Taking the field with the 2022 LA Rams cheerleaders 

(News4usonline) – The process to be a Los Angeles Rams cheerleader takes about two weeks. Two weeks and then at the end of the audition, some participants will have their hearts broken. Others would celebrate and jump around in the arms of those who made the cut just like they did.

It’s a great feeling. It’s an even bigger honor to make the team of an NFL franchise. Adding some cream to the crop is the fact that the Rams are the reigning Super Bowl champions, so anyone attending the tryouts this year knew what level of competition would be out there. Paola G., who was one of the fortunate individuals to make the final cut, said the competition was tough.

Then again, it always is, she said.  

“The competition is always fierce,” Paola G. said. “We’re in L.A. We have the best of the best. So, definitely. You’re guaranteed a spot. It keeps you on your toes. It makes you work hard, which makes it that more rewarding that I’m working towards. It definitely doesn’t get any easier, but I’m humbled and so grateful.” 

This is the fourth year that Paola G. has made it as a Rams cheerleader. The full-time college student and dance instructor said the main objective she has gotten clarity on during her time with the Rams and going through the rigorous tryout is to show herself to be a better teammate.

“I think I definitely learned to be there for my teammates, being there whether they need me to vent or just listen to them,” Paola G. remarked. “I think that definitely throughout these years, I’ve applied myself and really made myself a great teammate, and I’ve always been trying to do that with everyone, everyone I meet.”

May 11, 2022. Paola G. goes through a dance routine during the Los Angeles Rams cheerleader audition. Photo by Mark Hammon/News4usonline

Trying out for the Rams cheerleading team was the first time that Tyler H. ever auditioned for a professional sports team. However, the University of Southern California graduate is not unfamiliar with the squad having watched them perform over the last several years.

The Dallas native even entertained the idea of trying out for a spot on the teams before this year, but things kind of wedged themselves in between that dream. Until now. Once the Rams won Super Bowl LVI, Tyler believed she got the green light to try out. That was her cue, she said.

“I’ve actually been watching the Rams cheerleaders for the past four years,” said Tyler H. “Last summer I was going to audition, but I just happened to move back home. When they won the Super Bowl, it was kind of a no-brainer, but I was already planning on auditioning because it’s just an amazing organization, especially the NFL. I love football and the Rams have always been the team I’ve looked up to.”

On the final day of the audition, those who made the team had their names announced. So those were some really intense moments. When her name was called, Tyler H. said she was in disbelief. 

May 11, 2022. Napoleon J. work it out during the semifinals of the Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders audition. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

“When I heard my name called, I couldn’t even muster up words,” she said. “I’m speechless. I’m still speechless. It’s the best feeling in the world. These men and women are all so kind and so welcoming. I’m so excited to be practicing with them.”

The two weeks of learning different dance routines began at Calabasas High School with more than 300 participants on May 1. As the process continued, those numbers were whittled down to 141 for the semifinals. When the finals arrived, only 72 of those who first tried out were still standing for the conclusion of dance rehearsals at LA Fitness in Hawthorne, California.   

Shelby R. and Yalissa C., are no strangers to the Rams way. This is the fourth year that Yalissa C. has made the team. Shelby R. is also back for another season.  Both women, like Paola G., had to go through the rigors of starting from scratch like any other participant. Their experience as a Rams cheerleader, while welcomed, would not necessarily give them a competitive advantage.

“I think that every year the talent gets better,” Yalissa C. said on the first day of the tryout. “People come out and they show up because it’s Los Angeles. We’re coming off a Super Bowl win as well. So that adds a lot of pressure on us. I think each year the talent gets better and it puts some more pressure on us veterans, too, because we have to stick our ground and make sure that we claim our spot back.” 

As a veteran, Yalissa C. got a chance to be part of the Rams’ Super Bowl experience up close and personal as an NFL cheerleader, something not too many people get an opportunity to do. It was an “incredible” ride, she said.

May 11, 2022. Dancers fly through the air during a semifinal rehearsal. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

“It’s a surreal experience,” Yalissa C. said. “I didn’t think that it would happen, so it’s amazing…I can’t even print the words about how grateful  I was able to experience all of that. That whole week leading up to the Super Bowl was an impactful week for me and for my teammates as well because we just did so many events throughout the week and leading up to the Super Bowl and winning, I think it helped us close the chapter on that past season. It was really amazing.”

Being a Rams cheerleader means being an ambassador to the community. Shelby R. said this is a huge component of being part of the team.

“So [the] Rams are really community-driven and involved,” shared Shelby R. “We, as the Rams cheerleaders, really pride ourselves going out in the community, not just LA. We go up north. We go down south. We go a little bit everywhere and really embrace our culture of L.A. and our community. Our fan base is like our family. It’s really what the Rams are all about.”    

At the beginning of the whole process, Rams Cheerleading Director Keely Fimbres emphasized the community aspect and involvement in selecting team members. 

“For us, in the end, we’re looking for the complete package,” Fimbres said. “We dance about 10 percent of the year and we are in the community 90 percent of the year. Finalists get moved on to an interview, and at that point, they’ll come to a few more rehearsals and we’ll get to know them a little bit better. The dancing for us makes it a little easier to eliminate as we go through the process.”

Forty-two names were removed from the list of finalists. The Rams 2022 cheerleading team has 30 names on it. Piper C. can’t believe she is among those who survived the final cut.  

“There is no single word or emotion that’s going through my body right now,” said Piper C. “I think I’m numb to it, but it definitely feels so just rewarding after the last couple of weeks that we’ve put in all the time we spent meeting people, learning choreography. Just being in this whole environment has been out of this world. It’s been such a dream come true. Now I can’t wait to live the dream and get started in rehearsals and get to know everyone and take the field.”