Thank Heaven for Sea Gal Stephanie
When you picture an NFL Cheerleader, an image of a smoking hot girl, long hair whipping back and forth and glitter all over her body comes to mind, right? What about a girl who’s more flexible than anyone you’ve ever met or dreamed of? Or a gal who’s a diehard football fan since her childhood years? An ordained minister?
Smoking hot Stephanie also happens to be an ordained minister, having performed five weddings for friends and family and freely admits, “NFL cheerleader and minister don’t usually go hand in hand.”
Originally from Lacy, WA, Stephanie is one of the most recognizable faces of the Sea Gals and isn’t afraid to admit she watches Gilmore Girls ”more than any person should.”
The 5’ 8” brunette recalls one of her best Sea Gal moments was being on the field when her favorite player, Walter Jones, had his number retired. “I have always been a Seahawks fan, so of course my favorite player is a lifetime Seahawk,” she says of Jones.
Stephanie says one of the best parts of being an NFL cheerleader, is of course the obvious for most girls: dancing covered in rhinestones. But the self-proclaimed history nerd admits she still gets butterflies when performing in front of all those fans, especially during her performances in Show Group with all the costume and routine changes back and forth. “As soon as the show starts though, I feel at ease and start performing,” she says.
The Sea Gals have 34 awesome women on their roster for 2013. If you’ve ever seen an episode of 90210 or Big Brother, you know how catty girls can get, but Stephanie says people are often surprised to find out that they are such good friends.
“It’s rare on our squad to have someone who is self-centered – we are very supportive and nice to one another,” she says. People are equally surprised to learn about the careers the girls have. “I have danced with a lawyer, an airman, marketing supervisors, teachers, a novelist, a campaign manager and many more smart and driven women,” the Political Science major from the University of Washington says.
Although most of her 20+ years of dance experience is in jazz, ballet and hip-hop, she loves when the squad gets to dance to some good ol’ rock music. “We have a routine to ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC and it’s my favorite!” the all-natural brunette says. “Plus, rock music is the best to whip your hair to.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about NFL cheerleaders (aside from their hectic schedules and ability to move their hip flexors like none other), is that they get to partake in some of the most amazing experiences off the field.
“The tours I have gone on have been unbelievable. One highlight was taking a helicopter from Djibouti Africa to an amphibious ship in the Gulf of Aden. We did a show on the ship for 1000 people then took a helicopter tour of the coast of the horn of Africa. It was unbelievably amazing!” she gushes.
As far as game day experiences, her favorite was being on the field for the infamous Beast Quake. “That is a play that will go down in NFL history and I will always be able to say I was on the field for that.”
If you’re looking at her photos and wonder how on earth these uniforms fit her so perfectly, it’s because they were made to fit her body. “When we got new uniforms, my director asked me to be the fit model. I was able to be the body they built the uniforms on and got to see everything that went into that process. We tried a bunch of different pieces in different colors and I got to model them for some really great people in the organization,” the 2012 Sea Gal of the Year says.
As far as being a unique squad of girls, it’s no question the Sea Gals are right up there. “We are the only cheerleaders in the Northwest so that makes us pretty unique and means we have a huge fan base,” Stephanie says. “The 12s are like no other fans! We take pride in the fact that as a fan, we are just as much a part of the game as anyone playing. Our crowd noise can change the outcome of a game and the fans are so smart that they know when the other team is feeling uncomfortable, which inspires them/us to get even louder. You can see the frustration on the opposing quarterback’s face; it’s fuel to the fan’s fire. It is louder down there than anyone can explain. There is no preparing for the noise in the Clink!” she says.
As for the upcoming season, Stephanie has already called game of the year for the Seahawks, “Sunday Night Football against the 49ers of course!” she says. “Our rivalry is quickly becoming one of the best in the NFL – that is hard-nose football at its finest.”
A few other random yet equally awesome facts about Sea Gal Stephanie: she loves the occasional tater-tot and Harry Potter, she would still play with Barbies if someone asked her, gets cranky if she misses a hot yoga session, every Christmas she ritually puts on her N*SYNC holiday album, and she stands by the fact she is “probably the biggest Seahawks fan you’ll ever meet.”
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.