PHILADELPHIA — Sixty contestants stood behind the Kimmel Center, inside the Perelman Theater, many holding hands with their eyes closed while others appeared to be praying, as 38 names from the class of 2015 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading announced.
The final show, which lasted more than two hours in front of a raucous sell-out crowd, featured bodybuilding, beauty and dance competitions, and finally a stage debate.
“The girls are the best I’ve been here,” said singer Suzy Zucker, as the women prepared for the physical part of the show. Zucker has been the choreographer for the Eagles cheerleading squad for the past 10 years.
In a warm and crowded dressing room, Amanda Grace practiced her dance moves with other hopefuls minutes before the audition began. “I get more nervous every year,” said the 4-year cheerleader.
The gymnastics and dance portion of the event moved quickly as the women prepared for the final category, the on-stage discussion, which is considered to be the most confusing.
Former actress Pilar Martin walked down the aisle, getting ready for an audition, when a group of women hurried past her to change after dancing on stage.
As the Q&A segment came to a close, the Eagles’ new signings — Seyi Ajirotutu and Ryan Mathews — were introduced as the judges made their final decision.
One by one, the fans walked on stage as their names were called, waving to the crowd and taking a breather.
Tim Hawk can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @photogthawk. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may receive a commission.