On Wednesday, breaking new ground not for a stadium but in the world of professional cheerleading, the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL announced that the team would have two male cheerleaders on the 40-person squad for the 2018 regular season.
Chosen from among 76 finalists for the squad, Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies will perform the same routine as the female dancers. Jinnies said of the auditions, “This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back.”
The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts have men who help with stunts done by female cheerleaders, but they don’t dance. Peron and Jinnies are both classically trained dancers.
Speaking on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, Peron said, “I was at a Laker game, the Wednesday prior, and I was watching the team, the Laker girls, and I was asking myself, ‘Why can’t I be down there? I’ve choreographed for girls who dance on pro teams, I’ve danced with girls on various pro teams,’ so I just thought, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I do this?’”