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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n37 (09/15/2010) » Five Questions With...

Omarlla: Cheerleader

Get to know a Buffalonian...

As every Buffalo Bills fan knows, rooting for the team has been a trying experience of late. With that in mind, its hard not to gain a greater appreciation for the tireless and talented efforts of the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad. Omarlla (name withheld for privacy reasons), a team captain entering her 11th season with the squad, is among those whose spirits will never dim. A curriculum coordinator for a local elementary school by day, Omarlla is unequivocal in her belief that Buffalo fans are the best in the league.

How did you first get involved with the Jills and what kind of background in cheer/dance did you have?

A friend of mine heard about auditions on the radio and decided she really wanted to give it a try, but she didn’t want to go alone. So I decided I would go and participate in the process so she didn’t have to be by herself. I never thought in a million years that I would make the team, and still be cheering 11 years later! I tried out for cheerleading in High School, but never made it. When I got to college, I cheered for Buffalo State for 4 years before joining the Jills.

What is your training/practice schedule like during the season? How do you balance that against your day job?

The Jills practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-10:00 p.m. from March until December. There is no real “offseason” for us. We are always busy practicing and attending promotions and events in the community. I have learned to balance it pretty well with my day job. It keeps me really busy and active.

What’s the most rewarding thing you’ve done with the Jills off the field?

In 2006, myself and another teammate of mine participated in the first ever NFL Cheerleader Challenge. We competed in all types of events, trivia and dance competitions. I was able to represent my team and Buffalo really well by winning out the entire first round! The show was nationally televised on the NFL Network.

Are the Jills the toughest cheerleaders in the league? How do you girls manage to look so good during a typical winter game?

All NFL cheerleaders are tough! You have to be in this line of work. You are constantly being looked at, and stereotyped. We all have full time careers or are enrolled full time school. I have worked with many talented, well-rounded young ladies throughout the years, and even have met a few on other squads. As far as looking good in the winter, thats 11 years of secrets that I will never tell!

How big of a football fan are you? Can you do things like break down a 3-4 defense and analyze a spread offense all while carrying poms?

To me, the start of football season is better than waking up on Christmas morning! I love the game and I have the best seat in the house! Each year I am learning more and more about the game. I am a HUGE football fan for sure! I can probably throw a hale Mary with pom poms!

Which game that you’ve cheered at was the most memorable and why?

I remember the game when Bills player Kevin Everett was injured. It was probably the scariest thing I had ever witnessed. I happened to be cheering right in front of the section that it happened. I had never seen them saw off a helmet before. I knew it was serious right when I saw him fall to the ground. I will never get the image out of my head. The whole stadium was silent and players were dropped to their knees praying.

Whats the biggest thing you’ve learned about Buffalo and its sports fans after ten years on the job?

No winter storm will take off the body paint of a Bills fan! Our fans are there through thick and thin. Football and the Buffalo Bills are the heart and soul of Buffalo. I am very confident when I say that we have the BEST Bills fans in the league.

Purely hypothetical scenario: If you could go out on one date with one of the Bills players, who would it be and why?

We maintain a very professional relationship with the Bills players. I hear of a lot of great things that many of them do for this community as well as globally. It would be great to sit down with some of them sometime, to hear about some of their experiences.

BONUS: I think we’d all like to know, are there ANY downsides to being ridiculously hot?

Downsides???? LOL

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