Ever wanted to be a Cronulla Sharks Mermaid? Here's your big chance

Excited: Cronulla Sharks Mermaids Ally Messer, Jessica Gallimore and Alex Saunders and are ready for the new season. Picture: Chris Lane
Excited: Cronulla Sharks Mermaids Ally Messer, Jessica Gallimore and Alex Saunders and are ready for the new season. Picture: Chris Lane

THE Cronulla Sharks had plenty to cheer about last season, so it's only fitting that the club's cheerleading squad are already preparing for 2016.

The Cronulla Sharks Mermaids are on the lookout for new members to join the group in the lead up to next season, with auditions to be held on Monday night.

The Mermaids, consistently regarded as one of the best cheerleading squads in the NRL, are popular with Cronulla fans for adding colour and glamour to Sharks' home games.

Jacqueline-Lee Elliott, who is in her fifth year as the squad's choreographer, said a lot of work went into maintaining the Mermaids' high standards.

"I'll pre-plan a routine and we have rehearsals on a Monday night that go for about three hours," she said.

"We teach them everything they need to learn for the game that weekend and we meet an hour before the gates open to do a run through on the field.

"The girls have to put in a lot of work to stay fit and healthy, plus they have to rehearse the routines.

"In the lead up to the season we start training in the second week of January where they learn pretty much all the choreography that they'll need for the year."

Elliott, who spent nine seasons on the field as a Mermaid before taking up her role as choreographer, said the Mermaids set the bar for other NRL squads.

"We've had great feedback over the last couple of years about game day," she said.

"We're a professional squad as well, the girls are producing high-quality stuff every week.

"We've got ex-gymnasts, rhythmic gymnasts and professional dancers who are out there working in the industry.

"It's a high standard of dance here: all the girls have got different skills and are trained in different ways."

"The Mermaids are such a strong brand in the community and the NRL, they're brand ambassadors for the club."

Mermaids' auditions will be held on Monday night with aspiring dancers to perform in front of a cast of judges, with the squad to be selected on criteria of dance ability, physical fitness, personality, appearance and poise.

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