Kyle Tanguay didn’t know what reaction to expect when he first took the field with Philadelphia Eagles fans at the Eagles’ open practice earlier this summer.
Honestly, no one in the group knew what to expect. The Eagles haven’t had a brawler since the 1980s, and even those guys were scream leaders and stuntmen. Tanguay dances with female cheerleaders, pom-poms and all, in front of a fanbase that sometimes gets a bad rap for some ill-timed jumps.
Yet the butterflies in Tanguay’s stomach were quickly put to rest. As he welcomed the fans and was happy for the Eagles, the reception of everyone in the culture seemed welcoming and accepting.
He was not a “joyful friend,” only a “Pharisee.” He was there to celebrate his favorite team, and that was enough for the fans so far leading up to the season.
“One thing Eagles fans do well is not make it about me being a man or being gay,” Tanguay told Outsports. “They’re happy to have me on the team.”
An NFL opportunity opens up
A year ago, cheering on an NFL field wasn’t on Tanguay’s radar screen. He has been dancing since he was a child growing up in New Hampshire, consuming the demands of his school studies and dancing. See the article : Go Birds! Horsham Cheerleader joins Eagle Squad | Hatboro, PA Patch. When he moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, dance took over what felt like his entire life.
“I’m completely grazed in my studio,” he said. “I once took a solo practice during the Super Bowl.”
It was during the 2018 NFL season that Tanguay first got the idea of becoming an NFL coach. A good friend of his made the group and she was constantly regaling him with funny and friendly stories. He was happy with that.
“I saw that she had great experience and I thought it was something I really wanted to try. A few months later I found out the Rams and Saints had guys on the team and I thought, wow this is actually possible.”
As an example of the three leading men of the Rams and Saints as his light, Tanguay headed to the test of courage of the Eagles last March. He said he was immediately greeted with welcoming faces from the team. Although the Eagles haven’t had a happy man in decades, they explained to him that their audition is always open to people of any gender. Tanguay was easily the first guy to come out in a long, long time.
She was put through the same process as any of the women there who were aiming for the same spot on the team: The test sections included modeling, fitness, stage speaking and dancing. When the announcements came in April, he was officially a member of the Eagles cheerleading squad.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for Tanguay. It’s been a very busy time of rehearsals and videos for the whole community and supporting the team. Match-day duties include tailgating and small cheer centers, in addition to all the action on the field.
Throughout, Tanguay said everyone associated with the Eagles and their cheerleading squad has been wonderful.
“I’m really happy to have an amazing team,” he said. “We have no drama, no stress. We have a great dynamic. It was a little overwhelming getting on the field for the first time, but I’ve had nothing but great feedback from the fans, the players, the players’ families and the Eagles staff. “
The NFL has at least 9 male cheerleaders this season
Tanguay also feels part of another group: the NFL’s growing list of male inspirations. He said he knows of at least nine guys who are excited about the NFL this season — that number was zero two years ago. On the same subject : ‘Unforgettable’ night for Eagles Cheerleaders as 2019 season begins (PHOTOS). The men are chatting in groups, constantly supporting each other and – no doubt – eating when the latest news calls for it.
“We hope the group chat gets bigger every year,” Tanguay said.
Being part of the cheer team also comes down to something pretty special: a friend. Tanguay shared his new beau on Instagram shortly after it was announced that he had made the team. They have been dating ever since.
“He’s a big Eagles fan,” Tanguay said.
Tanguay does not limit his dancing strictly to the football field. Most recently he was a dancer and performed as an actor and solo dancer in a music video for the world tour of artist Luca Fogale’s Half-Saved.
A man on a team of mostly women
According to the supply of a man in a group of women for 40 years, the Eagles set Tanguay in his dressing room, which connects to the joint meeting room on the other side which is the women’s dressing room. This may interest you : The HBCU Vibe on full display at the 2022 Aggie-Eagle Classic. Although Tanguay may be the only current resident of the men’s locker room, he said “we hope for more men in the locker room in the future.”
He might get his wish. Tanguay has already heard from one man in the Philadelphia area who has expressed interest in trying out for the Eagles cheerleading squad next spring.
Meanwhile, he’s thoroughly enjoying being the only guy waving pompoms and cheering for the Eagles on the field.
“One thing I have always been true to is to be myself. Stand up for what I believe in, even if I am standing alone. People may look at me the wrong way or not like the things I do, but I will continue to be true to myself. keep being myself.”
You can follow Kyle Tanguay on Twitter @ktangkyle, or Instagram @kyletanguay.