When the Atlanta Falcons return to the gridiron in 2017 it will be in a new stadium being cheered on by some new cheerleaders. Like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 2017 Falcons Cheerleaders are also under construction. The process got underway for over one hundred and fifty aspirants stood in front of an experienced panel of judges at the Georgia Intercontinental Convention Center in College Park on Saturday morning.

Students and professionals came from all over the region for a chance at making the squad. Winston-Salem native Jenna bypassed Charlotte for the opportunity. “I just wanted to go to a place where I really didn’t know anybody,” said Jenna.

Mixed in with the other first-timers was a second generation auditioner. Kennedy picked up the cheer bug from her mother who cheered on the squad in the 1980s.

Kennesaw’s Priscilla W. came out because she loves to dance and the state of Georgia. Nothing wrong with being a homer.

Former Falcons cheerleader Kiva P. took last year off but returned to try and regain a spot on the squad. Having been through the process didn’t make it easier for the Atlanta-native. “It’s just as nerve wrecking if not more than the first time because you know what to look forward to and everything that can happen,” said Kiva. “It’s like oh my gosh I’m so excited. It’s nerves. It’s excitement. It’s great seeing your cheer sisters. All of it is amazing”

By the end of the first day of the audition process, less than a third of the field remained. Finalists from day 1 must go through an interview and a dance/fitness boot camp. A second cut will be made prior to the final audition on Wednesday evening.

Audition Gallery

photos by Jake McDonald, CORE360 Sports