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Member of Saintsations speaks to Kiwanis Club

(Caleb Lay/Daily Star)

SAINTSATIONAL -- Jennifer Jarreau, a member of the Saintsaions, addresses the Hammond Kiwanis Club.

Jennifer Jarreau, a member of the New Orleans Saints cheerleader team the Saintsations, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Hammond on Tuesday about how tryouts and a year on the team typically works. Jarreau went to Southeastern for her MBA.

"I think one of the special things about the New Orleans Saints is we have girls from all over the Southeast wanting to be a part of the team," Jarreau said. "We have girls coming from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas to try out. I know some girls traveled as much as seven hours."

Tryouts to be a Saintsation is a three-day affair at the end of April. The first day is when the most cuts occur, and it's based solely on the attendees' ability to dance. Everyone has to learn the same dance for the tryout before the judges.

On the second day, the girls still in the running for the 30-person cheerleading team take a test on their knowledge of football, the NFL and the Saints and go through a fitness and body fat test. Day three is the day where the judge cut the roster down to its final number.

After making the team, the Saintsations practice twice a week and attend a variety of charity and public events on behalf of the New Orleans Saints organization. And then the squad also works at each of the team's home games.

"We spend the whole day at the Dome," Jarreau. "While most of the fans show up at 11 or 11:30 [a.m.], we get there seven in the morning. The first thing we do is get on the field to practice our dances for an hour, and everything is scheduled rigorously. Everything is counted down to the minute."

The squad is separated into two teams -- a field team and an appearance team. The appearance team handles most of the public relations events on gameday, by working the pregame promotions and the promotional events during the game while in the Superdome. The field team is made up of the members of the Saintsations that dance on the field during breaks in the game.

Jarreau said that every member of the team has to try out each year regardless of how long they've been on the squad. This makes the turnover high and tenures with the team short. Jarreau said just a handful of last year's members were there for their fourth year. Jarreau plans to try out again this year.