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Carista Ragan was one of the youngest on the squad at only nineteen years old when she cheered from 1988-1989. She even got to cheer with current director, Kelli and had Judy as her Assistant Choreographer! Carista grew up wanting to become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. She was involved in beauty pageants and was a well-rounded dancer. She used to be painfully shy but pushed herself by participating in pageants and became the leader she is today.

Now an attorney, Carista is the chief legal officer for a tech company. Because of her time as a DCC, she can stand in front of thousands and speak, train others, and lead conferences, something she would’ve never been able to do if it wasn’t for being a DCC at such an early age. One noteworthy thing she has done is gone on to speak at D Magazine Women’s Leadership Conference.

Some things Carista talked about were all that she learned as a DCC. She recalled being able to travel on both the spring and winter tours to different countries. She found these experiences extremely humbling. Since she was so young, she said that this was an eye-opening experience about the rest of the world. One thing she specifically remembered was driving through the Philippines and seeing kids who had no shoes, running around yet they were still full of joy.

If she were to give others advice today, she would tell others to work on the inside as much as the outside. DCC wants the type of girl who will represent the uniform and organization well. Yes, they want someone who dances wonderfully, but you do have to be able to speak and communicate with others. She also would say to be ready for training camp! You will receive constructive criticism; however, they are only trying to make you better. You’re there for a reason!

Before our call ended, she shared a funny story with me! She was on tour and was with Kelli and Tina. At the time, she had bangs that kept getting in her face while she danced. She asked Tina for help trimming them, so Tina cut her bangs…wet! They shrunk up so bad that she said she looked like a child who got ahold of scissors and cut her hair! She said they all laughed about it and still do to this day! This just goes to show how strong the sisterhood really is!

DCC Chandi

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