CLOSE

Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader prospects compete as tryout finals are held Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Produced by Joe Lamberti/Courier Post

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Some people work two jobs.

Washington Township Councilwoman Dana Pasqualone is juggling three.

On Thursday night, she successfully competed with 59 other finalists to keep her most glamorous position: cheerleader for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the councilwoman's second year in a row on the roster.

“It felt even more exciting than making it the first time. Being an Eagles cheerleader has been a great experience, but there was more pressure this time. Making the team again validates your work,” said the 28-year-old Pasqualone, who's also a software company employee along with serving as a Republican councilwoman in Washington Township.

Pasqualone was one of 22 returning cheerleaders on the 36-woman roster. A dozen of the cheerleaders live in New Jersey, including six new members. The full 2018-19 roster was announced at the final night of auditions Thursday at the Perelman Theater inside the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

"I want to be a role model for young women and show the whole world you don't have to be defined by one job. Women are multifaceted and can balance various positions. We are strong and powerful and we can do it all!," exclaims  Pasqualone, a senior consulting operations analyst with Qlik, a global data software company based in Radnor, Pa.

More: Woodbury police open substation inside Gloucester County YMCA

More: PATCO station in Camden to close for 4 weekends

The six new cheerleaders from New Jersey are: Brielle Gatto of Sicklerville, Natasha Filipov of Turnersville, Victoria LaRocca of Williamstown, Alexandria McIntyre, of Pitman, Hayley Simpson of Manalapan, and Melanie Spilatore of Kendall Park.

The other Garden State members of the Eagles cheerleaders are: Maurisa DeLuca, of Sicklerville; Allison Dickinson, of Hainesport; Crystalle Johnson, of Willingboro; Anna-Marie Matthews, of Grenloch; and Shardae Swoop, of Willingboro. 

Being a cheerleader is not just about glitz, athletics, dancing, beauty and performing before 70,000 fans at Eagles games. The team is involved in charity work and other community activities.

“Performing is only one component of this position. The roles and responsibilities of an Eagles cheerleader are centered around fan engagement, community service and positively impacting today’s youth," said Barbara Zaun, Eagles cheerleading director.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

”The Eagles cheerleaders are ambassadors for the Eagles organization and collectively are involved in over 350 community-based events each year.”

They also participate in overseas goodwill military tours and each member of the squad  instructs youth cheerleading camps and clinics.

Zaun said Pasqualone is among a number of cheerleaders who also work in professional roles, including a civil litigation attorney, a pediatric intensive-care nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a special education teacher. Two are Mummers, some are bilingual and one is versed in sign language.

For the first time, auditions attracted contestants from foreign countries and outside the tri-state area who sought to be a part of a Super Bowl champion team.

“There should not be a stereotype of cheerleaders because we are all accomplished women who have to be athletic and have dancing ability but also be able to speak in public. We have to have the full package,” adds Pasqualone, who runs in races to stay fit.

She and other cheerleaders have raised money with the team for autism research and awareness, and assisted with a drinking-water project in the Dominican Republic. They all will participate in the Eagles Autism Challenge on May 19.

The councilwoman tried several times to make the team before 2017 and never gave up.

“My struggle to get on the team somewhat paralleled the players' struggle to get to the Super Bowl, which for me was an unreal experience and something that makes me part of history with the Eagles.”

A 2007 Washington Township High school graduate, Pasqualone has an accounting degree from Rowan University that she says is an asset in analyzing finances and figuring out ways to reduce costs in her role as a councilwoman.

Elected to a four-year term in 2016, she said her service has allowed her to become more involved in the community and help residents.

“I want to be the voice of the people and I see how my votes on council impact our town.”

Carol Comegno: @carolcomegno; 856-486-2473; ccomegno@gannettnj.com

Also in South Jersey

 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/2018/04/22/south-jersey-councilwoman-dana-pasqualone-claims-spot-philadelphia-eagles-cheerleaders/534155002/