Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay received support from fans

Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay received support from fans

Kyle Tanguay didn’t know what reaction to expect when he took the field for the first time with the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders at an open practice for the Eagles earlier this summer.

To be honest, no one with the team knew what to expect. The Eagles hadn’t had a male cheerleader since the 1980s, and even those guys were more shout and stunt leaders. Tanguay would dance along with the female cheerleaders, pom-poms and all, in front of a fan base that has at times gotten a bad rap for bad booing.

Yet, very quickly the butterflies in Tanguay’s stomach were put to rest. As he welcomed fans and cheered on the Eagles, the reception from everyone at practice seemed welcoming and accepting.

He wasn’t “the dude with the cheerleaders,” he was just a “cheerleader.” It was there to celebrate their favorite team, and that has been enough for the fans so far leading up to the season.

“One thing Eagles fans do a good job of is they don’t make it about me being a man or being gay,” Tanguay told Outsports. “They’re excited that I’m part of the team.”

An NFL opportunity opens up

An NFL opportunity opens up

A year ago, cheering in an NFL stadium wasn’t on Tanguay’s radar screen. He had been dancing since he was a child growing up in New Hampshire, consumed by the demands of his school studies and his dancing. Read also : Cheerleaders’ falcons. When he moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, dancing took over what felt like his entire life.

“I was completely overwhelmed with my studio,” he says. “One time I had a solo practice during the Super Bowl.”

It was in the 2018 NFL season that Tanguay first got the idea of ​​being an NFL cheerleader. A good friend of his had made the team and she was constantly telling him stories of fun and friendship. That excited him.

“I saw that she had a great experience, and I thought it was something I really wanted to try. A few months later I noticed the Rams and the Saints had guys on the team and I thought, wow this is actually a possibility.”

With the example of those three male cheerleaders with the Rams and Saints as his beacon, Tanguay set out to try the Eagles’ cheer last March. He said he was immediately greeted by welcoming faces from the team. Although the Eagles hadn’t had a male cheerleader in decades, they explained to him that their tryouts had always been open to people of any gender. Tanguay was simply the first man to appear in a long, long time.

She was put through the same rigor as any of the girls there aiming for the same spot on the team: Parts of the trial included modelling, fitness, speaking on stage and dance. When the announcements came in April, he was officially a member of the Eagles cheerleading team.

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Tanguay. It has been an intense period of rehearsals and appearances throughout the community and supporting the team. Game day duties include tailgate appearances and fun clinics, as well as all the action on the field.

Throughout, Tanguay has said that everyone involved with the Eagles and their cheerleading team has been great.

“I’m very lucky to have a great team,” he said. “We have no drama, no stress. We have a very nice dynamic. It was a bit scary to take the field for the first time, but I have received nothing but extremely positive responses from the fans, the players, the players’ families and the staff of the Eagles.”

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The NFL has at least 9 male cheerleaders this season

Tanguay also feels part of another team: the growing list of male cheerleaders in the NFL. He said he knows of at least nine men cheering in the NFL this season — that number was just two years ago. This may interest you : Jerry Jones reveals his reason for the $ 2.4 million Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Scandal Settlement. The men are all on a group chat together, constantly supporting each other and – no doubt – eating when the latest news demands it.

“We hope that the group conversation will increase every year,” Tanguay said.

Being on the cheerleading team also led to something quite special: love. Her new beau had reached out to Tanguay via Instagram shortly after announcing that he had made the team. They have been together ever since.

“He’s a huge Eagles fan,” Tanguay said.

Tanguay does not limit his dancing strictly to the football field. Recently he was the choreographer and featured a solo actor and dancer in the music video for world touring artist Luca Fogale’s Half-Saved.

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A man on a team of mostly women

As for the logistics of a man taking part in an all-female team for 40 years, the Eagles have set up Tanguay in his own locker room, which connects to a joint meeting room on the other side of it is the women’s locker room. See the article : Muriel McGowan celebrates 106 with her favorite team. Although Tanguay may be the only current holder in his men’s locker room, he says that “hopefully there will be more men in the locker room in the future.”

He might get his wish. Tanguay has already heard from one man in the Philadelphia area who has expressed interest in trying out for the Eagles’ cheerleading team next spring.

Meanwhile, he is perfectly comfortable as the only man shaking his pom-poms and cheering on the Eagles from the field.

“One thing I’ve always been true to is being myself. Stand up for what I believe in, even if I stand alone. People can look at me the wrong way or not like the things I do, but I’m going to continue to stay true to myself.”

You can follow Kyle Tanguay on Twitter @ktangkyle, or on Instagram @kyletanguay.

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