The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders... the name itself brings to each of us images of an American icon - beautiful ladies decked out in blue and white uniforms cheering America's Team on to victory; precision dance routines that require a combination of stamina, flexibility and timing that would leave most of us gasping - yet they smile and dance on; or for some, it's the time that we met one of them and she signed an autograph and we spent a few minutes talking...

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the images differ, but each holds a special place. And today's phenomenon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders is equally special. Everywhere across the country or around the world that any of these young ladies appear thousands of fans congregate looking for the opportunity for a photograph, an autograph, or a few moments to say hello. America's Sweethearts have truly become the darlings of the National Football League. But it didn't start out that way. The Dallas Cowboys have always had cheerleaders. As was the standard in professional football throughout the 1960's, the CowBelles & Beaux were high school students from the Dallas/Ft.

Worth Metroplex managed by Dee Brock. They cheered on the football teams success all the way to the 1971 Super Bowl Championship. But, during the Cowboys preparations for the defense of their World Championship title in the 1972 season, a new idea was born. Tex Schramm was the Cowboys general manager and, with his extensive background in television, recognized that professional football had become more than sports - it was sports entertainment.

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    He knew that the public liked pretty girls. In fact, he'd already tried hiring professional models for the sidelines.
    It was a disaster. The models were beautiful, but they were not athletes. More than 3 hours of exertion in the hundred degree heat of the sidelines had left them in worse shape after the game than the football players.
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    But, the idea just would not go away. Models had not worked, but what about dancers? He talked the idea over with Dee and the decision was made to expand the established football tradition of sideline cheerleaders into a glamorous, choreographed squad of accomplished dancers that would serve as a counterpoint to the game itself.
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    Dee recruited one of the top dancers in America, Texie Waterman, who also owned a dance studio in Dallas, to judge at the auditions and help create a squad of dancers to grace the sidelines of Texas Stadium.
    Sixty ladies attended that first audition. Seven were chosen. They spent their summer at Training Camp with Texie where cheers and chants were replaced with grand jetes and pirouettes.
    When the 1972-73 NFL season kicked off that fall, it was a major turning point in Cheerleader history. The Dallas Cowboys introduced their "new" Cheerleaders at Texas Stadium wearing new star spangled uniforms and debuting an innovative and exciting new form of gameday action.
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    For the first time ever, anywhere, jazz dancing was blended with beauty and brought to a football field...
    and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were born. When Dee left to resume her graduate studies, Texie became the heart and soul of the new form of on-field entertainment.
    Her total commitment to professional creativity and disciplined dance execution found a new focus in sideline routines and field performances.

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    As the Cheerleaders success grew, so to did the dozens of responsibilities for auditions, rehearsals, personal appearances, meetings, and all of the details required to put the group in top form on the football field.
    Initially, Tex asked his secretary, Suzanne Mitchell, to handle managing the squad in her "spare time", and in 1976 she become the first Director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
    While Texie perfected the performance, Suzanne piloted the organization to world-wide renown.
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    With her guidance, dedication, and love for each of the Cheerleaders, as well as the traditions of the Squad, she succeeded in developing the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders beyond anyone's wildest expectations.
    With Texie's retirement in the early 80's, Suzanne's search for the next DCC choreographer did not have to go too far afield.
    Texie had succeeded in establishing a new dance form - customized for a 100 yard "stage" with a football stadium audience - and one of her most popular and outstanding DCC protégé's was already assisting with the Cheerleaders choreography.