Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders: ‘Part-Time Job With Full-Time Responsibilities’

Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders: 'Part-Time Job With Full-Time Responsibilities'

Standing in the north end tunnel, waiting to walk into Lincoln Financial Field for the first time, Philadelphia Eagles rookie cheerleader Pilar Martin of Washington Township was more excited than scared.

“A dream come true,” said the 19-year-old La Salle University sophomore. “One of the happiest moments of my life.”

But to be one of 39 women ready to face 70,000 screaming fans on a sunny September day, she began with an audition process that stretched from March through May.

Six days after the final auditions, on Mother’s Day, many of the cheerleaders gathered for the first day of the trading card photo shoot at Lincoln Financial Field.

“When I first put on my uniform, I was shaking,” said freshman Alycia Guzman, a 21-year-old junior at Rowan University in Deptford.

For the 14 rookies, that day was the beginning of a new way of life, juggling the responsibilities of family, school or a career, and cheerleading.

“You really have to be dedicated to the team to be on the team,” said Alicia Marie Parks, a third-year veteran from Philadelphia.

That perseverance began in June, with twice-weekly 3-hour practices that continue through the end of the season. For some team members, learning a new dance a week required extra work outside of scheduled practices.

“What we learn on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I usually practice throughout the week,” said Deonna Baquero.

The sophomore Marlton veteran added that she had less formal dance training than many of the other women on the team.

“There really weren’t any days off for me,” said Guzmán, who practiced where and when she could because she wanted to be perfect on the field. “We want to be the best for our fans.”

But being a cheerleader is so much more than practicing and performing during Philadelphia Eagles games. They make approximately 350 appearances a year which include community, benefit and civic appearances as well as fan engagement activities and corporate events.

“It’s a part-time job with full-time responsibilities,” Parks said.

Game day begins with a quick practice on the field several hours before kickoff. After a second-longer practice at the stadium service level, many cheerleaders visit season ticket holders and sign calendars. They also make their way through some of the crowded lots and take a photo with fans every few minutes.

Just before taking the field, choreographer Suzy Zucker cheers the team on with a quick standing ovation. Moments later, they emerged from the tunnel to perform their pregame dance routine.

“It’s a little stressful, but it’s also very exciting,” Martin said. “Being out there is amazing.”

A common reward shared among cheerleaders is how being a part of the team has helped them develop both personally and professionally.

“Being a cheerleader has forced me to have a confidence that I never had before,” said Parks, who works for the Pennsylvania Historical Society, creating educational programs for students and teachers.

During the final home game of the season, with his family on the sidelines amazed at being so close to the players and the action, Parks was reminded that he has the best seat in the house. Her family had been brought onto the field for the announcement that she had been selected to represent the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders in the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona, and she realized she had taken all of those things for granted.

“You can’t help but smile when you’re standing there and everyone is cheering,” Parks said. “It’s just this beautiful moment.”

Tim Hawk can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @photogthawk. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

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The oldest woman to dance with the Cowboys cheerleaders was Linda Badami, a 37-year-old mother of four from Kansas, according to Kelli Finglass, who manages the team.

How much does a NFL Waterboy make?

How much does a NFL Waterboy make?

On average, NFL waterboys earn $53,000 per year (according to However, that is only the salary for beginners. To see also : The numbers associated with American college football are staggering. For pros, his salary may be higher than any other highest-paid NFL water boy. That means it depends quite a bit on your input level.

How much does a water boy make in the NFL? NFL Waterboy Salary: $53,000. You might want to sit down before you read this: The average salary for an NFL water boy is a whopping $53,000 a year, according to Some are unpaid or work as stipend interns, according to, but the full-time water and towel boys are considered part of the training staff.

How much does an NFL water Girl make?

How much does an NFL water boy make? The typical starting salary for a water boy is $53,000 per year according to stack. This may interest you : O-zone: Very

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