As we gear up for the return of football this fall, we begin a new profile series on the Charger Girls.
The Charger Girls are spirited cheerleaders for the Bolts and the City of San Diego. In addition to performing in front of 65,000 fans at Qualcomm Stadium, the ladies star in a popular swimsuit calendar, and donate their time to participate in various community events benefiting such charitable organizations as the Junior Seau Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children’s Hospital, among others.
The Charger Girls make it look easy, but it takes great skill and dedication to represent San Diego on one of the NFL’s best professional dance teams. And it all starts with spring tryouts.
On April 15, nearly 400 women competed in the first round of preliminary auditions. Out of the top 66 finalists, 28 women earned spots on the 2012 Charger Girls roster. There are 15 returning veterans and 13 rookies on the squad, including many familiar faces with unique backgrounds.
Kara is a stand-out veteran returning to the squad for her second consecutive year. A long-time San Diegan, Kara grew up in Carlsbad and graduated from San Diego State University in 2010, where she studied public relations and marketing. Kara currently lives downtown and works in the nightlife industry. When she’s not working on or off the field, you can catch Kara running on Mission Bay, eating sushi with friends in Bird Rock and balancing a rigorous fitness regimen of cycling, cross-fit and yoga.
Get to know Kara in this week’s San Diego Charger Girls profile.
Q: What inspired you to try out for the Charger Girls?
A: I’ve wanted to be an NFL Cheerleader since I was a Jr. Charger Girl back in 1999. My first year on the squad was 2011, making this my second year with the Charger Girls.
Q: How do you prepare for the big games?
A: Every game is a big game for us. We practice twice a week, and one Saturday each month. At rehearsal we will learn and perfect routines, as well as practice public speaking and mock-interview questions. We basically prepare for everything that happens on game day.
Q: Your personal health and fitness routine? Tips for us?
A: My diet consists of foods that make me feel good and give me energy – proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables. I am hopelessly addicted to frozen yogurt so I make sure to reward myself once a week. I stay active by doing workouts and I always switch it up to avoid monotony. My favorite workouts are: running, cycling, yoga, cross-fit, and dancing of course. My biggest piece of advice: if you want to make a change, modify your lifestyle (forget dieting) and set personal goals.
Q: Most exciting part of cheering at Qualcomm Stadium?
A: The most exciting part about cheering at the games has got to be experiencing the energy from Charger fans. Seeing how passionate the crowd is about this sport really enhances the game day experience and makes it that much more special for the Chargers and the Charger Girls.
Q: Most challenging part of being on the Charger Girls squad?
A: I think the most challenging part of being a Charger Girl is time management. Some girls are students, others have full-time or part-time jobs, so being able to juggle everything can be a bit challenging at times.
Q: Best lifestyle perks that come along with the gig?
A: The organization does a tremendous job working on sponsorships for our team. We are so lucky to be able to work with companies like Diesel Salon, iTAN Sun Spray Spa, LA Fitness, San Diego Center for Health and Dr. Hagstrom with a Shop for Smiles to name a few.
Q: How often do you interact with the Charger players? Any funny behind-the-scenes memories?
A: Occasionally, we’ll do promotions and charity events with some of the Charger players. My favorite memory was at Kids News Day 2011, seeing Antonio Garay (our 6 ‘4”, 320lb defender) step out of his Hello Kitty Smart Car. I have to give him huge props for that…he’s environmentally friendly AND stylish.
Q: San Diego hair salon and stylist you can’t live without?
A: Since joining the team I’ve been with Diesel Salon, and I have fallen in love. Ly Yen was my stylist last season, she did an amazing job and she, along with other stylists, helped us out for game day and photo shoots as well. We definitely can’t live without our favorite Diesel stylists.
Q: Your personal fashion sense?
A: If I could put myself into a fashion category, I would probably categorize myself as “Comfy Chic”. I love to feel feminine and look presentable at all times, but I always manage to make sure I’m comfortable too.
Q: Favorite places to shop?
A: I like to shop at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s for the essentials. Lululemon is a must for my workout gear and if I ever need a quick outfit I know I can find something cute at Gloss in Pacific Beach.
Q: From head to toe, what do you feel best wearing?
A: A smile. Oh, we’re talking about clothes? I feel the best when I’m wearing a loose, off the shoulder top with my skinny Joe’s Jeans, heels from Aldo, earrings, a big ring, and a bracelet.
Q: What do you never leave home without?
A: You will never see me leave my house without chapstick. My go-to purse is my trusty black and gold Michael Kors, which holds my wallet, chapstick, lip gloss, gum, mouthwash, keys, and every receipt from the last two weeks (just in case of buyer’s remorse).
Q: When you’re not cheering, what is your local profession?
A: I work with VIP clients in the San Diego nightlife industry.
Q: Your ultimate career goals?
A: My dream job is to be a TV show host. I’ve been told I can be pretty entertaining and I love people so I figure it’s a great fit. I would also love to eventually start my own business someday.
Q: Favorite things to do in San Diego?
A: During the day you can find me relaxing at the beach, or running along Mission Bay. At night I love getting together with friends and eating sushi at Station Sushi in Bird Rock.
To learn more about the 2012 San Diego Chargers Girls, visit chargers.com