As the Raiderettes say goodbye to 12 retiring dancers, here is Raiderette Allison's send-off to Raider Nation in her own words.
This is Raiderette Allison and after four amazing seasons, I am hanging up my poms. It feels surreal saying it out loud! Time really does fly when you're having fun. It feels like it was just yesterday that I nervously walked into auditions, having no idea that my next chapter was about to start. I vividly remember holding hands with my older sister, Amanda, when they started to announce the official 2016 team. When both of our numbers were called, we cried together. Life. Changed. Forever!!!
I don't know how else to describe my experience other than priceless. I've cheered alongside my big sister for three years, which ultimately brought our family so much closer. I've had the opportunity to travel abroad to London and Mexico for our international games. I've also attended numerous community events and functions representing the Raiders organization. Being able to see my family reunite and meeting fans from around the world, members of the community and the youth was incredible. Those humbling moments remind me that being a Raiderette is so much more than dancing on the sidelines and much bigger than myself as an individual.
I am most grateful for the Raiderette sisterhood. My teammates have been by my side through thick and thin. When I had bad days, they were there to listen. When my car would break down, they were there to help (true story lol). When I would get hangry, they were there with snacks...and vice versa! We celebrate wins, we laugh uncontrollably, we motivate each other, we cry together....the list goes on. These women are truly remarkable. They are students, working professionals, moms, educators, leaders, and so much more. I've learned so much from them and for that, I am forever grateful...thank you.
To my current and former Raiderette directors and choreographers: Mandy Voecks, Mallorie Tate, Jeanette Thompson, Shawna Zimmerman, and Laura Jollay...thank you for taking a chance on me. You pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped foster the self-confidence that I was lacking for so many years. Your unwavering love and time spent towards this team is so admirable; we have always been in great hands. I am so lucky to have been under your guidance and direction! I hope I made you proud!
Lastly, thank you to Raider Nation- the BEST fan base in the NFL, period! I will miss being on the sidelines and feeling the roar of the crowd jolt through my entire body on game days. I still get chills thinking about it. You made this experience so special for me. #RN4L
To the Raiderette hopefuls- you are capable of so much! You never know what you can accomplish until you try. "She believed she could so she did". If I can do it, so can you! Silence those inner voices and believe in yourself.
It has been an honor to rep the silver and black! I've had the time of my life. Once a Raiderette, always a Raiderette!
As finalists prepare for the 2020 Raiderette Final Auditions, the Raiderettes would like to honor the 12 dancers who will be hanging up their boots and pom-poms this upcoming season.