DCC Alumni Spotlight – Michelle Druga Fraser
Michelle Druga Fraser was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and cheered two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. In a phone interview with her, she shared details of her time on the team, and explained that she had two very different experiences during those years. She was eighteen years old as a rookie in 1986, and became a veteran, years later in 1994. Michelle’s journey through auditions and her time on the team is a unique one.
Michelle was encouraged to audition by a former DCC who was subbing as her drill team director at the time. She claims that her dance training was minimal by today’s standards, and believes she owes her spot on the team primarily to her performance quality. Legendary Hall of Fame Coach, Tom Landry, was the Cowboys’ coach her first season as a cheerleader, and the season flew by in an exciting blur. At the conclusion of her rookie season, Michelle took a break to finish earning her college degree and then was persistent in re-auditioning until she was accepted to training camp once again. However, she had just received her dream job as a teacher and drill team director and made the tough choice to step away from DCC to pursue her career. She then auditioned again and made the team, along with the captain of the drill team she had been coaching. Getting to cheer alongside her dear friend and captain, made her veteran year all the more fun. Michelle remembers how difficult being a rookie can be, especially at such a young age, and is thankful she was able to truly enjoy and embrace her second season as a veteran.
CMT’s reality show, “DCC Making the Team” was not on the air when Michelle cheered, however, she explained there were other obstacles the cheerleaders of her day faced. The DCC used to perform different dances for pregame, halftimes, and quarter changes, only repeating choreography occasionally. Michelle said it was a challenge to master all of the material they were expected to perfect week after week, so to help, she and her teammates would print the gameday line up on the handles of their oversized poms. She recalled many laughs shared in the locker room, and a comical rehearsal in the freezing rain on a tarp covered field at Texas Stadium. After retiring as a DCC, Michelle continued working for the Dallas Cowboys in their Sales and Marketing Department.
Michelle resides in Dallas with her husband and 2 children, and stays in touch with many of her close DCC sisters. After reflecting on her time as a cheerleader, she said the thing she treasures most are the relationships she formed with teammates that have stood the test of time. She shared that while her family was walking through their lowest valley, her DCC sisters were a “blanket of love and support” and were there for her when she needed them most. Michelle believes the bond that makes the DCC sisterhood so special has a lot to do with the emotional maturity that comes from having the courage to audition, and learning to accept rejection and criticism. She is thankful for the way being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader shaped who she is today in many ways, big and small.
DCC Rachel W