For decades, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders have had a reputation as America's Sweethearts. Since 2006, the process of assembling the squad has been chronicled on Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
From auditions to cutting past members to the stresses of setting up a squad that will perform in front of a national audience each week, the show details how ruthless it can be to become a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
While many of the squad members change each year, director Kelli McGonagill Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell have been staples on the show since its inception.
Who is Kelli Finglass from Dallas Cowboys: Making the Team? In addition to directing the program, she also used to be on the squad.
Who is Kelli Finglass from 'Dallas Cowboys: Making the Team'?
Before she was ever associated with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC), Kelli McGonagill was born and raised in Texas. She began dancing at an early age, and she studied Modern Dance at the Texas Christian University (TCU). She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Marketing at the University of North Texas.
Following her graduation in the '80s, Kelli joined the cheerleading squad for the Dallas Cowboys in 1984. Her Making the Team co-star, choreographer Judy Trammell, was also a cheerleader for the organization. She did not overlap with Kelli, as she was on the team from 1980 to 1984.
Kelli made history on the team by becoming the first member to ever be invited back without having to go through the audition process again. She was part of the DCC until 1989.
Immediately after retiring as a cheerleader, Kelli was hired by the team to be an assistant director. She maintained that position for a year before shifting to a sales team.
In 1991, Kelli became the director for the cheerleading team, which is the same role she has today. She also works as a business manager for the DCC, and she's an executive producer on Dallas Cowboys: Making the Team.
Since joining the organization in a directing role, Kelli has worked on expanding the program. This effort has certainly been aided by the CMT show as well.
In years past, many of the cheerleaders were born and raised in Texas. Now, most are from other states or other countries, and they head to Texas for a chance to audition for the squad.
Who is Kelli Finglass' husband?
When she's not working with the Cowboys' cheer squad, Kelli is a devoted wife and mom of two. She married Joel Finglass in 1996, and he worked in business operations for the team.
Their daughter, Samantha, was born in 1997, and their son, Ryan, arrived a year later. Both of Kelli's kids attended Texas A&M University, and she showcases their achievements on her Instagram page.
Samantha also worked as an intern for the squad's social media accounts while she was still a student at Texas A&M.
The family lives in Coppell, Texas.
Season 15 of Dallas Cowboys: Making the Team premieres on Nov. 24 at 10 p.m. on CMT. New episodes air on Tuesdays.