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Flight Crew

History of New York Jets
Flight Crew Cheerleaders

The New York Jets Flight Crew celebrates its fifth season of existence in 2011, and "flight" says it all. From a modest 10-member squad in the 2007 season, the Flight Crew has risen in size and stature, not only in the New York/New Jersey metro area but nationally, every year since.

For the 2011 season the Crew has more members than in any year previously, will begin its second season performing for fans at New Meadowlands Stadium, has completed shooting for its third annual Swimsuit Calendar (and second consecutive shoot on the island of Aruba), has sent its ambassadors across the country and internationally, and continues to add to its reputation as one of the preeminent cheer squads among professional sports teams in the United States.

"This year is the most promising yet for the Flight Crew Cheerleaders," says Denise Garvey, entering her fifth year as the Crew's director. "We have established ourselves in a very competitive and prominent market. The young women who are on the squad this year are very attractive, talented and entertaining women. They are the elite. There are only a few hundred women in the country who get to do what they do on this platform and this professional stage. They have embraced that responsibility and want to better the team to prepare for what is to come this year with the Jets."

Who are the Flight Crew Cheerleaders? They are humble, appreciative, polite and enthusiastic ladies committed to excellence and serving as role models for Jets fans across the globe.


 

2006

Denise Garvey approached the Jets about starting a cheerleading squad for the team in 2005. The Jets organization was interested but postponed making a decision on cheerleaders for that season.

Then early in the 2006 season, the Jets, who had relied on a male flag crew, extended a personal invitation to five lucky young women to run the flags during player introductions and also following touchdowns and field goals. The flag girls were such a hit with fans that in the next several games more women were added to the team. The final Jets Flag Crew for 2006 included eight women, who ultimately were featured in Sports Illustrated's Cheerleader of the Week Gallery.

Three of the Flag Crew members went on to become part of the first Flight Crew team in 2007.

Flag Girls — Jennifer, Meredith, Gina G., Monica, Allison, Miko, Amanda, Eve, Dina


 

2007

This year is the inaugural season for the New York Jets Flight Crew. Denise Garvey, former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and Knicks City Dancer, is named the first director and choreographer for the cheerleading unit.

Fifty candidates are invited to the Flight Crew's closed audition and on Aug. 7, 2007, 10 members are announced as members of the Crew's initial squad.

The Crew is so well received by the fans that the New York Jets organization decides to expand the squad to 22 members for the 2008 season. Seven members of the inaugural Flight Crew proceed to become part of the 2008 team.

Quote from Gina C. — "The number one memory I have was the first time we ran out of the Meadowlands tunnel and we started the pump-up chant: 'One-two-Flight Crew!' The deafening roar from the 80,000 fans gave me the adrenaline rush to fly through 100 yards with a six-foot flag and go-go boots. We were so grateful to soak in gameday even when we had to dance in 50-mile-per-hour winds, hail and freezing rain. It gave us something to laugh about on the long trip home to Long Island!"

Pro Bowl Representative — Linda
Rookie of the Year — Linda
Flight Crew Members — Jennifer M., Gina G., Meredith, Laura V., Linda, Ryann, Mandisa, Gina C., Kate, Courtney


 

2008

The New York Jets Flight Crew makes a quantum leap forward in the spring of 2008. About 250 candidates attend the preliminary and semifinal rounds at Hofstra University, with 51 of the candidates advancing to the final round held at Marc Ecko Studios in New York City on June 1 to compete for the 22 open spots on the newly expanded Flight Crew.

The Jets organization teams up with designer Marc Ecko to design the Flight Crew's new uniforms and image, giving them a unique look compared to standard NFL cheerleading squads.

The Flight Crew took flight, being recognized in the NFL and the Jets community. Some notable appearances included the NFL Kickoff event in Columbus Circle in Manhattan, charitable events for Boomer Esiason's and Marty Lyons' foundations, and a visit to the troops at Fort Lewis in Seattle, Wash., from Dec. 18-21.

Quote from Jessica S. — "By far the most touching experience was hearing a man calling out 'Jess!' during an appearance and not being sure if he was calling me or yelling for the players. Just in case, I turned and waved. It turned out to be a father and his children running up to get my attention. After saying hello and thanking them for coming to the appearance, they presented me with a scrapbook that they had put together of photos of me at games, appearances, with fans and with other Flight Crew members. The book was so nicely put together, I was amazed. The kids told me that I was their favorite cheerleader and always made it a point to look for me at every game. I was not only excited and happy but very touched as well. Now even after three years with the Flight Crew, while I still sometimes confuse 'Jess' with 'Jets,' I’m still very touched by all of the special friendships I have made, the people I have met and the experiences I’ve had, and I'll be forever grateful for all of it."

Poem from Danielle B. on the 2008 season:
I close my eyes and take a deep breath in
And realize my dreams are about to begin.
As the music echoes throughout the crowd,
I reflect in this moment feeling honored and proud.
True happiness, beaming from ear to ear,
Learning from each other, growing year to year.
Though it’s all just a glimpse, the time we spend together,
The friendships that arise will truly last forever."

