He says the team would have considered men earlier — auditions were always open to anyone — but no one came forward until last year. Both Jinnies and Peron knew women who had already been with the Rams and encouraged them to try. But both were surprised to see the other on the day of the audition, having competed against each other many times before.
“I walked up to him and was like, ‘Hey, since we’re the only guys here, let’s cheer for the guys.’ And this moment seems to me to have strengthened our city,” says Peron. “If they take us, they will take us. But I don’t think they can choose between one of us.’” That instinct turned out to be right.
“They call my name and I make this really weird sound, like ‘Aaauuhh,'” Jinnies recalls. “They hand me my shirt and [I’m] like, ‘I did it,’ and there’s just rivers of water coming out of my face.”
The following season ended in a Super Bowl for the Rams, making it an incredible new year for Jinnies and Peron, who became the first male dancers to perform in the NFL’s biggest game. Over the past year, they have traveled with their teammates, danced, spoken, volunteered, and even visited units overseas.
When I meet them both at the Starbucks across the street from their practice, both have just recently returned from military tours in Guam and South Korea. Peron, who is also a dance teacher, says he spent part of his time teaching the kids at the base to cheer. “Some fathers have tried,” he adds, smiling.
For Peron and Jinnie, getting to that moment was a long and sometimes painful journey. Peron didn’t discover his passion for dance until his junior year of high school—relatively late for someone who is now a professional athlete. So You Think You Can Dance inspired him: watching tWitch and Will – black men who looked like him – he knew he wanted to do it. That weekend, he quit his basketball team, angering his coach father, and began taking classes at a local studio.
His parents were adamantly opposed to his involvement in dance, in ways both big and small – teasing him for wearing pantyhose to ballet class, complaining about all-day competitions, and refusing to pay for dance lessons. As a result, Peron, who is tall and broad-shouldered and often flashes a big, warm smile, took classes on a scholarship and stayed for hours to clean the studio after his friends went home. It wasn’t until he signed with an agent and started collecting salaries for his choreography work that his parents really came around.
Jinnie’s parents moved mountains to give their son the best dance education possible. When he started taking dance seriously in high school, his mother would make the two-hour drive from Santa Barbara to Costa Mesa after a full day’s work so Jinnies could attend class, then drive home. They did this twice a week until he saw his high school dream team perform. He decided to audition, even though he knew that if he was successful, he would have to live in the school district, in Anaheim, which would mean moving out of his parents’ home.
Who is the highest-paid cheerleader?
1 – Teri Hatcher – $50 Million That’s right, former Desperate Housewives star Hatcher was a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers in 1984. On the same subject : Cheerleaders of Jacksonville Jaguars try their best UK accents in hilarious video. In fact, Hatcher told TMZ in 2015 that she received a Super Bowl ring from the team after their 1995 victory, and he still wears it, but “only during the season.”