WCPO traffic reporter Jaclyn DeAugustino named Ben-Gal cheerleader

First off, I want to say how honored I am to be named a member of the 2017 Ben-Gal Cheerleaders. Thank you to all of our wonderful viewers and my coworkers for the kind words and messages! I appreciate all of the support more than I can put into words.

Jaclyn in fourth grade, ready to dance

To be completely honest, I wasn’t planning on trying out for the team at first. I’ve spent most of my life dancing and was also fortunate enough to be part of the dance team at The University of Florida in college -- it has always been one of my passions. When I heard about the Ben-Gals open class prior to tryouts, I figured it would be fun to pull out the old dancing shoes (literally).

I had an amazing time during the class and realized how much I missed performing. Not to mention, the women on the team and the coaches are also extremely commendable people.

I was a bit worried about my current hectic schedule and the time commitment but came to find out that all of the current Ben-Gals also have full-time jobs that require extreme dedication (nurses, teachers, dance coaches, etc.). Knowing the amount of commitment teaching requires from my mother, I felt really inspired by these women to move forward with the process.

The tryout process was definitely lengthy and challenging, but absolutely worth it. Over the course of two weeks, we learned numerous routines and skill sets to perform in front of a panel of qualified judges. The finals were open to the public, so that was nerve-racking! I have to admit I was a bit nervous since it has been about three years since I have performed. I was so thrilled to find out that I was one of the 28 women selected.

WATCH: Cincinnati Ben-Gals hold final auditions for 2017 NFL season

The main reason I wanted to be a Ben-Gal is for the relationships and memories that come with these kinds of experiences. Most of my favorite college and high school memories are from my dance/cheer teams and I still keep in touch with a number of teammates. I believe I’ll cherish these friendships for the rest of my life! Having had the pleasure of dancing alongside some pretty incredible women in the past, I am looking forward to doing so again right here in Cincy.

I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity! Of course, my family is as well -- especially my dad who is from Pittsburgh and an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Jokes on him, ha! ;)

Be sure to check out the full 2017 roster here.

See you in The Jungle - WHO DEY!

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