One Shoe Can Change Your Life

Never Going to Be A Blonde...

There is just nothing long, blonde and flowing about my hair.  It’s ultra-short, brillo-like in texture, and has earned the award of ‘thickest dark hair ever’ from my veteran stylist of 20 years.  There were days in Megan’s cancer care that a hospice nurse would come to our home on emergency call in the wee hours of the morning and as I cracked open the front door in my pink fuzzy robe I would be greeted with, “Wow, you’re hair looks so good!”  The truth is my hair is completely unmovable, even in crisis, and I wake up most mornings with every strand in the exact same position as the night before.  My daily hair-do gives new meaning to the word motionless.

I did have a tinge of jealousy as I watched last week’s episode of The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – Making the Team.  Brooke Sorenson, four-year veteran of the team, moved to the forefront of the CMT camera lens as her hair-that-I-wished-I-always-had blew in the wind.  That alone was Texas beauty at its finest, then add the bonus of Ms. Sorenson swinging her goldilocks over her shoulder with powerful confidence.


Clearly, I won’t be livin’ the I Wish I Was Born a Blonde dream in this lifetime.  In spite of that disappointment, last week’s Making the Team got me a front row seat to watch Amanda Roberts, 44-year-old super fan of the Dallas Cowboys, fulfill her dream.  Selected as one of four finalists on the Good Morning America – Living the Dream contest, Amanda’s desire was to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

Kelli Finglass, Director of the DCC, granted her wish.  The coach pulled up, and Amanda stepped out in her #81 Cowboys shirt and into the world she had only imagined since her twirler days from twenty (plus) years past.

What I loved about the Good Morning America contest is that the parameters were not limited to those in extreme personal or medical crisis, nor to those with but days to live.  The contest was wide-open to any human-being who told a compelling story about a life-dream ‘just because.’

God Himself knows how grateful I am to those who made my daughter’s dreams come true, starting with Joseph Essaghian, President of Belldini clothing, who flew in from California for my girl’s one year remission party to present her with the entire 2005 fall line of Belldini sweaters.  Or how about Nebraska Cancer Specialists, who moved Heaven and Earth to secure Megan a meeting with Justin Timberlake during his 2007 Omaha concert?  There were thousands of screaming fans, and only one wish was granted…and that was to my beloved girl.

Therefore, from my heart, my hope is that every human-being that faces cancer, chronic illness, and their own mortality can be given Dream List moments to make their difficult lives divine, if only for a day.

But I also do love seeing the extraordinary touchdown in ordinary lives.  Amanda Roberts is not a middle-aged Cowgirl trying out for the team because of some mid-life crisis.  She’s just a big fan with a big dream.  Amanda inherited her Texas-sized enthusiasm from her mother.  The tradition continued when she married into the faith and said “I do” to husband and Cowboys fanatic Kevin Roberts.  I gotta say, joy flooded my heart as I saw Ms. Roberts, an ordinary woman I’ve never met, step onto Cowboys Stadium field to learn a DCC routine along with seasoned veterans.  Amanda Roberts rocked it in rhythm and motion.  I dare to say that she makes a case for a new Diva division of the DCC.  She owned that moment, and her enthusiasm for The Cowboys was contagious.

Since all things Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are done with exacting excellence, moments before Amanda’s dance routine at Valley Ranch, Fairy Godmother Kelli Finglass presented her with an official pair of DCC boots.  I almost missed the storybook moment.  But at midnight on Saturday night, I phoned BFF Janet, we cued up our TiVo’s and slowly replayed the split-second where Ms. Finglass (who said this wish would only be granted once) bequeathed the official DCC boots to Amanda.

Sweet Jesus…no boots for me and Janet?  We are the evil step-sisters.

Cinderella knew that one shoe can change your life.  And thanks to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Amanda Roberts has a pair of boots that changed hers.

Key Notes:

  • Just because it’s not your dream, you can still be happy for others as they fulfill their dream.  It’s the beauty of humanity.
  • Think your dream is silly?  It is God’s good pleasure to give us the desire of our heart. (Psalm 37:4)
  • There are many foundations that make dreams come true for children with cancer or chronic illness.  They include:
  • An organization that makes dreams come true for adults with life threatening illnesses is:

On A Lighter Note:

  • The original Grimms version of Cinderella does not name the evil step-sisters (21st century version would be Val and Janet).
  • The first show I ever saw on color television was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1965), starring Leslie Ann Warren.  I am obsessed with Cinderella to this day.
  • Janet wants everyone to know that if there is one more pair of boots to be given out, we would share. (I said nothing about sharing.)
    • Janet is a size 7-1/2.  I’m a size 8-1/2.  Janet said I’d have to squeeze into her size.  I told her she’d have to stuff paper in the toes to fit into my size.

Category: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Making the Team



  1. Enjoyable and informative as always Valerie.
    BTW – I wonder if there are or were any DCCs with size 11 narrow? Come to think of it I bet there are no cheerleaders anywhere with that size shoe. Maybe that’s why I never aspired to be a cheerleader? Can you imagine the amount of tissue paper if I had to share?

    1. Since ‘the boots’ are purely imaginary (unless I manage to make the DCC Squad next year), there are no limitations in Cinderella-land to securing magical shoes that will fit from size 5 to size 11 narrow.

      Since you are beautifully tall and slender, with really long legs, you are our best hope to make the squad next year. It could be fun, and I will loan you my official DCC Junior poms. Even better, your brother could cover it on the six o’clock news!

      But if I’m being purely honest, if I would be granted a pair of real DCC boots, I can’t imagine (how do I say this politely?) sharing 🙂

      You can keep praying for me!

  2. Well you need to come to Montrose PA this weekend to the Montrose Area Jr./Sr. High School for their rendition of Cinderella. My 2 olders daughters went and saw it today because they bused the 4th – 6th grades up to see it. My youngest is going to have Date night with Daddy to see it on Friday night while older sisters have sleep over and Mommy has a Pampered Chef Show to do. I love it when shows show that even “normal” everyday people can enjoy and excel at things. Way to go Amanda!!
    I’d never fit in either of your shoes, I’m at least a 9…you’d both have to stuff with tissues, lol.
    I LOVE that I found your blog, always makes me feel better!!

    1. What a wonderful show for your daughter to see on date-night with her dad!

      So, from the post below from Nancy, looks like the magic boots with have to go up to a size 11 narrow, for all of us to share. But as Cinderella would say, “Impossible things are happening every day!”

      I hope your daughter’s evening is enchanting, and your Pampered Chef show magical!

Comments are closed.

Article by: Valerie Bourdain

%d bloggers like this: