About Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
As iconic as "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are an institution both in Texas and nationwide. Instantly recognizable in their skimpy shorts and pristine, white go-go boots, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are more than just a familiar sight on the football field. They represent a pioneering innovation in sports entertainment. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were the first all-female, professional dance squad to grace the sidelines of a professional football game. And, though they have been often imitated, they have never been successfully replicated.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were once known as the CowBelles and Beaux. In this early form, the squad was composed of local high school students from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While this incarnation successfully conveyed a certain Southern gentility, Tex Schramm, the Cowboys president and general manager, recognized that a team of national significance needed something more.
In 1972, Schramm decided to replace the ‘Belles and Beaux' with a team of dancers carefully selected by area choreographer Texie Watermann. Schramm wasn't content to just change the roster of his cheerleading team, however. He also wanted the Cowgirls to have a distinct look. He recruited Paula Van Waggoner from the Lester Melnick Store, a local institution, to design the Cowgirls' uniform. The skin-tight, blue-and-white ensemble that she designed in 1972 has remained virtually unchanged, with only six minor modifications over four decades. Waggoner's original has stood the test of time and has attained an almost mythic—and certainly irreplaceable—status.
Schramm took the squad in a whole new direction, setting the precedent for modern-day NFL cheerleading as we know it. While the original seven members would remain "cheerleaders," they would be so in name only. The original cheerleading squad was transformed into a highly professional dance team.
"Even though we were called Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, we were a dance team and that's what the organization wanted people to think of us as," Laurie Murdoch, one of the first of the Cowboys Cheerleaders, told a reporter from ColumbiaSportsJournalism.com. "Traditional cheerleaders did something different," she added.
The squad that Schramm built was anything but traditional, and it revolutionized sports entertainment, as "America's Sweethearts" gained fame in the late 1970s. They appeared on two network television specials in 1977, and helped kick off the Monday Night Football season the following year by hosting a one-hour special on ABC. In 1979, the cheerleaders, now 40 strong, were featured in a two-hour movie titled "The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders." The film became the second highest rated made-for-TV movie in history.
The members of Schramm's first cheerleading squad were always intended to be something more than sex symbols. Dixie Smith Luque, part of the original ensemble, recalls the experience of trying out for the squad, saying, "It wasn't just about your dance skills. They wanted an all-American look and a girl who could speak well and carry herself with confidence – the whole package." Besides their athleticism and poise, members of the original dance team were also required to have a full-time job, be enrolled as a full-time student, or be a stay-at-home mom.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have remained committed to maintaining a squad of well-rounded women who are active beyond the sidelines. The squad has appeared on nationally televised halftime shows and on Country Music Television (CMT), they have visited camps for kids and made countless personal visits to the patients and residents of children's hospitals, veteran's hospitals and nursing homes.
If you would like to see the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in action, high-kicking and wielding their white and blue pom-poms, Dallas VIP can get you tickets to an upcoming Cowboys game. Give us a call at 855-7DALLAS, and let make your next event truly memorable with America's Sweethearts as part of the action.