Meet the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders from Bethlehem

Meet the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders from Bethlehem

Liberty High School graduate Allegra Bermudez wanted to be a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles to take advantage of the public relations and international travel opportunities.

She missed her chance a year ago when she found out about the Open Call audition two weeks late, but she kept reaching out to the team to announce the 2017 competition.

“All year I’ve just checked the website and probably updated the page every two weeks or so,” said the 20-year-old.

Last week her perseverance paid off when she was one of 35 women out of a field of 300 to make the 2017-18 roster.

Bethlehem native Allegra Bermudez, left, answers questions from judges during an onstage interview contest during her successful bid to join the 2017-18 Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading roster. (Photo courtesy | For lehighvalleylive.com)

Bermudez is a first-generation American whose mother immigrated from the Philippines and was born and raised in Bethlehem. She is studying public health and education at Temple University. Cheering on the Eagles is a part-time job, but one with perks.

There’s a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic next month for the annual swimsuit calendar shoot. Following the squad’s previous visits to troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Diego Garcia, South Korea, Sarajevo and Kosovo, there are additional trips in support of the US military. Opportunities to serve as instructors at youth cheer camps and represent the team at more than 350 performances each year.

And there’s the sidelines for the Eagles’ home games at Lincoln Financial Field and the performance in front of over 70,000 fans.

“If you know me, by all means try to get to a few Eagles games this season,” the Philly resident said in a message to her hometown.

Bermudez has been a 10-year dancer and Hurricanes cheerleader for three years with Liberty, where she graduated in 2014.

Auditions for the Eagles roster began with open call auditions on March 18 at the Lincoln Financial and began a six-week process that culminated last week at the city’s Merriam Theater.

The 60 hopefuls who made it to the finals on May 8 were judged in three categories: physical fitness, beauty and dance, and an interview on stage.

Bermudez said she did her best and competed confidently as a first-time contestant against several women who were trying for their second, third or even fifth time to make the cut.

“Just knowing I’ve made it this far has helped,” she said.

When NBC10 host Jessica Boyington called out Bermudez’s number and name, she became one of 20 rookies who will wear the Eagles’ Vera Wang-designed cheerleading uniforms. That’s the most freshmen on a roster during Barbara Zaun’s stint as director of cheerleading for the Philadelphia Eagles, which began in 2002, she said. The longest-serving cheerleader is entering her sixth season.

Off the field, cheerleaders have diverse careers, Zaun said. The current roster includes an attorney, a physician assistant, an accountant, a New Jersey City Councilwoman, a special education teacher, and a sales executive.

They rehearse two nights a week at Lincoln Financial Field, and the team has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, including Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida; the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio; the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama; the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii; and the NFL kickoff in Times Square, according to Zaun.

The team is in demand to take part in international tours and has recently toured places such as Mexico City, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City.

They also participate in hands-on environmental projects in Philadelphia and internationally as part of the Eagles Go Green program. In addition, the Eagles Cheerleaders are involved in raising awareness and funding The Eagles Charitable Foundation, which focuses on autism research and vision assistance.

Bermudez is beginning her final year at Temple and will aspire to a career in international healthcare after graduating in 2018, she said.

She has ties to Bethlehem, where her younger brother Nishi Bermudez is a sophomore at Liberty and where her mother, Griselle Bermudez, resides.

Kurt Bresswein can be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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