Pro Bowl representative — Ryann
Veteran of the Year — Ryann
Rookie of the Year — Laura D.
Flight Crew Members — Anne-Marie, Alyssa, Bianca, Danielle B., Dani K., Doris, Gina G., Jennifer M., Jennifer P., Jessica, Justine, Kaz, Laura D., Laura V., Lauren P., Michelle, Mandisa, Meredith, Linda, Liana, Natalie, Ryann


 

2009

The Jets Flight Crew holds its second open auditions. Preliminary and semifinal rounds are staged at Fairleigh Dickinson University–Madison and the final round is held May 9 at Pacha NYC. From the finals, a record number of 30 young women are invited to Flight Crew Training Camp in the summer. The expanded team consists of 15 veterans from 2008 and 15 rookies, making the Jets a well-established NFL cheerleading unit.

The Crew becomes an even bigger presence on gamedays, performing routines during pregames, quarter breaks, two-minute warnings and for selected halftimes.

The Marc Ecko uniform introduced in 2008 is now much showier and "more NFL." "It's become our signature look," said Garvey. "We haven't made a change since and we plan on keeping it."

Flight Crew members are featured in the first-ever Flight Crew Swimsuit Calendar, shot at Jones Beach in New York and Belmar at the New Jersey shore and 12 members are featured in the 2010 calendar.

The Crew continues to attend numerous charity and community events. They also begin to do more television appearances, including on CBS, ESPN First Take, Channel 11's Good Day New York morning show, the Dr. Oz show and TLC, as well as online appearances including maxim.com.

The Crew also rings the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on Dec. 28, 2009, and throws the switch to light the Empire State Building in Jets Green for the 2009 playoffs.

Quote from Amanda P. — "Our fans are so supportive and have become such big part of our history through such simple things they do and say. It always touches my heart to hear how much they appreciate what we, as the Flight Crew, do for the Jets. Most recently, I was assisting a prep class for the upcoming auditions and at the end of the class; one of the girls came up to Mandisa and me to introduce herself. She then went on to say that she watches us every week and knows so much about the history of our team. She also said it was such an honor to take class from us and inspiring to even be in the same room. This was one of the many times that I walked away from the conversation thinking how lucky I truly am to be a part of this team. It is something that I will never forget. Our fans mean the world to us and we are so happy to have their dedication and support."

Quote from Linda — "I will never forget the day I saw the cover of the 2010 Swimsuit Calendar. I got a text early in the morning from Mandisa telling me to go on the Jets website right away. That was all she said. So I got to work, turned on my computer, went to the website and BAM! There was the cover shot of me. I was shocked beyond belief. I never in my life ever imagined I would be in a swimsuit calendar, let alone on the cover. It was an awesome moment in my life that I will never forget!"

Quote from Nicole — "It was Jan. 3, 2010, a day that made its mark in the NFL and NYJ history. The New York Jets had played at the old Meadowlands stadium for 25 years, and on this day, the last football game there EVER would be played. ... As a rookie, I felt a burning excitement that I had never experienced before. Along with my teammates, I experienced being a huge part of history that day. As the game grew intense in true 'NYJ football style,' the thoughts and hopes of playoffs were getting closer and closer. It was one of the coldest days all winter, 21 degrees, and with the wind-chill factor it felt like -7! Denise told us if at any point we were too cold we could step back into the tunnel to warm up a bit. Not one girl took one break — frostbitten or not, we were in it to win and didn’t want to miss a second of that game.

"The energy level was at an all-time high as the Jets played a tremendous game defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 37-0. When the clock hit 0:00, green and white confetti was blown through the entire stadium and the celebration for our advancement into playoffs took over the field. It was the first time ever that the Flight Crew took the field jumping, running, hugging each other, with no formation, no lines and no dance! All four corner groups met in the West end zone cheering for our victory. They began playing our pregame routine music, “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, and I looked up at the Jumbotron to see my fellow cheerleaders and me in a massive group hug. It was very emotional for us after months of hard work and commitment to each other and to our coach. There was absolutely no better reward than that very moment. The stadium finally was perfect, a shutout to bring us to the postseason. I am exceptionally proud to have been part of that moment in Jets history."

Pro Bowl representative — Meredith
Calendar Cover — Linda
Veteran of the Year — Meredith
Rookie of the Year — Lauren Z.
Flight Crew Members — Anne-Marie, Ashley, Amanda C., Amanda P., Christie, Danielle B., Danielle C., Gina G., Jacqueline, Jasmine, Jennifer S., Jessica M., Jessica S., Justine, Laura D., Laura V., Lauren P., Lauren Z., Michelle L., Michelle R., Mandisa, Meredith, Linda, Natalie, Nicole, Ryann, Samantha C.


 

2010

More than 300 candidates show up for the 2010 New York Jets Flight Crew open auditions. The preliminary and semifinal rounds are held again at Fairleigh Dickinson University—Madison, with the finals being held May 8 for the first time at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, the Jets' training complex across Park Avenue in Florham Park, N.J.

