The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders performed on the NFL’s biggest stage when the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Last week they took it to a different level when they played alongside the New Kids on the Block at the Wells Fargo Center during the band’s “Mixtape Tour.”
“It felt like that rock era,” said veteran guitarist Ally, who, 28, admitted he knows very little about the band.
When asked to sing with one of the boy bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Barbara Zaun, the Eagles’ director of cheerleading, jumped at the chance.
“The Eagles Cheerleaders always enjoy the experience of interacting with music artists and when we were offered the opportunity to perform with New Kids on the Block, a Grammy-nominated group with a huge reputation, we jumped at the chance,” said Zaun.
Twenty-one of the 36 team members joined the band for two songs near the end of the show.
The first song was a new single, “Boys in the Band.” The music video includes a scene with cheerleaders, and according to Zaun, the band thought having cheerleaders dancing with them would be fun for the audience.
Third-year assistant Anna Marie said that their attitude was like that of a boy band – fun, exciting, and uplifting. The 32-year-old veteran grew up a fan of the band and dreamed of playing with them one day.
“It was a dream come true,” he said.
Cheerleaders perform for sold-out Lincoln Financial Field crowds during football season, but Ally said being on the field with all the lights “is a different experience than what we’re used to on game day.”
Two rehearsals and about seven hours of practice time, under the direction of choreographer Suzy Zucker, is what it took for the team to perfect their routine, playing to the music they played ahead of time.
Eagles Cheerleaders on stage with New Kids on the Block.
Before the show, they had the chance to meet the band, whose five members are all from Massachusetts, and they made sure to talk about the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the Patriots.
The players were not the only ones representing Chapungu on this night. Donnie Wahlberg introduced host Alshon Jeffery, who waved to the boisterous crowd.
“It was great to share the stage with him again and bring that Eagles spirit to the New Kids on the Block show,” said Ally.
Tim Hawk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tim on Instagram @photog_hawk and Twitter @photogthawk.
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