When the St. Louis Rams left for Los Angeles, they took the players, the coaches, the employees, and even the mascot with them.
The cheerleaders, however, were left behind – with no team to cheer for.
“The team pretty much packed up and moved overnight,” says Kate. “It took me four years to make it on the Rams and I got to be with them for two seasons.”
It happened so fast, she didn’t have time to plan for 2016, so she took last season off.
“I made a decision to stay in St. Louis professionally and continue teaching. I didn’t want to leave my kids and wasn’t ready to uproot.”
She spent the season focusing on other things – things she had limited time to do during the busy NFL season.
“I love doing cross fit and other fitness things, so I was able to focus on some of those things and reading and family and friends.”
Still, she felt like something was missing. So in December, Kate made the decision to audition for the Colts Cheerleaders. And she’s been preparing ever since.
“There’s something about being with a group of women who are intelligent and professional and love dance and share this love of football as a team,” she says. “I was missing that camaraderie, that group, and knowing what I’ve heard about the Colts and this organization and these cheerleaders, they have all of that and they are truly a big sisterhood. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
So far, things seem to be working out.
“One of my college friends lives in Indy now, so I’m catching up with her and enjoying the city,” she says. “I’ll be here all week. This is my spring break for work, so talking about things happening the way they’re supposed to happen and timing – I couldn’t ask for better timing.”
Danielle was coming off her first season with the Rams when the relocation announcement came.
“It was very sad,” she says. “My first season was the last season they were in St. Louis. So, it was my rookie season and my last season.”
It was devastating, both as a cheerleader and a fan.
“Losing your home team is very drastic and you want to be able to travel on Sundays with your family, go to the game, hopefully be on the field, have them in the stands watching you. Either way, it’s all about being that fan and just being a part of it, regardless of where you stand or where you sit.”
Danielle knew she wanted to continue dancing. So, much like a player who’s a free agent – she started shopping teams.
“I went to a couple different stadiums,” she says. “I came to my first Colts game last season and fell in love with it. Everything just felt right, it felt like home.”
She also felt a little bit of fate.
“I’m a big believer in things happen for a reason. They danced to ‘Any Way You Want It,’ which – my dad is in a rock ‘n roll band, I grew up with Journey, it’s my go to song – so, it just got me even more excited and I just felt very ready to go forward with the Colts audition.”
That was Danielle’s first trip to Indianapolis. And like Kate, she’s now hoping to make it home.
Both Kate and Danielle say they’ve found all the girls to be very warm and welcoming – just as they expected.
“I’ve heard a million amazing things. My last coach talked very highly about the Colts,” says Danielle.
“One of my best friends went to the Pro Bowl with Erin and other girls who have interacted with this organization say they are organized and professional and care about one another and support one another,” says Kate. “If I’m going to commit to a new city and a new team, I want to be a part of something that is positive and encouraging and supportive.”
They lost their team, but they never lost their dream.
Now, they want to sparkle for the shoe.
To be the first to see who makes the team, get your tickets to the Colts Cheerleaders Audition Showcase on Sunday, March 26th: https://www.indianapolissymphony.org/event-detail/colts-cheer-showcase.
To see Danielle’s interview, click here: http://www.colts.com/videos/videos/Former-Rams-Cheerleader-Hoping-To-Dance-With-Colts/a7e6c381-a55b-428e-8def-4b33677ef390.