Mother & Daughter, Ages 55 & 24, Audition Side-by-Side at DCC Tryouts
The rookie hopefuls at DCC Auditions have the support of their moms, knowing their parents are behind them all-the-way as they pursue their dream of making the team. But for Cary Lynn, a special education teacher from New Jersey, her mom wasn’t just figuratively ‘cheering her on’. Her mom, Suzanne, was literally standing next to her, auditioning side-by-side on the dance floor in Round 1.
For both Suzanne, age 55, and Cary Lynn, age 24, auditioning for the DCC has been a ‘bucket list’ item.
“A year ago, I was at home for Mother’s Day with my sister and my nieces,” recalls Cary Lynn. “I wanted to surprise mom with something special for Mother’s Day, plus her birthday is in May as well. So I wrote on a sign ‘Dallas 2017’ and posted that picture on Facebook. Mom was in Florida at the time taking care of my grandmother who had a stroke. I got a call from mom and she said, ‘What do you mean we’re going to Dallas?’
“I said, ‘Mom, I’m doing it! I’m auditioning and you’re coming with me! I’m buying our plane tickets and we’re going to go together and have a great time’.”
At that point, however, Suzanne was not planning on auditioning. Suzanne planned simply to go to Dallas to provide moral support to daughter, plus have some fun dancing at Friday night’s Prep Class.
That’s when Cary Lynn had to provide the closing argument.
“I told her, ‘I’m not going to pay for us to fly out there and pay for a hotel and you not go- for-it with me’,” says Cary Lynn. “Plus, I know the auditions are closed-off to the public. So I said, ‘Mom, it’s not that expensive, let me just register you for auditions. If you back out it’s okay’. So that’s how I lured her in: just come, and if you feel like doing it, it’s on your ‘bucket list’, too.’ And when I sent the original invitation last year on Mother’s Day, it was inspiration for her. Life is short and we’ve got to go for it.”
Cary Lynn’s invitation motivated Suzanne and started the competitive juices flowing.
“Like my daughter, I cheered competitively and was a gymnast through college,” notes Suzanne, an IT analyst and grandmother of two. “Then it was career, education and family until about 10 years ago when I started dancing again with an adult team. We competed as a team and I loved it. But for the past few years I’ve gotten away from the dance a little bit and started cross-fit and running on the beach.
“But as far as the motivation to come here and dance at auditions, she emphasized to me the importance to really have her back. She really made a commitment and I’m so proud of her. I almost felt obligated.”
Fast forward to last Saturday’s Round 1’s ‘Freestyle Dance’ at 2017 DCC Auditions. Cary Lynn and Suzanne stood side-by-side on the dance floor. First, they introduced themselves to the judges with Cary Lynn noting how excited she was to be alongside her mom. Suzanne reciprocated the feeling. Then the music started and each had 90 seconds to impress the judges.
Both mom and daughter did a great job, especially when Suzanne did the splits (at age 55!!!), which she executed flawlessly.
But how did two gals from New Jersey come to love the Dallas Cowboys and the DCC? After all, isn’t that the heart of Giants’and Eagles’ territory?
“We’re from the Jersey Shore area, born and bred, so we live in the heart of the NFC East and it’s been an uphill battle absolutely,” Suzanne says of their true blue status. “But it doesn’t matter. Geographically, if a team is rooted in my backyard, I’m not rooting for them. The Cowboys had such an eclectic team in the 70’s. I just fell in love with the Cowboys, from Tom Landry and the fedora, to Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones, to me that team was the epitome of uniqueness and professionalism and class.”
“When I was young I definitely learned about the Cowboys from watching games on Sundays,” says Cary Lynn. “Then eventually I started getting into my passion of dance and cheerleading and seeing the DCC perform at the stadium. I said, ‘Wow, I’ve got to try one day!’ I told myself that I would give myself a year to train and practice and brush up on all my dance and cheerleading and just go for it. I said, ‘Before age 25 I’m doing it’ and I stuck to it! It was really a passion of hers, too, so it was even more special for me to go for it.”
Cary Lynn moved from New Jersey to Connecticut to teach 2nd and 3rd graders with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and kids along the wide-ranging autism spectrum. She is also pursuing a master’s degree.
“I’m so proud of both my daughters,” boasts Suzanne. “My daughter, Kira, has two daughters of her own. Last night, while here in Dallas, Cary Lynn and I were watching my granddaughters’ dance recital in New Jersey on Facebook. Raelynn is 7 years old, Alexa Grace will be 5 next week. All my princesses love to dance. I’m so blessed. Cary Lynn, from the time she was 4 or 5 years old, she’s always been extraordinary. She’s always been passionate about dance and everything else she pursues.
“Both of my daughters are now grown and out on their own, so that’s really afforded me the opportunity to start ticking off by ‘bucket list’. I’ve been traveling pretty significantly. If I have to be in Europe for work, I try to go skiing in the Swiss Alps. I’m going to run with the bulls in Pamplona in July. And my daughter said, ‘You know what’s on top of your bucket list and has been for many years!’
“There’s an old adage that I heard many years ago and I repeat it to my daughter. It’s ‘Live a lot, take life and embrace, shake everything out of it’.”
“I remember when I was on the teenage team and she was on the adult team at our dance studio in New Jersey,” Cary Lynn notes. “My classmates would come up to me and say, ‘Did you see your mom’s pirouette? It was so good. She’s fantastic!’ So I knew that if I could get her to come down here, she would blow them away. She’s got a lot of talent and I’m proud of her, too.”
“It was such a feeling of pride,” Suzanne says, echoing her daughter’s sentiment. “I was so proud of Cary Lynn and I was trying to watch her while we were side-by-side. It was really overwhelming for a bit.”
Cary Lynn made it to Round 2 where she competed on Sunday for a coveted spot in Finals. Suzanne DCC journey ended after Prelims, but she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. She also provided inspiration for every person at auditions.
Does Suzanne have a message for anyone with ‘DCC Auditions’ written on their respective ‘bucket list’?
“I want anyone who is thinking of auditioning for the DCC to know that even if you don’t earn a spot on the team, you’re succeeding because you pursued your aspirations. You’re your own best challenge.”