The DCC is not the oldest cheerleading squad in the US, but since their inception in 1972, they’ve revolutionised the sport. Unlike previous cheer-squads (originally male) they were the first choreographed group of accomplished dancers whose function would not be so much to lead the crowd in a cheer (Tah Rah Rah, Princeton, Princeton, Princeton and all that), but to augment the team itself with their unique brand of showmanship and All-American sexiness. This was famously caught on camera during the 1976 Superbowl X, when in a break in the play, one of the cheerleaders casually winked at a cameraman. 75 million TV viewers were spellbound, and from that moment a new era in cheerleading was born.
The star-spangled uniform and innovative approach to jazz dancing were a stroke of genius, brainchild of then Dallas Cowboys Manager Ted Schramm and Dallas Cowbelles and Beaux cheer team manager Dee Brock. Introduced to the world in 1972, over the next four decades the look, attitude and athleticism of the squad would go global (including Australia). Their first USO engagement was in 1979, starting a troop moral-boosting tradition that is enthusiastically receivedâ€”often with tearsâ€”wherever US troops are stationed.
Famously, the gals have their meals in the mess halls, and chat freely with the troops. But winks to cameramen aside, don’t get any ideas. In spite of their sexy calenders, skimpy uniforms and shiny, shiny hair, these girls are the most highly protected and well-chaperoned sisters in the world. And it’s not just their honour and reputation that’s on the line. Sure they represent the Cowboys, and even to a large degree the US itself. But in addition, DCC trade secrets are in the vault forever. Every stitch on their uniform is under copywrite. Every dance move a state secret. Every aspect of their personal life, etiquette and diet is scrutinized, regimented and of course, endorsed. More importantly, Every cheerleader must be a high school graduate, must be at college or have a full-time job (motherhood qualifiesâ€”many of the girls are in their 30s), and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth region during the season.
The squad has earned the most gold medals of any other cheerleading squad, and is associated in minds everywhere with good teeth, high kicks and abs of steel. No wonder. Under the supervision of their managers, and the tight regime of Jay Johnson, they train four hours every night. Rehearsals are mandatory. One missed rehearsal eliminates a member from cheering at that game. Two get you kicked out of the squad. No drinking, smoking, drugs. No dating players, coaches or staff. No interviews.
600 girls from around the country descend on the Texas Stadium every year in pursuit of their dream of joining this elite squad of fifty athletes. Even after the squad of 40-50 is chosen, the girls begin their training program with and Army PT test. There are three parts:
2 minute of military style sit-ups
2 mnutes of pushups
2 mile run
The cheerleaders earn points depending on their age and the number of reps. The goal is to reach 300 points. 100 points for each category of the test. Anyone who gets 280 points joins the power squad. The rest no where they stand.
So here are some more ab tips from the Power Squad. Each should be done for one minute without stopping. Do the circuit twice. Use a light weight.
â€¢ Ab twists with weights
Sit on the floor with with knees bent. Slowly lean body back into a 45-degree angle and use abdominal muscles to bring feet off the ground. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
Twist at the waist, bringing dumbbell to the left of bent knees. Smoothly twist back to the left, hands rotating weight to the opposite side.
Keep legs up off the ground throughout the exercise.
Lie on back, cross hands behind head, extend right leg long and cross left foot over right knee.
Simultaneously bring right knee (with left foot still crossed over knee) toward chest and raise head and shoulders up and forward to meet bent knee. Contract abdominal muscles. Next, simultaneously lower the leg (left one is still crossed), and lower head and shoulders, keeping them an inch off ground. Repeat without resting, alternating sides
â€¢ Sky crunches with dumbbell
Lie on back, extend arms above head, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Place legs up in the air.
Reach arms straight up, while lifting shoulder and head approximately 3 inches off the ground, exhale as you contract abdominal muscles. Relax shoulders down, keep arms with weight still reaching upward. Head is still off the ground with abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat without resting.