Sharon Simmons: Grandmother, 55, to Audition for Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders [PHOTOS & VIDEO]
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | March 3, 2012 2:14 AM EST
Sharon Simmons may be a 55-year-old grandmother, but that is not stopping her for having her way with an audition for the infamous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Simmons, who is turning 56 in May, plans to audition for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad May 5, amidst all of the younger competitors.
"I don't see a number," Simmons told ABC News of her age. "If I do, it's just a number. It's not that I can't keep up with [younger women] in the physical part of the training."
Simmons works as a commercial real estate agent and is also personal trainer, nutritionist and grandmother, who has been competing in fitness contests since she was 50-years-old.
"As I approached my 50th birthday, I wanted to further challenge myself," Simmons wrote on her Web site. "I had a defining moment one day and made the decision to participate in a fitness competition. I trained for a year with a personal trainer, ate a healthy diet of non-processed foods, and worked very hard to learn a fitness routine from an incredible choreographer who believed in me."
Simmons has competed over 20 times in the past five years.
"To me, this is just like any other competition," Simmons said. "There are steps to take to prepare, which is exactly what I'm doing."
According to Simmons, she always wished to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders when she was in her 20's, but lacked the dance training and the courage.
"I thought, that's something I never tried," Simmons told KTVT-TV. "I always wanted to try out. I got real close in my early 20s, but got busy raising my daughter. And I thought, why not now?"
"Now I'm not afraid. I'm more mature. I know what to do," she told ABC.
Nowadays, she is more confident than ever to don the required tryout uniform: "hot pants" and a sports bra.
"If you're not comfortable wearing stuff like that, you should not be trying out for the (squad)," she said. Simmons said she wears this sort of outfit frequently in competitions.
However, she still has some qualms about her lack of dance training, namely the required jump split, which requires the applicant to jump in the air and land on the floor in a split. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Web site, however, encourages those to try out even if they cannot execute the difficult move.
"Yes, if you are a great performer and truly want to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader you should try out. Flexibility and splits with your right leg forward are REQUIRED by the start of the football season but continual stretching and flexibility work can eventually get results," the Web site reads.
ABC News spoke with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad director Kelli Finglass, who said that women in the 50's have auditioned before but failed to be selected for the team.
"We spend more time trying to schedule summer training camps around girls' high school graduations, college graduations, and wedding showers," Finglass told ABC News.
Catching word that Sharon Simmons would be auditioning in May, Finglass seems excited.
"It says something about women and their success stories," Finglass said. "I'd give her accolades for her preparation and look forward to her audition."
The oldest Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader was 37-year-old Linda Badami. In 2011, the oldest cheerleader was 31-years-old and the youngest was 18-years-old.
But Sharon Simmons is not nervous to compete with the youngsters.
"On stage, I blend right in with women in their 20s, 30s and up," Simmons recently told KTVT-TV.
The oldest cheerleader in the NFL currently is Laura Vikmanis, 42, of the Cincinnati Bengals.
View the video of Sharon Simmons below at the Universe Of Fitness Championship in 2008.
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