Aloha Dolphins fans!
I must begin by thanking my beautiful teammates and wonderful organization for giving me this amazing opportunity to represent the best team in the NFL at the Pro Bowl and NFL China.
I began my two week adventure both excited and nervous all at once. My plane ride couldn’t have gone by faster as I was so eager to meet all my Pro Bowl Cheerleader teammates. We arrived late in the afternoon where we were greeted with beautiful Hawaiian leis. After we checked into our hotel we grabbed a quick dinner and practiced informally in our hotel rooms.
Our second day in Hawaii was memorable to say the least. We woke up bright and early and prepared to shoot our PBC 2013 team photo poolside. I couldn’t have been more honored to stand amongst these amazing women in a photo that will last forever. After our team photo, we got right to work and had an eight hour practice. We learned our pregame routine and introductions with top recording artist Train. Later that day we were also assigned our groups for the big game in which I was assigned to AFC 2. I was privileged to be in a group with Tara from the Denver Broncos, Sarah from the Cincinnati Bengals, Vanessa from the Houston Texans, Angel from the Baltimore Ravens, Kelly from the Oakland Raiders and Breanna from the Indianapolis Colts. All of the women were amazing dancers and blew me away with their poise and professionalism. I was impressed with how well we looked like a team that had been dancing together for years in a few short hours.
Later that day we took a trip to the International Marketplace to get fitted for the famous Pro Bowl ring! This was such a wonderful highlight of my trip knowing that all the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders before me have the same memory as I do.
Early the next morning we headed over to Aloha Stadium for the first time to practice our performances for the big game. It was such a rush of positive emotions as we walked down the tunnel and into the stadium for the first time. Even though it was pouring rain, which I am used to in Miami for game day, the show went on and we practiced in the rain. Right after practice we darted off to participate in a Play 60 event at a local military base middle school. The event also included football drills, flag football games and workouts led by the Pro Bowl football players. I was so pumped to meet these delightful young ladies and help motivate them in their personal and cheerleading lives. To make this day even better we attended the NFL Luau Welcome Party that evening. As I entered the over-the-top venue I was blown away by the amazing food, hula and fire dances and even meeting our pregame entertainer Pat Monahan from Train.
T.G.I.F.! I can’t believe that our Friday came so quickly, at this point it felt like I had just landed. Our directors were so kind and gave us the day off! As the smart, young women we are we took full advantage of the day by relaxing in the sun on the beautiful Hawaiian beaches. After a calming day at the beach we headed to a new event this year at the Pro Bowl called Eat the Streets Hawaiian Style. Pulling up to the location you could immediately pick up the delicious smells of more than 50 food trucks that surrounded the area. This was an exciting evening because we had our first group performance and introduction to the fans!
It’s time for a good ole’ Fin’s Up, it was truly a busy weekend! On Saturday we participated in Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium which attracts more than 4,000 people to watch an open practice for the players and cheerleaders before the game. It was a delightful experience seeing all the Dolphin fans representing all the way in Hawaii! That night we ventured over to the annual block party the city throws each year. More than 70,000 fans pack the streets of Waikiki Beach and enjoyed cheerleader performances, player interviews and raffles. I was lucky enough to perform six dances with my group and soaked up all the memories. At that moment I was so proud to represent the Miami Dolphins and danced my heart out!
Game day, it was finally here! Pro Bowl was an incredible day that represented my last game and the highlight of my career. We arrived at the stadium bright and early to have a quick practice and attended a tailgate party. We had another chance to perform, sign autographs and meet the fans before the game started. I was extremely thankful for the beautiful weather that day, I couldn’t have described a better day for a football game! As we were about to take the field we had an inspiring pep talk from our directors that almost brought me to tears.
Our pregame show was fabulous! Being able to perform in a huge production with a live band was unbelievable. Each cheerleader was individually introduced and free styled for an eight count. One of the songs that Train performed was called “Mermaid” which helped get fans into the “island” mood. The hula dancers, ukulele players, and mermaid dancers performed beautifully too! During our player intro’s I was so excited to cheer on the four players that represented the Miami Dolphins, Cameron Wake, Richie Incognito, Randy Starks and John Denney. As we prepared for the game Brian McKnight sang the National Anthem complete with hundreds of service men taking the field and a fly over by two helicopters.
The game was very laid back and full of dancing. We all cheered on our respective teams and enjoyed our new friendships we had built on and off the field. Even though the AFC did not pull out with the win I had the time of my life! This will truly be an experience I will never forget!
Dolphin Hugs and Kisses,