Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where Are They Now - Kelly Tilley

Kelly Tilley: Colts cheerleading head talks about staying limber, choosing the best

Ultimate Cheerleaders

Indy Star
Mar. 26, 2013

New Indianapolis Colts cheerleading manager Kelly Tilley, 29, is on a whirlwind audition for the next Colts Cheer Squad.

Since arriving here March 18, she has jumped right into three weeks of workshops for 49 hopefuls. Cheerleading hopefuls are being compared in the areas of football knowledge, dance technique and fitness.

Auditions conclude when the best of the applicants appear at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at the Hilbert Circle Theater in Downtown Indianapolis. Admission is $10 and fans at home can vote for their favorite cheerleaders via live video stream. The squad members will be announced at the end of the show.

Tilley won’t reveal yet how many women will make the cut.

“We’ll chose anywhere from 26 to 32. I’m looking for the entire package, so it will depend on who ends up with that,” she said.

We caught up with Tilley to learn more about this former Denver Broncos cheerleader, who grew up in Apple Valley, Minn. :

Question: What are your goals for the squad?

Answer: To create one of the most highly respected NFL cheerleading teams in the league. I want little girls to dream about becoming a Colts cheerleader, because we have developed a reputation of an elite group of women who are talented, educated, beautiful inside and out, and are committed to the community.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake a cheerleader (hopeful) can make when she gets in front of the judges?

A: To not be prepared. Applicants should be at the top of their game at auditions, especially when it comes to fitness, dance ability and creating a look that will make them stand out to the judges. Preparation is more important than talent.

Q: What does the Colts cheerleader of the future “look” like — different uniforms, guys and gals? What is your vision?

A: My vision is to look at each area — dance, fitness, uniforms, junior cheerleaders, calendar, community service, etc., and find a way to make it even better. My vision is to strengthen the Indianapolis Colts cheerleader brand. I’m not ready to make any drastic changes until I see what we have and what resonates well with our fans.

Q: You spent the last 10 years with the Denver Broncos — four as a cheerleader and six in the cheer department. Were you a high school/college cheerleader? What was the biggest thing you personally had to overcome? What was your greatest accomplishment?

Kelly was a Broncos Cheerleader from 2003 thru 2007

A: I was part of the Eastview Lightning State Champion High School Dance Team. I was also on the University of Colorado’s dance team, before I was an NFL cheerleader. I was trained as a dancer, not a cheerleader. I always struggled with flexibility because I was more athletic (I also played high school volleyball), therefore I needed to stretch daily to stay at the same ability level as the fellow dancers on the squad. My greatest accomplishment was developing a youth special needs cheerleading team and organizing their halftime performance at an NFL game.

Q: What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?

A: I love sports — I watch ESPN on a daily basis.

Q: You grew up in Minneapolis and lived in Denver — Your preference: Beach or Snow?

A: A beach sounds fantastic right now.

Q: What’s one of the craziest things that you experienced from the sidelines?

A: A blizzard. (The Denver Broncos’ home field is outdoors.)

Q: What’s the last good book you read or movie you saw?

A: “Wreck-It-Ralph.” With my busy schedule, I seem to only find time for kids movies with my son.

Q: Favorite Indy Restaurant (or one that you look forward to trying)?

A: A good sushi restaurant.

Q: What’s your favorite weekend ritual?

A: Watching my 5-year-old-son play hockey and watching football with my husband.