by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
Alyson Jordan has been cheer leading for the Cincinnati Bengals. She is also a 3rd grade teacher and she was the Cover Champion for the Bengals 2011-2012 cheer leading swim suit Calendar. In this exclusive interview we take an in depth look at the epic journey of being an NFL cheerleader, as we go one on one with cheer leading superstar, Alyson Jordan!
CB: It’s Ben Tatar here and today I am here with Alyson Jordan from the Cincinnati Bengals. Alyson, it’s great to have you here today. Tell us about yourself.
AJ: I’m a Cincinnati native. I am 25 years old. I have a bachelor’s degree in communication from The University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. I teach third grade. This is my fourth season cheering with the Cincinnati Bengals.
CB: Alyson, how did you become a cheer leader for the Cincinnati Bengals? How did you feel when you became a Ben-Gals Cheerleader? Were you excited?
AJ: To try out for Ben-Gals you have to be 21 by the first game. I was almost 21 and scared to death to try out with such beautiful, talented, young women. I made it through the preliminary rounds and then to finals. I was nervous but gave it my all and received a call from the director telling me I made the team. I was shocked! My life changed after that.
CB: Alyson, you are living the dream of millions of young girls. Tell us about the tryouts. What do girls have to do skill wise?
AJ: Tryouts are in May and we have to perform a dance, walk in a bikini, so the judges can see your figure, and do turns, leaps, and a kick line.
CB: Can girls with tattoos make NFL teams?
AJ: Yes they just have to cover them with makeup
CB: Now that you have made it to the top, has the experience of being a Bengals cheerleader been what you had expected?
AJ: Everything and more. I always knew I would enjoy cheering and dancing in front of a large crowd. I never expected that Bengal’s fans would know my name, and think I was a local celebrity.
CB: What has it been like being a local celebrity?
AJ: It’s awesome! I love it when people know how long I’ve been cheering and know my story.
CB: What are the five most important qualities a women must have to be an NFL cheerleader?
AJ: Professionalism, glamor, confidence, poise, and she must be friendly.
CB: How are the other NFL cheerleaders that you work with? Are you all like a big family?
AJ: It’s hard to believe that 32 women can get along, but we truly are one big, happy, family. I think we bring each other up when one of us is down. We are constantly cheering each other on and praising one another for all of our achievements.
CB: Thus far in your journey as an NFL cheerleader list us a great moment, funny moment, memorable moment, and a moment that has changed you.
AJ: Great Moment–Dancing on stage with Rascal Flatts.
Funny Moment–Goofing off in the locker room before the games.
Memorable Moment–Getting the cover of the 2011-2012 Cincinnati Ben-Gals swimsuit calendar. It was a huge surprise from my coaches and the best night of my life!
Changing Moment–Getting to do all of these events with children and families. I feel very blessed when I leave those events.
CB: As a cheerleader you get to travel all over the Country, what have been some of your favorite places you’ve gotten to visit?
AJ: First of all, we only cheer home games and rarely travel. I did get to attend a taping of Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles. Which was awesome!
CB: What’s it like working with the NFL players? Did you get to meet players like T.O., Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer? What was that like? How were the NFL players in general?
AJ: We don’t usually see players much, just at events. I’m really impressed by how many charity events you see AJ Green and Andy Dalton working. I think they are doing great things for Cincinnati, in and off the field.
CB: Alyson, what are your favorite parts about being an NFL cheerleader?
AJ: Cheering the loud games, getting to work with people at events, meeting new friends, being a representative of Cincinnati, and making memories with these women that I’ll never forget.
CB: What do you enjoy doing away from Cheer leading?
AJ: I love inspiring my students, I like to eat at Cincinnati restaurants, I enjoy traveling, riding roller coasters, musical theater, and attending cheerleading/dance competitions.
CB: What are your future goals?
AJ: I want to publish a children’s book, travel the world, get married and start a family.
CB: How have your friends responded to you being an NFL cheerleader?
AJ: My friends and family are my biggest support system. They come to every game and cheer me on!
CB: How do you want to be remembered?
AJ: I want my students to remember me as the best teacher they’ve ever had, who was also a spirited cheerleader.
CB: Being a cheerleader, do you have a message for the Bengals players to motivate them?
AJ: We want a Super Bowl ring!!! Work harder!!
CB: The Bengals have just made it to the 2012 NFL playoffs! How exciting! Do you have any message for the Bengals players in their Super Bowl quest?
AJ: Good luck!! Play hard!!! Give it everything and win!! We want to go to the super bowl!
CB: Were you a cheerleader when you were younger?
