Cardinals cheerleaders put in lots of training to fire up fans

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

While the Cardinals starting line up, the measure of success is counted down in yards. But while the guys are busy on the grid-iron, success is measured by a different count on the sidelines.

“Ready holding, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 go 7, 8,” is the cheer you hear on the practice field as the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders work to make sure they don't miss a beat on game day as they keep fans entertained and pump up the energy that drives the Cards to victory.

"We kick off the game right before starting line up,” said Director of Cheerleading, Kristina Phippen. "We get the energy going in the stadium so that is a ton of fun."

Phippen says the 29 ladies on the squad practice twice a week every week. They not only have to move fast on their feet, they have think fast too, because while they have some regular routines, they never know what music will hit them next. 

"When a song comes on, the captain is in charge and she starts a dance. They don’t really know what dance is coming on, because it depends on which song comes on. Most people don’t know that."

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They are also adding new routines all season long.

"All the other routines you see we are learning new every single week. So now it is November, and we are learning a routine we will use in a couple of weeks. So we are still learning fresh material at this point in the season," Phippen said.

They do it while balancing busy lives off the field.

"I would say half of our women are full time college students. A lot of them locally here at ASU, and then they also have a full time job, or we have had moms on the team in the past," Phippen said.

The cheerleaders hold auditions every April.

"And it is an open audition, we always encourage any woman to come out and audition for our team. Women typically stay on our team an average of three seasons," Phippen says.

Maybe the best part, it seems no matter how the season ends, when you are part of the Cardinals team, you’re always a winner.

"And these are friendships and relationships they are going to have for the rest of their lives, and that is definitely the best part," Phippen said.

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