UK dance team alum Kleine Powell cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys

UK dance team alum Kleine Powell cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys

LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 7, 2021) — When Kleine Powell graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts in May with a degree in digital media and design, she couldn’t have predicted the amount of changes in her life. to endure Six months later, despite the differences, Powell wouldn’t change a thing.

His initial plan was to go on a study abroad trip upon graduation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow this to happen.

“I was ready to go to Japan and do the design,” Powell said. “But due to COVID, my studies abroad were canceled and I was lost.”

Powell, who was a member of the UK Dance Team during her time in Lexington, decided her dance career wasn’t over yet.

“Because of Covid, (the dance season) was longer than expected,” Powell said. “Once April rolled around and we were having nationals, I had a month to myself and I realized I wasn’t done dancing. I wanted to keep going.”

And, he thought, if he was going to continue his career, why not try to be in the most famous team in the world.

“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC),” Powell said. “I feel like every little girl wants to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. So why not? Why not try my best and try and see how far I can go.”

He continued to try out/competition and at one point, he knew that dream could come true.

“I just kept doing practice rounds,” Powell said. “When I got to practice, I came in crying because I realized I could really (make the team).”

Powell went through a rigorous DCC tryout process, which included appearing on the television program “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,” which aired in the fall. At the end of the show, it was announced that Powell had completed the group.

It was not an easy process. Powell and the other dancers had to learn many routines and adapt their style to DCC’s way of doing it.

“The whole process is about trying to find your own specific dance style by pairing it with the veterans,” Powell said. “They want to take each person’s style and combine it into a group. It’s like modeling while you’re dancing, which I’ve never done before.”

As a result, the testing process was difficult.

“Having all that, then remembering the 30 or so dances we have to remember, you overthink it,” Powell said. “But at the end of the day, you have to be confident enough in yourself and your personal growth in your dancing, your personality and the way you carry yourself and go through the process and not be a big ball of anxiety. That’s a long way of saying it was tough.”

Deciding to try out for DCC set in motion a whirlwind six months that would change Powell’s life in many ways. From the central Kentucky area (Powell grew up in Richmond) he moved to Dallas to pursue his dream. He was put in the spotlight on a TV show. He made the most popular cheerleading team in the world. And he got engaged. These are serious life changes in a very short time.

“It’s a lot. I haven’t had time to stop and think,” Powell said. “Every day, I’m moving on to the next thing. It’s definitely been a whirlwind but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My life six months ago and my life now are two completely different lives, but I love them both. .”

Powell is really enjoying his first season at DCC because of the opportunities the team has given him.

“Doing DCC has allowed me to have more personal growth. When you’re in the spotlight a lot, people are going to talk a lot,” Powell said. “But I can be happy for myself and I can be happy for others and it doesn’t matter what people say about me. It has given me a greater sense of who I am and where I am in the world.”

There is a certain celebrity status that comes with being one of the 36 Cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s still something new for Powell.

“I will never consider myself a celebrity,” Powell said. “My mom said that and it was weird, coming from my mom.”

However, Powell plans to use her celebrity status as an ambassador for the group to promote positivity in the world.

“I want to spread positivity and joy with this new platform,” Powell said. “I wouldn’t want to be famous for any other reason than being a positive light or showing kindness to someone that they wouldn’t show that day. I’m glad I have this new platform. Hopefully I can be some kind of. An inspiration to little girls and boys. I want to make a conscious effort to be a light to someone.” .

He also knows that, in his position, there will be people looking at him, something he likes a lot.

“That’s my favorite part. To be somebody that somebody else appreciates, that’s what I’ve always dreamed of,” Powell said. “It makes you feel warm inside. And I know my family is so proud of me. I can’t believe I get to live this life.”

Powell remembers the first time she wore the iconic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader uniform.

“I never wanted to get rid of it,” he said. “I said, this is the costume of my life! It was surreal. We always say we feel like Superwoman when we put on our super suit. That memory will always stay with me. When you put it on, you feel like the coolest person alive.”

Her boots almost didn’t come off the first time she put them on.

“I remember putting my boots on for the first time because we got to break them in,” Powell said. “I kept those boots on for three hours and fell asleep in them. When I woke up, my feet were sore but it was worth it.”

As for the other teammates, Powell has already developed great relationships.

“The girls on the team are the kindest people I’ve ever met,” she said. “They are all so much fun and they can all be Miss USA.”

Powell credits UK Dance Team head coach Dawn Walters with much success.

“Dawn has really been one of my biggest supporters,” Powell said. “I’ll never forget his kindness through it all. He texted me two or three times a week to check on me.”

Like many young girls, Kleine Powell dreamed of one day becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Unlike most girls, Powell is actually living that dream right now.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and professional goals. For the past two years, Forbes has named the UK as one of the best employers for diversity, and we have been recognized as a Champion of Diversity by INSIGHT into Diversity for four years in a row. UK is in the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been named a “Best University to Work For” three years in a row, and UK is among the top 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. We are ranked in the top 10 percent of public institutions. for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate that UK HealthCare has been named the nation’s top hospital five years in a row. The rewards and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea of ​​creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we fulfill our mission to be not just the University of Kentucky, but the University of Kentucky.

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