Search Shop
Mar 12, 2022

From Miss America to America’s Team

From Miss America to America’s Team

In May of 2017, former Clemson Rally Cat Rachel Wyatt found herself on a plane with her mom, but it was no ordinary flight such as a vacation or a family get together. Wyatt was in route to chase a lifelong dream of hers: to call herself a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

After confiding in friends and family, Wyatt was determined to fulfill her goal of cheering for what is considered the pinnacle group of cheerleading.

“I reached out to former Clemson Rally Cat, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, and friend, Collin Sarvis, when I was contemplating auditioning for DCC to get her input and advice. Collin was helpful and supportive throughout the entire process, and I’m grateful to have had her encouragement.”

“A friend of mine, who was helpful and supportive throughout the entire process, encouraged me to apply,” Wyatt recalls. “I told myself, ‘if I’m going to pursuit this, I wanted to do it for the best organization out there’.”

Wyatt visited the Cowboys’ web page, where she initially applied. The application process entailed uploading a video of her own choreographed routine. Sure enough, Wyatt advanced to the next stage, an in-person audition.

“I flew out to Dallas with my mom where in-person auditions were held. There were three rounds of auditions. I was then invited to training camp, which lasted all summer long.”

Like those aspiring Dallas Cowboy football players striving to make the team beyond training camp, Wyatt’s dreams of cheering for the Cowboys came true.

Little did Wyatt know, the lasting impact of her parents signing her up for dance lessons at the age of five. A native of Piedmont, South Carolina, Wyatt began dancing at the Clemson Elite Dance Center in Seneca, South Carolina. Soon enough, Wyatt started dancing competitively in high school. In the spring of her senior year, Wyatt made a decision that would change her life forever. She was going to try out to be a Clemson University Rally Cat.

“I had two friends who were already on the team, and so that’s how I learned of the opportunity. I knew they held auditions every spring and my friends on the team just encouraged me to come try out, and so I did.”

As an incoming freshman, Wyatt made the team. She officially enrolled at Clemson in the fall of 2014 and majored in communication studies. While at Clemson, Wyatt also became involved in the ClemsonLIFE program, an outreach program designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus, as a workout buddy. She was also a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, whose mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

“Being a volunteer with the ClemsonLIFE program was a highlight of my time at Clemson. From move-in days, to yoga classes, to weekly workouts, ClemsonLIFE students brought so much joy into my life. The students in the program are incredible, inspiring individuals with endless potential. I am proud to be an alumna of a University that is redefining what educational opportunities for adults with special needs looks like.”

Outside of Clemson, she also represented the state of South Carolina in the 2017 Miss America pageant. After being named Miss South Carolina, Wyatt advanced to the national stage before being declared the runner-up in the Miss America pageant.

Wyatt recalls countless memories at Clemson as some of the best of her life, but none stood out more than one particular football game. During Wyatt’s sophomore year in 2015, she remembers the heavy downpour in an electric Memorial Stadium as the then-No. 12 Tigers escaped No. 6 Notre Dame, 24-22.

“I’ll never forget that game – the Hurricane game. I remember being down on the field, and I looked up and I literally thought the stands were moving.”

In addition to cherished memories at Clemson, she also credits her experience at Clemson with helping her develop life skills – skills that would help her land her dream job.

“Being a Rally Cat prepared me for becoming a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader in so many ways. By being a part of a team, it teaches you to work together with your teammates in order to put on the best performance possible. My experience at Clemson also helped me with time management as well as how to have a work-life balance. Obviously, being a Rally Cat also prepared me from a dance aspect, so did studio dancing, but that’s also different from being on the field in front of thousands of people.”

Having cheered in a handful of Cowboy games, Wyatt seemingly could not be happier.

“Dancing on game days still feels surreal. It is a dream come true to get to do what I love alongside some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met—my teammates. The Cowboys Club is the best in the league, and it’s an honor to have this once in a lifetime opportunity.”