By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—If you ever wanted to be a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, now’s your chance. This is the weekend for the big auditions at the Merritt Downtown Athletic Club.

Ron Matz has more on what it takes to make the cut.

Ask any Ravens cheerleader and they’ll tell you being in front of 70,000 screaming fans is a real rush.

“It’s amazing being on the field, having all of those people screaming when you’re running through the tunnel and the adrenaline is pumping through your veins. It’s awesome,” said Brittany, Ravens cheerleader.

“Being on the field is an adrenaline rush,” Ravens cheerleader Gabrielle agreed. “It’s so much fun. It’s loud, and it’s probably one of the best feelings in the world, to run out of that tunnel and hear 70,000 fans screaming for your team. It’s a very rewarding feeling.”

The Ravens have the only co-ed squad in the NFL. So men and women are welcome at the cheerleader auditions set for Saturday at the Merritt Downtown Athletic Club.

Applicants will “need to bring a headshot and a full body shot. We will have extra applications here. You need a photo ID and $45 in cash or check,” said Gabrielle.

The tryouts have been held at the Downtown Athletic Club for 10 years.

“Every year is just as exciting as the year before,” said Donyel Cerceo, Merritt Athletic Clubs. “We’re celebrating our 35th year in business this year. The No. 1 thing we’ve always said is community. We need to support the communities we’re involved in, and nothing says community better than the Baltimore Ravens.”

Brittany says being nervous for tryouts isn’t uncommon and offers some advice.

“The auditions are very nerve-wracking, especially when you look at the competition and see the skills that they have,” she said. “You just have to come in with your confidence and a great smile and show the judges what you have.”

Once the cheerleaders make the squad, training begins.

“It’s really not just a one and done for us,” Cerceo said. “It’s not like we just have the tryouts. Once the members make the squad we are the official training center of the Baltimore Ravens, so we have the cheerleaders in here all year round working out. We are an official sponsor of the team, so we really support the organization.”

About 250 men and women will be auditioning. The final cuts will come March 17 in a live performance at the Lyric.

“March 17 at 4 o’clock is ‘Making the Cut’ at the Lyric Theater. It’s our final live round. This is our second year we’re doing this. It’s like a game-day experience but on a much smaller scale. Friends, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends get to come and cheer you on, and you do the audition in front of a live audience. That’s the final cut,” said Gabrielle.

For information on what you need for Saturday’s auditions, click here.

  1. Me says:

    Is it just me or is it a total waste of money to have cheerleaders? The teams could take the money the cheerleaders cost them and donate it to charity. I love to watch the Ravens games, but the cheerleaders just annoy me to no end.

    The rules for the tryouts say men have to wear a T shirt and women only a sports bra—–yeah, that’s real equal LOL. They should make the men wear equally skimpy costumes or have them all wear similar outfits like shorts & T shirts or long pants & jackets. Cheerleading, if it has to be there, should be about cheering and not scantily clad jiggily women and men who are fully dressed.

    I suspect not many people would notice or care if the Ravens dumped the cheerleaders and would be very happy if they used all that money to get a better kicker than Cundiff.

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