Reporting Tracy Kornet
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CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – She’s got the drive, the figure and the discipline of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. But does Sharon Simmons have what it takes to dance alongside some of the most visible women in the world? She’ll soon find out when the Carrollton resident auditions to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
She’s also a grandmother of two.
“I’m 55. And in May, around the competition, I’ll be 56,” explained Simmons. “On stage, I blend right in with women in their 20s, 30s and up.”
Simmons was asked if she believes that there is a physical difference between her body and those of the 19-year-olds trying out? “Absolutely no difference,” she declared.
Simmons is an author and national fitness competitor who embraces what she calls “defining moments.” She had one last December, when she used the Cowboys cheerleader uniform as inspiration for a fitness costume. “I thought, that’s something I never tried,” Simmons said. “I always wanted to try out. I got real close in my early 20s, but got busy raising my daughter. And I thought, why not now?”
So, Simmons contacted her choreographer, who suggested a dance studio, who recommended seeking Audrea Cowen — a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, now dance instructor at Plano’s K.J. Dance Studio — for help. The two work weekly on routines and fundamentals, both in group and private lessons.
Simmons said that her strength is in the competition itself. “I don’t get overly nervous,” she said. “I’ll be fine talking to the judges. I’m used to being on stage.”
But will that be enough to earn a spot among these high-kicking icons? Cowen said that dancing is an entirely different ballgame. “The flexibility required to be a cheerleader is greater than what she needs for fitness competition,” Cowen explained.
Sharon admits that, at 55, memorizing the fast-paced routines is tough. But she’s giving it her best shot, whether she makes it or not. “I love life. I’m having a blast. I’m having a ball.”
Simmons has 10 more weeks to rehearse. If she makes the squad, she will be the oldest cheerleader in NFL history — the current record holder is 42. The Auditions to be a 2012 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader happen May 5 and 6. For audition information, click here.
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