‘It’s my time to shine’: New Orleans Saint’s first male cheerleader dances his way on the field in the first preseason game
- Jesse Hernandez, 25, is the first male cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints
- He is just one of few male dancers in the NFL, after two men joined the Los Angeles Rams squad for the first time in the game’s history this year
- Jesse made his debut Friday night at the Saints first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
- He sported black skinny jeans, a white jersey and sneakers and did not hold pom-poms like the rest of his female squad
The first male cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints made his debut out on the field for the team’s first preseason game.
Jesse Hernandez, 25, stepped out as the first male Saintsation in the NFL team’s history Friday night, wowing the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sporting black skinny jeans, white jersey and sneakers, Jesse was in the center of the formation, lining up with the rest of his squad performing classic Rockette-style high kicks and spins.
While college squads are commonly co-ed, Jesse is just one of the few men making their mark in NFL cheer teams, joining the ranks of male performers for the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams.
Jesse Hernandez, 25, is the first male cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints
He is just one of few male dancers in the NFL, after two men joined the Los Angeles Rams squad for the first time in the game’s history this year
Jesse joined the team in April after making it through all rounds of tryouts to be be one of the 34 dancers chosen to represent the team.
He took a video right before performing in the final round of Sainsations auditions to explain what inspired him to tryout.
Jesse said his mother inspired him to audition after hearing bout the two LA Rams dancers
‘My mom had sent me a link about the LA Rams male cheerleaders who just had made the team a week ago,’ Jesse said.
‘She told me ”it’s my time to shine,”’ he added.
According to his mother Tracey Hernandez, those LA Rams cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies – the first in NFL history – reached out to her son to extend their congratulations.
Tracey herself is a dance instructor who began teaching her son how to dance starting at the age of two.
The performer followed in his mother’s foot-steps, becoming a dance instructor himself and winning a number of dance competitions.
In recent weeks leading up to Jesse’s debut, online commenters had insulted written insults toward the dancer’s masculinity.
Those people just need to get over it,’ Tracey told The Advocate at Friday night’s game, where she watched her son nervously from the crowd.
‘We’re in 2018. Things shouldn’t be just for men or just for women. If you have the ability to do it, you should be able to do it,’ she added.
Jesse made his debut Friday night at the Saints first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
While the Saint’s battled the Arizona Cardinals Friday night, Jesse put his lifelong training to work.
He strutted out in tempo with his teammates, confidently finding his mark on the field.
Instead of pom poms, Jesse danced empty handed, punching strong fists in the air and executing coordinated spins to the song Sax.
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While his moment on the field was definitely historic, some fans in the crowd said they barely noticed a man in the group of women and passed it off as the new normal.
One woman gave her take on the change, telling The Times Picayune: ‘If he can dance and perform, I don’t care. ‘
Another woman agreed: ‘I think it’s awesome.’
He sported black skinny jeans, a white jersey and sneakers and did not hold pom-poms like the rest of his female squad
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