The team formerly known as the Washington Redskins, now temporarily called the Washington Football Team has replaced their cheerleaders with a coed dance squad.
Per ESPN “the team had announced last month that the cheerleader program was paused while it decided what direction the rebranding would take. Petra Pope, hired by the team as a senior adviser focused on creating game-day entertainment, said the goal is to create a “more modern franchise.”
Pope told ESPN “with that comes inclusivity, diversity and in my mind, as an entertainer, athleticism. My desire is to create a team that is all of that — inclusive, diverse, coed, athletic — to set the gold standard in the NFL. We’re looking for that super athlete that can dance, perform tricks and stunts and manipulate whatever props that will create a really great show.”
Former cheerleaders will have to try out for the dance squad.
“Change can be extremely difficult,” Pope said. “I appreciate the passion that the ladies have and can relate to that passion because I’ve been a mentor for thousands of dancers over my career. As we progress to a reimagined era, the choreography will be much more athletic. We welcome the dancers of the past to audition, and if they have that skill set, they’re welcome to join us.”
Team president Jason Wright said “as we set out to modernize the Washington Football gameday, it’s important that we develop a top-notch entertainment program that keeps our fanbase excited and connected to the game and the team.”