The 2014 Raiderette auditions took place this past weekend in the East Side Club at O.co Coliseum. Candidates traveled from all over to compete for a spot on this season’s squad of Football’s Fabulous Females.
After preliminary cuts on Saturday, the finalists were interviewed on Sunday by a panel of judges to gauge their personality, poise, and speaking skills. Later they performed a short dance routine to Thunderstruck by AC/DC.
This year’s hopefuls included mothers, students, Emergency Medical Technicians, marketing consultants, and scientists. The candidates each had a unique perspective and reason for trying out for the Raiderettes, but all shared common characteristics: a passion for dancing and a love for the Raiders.
Other contenders included the daughter of a Raiderette wishing to continue the family legacy, hopefuls from as far away as Washington and Utah, and a Raiderette who cheered in the 1980s with the desire to return.
The finalists ranged from those who had never auditioned before to returning applicants and veterans. Even the veterans said they were a bit uneasy about tryouts. Michelle, who is now entering her third season, described the audition as “a bunch of nerves and butterflies.” Wendy, who was on the squad last year as well, said she was still nervous because, “I know what I have to lose and I know how much fun this is.”
When asked why they wanted to be a Raiderette, many participants cited the passionate fans as a major reason for their dream. Rookie candidate Laura expressed, “Every sports team has fans but none like the Raiders. Just talking to them, looking at them, you can tell in their soul that they love their team.” Most finalists said that they felt appreciative and happy that they made it as far as they did, and were grateful for the experience. Amy of Santa Clara, felt honored to be a finalist. She spoke fondly of her passion for dance, “If you can do something that you love, the world will be a better place.”
Forty cheerleaders were chosen - 28 veterans and 12 rookies make up this year’s team.