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Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders
By Michael Vandermause
For BaltimoreStories.com

The NFL is chock full of different cheerleading squads from coast to coast. So what makes the Ravens cheerleaders so special? They have a set of skills that no other team in their league has. They are the only NFL cheerleading team to have a stunt squad that performs high-energy and often dangerous acrobatic routines. Other NFL teams support the football squad, dance during timeouts and pose for the TV cameras at the games, but the Ravens put on a show you won't see anywhere else in the NFL. Take a look behind the scenes with a one-of-a-kind cheer squad…

This unique team also has something more to offer than breath-taking stunt routines. The men and women of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders have strived to become an active and influential force in the Baltimore community and abroad. On several occasions, they have performed overseas for the brave American troops fighting in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. They make countless appearances, signing autographs and putting on shows at children's hospitals and at charity events across the Baltimore area. And when they are done signing autographs, they take off their cheer shoes, put on their work boots and spend their free time helping to improve the community by feeding the poor and helping to build low-cost housing. Under the direction of head coach Tina Simijoski, stunt coach Napoleon Martinez and dance coach Tracey Ricker, the Ravens Cheerleaders are more than anyone would come to expect from a NFL cheer team.

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Behind the scenes with Ravens Cheerleaders: The medieval-style building, adorned with a giant stone carving of the team logo, can be quite intimidating to enter for the first time.

Community Appearances: When the Ravens Cheerleaders are back in the states, they participate in anywhere from 60 to 80 different charity events each year.

More Than Just Cheerleaders: The Ravens Cheerleaders are kept busy with a grueling practice schedule and weekly performances at home games.

Putting Down the Poms, the Autograph Pens… and Making a Difference: Autumn Harvest, Hurricane Katrina Relief and Habitat for Humanity.

Supporting the troops: One of the most extraordinary things the team has done was going overseas to perform for the American troops serving in the Mediterranean region.