Jesse Hernandez, 25, is the first male cheerleader who joined the Los Angeles Rams squad for the first time in the game’s history this year. He wowed the audience this Friday night when he made his debut at the Saints first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Sporting black skinny jeans, white jersey, and sneakers, Jesse had his moment of glory, lined up with the rest of his squad performing classic Rockette-style high kicks and spins.
Although college squads are generally co-ed, Jesse is one of the few men who made their mark on NFL cheer teams and joined the ranks of male performers for the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams.
Jesse managed to make it through all rounds of tryouts and then joined the team in which he is one of the 34 dancers selected to represent the team.
Right before his performance in the final round of Sainsations additions, Jesse took a video in which he explains that his mother was his greatest inspiration to go to audition after hearing about the two La Rams dancers.
‘My mom had sent me a link about the LA Rams male cheerleaders who just had made the team a week ago,’ Jesse said.
‘She told me ”it’s my time to shine,”’ he added.
His mother Tracey Hernandez stated that those LA Rams cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies – the first in NFL history – caused her son to extend their congratulations.
Jesse’s mother is a dance instructor and she started teaching him how to dance at the age of two. He followed his mother’s footsteps and become a dance instructor himself. He also won numerous dance competitions.
Right after Jesse’s debut, online commenters had written insulting words about the dancer’s masculinity.
Those people just need to get over it,’ Tracey told The Advocate at Friday night’s game, where she watched her son nervously from the crowd.
‘We’re in 2018. Things shouldn’t be just for men or just for women. If you have the ability to do it, you should be able to do it,’ she added.
While the Saint’s fought the Arizona Cardinals Friday night, Jesse put his lifelong training to work.
He strode pompously in tempo with his teammates, self-confidently finding his mark on the field.
Jesse did not hold pom-poms like the rest of his female squad but danced, punching strong fists in the air and executing coordinated spins to the song Sax.
While his moment on the field was definitely historic, some fans in the crowd said they barely noticed a man in the group of women and passed it off as the new normal.
One woman gave her take on the change, telling The Times-Picayune: ‘If he can dance and perform, I don’t care. ‘
Another woman agreed: ‘I think it’s awesome.’