Eagles cheerleader auditions are Saturday

Posted: March 20, 2012

Players come and go - and so do cheerleaders.

Every year, hundreds of young women compete to make the Eagles' squad of stadium sideline dancers that has been ranked among the best in the NFL.

This year, the first round of tryouts is Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia, with registration beginning at 10 a.m.

"The auditions are going to be competitive!" said Barbara Zaun, the team's director of cheerleading.

"We had 275 women attend the optional pre-audition workshops that we hosted earlier this month so we are expecting a good turnout," she said.

Contestants must be 18 and already a high school graduate. Those who expect to graduate later this year are ineligible.

The fee for registering in-person, inside the SCA Club Lounge, is $25, although that gets waived for attendees of some workshops and classes held earlier by the Eagles.

Before judging begins at 1 p.m., contestants will be shown a short dance routine and given rehearsal time. The last auditions should conclude before 5 p.m.

As for what to wear, philadelphiaeagles.com advises: "Contestants should wear a sports bra, Lycra shorts and coordinating sneakers for the audition. We suggest wearing nude hosiery with your outfit and wearing a warm-up over the outfit while registering and waiting to perform. Contestants should wear their hair down and have their makeup done. Any body jewelry should be removed and tattoos should be covered."

Friends and family won't be allowed to tag along.

After 120 are chosen Saturday, they'll advance to the semifinals on March 28, where some members of last season's squad will also compete for the right to return.

This year, some Eagles season ticket holders will also be part of the judging panels.

The top 60 will go on to compete in the finals, held April 24 at the Kimmel Center, with 38 chosen to form the new cheerleading squad, whose duties include public appearances and the annual calendar shoot, in addition to performing at Eagles home games.

Note that the Eagles website says most cheerleaders have other jobs.

The gig doesn't exactly pay Peyton Manning money.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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