DCC Alumni Spotlight – Gina Alcala Parker
Louisiana native, Gina Parker cheered for the Cowboys from 1997-1999. A small town girl, she knew trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and making it, would be a long shot. Little did she know, her big time dream would become a reality. Gina enjoyed two memorable seasons as a DCC under the leadership of Director Kelly Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell. Earning $50 a game and nothing for practices, Gina and her teammates cheered for the love of the Cowboys and not much else! She was also selected for the calendar shoot during her second year, an honor that wasn’t given automatically to the entire squad. And during that shoot, Kelli had an interesting posing partner. Kelli put Gina on a farm, posing with pythons, roosters, and best of all donkeys! Thanks to that cute donkey and Gina’s natural talent, she became Miss August!
One of her favorite and a bit terrifying memories was a rainy kick-line practice a Texas stadium. As they ran around the circles in the DCC opening routine to get to their kick line spots, she and her rookie buddy Pamela, slipped and face planted straight into the ground in the middle of the routine. Trying not to laugh, she remembers Judy yelling, not thinking it was very funny. Choreographer Judy Trammell stopped the music and made the two soaking wet cheerleaders restart. As she looks back on the memory now, she smiles and still chuckles. To this day, Gina gets a nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach when she sees Kelli. She says “Kelli made all of our dreams come true, and she will never lose that aura”.
As Gina looks back, one thing she said she would have done differently was to have more confidence in herself and comfort in her own skin. Being from a small town, she did not have the dance training resources that some of the other cheerleaders had. Her piece of advice for the next generation of cheerleaders: “The night won’t last forever. Some nights get long and hard, but there will always be an end. The beautiful thing is, if you’re having a bad or off day, at least you can go to bed, wakeup the next morning and make it a better day.”
Gina retired after two seasons when finding out she was pregnant. She is now married with two children and works full time for a nonprofit charity that helps dogs with cancer, while also running an online clothing boutique. To this day, she enjoys her daily walks with one of her DCC sisters. Gina’s DCC journey was truly a memorable one!