DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced today that cheerleaders will debut this upcoming season. The Detroit Lions Cheerleaders will be coached by Rebecca Girard-Smoker who has been hired as the Director of Detroit Lions Cheerleaders.

“The Ford Family is unwavering in their commitment to improving the Detroit Lions fan experience on and off the field,” said Detroit Lions Team President Rod Wood. “After thorough consideration and receiving input from our fans through season ticket member surveys and focus groups, we believe that this is an opportunity to elevate our game day entertainment.”

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The team’s cheerleaders will perform choreographed dances and cheers as an integral part of the in-game entertainment. The squad will also have a presence in the community, appearing at various media, fan and sponsorship events.

Auditions for the 2016 Detroit Lions Cheerleaders will begin Saturday, June 25 at Ford Field with call backs the remainder of the weekend. Pre-registration is required and details are available online at Detroitlions.com/cheerleaders or by calling 313-262-2300. There will be an industry standard $25.00 fee for registration. Detroit Lions Cheerleaders auditions will be closed to the general public.

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Following auditions, there will be a five day training camp for finalists in mid-July. The 2016 Detroit Lions Cheerleaders squad will be introduced in early August fully integrated into the game experience by the regular season home opener September 18 against the Tennessee Titans.

Girard-Smoker joins the Lions after more than 25 years of experience in casting and developing talent in sports entertainment with the NBA, WNBA, AFL, MLB, MiLB and NCAA. Most notably, she spent 10 seasons with Palace Sports and Entertainment as the Dance Team Director for the Detroit Pistons Dance Team – Automotion. Girard-Smoker also has two decades of experience consulting, judging and developing programs in the dance and cheer industry with a focus on marketing, brand development, public relations, fan engagement, image and performance readiness.

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“We have maintained all along that if we added cheerleaders it would be done the right way and hiring Rebecca is a great first step,” said Wood. “Her experience locally and nationally will ensure that Detroit Lions cheerleaders will be great representatives of our team as well as ambassadors to the community.”