BLACK DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS LEGENDS:
Biography: Vonceil Baker
Born and raised in South Dallas, former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Vonciel Baker attended Lincoln High School. Although she tried out for the high school cheerleading squad, she did not make it. Not letting that discourage her, she graduated and moved on to attend Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas where she became the first African-American cheerleader in school history. Racial boundaries were finally broken, offering opportunities for future generations of African-American cheerleaders at Texas Lutheran College.
With the blessing of her college cheerleader experience, a new foundation of hope and confidence was established. After graduating college, Vonciel heard about a new opportunity with the Dallas Cowboys Football Club. With the vision of adding more entertainment, thrills, dancing and of course women into the National Football League, former Dallas Cowboys President/GM Tex Schramm brilliantly adopted and implemented "professional" cheerleaders into his organization - a concept much different from traditional high school and college squads. After hearing about this new opportunity, Vonciel went on to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Having no former instruction in dance, Vonciel stepped out on faith. She made the squad, becoming one of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in 1972. This was the beginning of an illustrious career that would span eight years, nine if you include 1975 when she became pregnant with her son and had to sit out the season, although she was still part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad.
After retiring in 1981, Vonciel left behind a legacy still admired to this day, holding the record for the longest tenure for a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. She also experienced Super Bowls, USO tours, TV shows, movies and magazine ads. However, if you ask Vonciel, out of all the P.R., movies and magazines, none rivaled the experience of stepping out of the tunnel onto the field at Texas Stadium. For Vonciel, it was a blessed experience to perform for and support one of the greatest football franchises of all time. By overcoming the fear, doubt, rejection and criticism in her life, Vonciel Baker danced her way into the hearts of America with dedication, compassion, love and grace. And to this day, Vonciel stands as a testament that dreams do come true if you pursue them. Her faith, confidence, hard work, passion and perseverance are all proof of Vonciel's heart.
(Bio contributed by Kini Knox)