Kelli McGonagill Finglass Q&A

Kelli Finglass ('89) (Photo by Michael Clements)Kelli McGonagill Finglass ('89)
Coppell, TX

Becoming a Cowboys cheerleader:
I graduated from Lindale High School in 1983 and had an academic scholarship to Texas Christian University. I studied dance, rushed a sorority and spent my freshman year going to every dance audition I could because all experience was good experience. I heard a radio commercial about the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders auditions in spring 1984 and decided to try out for the experience. I ended up making the squad but felt it would be too difficult to travel between Fort Worth and Dallas each week so I got a roommate and an apartment in Dallas. I worked as a secretary in downtown Dallas during my first season on the squad before deciding I wanted my degree and applied to UNT.

Selection process:
Recent experience helping my daughter navigate the college admissions, scholarship and sorority recruitment process has caused me to look at DCC applications in a different light. When I read that someone has a scholarship or is on the dean's list, it means more to me. When I see a girl who was selected into a sorority or leadership position, I know she has team-like energy and has been through a rigorous selection process.

Job perk:
I get to watch relationships grow among squad members. We're very close and I always tell the girls in auditions that strangers become bridesmaids. This organization brings women from different backgrounds together and they ultimately become family members.

Staying organized:
On "Make it Happen Monday," I focus on completing something I've procrastinated about. Staff meetings and finding ways to help my colleagues take precedence on "Teamwork Tuesday." Bit by bit, I tackle long-term and visionary projects on "World Class Wednesday" and use time on "Thoughtful Thursday" to send cards, flowers and thank yous. I then try to complete pending tasks on "Follow-Up Friday" so I can enjoy "Slow Down Saturday" and "Spiritual Sunday" with my family on weekends that the Cowboys aren't playing at AT&T Stadium.

Role models:
My fear when we started filming Making the Team was that people would think we were too critical. I've been very pleased by the number of moms who tell me they watch the show with their daughters and use it to reinforce how a young woman should conduct herself. The positive feedback from other women means more to me than any paycheck could.

UNT connections:
UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson was one of our original co-ed Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Our squad started in 1961 with a county-wide tryout for high school cheerleaders.

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