On May 3rd, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders held their final auditions for the 2015 squad at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center on the campus of Nova Southeastern University. 74 finalists were competing for one of 36 spots on the squad and judging from the finalists’ profiles, the competition would be fierce. Candidates came from all over the country and if my memory serves correctly, there were at least three girls from Japan who flew in to try their luck at making the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.
I have wanted for the longest time, to visit Miami and photograph the Dolphins Cheerleaders, a squad that I consider to be one of the most glamorous squads in the NFL. And this year, I was able to make that happen. For me, this would be a wonderful opportunity and a chance to meet up with our Florida Correspondent, Jackson.
The finals were open to the public and as each fan arrived at the venue, they were handed a program which included a roster of the finalists and a schedule of events. There would be an introductory performance, an individual talent performance and a final audition dance portion. It would be over three hours of non stop dance action with an hour and half break for the tabulation of the judges scores.
The Contestant Introductions and Opening Performance
Finalists were brought to the stage in groups of five, where they introduced themselves to the audience and performed the final audition routine before a panel of 12 judges. This round would afford the judges the opportunity to compare each candidate as they performed the choreographed dance movements in a group setting. Those exceptional dancers stood apart from those more modestly gifted, but all the candidates were noteworthy in their own way.
The Individual Talent Presentation
Each contestant prepared a one minute performance for the audience. In contrast to the previous portion where girls were judged in a head to head competition, this segment would showcase a candidate’s individual talents. Colorful costumes and inventive props would highlight the girls’ individuality and creativity, all of which made for some interesting images.
After the individual talent presentation, there was a long break for the tabulation of the final scores and a chance for the judges to get some refreshment. For me, it was a needed respite; my camera flashes were overheating and required some significant cooling off time.
The Final Performance
When the festivities resumed, the audience was treated to one final presentation, an energetic performance where the candidates danced in small groups of five which climaxed with a showstopping kick line performance. It was 30 minutes of non-stop dance action and a glorious conclusion to a day of dance.
With the results tabulated, only one thing remained…the announcement of the 2015 squad. Numbers were called and girls rushed to the stage to embrace their new squad mates. The expressions of joy and happiness on the faces of the girls were palpable and congratulatory shouts from friends and family in the audience reverberated in the auditorium. It was an exciting time and one cannot help but share in the excitement.
Unfortunately from where I was positioned, in the very rear of the auditorium, I was not able to get a squad photo. Friends and family rushed to the front of the stage and they blocked my view, but you can see a very nice squad photo on the Dolphins web site.
74 finalists (actually there were 73 who made it to the stage) started the day, only to be whittled down to the final 36 squad members. And the pageant style audition format was special. It was very entertaining and geared for the enjoyment of the audience. And with a squad of the caliber of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, it is something that must be experienced. I truly enjoyed my day with the Dolphins.
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I would like to express my gratitude to Theresa Manahan, Jamie Quadrozzi and Ariana Aubert of the Miami Dolphins for allowing me and Jackson to covering their final auditions. We had a great time photographing the 2015 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Final Auditions.