Jess became a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader in 2012 when she was just 19 years old. Growing up, Jess was a cheerleader for six years and felt like something was missing when she went to college.
"One night I was out with my parents at a restaurant and I remember looking up at the TV and seeing an NFL game," said Jess. "The camera flashed to one of the cheerleaders and I remember asking my parents 'Do you think I could do that?' They looked at me and said, 'Absolutely!'"
With encouragement from her parents, Jess sought advice from her friend who was already an Eagles Cheerleader and decided to audition.
Did you know a lot of information before auditioning?
"Yes! I spent a lot of time on my laptop searching for information about tryouts and looking at the cheerleaders’ profiles on the Eagles' website."
Did you have previous cheer or dance experience?
"I cheered for six years and I took some hip-hop classes here and there, but I never had any formal dance training. Our choreographer is an amazing teacher and I cannot believe the progress I have made with some of the more technical dance moves in just two years."
What is the most beneficial part of the audition workshops?
"Learning the Open Call Dance ahead of time, and getting helpful tips from members of the current squad."
Do you have any advice for the contestants attending the Open Call?
"Confidence is key! Confidence is something that the judges will notice from across the room and it is the best thing you can bring to an audition."
What was the final audition like for you?
"The Final Audition Show was such an incredible experience. It's such an amazing feeling to be one of the 60 finalists chosen out of the hundreds of women who audition. You meet and get to perform on a stage with beautiful and talented women and everyone is so supportive not only backstage, but in the audience as well. You feel like a rock star when you go out on that stage." Do you have any advice for contestants who may not have much dance or cheer experience?
"Dance is only one aspect of the Auditions. They are also looking for women with showmanship, enthusiasm and confidence so let that shine through when you are in front of the judges."
What is the best way to practice for the audition?
"I definitely recommend coming to the workshops. After that, practicing in front of a mirror and in front of friends and family is really helpful. If you're sitting at work or in class, run through the dance in your head. Studies show that running through things mentally can increase your performance!"
What has been your favorite part about being a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader?
"I have so many amazing memories with women I am proud to call my friends. I would have to say my favorite part would be giving back to the community with the many community service projects we do such as: Play 60, Playground Builds, visiting CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia), the Little Yellow School House (a school for children with special needs) and many more."
To get a head start on the competition, the Eagles Cheerleaders are holding two pre-audition workshops - the dance prep workshop and the audition prep workshop. Find out how you can be one step closer to becoming a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader.