Sara D.: Let's jump right in. You've transitioned from one red and black team to another. Tell me about the differences between AFC and UGA's Dance Dawgs.
Erin P.: Red and black look good on everyone! The most obvious differences between the two are squad size and audience. The dance team at the University of Georga, the Dance Dawgs, was a squad of 12 when I was there, and we danced at all mens and womens home basketball games, gymnastics meets and various school and spirit events. AFC is about four times that size and we only dance at 10 home games but in front of 60,000-plus fans. The arenas are so different but I can't pick one over the other. Both experiences have been so special!
SD: You're from Peachtree City. Please explain the golf cart thing, because I'm still trying to learn about it.
EP: Man, I miss home! Peachtree City is a golf-cart community with several different golf courses and over 100 miles of golf-cart paths throughout the city. You can get anywhere by golf-cart. Schools have parking lots for them. You can go to the store, out to eat at a restaurant or just on a leisurely drive. There's even a golf-cart parade on July 4th!
SD: A golf-cart parade? I think I need to see this! Did you have a golf cart growing up?
EP: I actually didn't have a golf-cart until I was older, but luckily all of my friends and neighbors had them so I didn't miss out!
SD: Did you ever get into a wreck? How would that work? Sorry for the golf-cart question streak. I'm fascinated.
EP: I'm a responsible driver, Sara! I never got in a wreck, but it is fairly common. Unfortunately, the accidents can be pretty serious, so there has been legislation to enforce rules over the last few years. The police enforce traffic laws on golf-carts very similar to regular cars.
SD: Well, how about that. I just learned something new! OK, let's move on past golf carts. You've transitioned into a really cool new career. Tell me about it.
EP: Let me just say that I have been truly blessed in my professional career. I'm a consultant in the technology space for an amazing web development agency in Atlanta. We help companies identify their business objectives and build and implement the technologies that support them. Pretty cool stuff. Every day is a new challenge!
SD: That's fantastic! Good to love what you do and do what you love. What's the ultimate for you? What's the big dream to achieve?
EP: I'm not sure I'm supposed to know the answer to this. I want to continue to learn, grow, help, and make people laugh for the rest of my life. And, I want to be able to provide for and take care of my parents so they can finally relax. They work too hard. I'll add to that and say that I'd like to work for myself someday. Doing what, I don't know yet. Suggestions?!
SD: I think that's a perfect plan, actually! OK, tell me something about yourself that would surprise people.
EP: I watched those terrible Spanish soap operas on Telemundo growing up. I can still sing some of the theme songs and want to be in one.
SD: Weird! Me too! So what are some of your favorite Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders memories?
EP: There are so many memories that come to mind! We do a lot of hospital visits around different centers in Atlanta. Several of the cheerleaders, myself, and Tony Gonzalez surprised a big group of kids in the newly renovated activity center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Babies, toddlers, kids, and young teens — all patients at the clinic, came pouring into the center to come see us. The smiles on their faces were unbelievable. It's hard to believe that I could brighten their day when these kids were the courageous ones.
SD: That's so great! Those hospital visits are ones that seem to have a huge impact! What's the most exciting thing about being on the field?
EP: Other than performing, I would say the sheer amount of people. You look up and see screaming fans blurred by bright lights and it's just incredible.
SD: Would you rather fly or be invisible? Why?
EP: Fly, duh. There's something creepy about being invisible. Makes me think about the Kevin Bacon movie.
SD: What's one thing that you think would surprise people about the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders?
EP: The cheerleaders that you see out at appearances in the community are real cheerleaders. Yes, people, real cheerleaders. Not fake cheerleaders!
And there you have it, Falcons Faithful! Want to learn more about Erin? Visit her bio or follow her on Twitter. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter as well. Get ready, first year line captain Zorah is my next big interview.