Cheerleaders To Make The Cut Live

The Ravens will unveil their cheer squad in front of an audience for the first time.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

After weeks of competition, the Ravens are announcing their 2011 cheerleading squad Saturday night.

And for the first time ever, the nerve-wracking saga will be played out in front of a live audience.

From 6 – 9:30 p.m. at the Sheraton City Center-Baltimore, a group of nearly 80 contestants (whittled from an initial tryout of 230) will dance, stunt and smile their way to the final list of 60.

Ravens Cheerleaders Coordinator Tina Galdieri offered some last-minute insight as to the qualities she’s seeking.

“There are a lot of different facets,” said Galdieri, who has personally interviewed each candidate. “Presentation is a big part of it. It’s going to come down to how well they perform the dance. We’ll be able to see their flexibility in the kick line. And, they have to show a skill, whether it’s a stunt or a dance step or a toe-touch.

“This final round is a combination of everything we’ve done in the past. This is going to really be one of our tougher tryouts, because everyone has an [add n] opportunity to really polish what we’re looking for.”

The Ravens have the NFL’s only co-ed cheerleading team, which allows them to perform stunts with 40 females and 20 men expected to round out the cut.

This year, Galdieri said nine female dancers and seven stunters left the team, so those spots will be up for grabs among an aspirant class of rookies.

“We’ve seen some great potential through the tryout process,” Galdieri said. “I really feel that we’re going to have to make hard decisions. I expect it to come down to very few points.”

Helping Galdieri make those decisions will be WBAL-TV morning news reporter Jennifer Fancoitti, 98 Rock’s Mickey Cucchiella and former Ravens wideout and current WBAL radio host Qadry Ismail, along with other Ravens cheerleading staffers. WBAL-TV sports anchor Gerry Sandusky will emcee the event, as well.

The judges will have a busy evening of evaluation.

At 6, the male cheerleading competition begins, followed by a kick line and skills show from the women at 6:15. Then at 7:15, the ladies demonstrate a choreographed dance routine.

By 9:15, the stage will be set to unveil the winners – all under the watchful eyes of over 350 expected fans.

Galdieri said the overwhelming number of original tryouts and the quality that will fill the Sheraton is a testament of the Ravens cheerleaders’ growing popularity, which has blossomed due to the cheerleader swimsuit calendar and approximately 150 public appearances the group does each year.

“I think the feedback has been great, and you can see that people are starting to get our organization and what we look for on the cheerleading side,” said Galdieri. ” We want well-rounded individuals. I don’t want to just be very talented. I want the ones that are motivated in life, as in community- and career-minded.

“Not only do we have a very talented cheerleading team, but we also have beauty and brains.”

Tickets are still available, and fans will also have the opportunity to purchase them at the door.

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