PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — So how do you hold cheerleading tryouts in the middle of a pandemic? The Philadelphia Eagles had this problem and were able to adapt.
The Eagles Cheer Team is one of the best in the business. But like so many other teams, the coronavirus outbreak has them changing on the fly.
This year, the squad will keep 30 cheerleaders from the 2019 group.
But after sifting through 576 virtual auditions, the Eagles are welcoming eight more to the nest for 2020.
Allison Tuso is a Philly native who calls it a dream come true.
“I’m a huge Eagles fan so when this opportunity came up, I felt like I just needed to go for it,” she said.
Doing a virtual audition was also a first for her.
“It was definitely new, not something I had anticipated. But it was fun because you could get creative with how you were presenting yourself,” she said.
Adriana Alfaro, also new to the sidelines in 2020, says the usual energy had to be recreated.
“Going into virtual auditions you really had to rely on yourself and be your own hype man and really motivate yourself to dance as big as you could,” Alfaro said.
Both women have impressive backstories away from dance.
Tuso is currently working on her doctorate in occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University.
“My passion is for children and adults with autism, which is also the Eagles’ passion. The Eagles are so involved in the autism community with their autism foundation,” she said.
Alfaro is an Air Force veteran who currently works with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
“I was in for 13 years, so I got to travel all over,” she said. “I had actually only anticipated staying in for one term, which is four years, but I just fell in love with everything about it so I stuck it out for 13.”
Tuso, Alfaro and company may have to stick it out this year without fans as it appears the NFL is headed in that direction but both said no problem.
They’re just happy to be a part of the Eagles family.