All members of the 2005 squad were required to try out again this year and the returning members faced stiff competition as the number of this year’s trialists was more than quadruple the number of participants from last year’s tryouts. The tryout time period was also new to performers as it took place as an extended 2-day tryout for the first time.
The Colorado Rapids Cheerleading Squad is unique to team sports in the fact that the team incorporates both dance team members as well as stunting members as part of a combined gameday experience.
Under the instruction of the Director of the Rapids Cheerleaders Krystalynn Russell the dancers were required to learn a routine on the spot and then perform it in front of a panel of invitee judges that included KTCL 93.3 radio celebrity Nick Cage DeHecho Newspaper editor Al McGregor Mile High Sports Magazine editor Doug Ottewill and the voice of the Rapids PA announcer Mason Lewis among others.
The group of dancers was narrowed after the first cut at the end of the night on Saturday and 22 dancers were invited back for callbacks on Sunday.
Sunday also saw a separate tryout for stunters and several groups of men and women from all across Colorado and Wyoming mostly from area colleges showed up to show off their tosses catches pyramids baskets kewpies and all kinds of stunting and tumbling moves. At the end of the stunting tryouts 12 lucky men and women celebrated their being named to the 2006 stunting squad.
Sunday afternoon saw the final cut for the dancers who had been called back; the judges were looking for the trailists’ ability to remember the routine overnight and to perform it on cue. All participants in the tryouts also had to conduct a personal interview session with the judging panel no small feat after having just performed a routine!
At the end of the day the last cut was announced and the final 12 dancers in addition to the 12 stunters were officially named as the 24 total members of the 2006 Colorado Rapids Cheerleading Squad out of the 93 original tryout participants. Smiles and tears were seen all around and the finalists eagerly gathered for group and individual photos as the unlucky participants who did not make the final cut already were discussing plans for attending next year’s tryouts.
The Colorado Rapids Cheerleaders begin their preparations for the 2006 MLS season this week and practice sessions begin this Friday in order to get the squad prepared for the Rapids’ Opening Day on April 8 at Invesco Field!