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Ravens cheerleading hopefuls getting pointers from the pros

Would-be cheerleaders are getting a leg up on the competition in Owings Mills Saturday as the Baltimore Ravens hold clinics in advance of their annual tryouts.

During the sessions, the Baltimore Ravens cheerleading coaching staff and former Ravens cheerleaders provide information about the rigorous process and training tips.

NFL cheerleaders have recently been in the news as a group of Oakland Raiders cheerleaders have sued the team over low wages. Deadspin wrote about a former Ravens cheerleader who provided the website with documentation that showed the Ravens cheerleaders must follow strict rules despite low compensation. However, many members of the Ravens squad view the team as a hobby rather than a job.

Another clinic, which costs about $55-65, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Ravens training facility, 1 Winning Drive, Owings Mills. The registration deadline is Thursday.

The formal tryouts will be held on March 8 at the Merritt Athletic Club in Baltimore. About 300 candidates usually try out for about 60 slots on the team.

The first day of tryouts lasts 12 hours and the best candidates are invited back on Sunday. Then about 30 will be called in for formal interviews, and a physical and medical exam.

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