• October 22, 2019

Eagles cheerleader raves about the experience - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Eagles cheerleader raves about the experience

Former Junior Miss O.C. loves being a role model, helping the community

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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 11:28 am | Updated: 2:00 pm, Fri Sep 27, 2019.

OCEAN CITY – Emily Aita was awestruck.

She had lined up with the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders for the national anthem, the fireworks were going off and she could feel the intensity of the fans in the atmosphere at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia.

“It was one of the most surreal moments of my life to be out there,” the rookie Eagles cheerleader said. “I honestly was tearing up and it was just the most incredible and memorable moment I’ve had, being able to be around those fans and that passion and excitement they bring. 

“It made me so overwhelmed with excitement myself,” she added about the preseason scrimmage. The excitement has since transferred into the regular season games. “Being able to bring my passion onto the field and share it with everyone else (is) absolutely incredible.”

This past summer, Aita made the 36-member Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading squad out of some 300 dancers and cheerleaders who tried out.

Aita, 23, of Newtown, Pa., wasn’t a cheerleader in high school at Notre Dame in Lawrenceville or at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., but she has been living a dance life since she was a toddler.

“As soon as I could start dancing, I did,” she said. Aita was 3 years old.

The longtime summer resident of Ocean City said one reason she chose Notre Dame High School “was because they had such an excellent performing arts program so while I was there I took so many different dance classes, which I got academic credit for, and I was on the dance team and involved in different musicals.”

That carried over to Muhlenberg, where she double-majored in business with a marketing concentration and in dance with three concentrations – performance, education and choreography. “I wanted to get so much out of my dance education,” she said. “It was a lot, but it was worth it because the education I got was so incredible.”

At Muhlenberg she auditioned for different performances in a range of styles from pointe and ballet to jazz and African. She may not have been a cheerleader, per se, but she was a member of one of the college dance teams so she performed at pep rallies and sporting events.

That background took her to the Eagles cheerleader tryouts.

“Obviously I love dance,” she explained. “That’s always been a passion of mine. Even more than that, I have this passion for the community and giving back. I knew that was something the Eagles cheerleaders do and are known for, being role models in their community and being role models for younger cheerleaders and dancers. That was something I always aspired to be.”

Aita was a role model when she served for a year as Junior Miss Ocean City 2011, and for a much longer time – as a big sister.

She is the oldest of the four daughters of Daren and Lori Aita. Two of them, Hope, a sophomore at Notre Dame High School, and Paige, a freshman at Penn State University, followed in Emily’s direct footsteps in the Ocean City pageant scene. Hope and Paige both were Junior Miss Ocean City winners and before that, Little Miss Ocean City winners. Abby, the second-oldest sister, a senior at the College of William and Mary, was an academic standout like her other sisters, but stuck to athletics – competitions that did not require gowns and crowns.

“I love having three best friends that I grew up with,” Aita said. “I’ve always tried to be a role model to them. I really hope I have done that in dance and in life, and in a strange way that has prepared me for being an Eagles cheerleader because we’re such role models to other dancers and cheerleaders in cheer clinics that we have. I feel that being an older sister has prepared me …. I’ve been blessed with such an amazing life.”

She said the cheerleader tryout experience was incredible and unforgettable – about a two-month process involving four rounds of cuts starting with an open call of about 300 candidates.

“From there it got smaller and smaller until it was the final round of auditions and they selected the 36 of us,” she said. “Overall, it was a really positive audition experience for me.” It has been a whirlwind since.

“We definitely are always learning something new, which I absolutely love. There are lots of different routines and cheers,” she said. “We are professionals, so we learn at a faster pace. There is so much to get done in our practices so we all take in the material we’re learning and I take time at home to practice before going back to practice the next day.”

There is more to being an Eagles cheerleader than cheering.

“First and foremost the biggest duty is that we’re representing the city and the organization, the Philadelphia Eagles, and I’m so proud to be a part of that,” Aita said. “We cheer and dance at the home games and at different events. We do a lot of community events and philanthropic events and my first event I did was the Eagles playground build, which was so incredible to be jumping into the community and building a playground for these students who otherwise wouldn’t have one.”

Another event brought her back to Ocean City with another cheerleader, a DJ and mascot Swoop to meet people on the Boardwalk by the Music Pier. “That was so cool,” she said.

Although Aita and the other Eagles cheerleaders are in close proximity to the players at games, about the only time they get to interact is when they’re at public functions.

“We do have some crossover at community events, but they are so hard-working and we are working to get ready for games and … we have separate practices so most of the time when we do get to see them it is at events, but it’s always nice to see them. They are incredible.”

Aita said she isn’t sure where her experience as an Eagles cheerleader will lead.

“I guess I have always lived by the mentality of living each day to its fullest …. I know I love being on this team. 

“I just want to see where life takes me,” she said. “That’s why I’ve become an Eagles cheerleader because I want to pursue my passion and see where it takes me. This is a dream come true.”




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