(HOUSTON) — A 42-year-old mom of four is auditioning to become a Houston Texans cheerleader. Should she secure a spot on the NFL squad, it would make her the oldest cheerleader in the team’s history.
Melanie Way, who is trying out April 14 at Houston Methodist Training Center, said she hopes to inspire other women that it’s never too late to go after your dreams.
“Being on the field, the music is loud and people are excited to be there,” Way of Houston, Texas, told ABC News. “That’s what excites me. It’s just really fun and who doesn’t want to have fun? Yes, I’m 42, yes I’m the oldest, yes I’m a mom — just because you have kids, you can still write that book, be a singer, you can do whatever it is that you’re passionate about.”
Way is a former dance instructor and was also a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader for the 1997 to 1998 season. Since January, she has been training in preparation to try out as a Houston Texans cheerleader.
Way credits cutting out sugar and fat, and exercising with helping her get back into shape.
Upward of 1,000 will audition for 35 spots on the Houston Texans cheerleading squad.
All must have a high school diploma, be able to work 10 games and make 40 appearances during the year.
Candidates need to be at least 18 years of age to audition for the team but there is no cutoff, Houston Texans director of cheerleader programs and coach Alto Gary, confirmed in a statement to ABC News.
“For those of us who love to dance, it is a lifelong passion that can be done at any age,” Gary said. “We wish [Way] the best.”
If she makes the team, Way said she’d like to serve as a role model to the other cheerleaders.
“I’m hoping they come to me about questions or advice about life,” she added. “That’s what I really want to get out of it, is helping them.”
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