A Happy lot

Bangalore Royal Challengers might be struggling to perform in the inaugural DLF IPL, but its cheerleaders, Washington Redskins, are truly calling the shots on the sidelines. While the moral police brigade elsewhere in the country had succeeded in dousing the fire of the cheerleaders in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, forcing them to don a well covered attire, nothing of that sort for the chirpy cheer team of Bangalore.

“What dress code?,” they shot back. “We are happy with the way we are and the crowd loves it,” said the dusky American, Ms. Klovher Tynes.

Taking a break from their highkicking routine, the girls spoke to Sportstar about their role. “We are here primarily to entertain and we have been going about our job professionally. And this is bit new to Indian fans and we make it lively,” said Tynes, who incidentally is an attorney.

The allegation that cheerleaders are just dancing, prancing bimbos, is indeed an insult to their pedigree. Coming from diverse backgrounds — there are mothers and students and working professionals — they are a bunch of beautiful, intelligent women, who have taken to cheerleading more as a hobby.

“We are all bound by our love for dancing, entertaining and sports,” said Michelle Brandon, another of the pretty women.

A lot of work goes into being a good cheerleader, they assert. “Yes, it is tough work out there. Behind all those routines, we have to be absolutely fit, flexible and we do lot of gym work, stretching, dancing and cardio related exercises. All the trouble is worth it, when you are at the game, it is highly energising affair,” said Bethany Savage, another member of Redskins.

Being part of the IPL inaugural function was a memorable affair for the Washington Redskins. “We know more about the game now and the crowd was fantastic and we are glad to be a part of IPL history,” said Michelle.

Can Indian girls make good cheerleaders. “Absolutely,” said Tynes. “They have it in them, they are intelligent, look good and can dance,” she added.

According to Ann Marie Gardner, Director’s Assistant of Washington Redskins, they have been auditioning a lot of Indian girls. “We have been auditioning the girls and we will train them before the IPL season ends here and come back later for the next season, and put them through their paces.

“We also plan to help the Indian trainees with video clips, dance CDs and the whole lot,” said Gardner. Indian experience has been overwhelming for the cheer girls.

“We have hardly been here for a fortnight and it looks ten years,” said Michelle, while Bethany spoke about the relative calm in India compared to other parts of the world. “It is so peaceful place, where there is very little violence and crime and we have been treated and looked after well and we have been recognised.”

Michelle concurred with that view and said, “The other day, three girls came up to me and asked for tips in fitness, dancing and stuff like that. Total strangers, but it made me feel good and I believe that we are contributing something here and we would love to come back.” Tynes, who loves Bollywood music and Indian culture, said, “I will take back some of these things and may be incorporate in my routine.”