Who can forget their senior year of high school? Whether it was throwing yourself all in for your final year of school or avoiding all the senior activities as much as possible, there’s probably at least a few things that stick out. For me, it was the fact that my graduating class was full of such ne’er do wells that the school administration cancelled our senior class photo. Right in the middle of trying to have it taken. Also, there was just a lot to keep track of between extracurriculars, heavy class loads, drama with who got cast in the spring musical, and generally wanting to goof off with friends.
And who could forget the pressure of getting the perfect pensive, yet energetic pose for individual senior pictures. Back in the day, we didn’t have cell phones to practice facial expressions through selfies. We looked in the mirror to get the right look, and then had to rely on muscle memory to achieve it at the portrait studio. And we had to walk uphill to school both ways …
It’s difficult to imagine fitting even one more thing into our schedules — an after-school job at a dentist’s office, Saturday dance practices at a local hotel, cheering on Sundays with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Oh wait, that wasn’t us. That was this week’s guest, Sherri Steenson. She cheered for the Cowboys from 1971 through 1972 and has some great stories to share.
Let’s just get it out of the way: Heidi wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader as a kid despite a) not living in Texas and b) not being able to execute a good cartwheel. Is there still hope that it could happen, and she could guest star on a reboot of “The Love Boat”? Look, the reboot of “Fantasy Island” got renewed for a second season, so it could still happen. And Heidi has had a lot more practice wearing white boots, so she’s ready.
Sherri was a seventeen-year-old high school senior when she tried out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and was one of only ten picked to be on the squad in 1971. She shared with us how she got to try out for the squad and what was involved once she made it. Her main practices were all day Saturdays at a Holiday Inn — an unusual location that Sherri explains as not all that strange. We talked with her about her uniform, which was a bit different than the ones pop culture is more familiar with today. Though she did have to wear some spectacular outfits for cheerleader reunions, as you’ll learn.
If you are curious about what being an NFL cheerleader in the early 70s was like, Sherri dished about team camaraderie, whether she was allowed to hang out with the football players, and what it was like to go to the Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. (Hint: the cheerleaders had to raise their own money to get there.) She also chatted about what cheerleading entailed during her Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader days as opposed to now and how all the alumni keep in touch to this day. Sherri paints such a great picture that you might be tempted to try out, yourself. And we encourage it, as long as you remember that any guest spots on “The Love Boat” are saved for Sherri and Heidi.