Meet Sydney Durso McArthur

I had the opportunity to interview local celebrity Sydney Durso McArthur about her life, her advice for young girls following their dreams and her experience as a professional cheerleader and dancer. Sydney is a valley resident, and was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for seven seasons as well as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer for one season. These days Sydney owns her own business Live Love Game Day.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself before you were a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, where did you go to school and what were your hobbies before being a cheerleader?

A: I graduated form Sharyland high school a year early, in 2007. I grew up dancing classical ballet as well as gymnastics and tennis. When I was in high school, I became more focused on my classical ballet training at Deborah Case Dance Academy in McAllen. I performed in the RGV Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker for over 5 years—as the Harlequin Doll, Clara, Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. After graduating high school in 2007, I broadened my dance experience by taking hip-hop and modern classes and joining a competitive team at DanzForce Academy. I also competed for Miss Rio Grande Valley Teen USA, that year, under Debi Chavez where I was crowned as Miss RGV Teen USA and placed as second runner up and won Best Swimsuit at Miss Texas Teen USA. 

Q: When did you first decide you wanted to tryout to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?

A: While at a dance competition with DanzForce Academy in Denton, Texas, I was approached by one of the judges after my solo performance. She gave me a “bye” to the semi-final round of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders auditions. I never imagined that I would leave my home in the Rio Grande Valley, but after much thought, I decided to pack up and audition for the, “often imitated, never equaled,” Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. 

Q: Did your experience dancing in the Rio Grande Valley Ballet help while you were trying out to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and later a Dallas Mavericks Dancer?

A: Deborah at Deborah Case Dance Academy truly shaped me into the dancer I am today. I will forever believe that classical ballet training (even just a little goes a long way) will help you excel in almost every other form of dance. Melissa at DanzForce Academy also helped prepare me for the DCC because she was incredible at teaching us performance skills and the right dance facials. The combinations of classical ballet training and performance skills are definitely a must-have when it comes to auditioning for a pro team. 

Q: In 2007 you were Miss Rio Grande Valley Teen, what was that experience like?

A:I love the USA pageant system because it teaches girls confidence, poise and so much more. As Miss RGV Teen USA I will never forget the fun and fashionable experiences such as modeling up on stage in sparkly gowns and teeny bikinis, but most importantly, I will never forget the wonderful acts of community service we all did as titleholders. Sometimes having a crown on your head that you can quickly take off and share with a sweet little girl at a children’s hospital makes all of the difference in the world. I fell in love with community service as Miss RGV Teen USA, and I was so thankful that I was able to continue that and more with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Q: After retiring from being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, why did you decide to tryout to be a Dallas Mavericks Dancer?

A: I went straight to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders a few days after my 18th birthday. While I was incredibly thankful for seven amazing seasons on the football field, I knew that I was not done performing. Dancing on the court in front of hundreds of crazy basketball fans seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue my dancing career. I cheered for one season with the Dallas Mavericks Dancers and then I officially hung up my pom-poms when I walked down the aisle to marry my incredible hubby and changed my last name!

Q: What is your favorite memory as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?

A: My favorite memory as a DCC would be my first USO tour overseas. I got to visit South Korea to preform for our military men and women. Since then, I had the honor of performing on USO tours in Japan, China, Kuwait, Bahrain, Guam and Hawaii. 

Q: What is your favorite memory as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer?

A: To me the coolest thing about the DMD is the rush of running out instantly and performing a fun and fast routine on the court and then running back off just as fast. The crowd goes wild when we are out there performing and everything is just so exciting!

Q: What advice do you have for other girls from the Rio Grande Valley about following their dreams?

A: No matter where you are in life, you can follow your dreams. The word impossible says “I’M POSSIBLE,” so you just have to get out there and try. Even if you do not make your dream team the first time around, don’t give up. You can always try again the next year or try out for another team and learn/grow as a dancer and performer.