Awhile back, I broke the news here on the site that Carisa Rose, former App State Elite Dance Team captain, had been selected to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. That turned out to be one of the most popular posts EVER on the site.
So I figured why not ask her to do an interview? Luckily, she was kind enough to agree. In it, she talks about her favorite memories from App State, her transition from collegiate dancing to the NFL, and even what her ex-boyfriends think of her now.
The Dallas Cowboys were also kind enough to send a few pictures which I collected in a photo gallery at the end.
So without further ado:
How long has being an NFL cheerleader been a dream of yours?
I actually never thought that I would pursue the career of a NFL cheerleader. Stage performance was always my focus growing up. When I got to high school, I joined the dance team, and then went on to join Appalachian State’s dance team, where I was the captain for my last two years. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I realized that I didn’t want my dance team experience to be over, and that is what led me to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
When did you start dancing/cheering?
I started dancing when I was three years old. I studied ballet and jazz intensively all the way until the end of college.
What do you think has been your biggest challenge transitioning from a College Dance Team to an NFL cheerleading squad?
My biggest challenge I’ve had to face in the transition from a college dance team to an NFL cheerleading squad would be the style of dance. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have their own unique style of dance. The style is very fun, but big and powerful at the same time. It is hard to adjust when coming from such a strong ballet background. I am learning though!
Why did you choose to attend Appalachian State and what was your major?
The first thing that pulled me towards Appalachian State was the beautiful campus. I could really see myself fitting in there and being happy with the environment. The second thing that interested me was the dance department. I wanted to pursue a degree in dance, and choreography had always been a huge interest of mine. The dance program at Appalachian State provides a lot of opportunities for students to choreograph, and focuses on how to do so creatively. (I graduated with a degree in Dance Studies with a Minor in General Business.)
What did you envision yourself doing if you didn’t end up as an NFL cheerleader?
If I weren’t an NFL cheerleader, I probably would have auditioned for a few contemporary dance companies. That was kind of the plan my whole life. I trained hard growing up in the hopes of joining a dance company, but I ended up having a change of heart and falling in love with a different pathway.
What do you miss most about Boone/Appalachian State?
What I miss the most about Appalachian State is the close-knit community and the amazing weather! I loved that wherever I would go in Boone, I would run into at least one person that I knew, and everyone was so friendly to each other. And of course, the fall weather was my favorite part of the year. Boone is absolutely gorgeous when the leaves start to change, and I love it when the air starts cooling off just enough for it to be a little chilly, but still be enjoyable.
In all of the App State games you danced at, does one stick out in your mind as the most memorable?
I love the Home Opener games of every season. I think that is when the fans are the most excited because it’s their first time back at the stadium and they are anxious to see how the team will perform. The energy is always great! With that being said, I think the most memorable App State game that I danced at would be the first game of the season my senior year. I think it was that game that I realized how much I loved being out there cheering along with all of those crazy mountaineer fans. I knew that I was going to really miss the love and energy App State fans have during football games, so I did my best to hold onto every second of that game.
How do you think your ex-boyfriends must feel now that you’re a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?
I think that my ex-boyfriends are very happy for me now that I’m a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Most of them have reached out to tell me congratulations, which I appreciate deeply. It makes me happy that I’m still friends with a lot of them and that they are genuinely excited for my new success.
What drew you to the Dallas Cowboys in particular?
The Dallas Cowboys are an amazing organization. They really value their fans, and take pride in being “America’s Team.” They also adore their cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are known as the best NFL cheerleading squad in the world, and I think the growing success stems from the support they get from the Cowboys organization and the love that the fans have for them. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a great family?
What game on the Cowboys schedule are you most excited about?
I think the game that I am the most excited about is the Thanksgiving game. It is a little bittersweet that I will be away from my family this year for the holiday, but I know that it will be such a cool experience. I can’t wait to participate in the halftime show and find out which singer is performing!
Special thanks to Carisa for taking the time out of her busy schedule to help me out! Also, thanks to the Dallas Cowboys Organization for giving me permission to do the interview!