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DCC Alumni Spotlight – Heather Pliler Gorton

DCC Alumni Spotlight – Heather Pliler Gorton

We all know how exciting and highly anticipated the Cowboy’s annual Thanksgiving halftime performance is each year, and if it weren’t for the 2000 performance by Jessica Simpson, Heather Pliler Gorton may have not ended up becoming one of America’s Sweethearts. Back in the early 2000s Heather was dancing backup for Jessica Simpson when she had the opportunity to teach the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders prior to their halftime performance. It was this fated experience that led Heather to move back to Dallas from Los Angeles and try out for DCC.  

Heather can hardly remember a time in which she wasn’t dancing. Her childhood is full of memories in her mother’s very own dance studio (where fellow DCC alumnus Shelly Boston Bramhall taught as well!). It was only natural that Heather fell in love with dancing and chose to pursue dance at the professional level. At the time she chose to audition for DCC, auditions were being held all across the country. Heather chose to audition in Austin, TX where she was granted a ticket that allowed her to advance straight to finals, skipping over the usual semifinals round. At the finals portion of the audition she performed a jazz solo that surely wowed the judges and secured her spot in training camp. The team was lucky to gain a talented, experienced, and dedicated individual like Heather that year and she remained on the team from 2002 to 2004. She was a member of Show Group during both of her seasons and had an experience to remember.  

While on the team, Heather made lasting friendships, incredible memories, and had once in a lifetime experiences. A DCC memory that holds a very special place in her heart is spending Christmas in Korea while on a USO tour. She called this an extremely humbling experience and recalled the lasting impact it left on her. Heather felt so thankful to be able to bring joy to the many brave and selfless military men and women stationed far away from their families that holiday season.  

Heather recently moved from Denver, Colorado to Arizona with her husband and daughter. When asked for a piece of advice, she said to “be a sponge.” Heather believes there is so much to be learned as a part of this organization and that it’s important to take it all in while you can. There are many life lessons to be learned through DCC that can translate to nearly all aspects of life. She also added the importance of not taking no for an answer. Heather’s numerous accomplishments so beautifully demonstrate the power of following your passions and how not taking ‘no” for an answer allows you to create a life that leaves you feeling grateful and fulfilled.  

DCC Dani


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