(CBS Local)– The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are known around the world and team’s director of cheerleading Kelli Finglass takes that title very seriously. Finglass was a Cowboys cheerleader herself during the 1980’s and is one of the stars of “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team” on CMT.
Season 15 of the hit series premieres on CMT on Tuesday, November 24 at 9 p.m. CT and it will be simulcasted on MTV. Finglass is excited for fans to see women from all around the world compete for a spot as a cheerleader for America’s Team.
“The show is popular because people get to peak behind the curtain and see the audition process and what it takes to be an elite performer on such a worldwide stage,” said Finglass, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Through the years, people have connected with someone they identify with in the show and root for them. People also like to be critics.”
Finglass says showmanship and energy separates the good cheerleaders from the great ones. This year, there are women from other NFL and NBA teams trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad and even a Rockette.
“It’s very humbling to me that our team that used to be primarily Texans and now this year Texans are in the minority,” said Finglass. “I had ladies try out from 45 different states and eight countries were represented. The fact that it is an international audition is flattering. During this time of global tension, people need relief and people need role models. I’m very proud of the diversity of our team this year. I think everyone will find someone they can identify with.”
While Finglass is focused today on modeling the next generation of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, she will never forget her time representing America’s Team as a cheerleader herself in the 1980s.
“I cheered in the 80s and cheered for five seasons. Three were losing seasons, but that’s okay. For a dancer, dancing is dancing, but what is different now is that the girls complain that their pom poms are too heavy. We’re like oh please, go look at the 70s and 80s poms and then come back and talk. It is hard to dance with small hand weights in your hands. We danced in an open stadium at Texas Stadium and it was hot. It could be up to 120 degrees on the turf. The heat was different. The biggest change is that people are coming from all over the world to try out for this team.”
Watch Season 15 of “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team” on CMT starting Tuesday, November 24.