The 2008 Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders will be the first to perform in the new Lucas Oil Stadium
The Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders, an integral part of the Colts organization, had over 360 registrants for auditions Saturday, April 12th. Approximately 30 will make the final cut, and those chosen in the end will appear at charity functions, conventions, grand openings, tradeshows, as well as Colts home games throughout the year.
"They are our ambassadors on a lot of levels," said Theresa Pottratz, Colts Cheerleader Coordinator. "They are out on appearances and are the ones that the fans can interact with. Fans can go out and see them and feel like they are a part of the team."
The morning session of auditions had all the applicants perform free-style dance routines. Around half were cut during the lunch break. Afterwards, the remaining cheerleader candidates were taught a routine for the next half of auditions and a second round of cuts were made at the end of the day. More cuts will be made in weeks to come. To vote for your favorite finalist, click here.
This year's squad will be the first to perform for more than 63,000 fans in the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
Jessie Melendez, a veteran cheerleader trying out again, couldn't ask for a better opportunity. Representing her number one team was her favorite part of being a Colts Cheerleader.
"I love to dance, but I wanted to do something above and beyond just dance. And I love the Indianapolis Colts, so you just put two and two together," Melendez smiled.
Performing for fans is only one part of a cheerleader's responsibility.
"We do want dancers, but we want dancers with personality, showmanship, and a willingness to help us out," added Pottratz.
"We want girls that have it all. They can dance, and are willing to work and give to the community. Lots of the girls have been jumping on different community service opportunities - stuff they aren't getting anything for."
Last year Colts Cheerleaders logged more than 1,500 hours of service through more than 200 community events.
"I had a great time last year. It was a great experience," smiled Melendez. "I would be fortunate to be a Colts Cheerleader again.