There were times in 2020 when Elli DiGiovanni reminded herself that she wasn’t dreaming.
The 23-year-old Port Orchard native began the year as a graduate student at the University of Washington. She finished it as a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
“It’s true,” DiGiovanni said. “I’m part of this team.”
DiGiovanni, who now lives in Dallas, said her journey to becoming a cheerleader for one of the National Football League’s most prominent franchises began nearly two decades ago.
At the age of 4, DiGiovanni joined the Just For Kicks dance school in Port Orchard. Showing promise, she moved to a dance gallery in downtown Port Orchard at the age of 8 and stayed until the 10th grade.
“I really wanted to compete and I started competitive dancing,” DiGiovanni said.
After spending four years on the South Kitsap High School cheerleading squad, the 2015 Wolves alum successfully tried out for cheer after attending the University of Oregon. With the Ducks, DiGiovanni focused primarily on dance performances.
DiGiovanni, who graduated from Oregon in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, put cheerleading on hold for a year as she pursued a master’s degree in professional accounting. She completed a one-year program at the University of Washington in June 2020, right around the time tryouts for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (commonly referred to as “DCC”) began.
When DiGiovanni wasn’t spending time studying, she was doing exercises and training for performances.
“I definitely kept myself busy in 2020, that’s for sure,” DiGivovanni said.
The DCC auditions are usually held in Dallas over three days with the final round of competition. With the COVID-19 pandemic making live performances impossible, DiGiovanni’s performances in 2020 consisted of three virtual rounds.
“I recorded my routines in my driveway right in front of my garage,” he said.
DiGiovanni earned an invitation to training camp, where rookie hopefuls will face DCC veterans for the right to make the 36-man squad. The training camp usually takes place over three months in the summer, but this year it was shortened to three weeks. The cheerleaders were in isolation at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.
Spots on the DCC roster are not guaranteed from season to season, meaning veterans must try out with rookies each year to stay with the team.
“The hardest part is you don’t know what you’re up against,” DiGiovanni said. “I didn’t know how good the other girls were. I didn’t know how many places they were looking for.”
Saying he knows the dance material “like the back of my hand,” DiGiovanni said he tried not to compare himself to anyone during rehearsals.
“I went in and made sure I did my best every day,” he said.
In the end, DiGiovanni became one of 11 rookies to make the 2020 DCC team.
“We’re obviously very proud of her,” Elli’s mother, Tracy DiGiovanni, said.
DCC appeared in masks at all Cowboys home games in 2020, including the team’s season opener against Atlanta in early September. Elli’s parents and sister Delaney made the trip.
Some of DiGiovanni’s favorite moments from the season weren’t during actual games. Instead, he recalled hanging out with his teammates in the locker room before action.
“We all feel so confident,” she said. “Every time we put on the uniform, it’s a reminder of how all our hard work paid off.”
This winter, DiGiovanni said he will be looking for a job and preparing for another season at DCC. He knows he can’t afford to take his roster spot in 2021 for granted.
DCC is widely regarded as the most challenging cheerleading team in the NFL. Veteran team members must re-interview each year. Finglass was the first cheerleader in DCC history not to have to try out again when she was automatically re-elected for a fifth season.
What is the average age of a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader?
Our team ranged in age from 18 to 29, some were still in college. Most of the team are career makers. See the article : The Plum School Board honors the cadets of JROTC, the cheerleading coach. DCC is a part-time job; team members work full-time and/or attend college full-time.
How tall do you have to be to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? Qualifications and what the judges are looking for? The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are looking for applicants who will be 18 years old at the time of tryouts. You should be a high school graduate or have a GED. DCC has no specific height and weight requirements.
Who is the youngest Dallas Cowboy cheerleader?
|Kelli in Finglas|
|Born||Kelli Cecile McGonagill December 30, 1964|
|Alma mater||Texas Christian University, University of North Texas|
|Occupation||Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Director, TV Personality, TV Producer|
Do you have to be skinny to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?
We do NOT have specific height and weight requirements. To see also : Teen Mom fans were surprised by Cory Wharton’s huge new tattoo featuring a full portrait of daughter Mila,…. Are there any age restrictions? You must be at least 18 years old for the prelims.
How much do you need to weigh to become an NFL cheerleader? Height/Weight: There are no height and weight requirements. However, you must be in excellent physical shape. Rehearsals are three to four hours long, two to four times a week, and going through a full game of soccer requires a lot of stamina.