For the first time in decades, two male cheerleaders will be a part of the New England Patriots cheering squad.
Driss Dallahi, 23, and Steven Sonntag, 22, both who are gay, were inspired to audition after seeing the success of out Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron. Jinnies and Peron performed with the Rams cheering squad at the Super Bowl.
“At least in my lifetime, it was the first time I had seen two men do something like that,” Dallahi told WBTS-TV.
Dallahi and Sonntag were the only men who auditioned.
“I attended that workshop and walked in and heard there was another boy, and so I was immediately looking around trying to find him,” Sonntag says. “We didn’t really know the criteria for male cheerleaders auditioning for the New England Patriots, so we kind of created that together in texting back and forth.”
Both men made the cut and they are now the first male cheerleaders to be on the squad since the 1980s.
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Two men have made the New England Patriots — cheerleading squad, that is. Steven Sonntag and Driss Dallahi were among 14 rookies who tried out and made the final cut for this year’s Patriots cheer squad, according to an announcement posted on the team’s website. The Patriots haven’t had male cheerleaders in decades, Patriots cheerleader director Tracy Sormanti said. “The Patriots had male dancers on the squad in the late 1970’s,” she said in an e-mail. “The men’s role transitioned to more stunting/tumbling/cheerleading in the early 80’s.” Welcome to the team Steven and and Driss! #Patriots #Patsnation @stevennsonntag @drissj.dallahi
Dallahi and Sonntag shared the news on their respective Instagram accounts.
“So excited to say that I am now a NFL Cheerleader for the New England Patriots,” Sonntag wrote.
“Never thought something like this would be possible but today’s the day. So excited and grateful to officially be a 2019 New England Patriots Cheerleader,” Dallahi captioned his own post.
Check out Dallahi and Sonntag’s dance skills below.