Saturday, June 28, 2008

El Paso teen vies for Cowboys Cheerleaders

Hanks High graduate Jaymie Rae Hunt trains for a possible spot on the 2008 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad. (Courtesy the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders)A life of dancing, modeling and male adulation awaits El Pasoan Jaymie Rae Hunt, who's in the hunt for a spot on this year's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad.She won't know if she's made the cut until August, but the 2007 Hanks High School graduate does know that she's one of 45 women competing for 36 coveted spots on football's most celebrated cheerleader squad.

"I've always wanted her to do what she wanted to pursue. She's always been into dance, always loved dance," mom Lydia Rivas said. "One of her dreams was to pursue being in the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders."

"She has the personality for it, the looks and a real strong dance background," beamed dad Brian Hunt, who's already getting hit up for favors from his co-workers.

Officially, Jaymie Rae, 19, is a "Training Camp Candidate" for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, according to a release from the group, which has been cheering on the team in blue-and-white spangled outfits since 1972.

"Over the 12 weeks of summer the Training Camp Candidates will spend four to five nights a week at the Cheerleaders studio developing the technique and precision characteristic of the world-renowned squad while perfecting the 40 to 50 dance routines they will perform on the field at Texas Stadium," reads a DCC handout.

Trainees also go through "hard-core" physical training, hair and makeup "transformations," as well as coaching on etiquette, fan interaction and how to handle the media, according to the DCC.
Jaymie Rae started her dance training at the British Ballet Academy and danced in school groups at Hanks and Desert View Middle. She was in "Viva! El Paso" for two years and was crowned Miss Teen El Paso United States in 2005 and Miss Teen Texas United States in 2006.She has an older sister and three younger step-siblings.

Jaymie Rae had planned to move to Dallas to go to college, but changed course when she survived a vetting process in May that whittled a field of 600 down to 45.

"She was picked from the people who were left and they had to compete against the veterans," Rivas said. "Six of the veterans didn't make it back in."