Makes The Cut
...IRVING, Texas - The finals have been completed and it's off to training camp for 45 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader hopefuls, and one of those will be Southlake, Texas, dancer Katie Schouten.
"When they called my name I burst out in tears," Schouten
admitted this portion of the two-part tryout was intimidating since the young ladies qualifying for the second round would meet up with the competing veterans from last year's DCC squad.
"It was intimidating, like preliminaries and semifinals, but a different kind of intimidating because they are familiar with each other and they know what the judges are looking for," said Schouten
of the second round of qualifying.
Maybe feeling intimidated, Schouten
delivered a solid 1ï¿½-minute performance to advance to the grueling DCC training camp, where the group will be pared down to the final 36 to 38 making the 2008 team.
But just one step left, however huge, for Schouten
IRVING, Texas - While the nation was rushing to get Mother's Day gifts and spend time with their moms, Katie Schouten
was making her
way to Texas Stadium to take a shot at possibly becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
The process is long, and it's not easy, and for some, just showing up at Texas Stadium with hundreds of cheerleader-hopefuls can be intimidating. When Schouten was 12 years old she moved from Atlanta to Southlake, Texas, and was first introduced to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders organization by her first dance instructor in Texas, former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Pamela (Jagger) Purcel, who also turned out to be the first director of the Dallas Desperados Dancers.
Back then Schouten
was asked by Purcel to attend a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' Family and Friends Performance.
"From then on I knew I wanted to continue dancing and become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, I fell in love with the team," Schouten
said."I believed they were beautiful women, and I knew I wanted to be one, one day." Now 24 years old, Schouten has nearly completed her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas in dance, and has been a member of the North Texas Dancers for two years, finishing her last year as the squad's co- captain.She
decided now was time to take her
shot at trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
"I believe Cloutier
has prepared me for this style of dance," Schouten
awoke at 5:30 a.m. on May 10, the first day of tryouts, and made her
way to Texas Stadium, where found a long line of beautiful women, all with the same hope.She
would stand in line for two hours, and quickly realize this was much different than what she
had seen on the CMT special Making the Team, which has become an annual TV special.
"It was surreal, I was so tired and a little delirious, and there were so many girls and they are talented and beautiful.It was a little intimidating," Schouten
While waiting for her
shot at America's Sweethearts, Schouten
mentally rehearsed her
choreography time and again, but found herself quite anxious to get it on with her
"My emotions went back and forward over time, at times I was saying I want to go dance, I want to go dance, I want to perform," Schouten
waited five hours before it was her
turn to freestyle in the preliminaries.She
obviously impressed the judges with her
charisma and style of dance; tired and sleep-deprived, Schouten
was extremely excited when she
was asked to return for Day 2.
But the wait to find out if she
was moving on must have seemed like an eternity.Schouten's number didn't appear among those asked back for Day 2's semifinals until 8:30 that night.She
was only halfway to the finals.
Day 2 began at 7:30 a.m., Sunday's
line of ladies much shorter than Saturday's since the panel of judges had cut the girls from some 400 to 150.But the semifinals are much more difficult than preliminaries.
"Preliminaries are a lot different from semifinals because in preliminaries you do whatever you want and in semifinals if you miss a step, or mess up, the judges know," Schouten
The dance was a jazz-based dance, and Schouten
and the other 149 girls were taught the routine in one hour.The ladies were given an additional hour to do makeup and then it was on with the tryout process.
"I like the dance and I keep redoing it in my head," Schouten
would say while preparing for her
But after Schouten
finally danced, she
just wasn't impressed with her
"I made a couple mistakes," Schouten
said."I hope the judges understand I learned it that day and that they would acknowledge my showmanship and have seen enough to invite me back to finals."
And they did. Schouten
was absolutely thrilled when she
found out the judges chose her
as one of the 64 ladies to advance to the Memorial Day weekend finals, and making it to this level of the auditions was a huge step toward her
lifetime dream of becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
said dancing is her
best talent, so she
will perform a self-choreographed routine for the talent contest.
"I am eager for finals to begin, because now I would be able to show my strengths in dancing," Schouten