Forty Named to 2008 Colts Cheerleaders Squad
INDIANAPOLIS - The final step of a long journey came on Thursday night.
And it ended in a new, memorable fashion.
The 2008 Colts Cheerleader Auditions ended Thursday when 40 women were named to the 2008 Colts Cheerleaders Squad during the Cheerleader Audition Showcase at the team's facility.
"Cheerleaders are the ones that the fans see as the face of the Colts," Colts Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Zupancic said in opening the evening.
"We really demand a lot of our cheerleaders. They really are a vital part of the Colts family."
The 57 finalists competed in three different categories: dance, swimwear, and evening wear.
Contestants were scored on appearance, showmanship, and poise.
"They've been being judged all along, so what the judges come up with tonight will be tallied in with the rest," Colts Cheerleader Coordinator Theresa Pottratz said.
In the intervening weeks since the initial auditions April 12, contestants have been practicing. On Wednesday, rookie candidates were interviewed while veterans were judged on their past work.
The Cheerleader Audition Showcase is a new addition to the audition process, Pottratz said.
"We are trying to put more of an importance on the squad - to showcase them, to show the girls that we value them and to make it something special for them," Pottratz said.
The finalists were split into four groups, each performing after the last. This allowed previous groups time to go backstage and change for the next category.
The night began with an opening dance followed by swimwear and evening wear.
"What we are doing tonight is having the showcase for the finals so we can observe them in categories that we will see them in throughout the year," Pottratz said. "Dance, swimsuits, because we do a swimsuit calendar, and evening wear, because there are several formal events."
"We want to see how they handle themselves at a microphone in front of 300 people."
While the judges tabulated the results of the evening, all 57 girls performed a finale dance. Then, the 40 members of the 2008 Indianapolis Colts Cheerleading Squad were announced. To view their profile, go here. Dance photos are currently posted, with more to come soon. A video feature on the Cheerleader Audition Showcase will be posted around noon on April 25th.
"Overall, it's gone very well this year," Pottratz said. "I've been impressed with the commitment. It's only been two weeks, but it's been a rough two weeks. And this is only the beginning. It takes a lot to be a Colts Cheerleader."
Auditions have not solely focused on dance ability. Judges want well-rounded cheerleaders. Members who work well in a team atmosphere and are willing to work and contribute are vital to the success of the 2008 squad.
Pottratz noted that kindness and teamwork was in ready supply when it came to the contestants this year.
"What I'm happy about the most is how the girls have bonded," Pottratz said. "They've talked about how the vets have really helped them out. I've had girls who have gone through this process before tell me it is better than ever."