cheerleaders expecting to return to the squad.
Judging is swift, and within hours only the top dancers and strongest acrobats are invited back by the Director of the NFL Ravens Cheerleaders Tina Galdieri to battle on the final selection night called “Making the Cut.”
Only sixty men and women are selected and travel to their quiet training camp in Western Maryland beginning a physically bruising road while becoming an NFL cheerleader.
The Raven Cheerleaders are the exception in a sport known mostly for fabulous faces and sizzling dance performances. No teams in the NFL fielding professional cheerleaders fly like the Ravens…leaving little doubt which one rules the skies above American football.
Slip into the Cinderella world of an NFL cheerleader and watch this exclusive report by Reuters’ photographers Jason Reed, Larry Downing and Molly Riley….