Christmas break for the Rangerettes is a time to get back all those lost hours of sleep and to rest your worn-out muscles from a harsh first semester.
The directors advise us to stay active and maintain a healthy eating pattern throughout the break, but I was doing just the opposite.
I spent my time lying on the couch all day after sleeping in past noon.
That pattern steadily went on until one evening I received a text from our freshman sergeant, asking if there were any women who were available to do a performance on Dec. 29. Never missing an opportunity to perform in that beautiful red white and blue costume, I simply agreed and couldn’t wait to be out on the field again.
Little did I know I was going to be the main attraction at the halftime of a sold-out Dallas Cowboys football game.
I don’t think I had ever been so excited in my life being that I am a huge Cowboys fan — not only because of the handsome quarterback Tony Romo, but because it is my dream to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.
The night before the game I tossed and turned as I dreamed of just how great the day ahead of me might be.
Five a.m. came sooner than I had expected, but I was up in a hurry to perfect my “Rangerette curls” and get out the door in less than an hour. I had a four-hour trip to Dallas, and I was bound to get lost, so I gave myself a little extra time for a wrong turn.
Upon my arrival at the hotel where the Rangerettes would be spending the night,
I was ambushed by my teammates, whom I hadn’t seen in three weeks. We were immediately rushed to a ballroom where practice would begin.
The first time we practiced the high kick full out for the directors was probably the hardest thing all of us had ever done. Taking three weeks off from the Rangerette life and being thrown back into it that quickly definitely made my body ache and struggle for air as I held my ending position.
As practice came to an end, we grabbed our belongings and got on a bus that would take us to AT&T Stadium for lunch and of course more practice.
The first step onto the freshly laid turf was incredible. I had never seen such a beautiful place in my life. The thousands of seats and the Jumbotron made me feel so small.
The practice on the field didn’t get easier. My body grew weak and sore, but I knew it would all be worth it.
After practice, we were invited to watch America’s Sweethearts, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, do a run-through of their performance for the game. My heart pretty much stopped as they strutted out onto the field while holding their huge pom poms. Nothing less than perfect was exactly what each of them were.
We all applauded in awe when they hit the ending pose. It was something I will never forget.
The time ticked away and each moment grew closer to game time.
The Rangerettes were placed in a waiting room where we would get ready for the game and try to get some food into our stomachs.
My heart raced as I tied my belt string and bobby pinned my hat in place. We were minutes away from halftime by now. I had never been so nervous for a performance.
As we walked to the gate, I heard the roar of the crowd. I felt a bit overwhelmed.
It was time. Our captain called us to attention. We walked on to the field just as we did for every other performance.
I looked up as we entered the full stadium, just catching a glimpse of the 80,000 people who sat above us.
The music began, and the adrenaline surged through my body. It was a feeling unlike any other I had felt before. And just like that It was over before I knew it. We hit our ending position and the crowd cheered.
Walking out of the stadium and into the tunnel I had yet to catch my breath. I felt on top of the world.
Performing as The Dallas Cowboys halftime entertainment was an unforgettable experience. The opportunities that Rangerettes gives dancers like me are ones that no other dance team can live up to. I hope that one day I will be out there on that field performing again.
Jordan Baird is a freshman journalism major from Magnolia