HONEYVILLE – Makenzie Gardner, from the small town of Deweyville, moved to Texas recently and became a dancer with the Dallas Cowboy’s high energy co-ed dance team called the Rhythm and Blue.
Dancers come from all over the country to be on the Rhythm and Blue roster. Gardner came from a dot on the map along State Highway 28 in Box Elder County and made the team of 18 this year.
“We are a co-ed hip-hop dance team with a drum line,” the 26 year-old said. “I work as a dental hygienist during the day and in the evenings I have rehearsals four times a week.”
Gardner and her husband Jared Olsen both graduated from Bear River High School and Weber State University. They moved to Dallas so Jared could continue his education. He is studying to become a chiropractor.
“I wasn’t drawn to the cheerleading, but when I found out they had this team I was so pumped,” Gardner said. “The audition was tough, long and hard.”
She danced for the Utah Jazz for a season and taught dance and choreography, but this was a new challenge for her.
“The audition process has the same expectation as the cheerleaders,” she said. “They had us do a tough, long, extensive dance routine the first time. I threw up half-way through it then went back and finished.”
She called her father and told him she didn’t think she could do it. He reassured her she could.
“He told me ‘if that’s what you want to do go back in there and finish it,’” Gardner said. “’This is the Dallas freaking Cowboys! Go back in there and do it.’”
She made the team. This is her rookie season. The team entertains audiences as they enter the plazas of AT&T Stadium before each home game. After every time the Cowboys score during the game the Rhythm and Blue Dancers & Drumline dazzles fans with celebration performances.
“My husband’s school is for three years. We can see ourselves going back to Utah. He is from Tremonton, too,” she said. “We reconnected after his mission.”
The Cowboys introduced the Rhythm and Blue dance team in 2009 to bring an innovative, unique and exciting element to the Cowboys legendary game-day entertainment line-up.
When the Dallas Cowboys started the dance team it was the only one like it in the National Football League.
“I’ve danced competitively and trained at Infinity Dance in Ogden through high school,” she said. “I worked hard to be a dancer.”
She credits her entire success to Infinity Dance instructors Kassie Searle, Mandy Shaw and Brandi Larkin for shaping who she is as a competitive dancer.
“My instructors taught me about life, drive and hard work,” Gardner said. “My parents and husband have helped along the way. There was a teacher in high school, Lisa Park, who helped a lot of people be successful. They are the ones that got me to this point.”
She misses the Utah mountains. She said those mountains help her know which way is north and which way is south.
The Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue have been requested for both charity and corporate appearances in the Dallas/ Fort Worth metroplex, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Nevada and Panama City, Panama.