AJ: Yes. I started cheering when I was 5. I did gymnastics and danced until high school. I cheered varsity in high school. Then I cheered for The University of Cincinnati in 2004 and 2005. I have cheered with the Ben-Gals for 2007-2011 seasons.
CB: What makes Alyson happy?
AJ: desserts, vacations, my cat- Glitzy, sunshine, purses, shoes, glitter and big hair.
CB: What is your workout routine like? Tell us a little bit about your cardio, training and diet.
AJ: I actually don’t like working out. I dance a lot. I try to eat healthy. I eat more protein than carbs and lots of fruits and vegetables. I have a weakness for coffee and wine.
CB: Who inspires you?
AJ: My parents. My mother is beautiful and so smart. She has an amazing eye for fashion and decorating. My father too. He is funny and never meets a stranger.
CB: It’s great that you come from an amazing family. You have been working with the Bengals for four years. Have most of the seasons with the Bengals been much the same or are they different? Does this season seem much different than your rookie season?
AJ: I enjoyed being a rookie because you could make mistakes and it would be like “rookie mistake.” No, this year has been more fun than most because the football team has changed and there’s more hope for Bengals fans that someday we will go to the (need I say it) SUPERBOWL!!!
CB: You are motivated and have lots of spirit, I love it! What is your favorite part of being a Bengals cheerleader? Any parts you dislike?
AJ: I love everything about it. I love doing my makeup and hair for games. But I do get annoyed at how many times we have to “glam” on game days.
CB: What goes through your mind when you step onto the field before a big game?
AJ: I look out of the tunnel at every game before we go on the field, and think to myself “take it all in Alyson…” I try to get a photographic memory in my head for the future. I also thank God every time I’m out there for how lucky I am.
CB: What types of places would you like to travel to in the future?
AJ: My goal this year is to go to the Bahamas. I would like to go to France. I know some of the French language. I have been to Disney World 13 times and I need to go back and see the updates!!
CB: As a Bengals Cheerleader, what have been some of your favorite trips you been on, appearances you have made and charities you have done?
AJ: Some of my favorite local charities are The Freestore Foodbank, Kicks for Kids, The Marvin Lewis Foundation, and Ronald McDonald House. I love working with children and going to these events. Also the Ben-Gals works with younger girls for our Jr. Ben-Gal squad. I like teaching young girls and boys how to dance and cheer!
CB: Being known as a Bengals Cheerleader and calendar cover champion, what is it like getting hit on all the time?
AJ: (Laughs)I don’t get hit on! I’m a boring school teacher.
CB: How is the atmosphere of cheering in the NFL different than the high school/ college level? I notice that when I go to NFL games, the music they play is often very loud and the fans are intense!
AJ: Yes. The music is loud, fans are screaming, fans of the opposing team are screaming, and the players are so much bigger! I’m always nervous I’m going to get tackled.
CB: (Laughs) You’re right, everything is much bigger and more intense! Okay, I’m gonna say a quick concept. Just tell me whatever comes to mind. Ready?
AJ: I’m ready…
My favorite bands are…not bands but singers- Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Madonna, Rascal Flatts, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross.
My ideal vacation is…on a beach.
A great personality trait of mine is…I don’t take things too seriously. My grandma told me before she passed away “don’t stress about anything, because everything will work itself out.”
For fun I love to go…get a manicure or pedicure.
I am always…drinking coffee.
My favorite health foods are…walnuts in chocolate fudge.
My favorite junk food is…cupcakes.
Compliments I have received that I like are…I like it when people tell me I’m smart.
My turn ons are and my turn offs are…Turn ons–successful men who aren’t arrogant and have their lives together. Turn-offs–guys that are out at bars every night.
The worst advice ever told to me was…It’s not really advice, but I don’t like negative feedback. Coming from a teacher’s perspective, I feel people work harder when praise is given.
The best and worst parts of being a model celebrity are…Best–having people that actually care about your life. Worst–bad pictures that come up.
I have learned…to take every opportunity and not be scared to give it your all. Family and friends come first, because in the end that’s all that matters.
I miss…not knowing Santa was my mom.
Would you like to be a WWE Diva…Sure thing!
One thing I plan to have in the future is…Three weddings! All three of my best friends are getting married.
I want to Cheer for as long…I want to cheer as long as I’m able to!!
CB: Well, Alyson it has been great talking to you. You’re a very smart person who has gotten to inspire millions of people. I wish you the best with everything ahead. In closing is there anything else that you would like to say?
AJ: Thank you, Ben for the great interview. I guess thanks to everyone out there who has given me a chance!