DCC Alumni Spotlight – Ashley Ferrell
Ashley Ferrel completed three seasons as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader cheering in AT&T stadium from ’12, ’13 & ’14. Originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Ashley traveled down South to combine her three biggest passions of dance, football, and community service. Ashley states, “Performing for the best fans in the NFL on the biggest stage was honestly surreal, and looking back, feels like a dream that I must have made up! That experience, together with opportunities to visit the VA hospital, children’s hospitals, and nursing homes, bringing love and cheer to those who need it the most, was the opportunity of a lifetime.” With three years full of memories and once in a lifetime experiences, I asked Ashley if she could relive one DCC memory from her time on the squad, which one would it be? She stated, “Stepping onto the field for the first time as a DCC. Standing with my teammates, wearing the iconic uniform, looking up into the stands, and hearing the “Often imitated, never equaled…” introduction for the very first time was one of the best moments of my life and thinking about it still gives me butterflies. I would love to relive that memory!” Other top memorable moments from her time on the team include the squad announcement her rookie year, performing with Pitbull at Thanksgiving, and the annual Pink Halftime for Breast Cancer Awareness. During Ashley’s time on the team her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer making the Pink Halftimes especially meaningful for her. Ashley also emphasized that what you do off the field as DCC is equally as important as what you do on the field and because of that her favorite DCC tradition is Abbey Bear. The Abbey Bear tradition started during her second season in 2013 and she was fortunate enough to be given Abbey that year for going above and beyond in service of the team.
Since retiring from DCC, Ashley has been busy with accomplishments both professionally and personally. She works as a licensed professional counselor focusing on school-based mental health as a middle school counselor. She and her husband of ten years welcomed their first child, a girl, in 2016 and are expecting a baby boy this September. And if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she still shares her passion for dance teaching part-time at a local studio in Dallas and working with her mom’s studio back in South Dakota. I asked Ashley what the biggest life skill was that she took away from her time as a DCC and she replied, “Optimism, even and especially in the face of challenges. Whenever I get down or frustrated by an obstacle in my life, I remember the optimist creed that was on the walls of Valley Ranch, take a deep breath, and remind myself to look for the opportunity, lesson, or silver lining within that challenge.” In finishing our conversation, I asked Ashley a two-part question, “If you could, is there anything you would tell your younger DCC self?” and “What is one piece of advice you would give to current DCC?” Her response was “I would tell myself to enjoy it more! I spent of a lot of time feeling nervous or second-guessing myself, especially during training camp. I would remind myself to soak in the moments laughing in the studio with my DCC sisters, the smiles on kids’ faces during meet and greets, and the feeling of dancing on the field with my best friends. The time on the team is fleeting and precious. Make the most of each moment and actively practice gratitude for the experience. And, I would give the same advice to current DCC. Think about how you want to remember this time in your life and actively create those memories. You are on the team because you are YOU and no one else.” After retiring, Ashley decided to make Texas her permanent home and currently resides in Dallas, Texas, and is an active member of the DCC Alumni Association!