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In Cheereality, Ravens Girls Wear Many Hats


I feel like the 2008 Ravens cheerleader swimsuit calendar shoot should be its own reality television show. I know that's not the most original idea I've come up with since the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders already have a show about them. Maybe the thing that would set our show apart would be if you were able to see everything that's going on here besides a calendar shoot.

My biggest problem with reality TV is that as soon as the cameras start rolling, it stops being reality. Producers of those shows shoot a week's worth of footage and edit it down to fit in a 24-minute episode. Without seeing the whole picture, viewers might sometimes perceive a show's "characters" in a false—or sometimes imaginary—light.

All week, Melissa and I have been bringing you video clips of what our cheerleaders are up to on our resort in Punta Cana. My wonderful employer has allowed me the opportunity to be your eyes and ears into our world.

Except it's really impossible to sum up a week's worth of action in several 3-minute video clips a day. Don't get me wrong. The girls are having an —as 99% of them have mentioned in the videos — "AMAZING!" time here in the DR. But in addition to all the fun, this week has undoubtedly been grueling for them.

I started thinking about the many different roles the girls have played so far during our time in Punta Cana. I was surprised at how long the list was. Besides acting as Ravens cheerleaders, here are a few other responsibilities the ladies have had on the trip thus far:

Aerobics instructors (as well as aerobics participants)
I think most of the girls are in agreement that Tara should quit her day job and just teach aerobics down here.

RunnersHow many of you go on a 3-mile run at 6am when you're on a pretty island?

AthletesHey, Team Blondie gave volleyball a good effort! That's what counts.

VideographersMelissa isn't the only one that's been holding the Cheer Cam.

WritersLeslie and the other girls have been more than willing to skip a trip to the beach to jump on the computer and share their experiences.

SingersOK, so the karaoke might have sounded like the early episodes of American Idol, but they were good sports about it.

DancersWhether it's on the beach or on a stage, these girls have been shaking their hips quite a bit.

Fashion ModelsI'm not talking about the swimwear. The hotel had a fashion show tonight and several girls were asked to participate.

HostessesCheck out our itinerary and you'll notice that there is a sponsor dinner on the schedule for Thursday night.

CelebritiesIt's not easy having to take pictures with random people wherever you go or to sign autographs for fans when you'd rather go to bed.

TeammatesDay in and day out, everyone is fully supporting everyone else because they all want what's best for this calendar and the team.

Oh yeah, and not on this list is the biggest task of all on this trip…Swimsuit models. I don't think people realize what it takes to get that single, perfect shot that will grace one of the 16 months in the calendar. After the two hours of hair and makeup, there is an incredible amount of energy and effort that goes into each pose and each camera snap.

Walking back from dinner tonight, I asked JoAnna and Dinah—two rookies on our squad—how they like being Ravens cheerleaders. They immediately beamed about how much they love it. And despite the jam-packed schedule of this week, every girl on the team would have the same response to that question.

It's apparent that these girls love their cheerleading job just as much as I love my job. I'm just happy to be along for the ride through Cheereality*!

*Hey, if VH1 is allowed to create the word *Celebreality, then I am coining the phrase Cheereality. (Copyright Dave Lang, 2008).*

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