Three evenings a
week, for three hours at a stretch, choreographer Trisia Brown leads the
Dolphins' 40 cheerleaders through a workout no less intense than those run by
Miami coach Nick Saban in the adjacent practice bubble. The room thunders with
the impact of 80 three-inch high-heeled boots (which the cheerleaders never
take off during their workout) hitting the hardwood floor as the women, ages 18
to 36, power through routines with only one five-minute break.
combines elements of aerobics, plyometrics (a training discipline based on
bounding and jumping) and yoga. The practices prepare the group for Sundays
that include continuous dancing and kicklines on the sideline, and up to four
rigorous in-game routines, all for a wage of $75 per game. (Cheerleaders are
either students or have full-time jobs.) "You try walking around for five
hours in those boots and holding those poms," says Brown (left). "It's
tougher than it looks." Here's how they get ready.
stretching, neck injuries would be common," says team director Heather
Fraga. Brandi Bloomberg (right) will hold this stretch for several seconds. A
limber neck also helps Bloomberg flaunt what she calls her "greatest
tool": her hair.
such as Janeen Chavarry (left) hold the pose for a minute, and alternate the
forward leg. Splits (with arms overhead) stretch the hamstrings and quads,
preparing the women for the hundreds of kicks they perform; the move also
develops strength in the legs and core, helping cheerleaders do jump splits,
which, Brown says, "are a crowd-pleaser."
(below) and her peers do about 15 pirouettes a practice. The spins are done on
the ball of one foot (with the other leg bent as shown) with abs tight and arms
out front in a circle. Integral to several routines, spins improve balance and
coordination. Says Fraga, "They strive for doubles"--two
rotations--"some do three, the best four. But that's rare."
Dolphins cheerleader photos go to SI.com/players.