Mother of 4 wants to become oldest Houston Texans cheerleader

HOUSTON, Texas -- A mother of four is looking to fulfill a dream to become the oldest cheerleader in Houston Texans franchise history.

Melanie Way is on a mission, and for the past few months, she's worked on her diet, exercise and dance routine.

This Saturday, she hopes her hard work pays off when she auditions for the Texans.

"I've been telling myself, 'when I make the squad,'" Way said. "'When I make the team.'"

It's confidence she's given herself because the moves don't come as easy anymore.

"Just because I'm 42 doesn't mean your life is over," she said.

The Texans said the oldest cheerleader they've ever had was in her mid-30s.

Experience is a good thing for her though. Way performed as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader 21 years ago.

"It was fun dancing on the field," Way said. "It's an amazing experience to be out there and the fans are cheering and you're dancing, you're just having a blast."

Way won't be the only one looking for this kind of experience. The team said upwards of 1,000 will audition for 35 spots.

Candidates need to be 18, have a high school diploma, be able to work 10 games, and make 50 appearances during the year.

The Texans won't say how much it pays, but said the cheerleaders do get compensated.

"We are paid hourly, and we pay everything you do, and you're paid," Texans cheerleader coach Alto Gary said. "Come to a photo shoot or practice, you're paid. I mean every time you step out the door, is that Houston Texans, you are paid."

Money isn't why Way is auditioning. Since her time with the Cowboys, she got married and raised kids.

Now, she's hoping to use this audition as a way to show her kids that age is a just a number.

"I hope they see that and I hope they take that with them as they get older and they chase their dreams just like I am," Way said.

If you're interested in the auditions, visit

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