For the first time, the Flight Crew takes its swimsuit calendar shoot "on the road" to the Caribbean island of Aruba, with 16 cheerleaders being selected for the 2011 calendar.

The Flight Crew also goes international during the season as a contingent of the squad visits Mexico City to promote the Jets and the NFL, taping numerous segments for Fox TV Mexico and Republica Deportiva from Nov. 30-Dec. 8.

The Crew also shoots a national Gatorade commercial with LaDainian Tomlinson on Nov. 30.

On the field, the Flight Crew performs in its first-ever full-scale halftime show, staging a 9½-minute holiday piece during the Jets' Dec. 12 game at New Meadowlands Stadium against the Dolphins.

For the year the Crew makes more than 100 public appearances, including lighting the Empire State Building green for the playoffs for a second straight postseason, not to mention a number of charity events, corporate appearances and store grand openings.

Quote from Krista — "The final round of auditions came to an end and Denise Garvey walked into the fieldhouse holding the list of the 2010-2011 members of the Flight Crew. I knew that my fate on the team lay in her hands and I prayed my number would be called. Suddenly I heard. 'Welcome to the team, number 34, Krista.' If I could go back to one moment in my life, it would be that exact moment. I felt that my 20 years of dance and cheerleading paid off. I was jumping and hugging girls who at that time I didn’t even know. Little did I know those girls would soon become my best friends."

Quote from Lauren Z. — "I decided to take the risk and fill out an audition application as I knew making it on the team would turn my dream into a reality. Thankfully, the risk paid off and I made it on the 2009 team! Being a Flight Crew Cheerleader for the 2009 and 2010 seasons have been a dream come true and thus far my greatest accomplishment. Being able to dance for 82,000 fans at every home game is the most incredible, thrilling experience, and if that's not enough there's even more amazing experiences I've had as a Flight Crew Cheerleader!

Pro Bowl representative — Mandisa
Calendar Cover — Jennifer
Veteran of the Year — Jessica S.
Rookie of the Year — Krista
Flight Crew Members — Adele, Amanda, Anne-Marie, Ashley, Brittany, Cait, Christie, Crystal, Danielle, Ellana, Jacqueline, Jasmine, Jennifer M., Jenniphure, Jessica S., Jessika, Karen, Kayla, Kimberly, Krista, Laura V., Lauren P., Lauren Z., Linda, Lindsey, Mandisa, Marie, Meredith G., Meredith J., Michele, Nicole, Ryann, Samantha, Sara


 

2011

The Jets Flight Crew begins a fifth season with open auditions as the preliminary, semifinal and final rounds are all held at New Meadowlands Stadium. The finals are held on May 7, with a record 40 candidates qualifying to attend Flight Crew Training Camp this summer.

Even before camp, the Flight Crew participated in its third annual Swimsuit Calendar shoot, held for the second straight year on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

The Crew also is doing more media appearances than ever. The stops include on CBS' "Good Day New York," "Fox and Friends," on maxim.com, esquire.com, the Martha Stewart TV show and the Hallmark Network, and in Fitness Magazine as well as the New York Daily News and New York Post.

As the Jets Flight Crew entered its 2011 training camp, Denise Garvey said:

"The positive dynamic is one that I have not seen to this level in our training camp. These ladies are expected to come to training camp and give 150 percent every week during the summer and they do so with enthusiasm that is unmatched. This group rises to the occasion each time the going gets tough in our training process.

"They won’t let themselves crumble under pressure because they know the enormity of the opportunity they have been given and want to succeed to join this exclusive group of performing artists.”

Quote from Laura V. — "After all the hard work the squad puts in during our summer training camp, all I think about is how exciting it is to step foot on the football field at New Meadowlands Stadium. I also love being able to meet the fans and take pictures and talk to them before each game.

"Each year, this team has grown and has advanced in many ways. I will never forget being able to shoot two years in a row for our Swimsuit Calendar and being able to be a part of the calendar. Each year we grow both in size and appearance. I will never forget performing in Times Square for the pep rally and being on the Jumbotron in Times Square in Manhattan."

Quote from Michele R. — "The past two years have been full of memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I’ve danced in both the old Meadowlands stadium and the New Meadowlands Stadium for 80,000 fans. I’ve performed on the Dr. Oz show, Good Day New York, Today in New York, and Fox and Friends, to name a few television programs the Flight Crew has been featured on. I’ve traveled to Aruba with my team to shoot for the 2011 Swimsuit Calendar and had the privilege of being chosen as Miss June. I’ve performed at charity events, private events, been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and my local town’s paper. The list of unforgettable moments goes on and on.

"I will one day be able to share with my children all of these wonderful memories and will hold these moments dear to my heart for the rest of my life. I am a part of Flight Crew history in its initial years of inception and it’s been an honor, a privilege, a pleasure, a challenge and an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything."