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Up Close with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Often Imitated, Never Equaled

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From high-kicks to splits, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are famous for heating up the sidelines at some of the biggest games in the NFL, dancing and cheering their way into hearts across America. But being the Lone Star State’s most iconic group of women isn’t as easy as they might make it look; not only do they practice the challenging, demanding choreography five hours a day, they’re required to either have a full-time job or be a full-time student. With the tagline “often imitated, never equaled," the squad works extremeley hard to maintain their reputation as one of the best in the biz. That's why we couldn’t resist going one-on-one with six of the gorgeous ladies to get everything from their hot body secrets to their healthy how-tos. Read on for more!

Emma Mary, 3-Year Veteran

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Hometown: Houston, Texas

Secret to amazing abs: “This might sound really weird, but standing up straight is my secret to great abs. When you stand up straight and have good posture, everything is tight. I try to remember to always pull my belly button in to my spine throughout the day. It’s much easier than doing so many crunches! I also have to do planks, because I just can’t cheat that.”

The one meal she won’t skip: “I love breakfast and it’s so important, so I always eat it. I usually eat eggs to get me through the morning. I prefer scrambled, which I’ll have with coffee and a banana or apple. Lunch is usually on the go. If I feel like I’m stressed and I deserve Chick-fil-A, then I’ll go for that! Otherwise I’ll make a tuna sandwich or grab something from the healthy deli near the practice facility. Dinner is always up in the air since we rehearse at night, so that’s why breakfast has always been the most crucial for me to start the day right.”

Holly Arielle, 3-Year Veteran

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Hometown: Denton, Texas

Stay-fit tip: “I just got a NutriBullet, so I make smoothies every morning with spinach, frozen berries, flaxseed, and water. It’s got so many nutrients and is so great for energy I need to get through the busy day. I’ll also always have a tuna packet with me at all time for snacks. I love the Lemon Pepper flavor and will eat it right out of the package!”

Most challenging part of the job: “Honestly it’s really hard not to compare yourself to others. You have to stay true to yourself. We all are like big bouquets of flowers… we’re different shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. Sometimes it’s hard not to compare, so you just have to look at the whole picture. We all have our own set of strengths and weaknesses. The coaches are really hard on us but they’re always rooting for you. We’re constantly under such a microscope, but it’s really cool because it forces you to work harder than you ever have before. We’re humble and proud, happy and supportive.”

Jackie Bob, 5-Year Veteran

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Hometown: Lancaster, California

Cheer-ready workout: With our crazy schedule, it’s all about time management. So when I’m at home, instead of being on the couch watching a show, I’ll be on the floor doing lunges and abs work. My abs are my favorite body part to work on... There’s a variation of three workouts that I do. At age 30, I’m the oldest cheerleader so I think it’s working! It will be a mix of standard crunches and then I’ll modify my leg positions. It’s also the little things throughout your day that will add up in a big way. Things like never taking the elevator, and diet and sleep play a big role too.”

The moment she first tried on that uniform: “I cried. It was such an emotional moment. All the memories just came flooding together. It really reminded me of the sacrifice that I made leaving family and friends, but it all came at once and I cried like a baby. With those legendary boots on my feet and stars on my chest, I was in heaven.”

Kelsey Lauren, 2-Year Veteran

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Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Stay-sexy secret: “People often don’t realize our cheerleading season is year-round, so there is no time off when it comes to a healthy diet. If you start changing eating habits, you get stressed out and sick. I continually fuel my body for whatever workouts we’re doing, whether it’s vegetables, hummus, nuts, or fruit. I always go grocery shopping at the beginning of the week so I have everything healthy I need. My tip is if it’s bad, then don’t buy it! I have lots of protein every day, and I usually make chicken in the oven with veggies and rice to cover all the basics.”

The workout she hates: “I refuse to get on a treadmill or Stairmaster! I tend to get really bored with certain workouts and always need to keep my mind entertained. I love going to kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and even take Salsa classes at my gym. Anything that has a beat, I’m there! Group exercise is what I love most. We also have a fitness trainer, Jay Johnson, who does a grueling 45-minute session with circuit training, lots of weights, and cardio.”

Kinzie Ryanne, 2-Year Veteran

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Hometown: The Colony, Texas

Why she loves being a cheerleader: “I’ve looked up to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for so long. I’ll never forget that moment when I was finally one of them. It takes awhile to set in, and it didn’t really set in until my second year. I’m only 19, and since I’m one of the younger ones, I love all the traveling. Being able to see so many places and experience so much, it’s so growing for me, and if it weren’t for the DCC, I wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise.”

Plank power: “I can hold a plank for five minutes. Sometimes I bring my knees down but I don't shake. I love them because they create more of the flat-abs look instead of a six-pack. It helps when I play an awesome song that’s around five minutes so I don’t pay as much attention to the time or the pain.”

Mia Greenhouse, 5-Year Veteran

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Hometown: Burleson, Texas

Best beauty secret: “I love lipstick! Seriously, I’m a huge fan. I literally will take five colors and mix and layer them. It’s a whole process. Everyone on the team comes to me for lipstick tips. As for brands, I really like Mac, and I also use Nars and Zinc Beauty.”

Healthy how-to: “I force myself to stay away from the junk food aisles at the grocery store. I won’t even give myself the temptation. But weekends are my time to have a little something that may not be the best. For me, it’s all about portion control. During the week I’ll stick to Kashi cereal or oatmeal with almond milk. Lunch might be my famous egg white sandwich, which I always get made fun of for since I think I’m a chef. I scramble egg whites and put them on 100-calorie flatbread with salsa on top. I’ll also dip cucumbers or carrots with the salsa instead of chips. It sounds weird but you still get the crunch! But come Saturday, I’ll indulge. I love Chick-fil-A so much, I was the cow for Halloween last year. I’m obviously obsessed with it, and I cannot resist a French fry.”

To follow their journey to the top, be sure to tune in to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team on CMT, premiering Friday, September 6.