UNT student, three alumnae join Dallas Cowboys hip-hop dance team

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 14:23

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – A love of dance – and the stamina to dance for hours on end – brought a University of North Texas student and three alumnae together to audition and ultimately make the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue hip-hop team.

The Dallas Cowboys, in partnership with Miller Lite, selected 17 women to represent them this season as the 2013-2014 Rhythm and Blue Dancers. The final squad was selected on June 7.

UNT dance junior Jessica Stewart, of Dallas, joins the team for her second year. Alumnae Kara Robinson, from The Woodlands, and Kendra Dorsey, from Mansfield, are also back on the team. Robinson is in her second year as captain of the dance team. Alumna Sammi Paradice, from Killeen, just graduated in May with a BFA in dance, and joins the team for the first time.

The Dallas Cowboys introduced the Rhythm and Blue in 2009, a high-energy hip-hop dance team, break crew and drum corps. The Rhythm and Blue Dancers, presented by Miller Lite, were conceptualized under the direction of Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President of Brand Management Charlotte Anderson and is the first of its kind in the National Football League. Over 65 dancers auditioned for the team. Dancers traveled from Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Osaka, Japan for a chance to audition for the team. The audition process consisted of three rounds; preliminaries, semi-finals, and finals, which were held on April 25th at The Draft Day Party that was presented by Miller Lite and held at Cowboys Stadium. The audition process included choreography, interviews and a test on the Dallas Cowboys franchise history. After a month of training camp, which consisted of 22 finalists, the squad was selected by a panel of judges.

While the audition process may seem intense, it’s necessary to see which dancers can fulfill the requirements of the team. Robinson, who graduated this year with a BS in merchandising, notes that the team practices three nights a week for a minimum of three hours. The team also dances before games begin as well as during the game on the Miller Lite Landing, she said.

“This can be extremely tiring and we have to be in great shape in order to be able to dance for that long,” Robinson said. “We are held to the highest standard and much is expected of us because we carry the Dallas Cowboys name.”

The hard work is worth it though when the team sees the reaction of the fans, said Stewart, who was first inspired to start dancing at a young age after watching her aunt salsa dancing.

“My favorite experience was my very first preseason performance in the plaza,” recalled Stewart. “I loved seeing how excited the crowd was when we first stepped out there. We are all so happy to being out there doing what we love.”

The team is a great organization to be a part of and members treat each other like family, she said.

For the newest member of the “family,” the experience so far has furthered her passion for dance.

“This was my first experience auditioning for a professional team and it was nerve-wracking,” said Paradice. “But, I had a solid support system from my family, friends and boyfriend and I knew once I made it that being a part of this team is exactly what I should be doing. If you work hard and show your passion, it will ultimately pay off.”

Paradice credits the strong modern-based dance program at UNT for helping her grow and notes that while she is excited to begin her new journey with the Rhythm and Blue dance team, UNT will always have a place in her heart.


For media interviews about the team and photos, contact

Jenny Durbin Smith, director of the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers,

at 214-762-9016 or jdurbin@dallascowboys.net.


About Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue dance team

Rhythm and Blue brings an innovative, unique and exciting element to the Cowboys legendary game-day entertainment line-up.  Audiences have been entertained by the talented group of men and women upon entering the plazas of Cowboys Stadium before each game. After every Cowboys' score during the game, the Rhythm and Blue Dancers dazzle fans with thunderous celebration dance performances from their elevated placement on platforms in the west end zone.

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