MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Dreams take hard work, patience, and require a little bit of hope, especially when you’re trying to make a dream come true during a global pandemic. And Marissa Garrison from Mount Holly knows that lesson all too well.
“When I was 8-years-old, I watched the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders making the team show with my mom, and I was very intrigued about the audition process for professional dancers just because that was the profession that I knew, even as a little girl, that I wanted to go into,” Garrison said.
Garrison was enrolled at the American and Musical Dramatic Academy in New York, pursuing many areas of dance all while holding onto her dream of one day trying out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Then something unexpected happened: COVID-19 hit, and that sent her back home to North Carolina to finish out her studies.
“I have really held onto my faith during this time because it has been very challenging as far as COVID and trying to understand why I was at home from the school. And so I was just kind of praying that the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders would miraculously still be able to have a season, have tryouts, and I was just kind of keeping in mind that there was a very big possibility that that would not happen,” she said.
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleading organization did decide to proceed with virtual auditions. Through several cuts, 1,500 applicants were narrowed down to 20 rookie dancers.
Garrison was one of the 20, but she still had to compete with veteran dancers to land a spot on the team.
“And that’s what happened,” she said. “I was just hoping that I had trained hard enough and mentally prepared myself hard enough for this organization to be able to trust an 18-year-old when I started to fulfill a role and obligations as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. And goodness, I cannot believe it’s a reality.”