Walk Up, Try out for Flight Crew on Saturday

Are you a young, aspiring dancer/cheerleader who needs more incentive to try out on Saturday for the 2011 New York Jets Flight Crew?

How about this ...

"I think this year is the most exciting year to try out for the Flight Crew," said Denise Garvey, the director of the Jets' five-year-old cheerleading group, "because there's a better chance than ever that you can earn a spot on the team. We'll be taking up to 40 girls, and with some veterans moving on, that will open up some spots. Hundreds of young women will be at the audition but their chances of making it will be better than ever."

But, you say, you put off registering for the auditions and the deadline has passed. No problem, says Garvey.

"If you've been sitting on the fence about trying out for the Flight Crew, we're promoting walk-up registration this year," she said. "You can download the registration form, fill it out, bring it with you along with a photo of yourself and a check or money order for $25, and you can register on the spot."

And where might that spot be? This year for the first time, the auditions will be held where the Flight Crew performs every home game during the season — inside New Meadowlands Stadium. If the weather permits on Saturday, candidates will audition out on the NMS field. If it's raining, all the auditioners will be able to still see the Crew's in-season stage from the Lexus Club.

"It'll be exciting for the girls to get a feel for dancing on the field," Garvey said. "Just by being in the stadium, overlooking the field, being able to touch their toes on the turf, that will give them that feeling that they're one step closer to being on the team. That's something different. In the past they could only visualize what it might be like to be on the team. This year they'll be right there on the field."

One place the young women will have to visualize is the island of Aruba, which is where this year's Flight Crew calendar photo shoot will take place in a few short weeks. Garvey said some of the cheerleaders in this year's group, including some first-time cheerleaders who make the cut, will be asked to participate in this third annual calendar.

"My advice," said the director, "is that if you don't have a passport yet and would like to be considered for this year's calendar, put that on your to-do list."

But you have to be in it to win it. If you'll be 18 years old by Saturday and want to join in the fun, print out that registration form, fill it in and bring the $25 entry fee with you to New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday. Mandatory check-in for that day's preliminary auditions is 8 a.m. The semifinals will be held the next day, Sunday, at the stadium (mandatory check-in is noon), and the finals will be held at NMS on Saturday, May 7.

Don't put it off any more. And good luck.

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