As the Raiderettes say goodbye to 12 retiring dancers, here is Raiderette Maddy's send-off to Raider Nation in her own words.
"Dear Raider Nation,
What an UNFORGETTABLE two years it has been! It has been an honor to be part of the Raiderette squad the past two seasons. Being a member of this team has undoubtedly changed my life forever in the best of ways. I have grown as a dancer as well as a woman being surrounded by inspiring, amazing ladies who pushed me to be the best version of myself on and off the field. My teammates are truly sisters, we have a bond that has been built on a love of dance and a Commitment to Excellence. Although I will be hanging up my boots this year, I will never forget the moments in the locker room before games laughing and blasting music. I will never forget the excitement walking out for our pre-game performance. I will never forget the tears running down my face in 2018 as we performed to Jess Glynne in London (thinking I was silly for crying) only to find out everyone else cried as well. I will never forget the contagious passion of the Raider Nation.
The Raiderettes and Raiders organization is absolutely incredible. The leadership is inspirational and the dancers who make up this team are nothing short of spectacular. I can't imagine a better experience than I had these past two years.
I would like to highly encourage dancers who wish to pursue their dreams of being a Raiderette not to give up. No matter where your dance journey takes you, it is going to be the right path for you. I grew up doing classical ballet very seriously. I had seen NFL Cheerleaders on TV, but never could have imagined that would be me, I was pretty shy and quiet. I would practice kick lines in my backyard and attempt to flip my hair, but my high school was small and did not have a dance team. When I got to college I auditioned four times only to be rejected each time from my school's dance team. I did NOT give up, and ended up attending Raiderette auditions in Oakland. I didn't tell a soul that I would be auditioning! I gave that audition everything I had and had so much fun performing our coach Mandy's choreography. I instantly felt comfortable and the memory of hearing my number called at the final audition STILL brings tears to my eyes as I write this! Every moment after that was a dream come true. To all the girls who aren't sure if they are good enough - Believe in yourself! I believe in you.
I was so supported and loved every moment of my career as a Raiderette, and I would absolutely say that these past two years have been the best years of my life. As I move forward with my lifelong goal to be a Doctor, I will take all of these memories and friendships I have made with me, and carry them throughout the rest of my life.
See you in the stands, Raider Nation!
Once a Raiderette, always a Raiderette. Love,
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.