TOP: Clarisse, Rachel, Anjelica, Katie, Paige, Alexis Lauren, Kylie, Amanda and Allizon.
MIDDLE: Courtney, Nicole, Ariel, Kara, Lauren P., Erin, Andrea, Hope, Meridith and Starkesha.
BOTTOM: Kayla, Angela, Marissa, Lauren O., Katelyn, Alexis Ann, Natalie, Tawnie and Alexa.
SAN DIEGO – For the record, the Chargers have TWO teams. And one was finalized today.
Today the Chargers introduced the 28 talented dancers to make up the 2012 Charger Girls squad. The audition process took four grueling days of competition to earn a spot on one of the NFL’s best professional dance teams.
“I was really impressed with the deep pool of talent that auditioned for this year’s team,” Charger Girls Director Lisa Simmons said. “We had to make some tough decisions to select the final 28 girls, but overall I’m very happy with the new squad.”
Close to 400 women showed up last Sunday for preliminary auditions. From the first round of auditions, 66 finalists were selected to move on through the interview process on Monday and Tuesday and a final dance routine on Thursday. The final tough decisions were made late last night.
“We have women from all different backgrounds,” Simmons said. “The age range varies quite a bit in this new squad as well. I believe having women that have been in the industry longer can really be beneficial to the younger dancers starting in their career.”
The squad is made up of 15 returning veterans and 13 first-time Charger Girls. Seventeen of the 28 Girls are students, including five each from the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. Many hold full-time jobs, including a magazine editor, a Pilates instructor, an exercise studio owner and a medical assistant.
“I’m excited to welcome the rookies to the program and see how they will grow and contribute to the team,” Simmons said. “We have strong vets returning as well that will be great leaders and will benefit from the new energy.”
The roster includes 10 native San Diegans and women with interesting backgrounds, such as first-time Charger Girl Andrea who started the non-profit organization Saving the African Kids (S.T.A.K.) in high school to help raise funds for a group of 52 poverty-stricken and AIDS/HIV-affected children in Rustenburg, South Africa. Rookie Alexis Lauren was Miss California Teen USA in 2011, and Amanda is fluent in American Sign Language.
A name familiar to football fans also made the dance team. Former Chargers quarterback Doug Flutie’s daughter, Alexa, was chosen to be on the squad. She currently is a cheer program director.