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Rock & Roll – Ravens Soul

Stephanie is a knockout on the Ravens sidelines

Stephanie is a knockout on the Ravens sidelines

Guys I have searched high and low and I finally found her–the quintessential girl next door that you just can’t help but love. This girl next-door phenom isn’t just for the cheesy movies that could never happen in real life, it’s real, and she lives in Baltimore.

Meet my friend Stephanie B., a beautiful blonde member of the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders. She is a Hokie for life (yes, you Virginia Tech alum will obsess over her), used to cheer for the Tennessee Titans and for the last two years has been a great addition to the Ravens, and is even heading to Arizona as the Pro Bowl representative for her team.

You might recognize Stephanie, and not just from the Ravens sidelines. She was on American Ninja Warrior, season six – although she admits she didn’t do too well.

It’s a wonder how Stephanie found time to give us an exclusive interview as her schedule is already jam packed with nightly practices (from April – January), weekly appearances and 10 home games (where the girls have to arrive five hours prior to kickoff), plus her full-time job, which she absolutely loves.

And Stephanie doesn’t just stand on the sidelines looking stunning – she’s one of the stunters for the Ravens, trying to keep the fans pumped up throughout the entire game. She’s got a big job on her hands, but from what she tells me, the Pro Bowl-bound blond wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Man Cave Daily: Where are you originally from?

Stephanie B.: I was born in Annapolis, MD, but I did most of my “growing up” in Fredericksburg, VA.

MCD: So you’re going to the Pro Bowl! How exciting (and congrats)! What are you most looking forward to?

SB: Wow… that’s a good question! There’s so much to look forward to! Of course I’m eager to learn the choreography and perform at the game, but I really can’t wait to meet all of my teammates! I was in shock when I was voted to represent the Ravens, but now I’m just so excited to head west to Arizona!

MCD: Seeing all the Pro Bowl cheerleaders interact via Twitter, it seems you gals are REALLY excited to meet each other?

SB: Even though we’re total strangers right now, we already have so much in common with our experience cheering in the NFL. I know we’re only together for a short period of time, but I’m really looking forward to making some fun memories with my talented Pro Bowl sisters!

MCD: What school did you go to?

SB: I went to Virginia Tech! And I was actually lucky enough to cheer there, so I guess you could say cheerleading was my “sorority!” I made a lot of friends on the team, and I still cheer with one of my VT sisters on Ravens, Dana F.! Hokies for life!

MCD: Occupation?

SB: I do event sales and customer relations for a cheerleading company called The Epic Brands.

MCD: Years on team?

SB: This is my second year with the Ravens, and I also cheered for the Tennessee Titans for two

The color purple never looked so good

The color purple never looked so good

years before I moved to Baltimore. I’m lucky that I’ve had the experience working for two wonderful organizations.

MCD: Are you in the calendar?

SB: The Ravens took all the girls on the squad to Jamaica, and we’re lucky to have all of our cheerleaders featured in the calendar! As you flip through, you’ll find me in December! I was lucky to have my shoot at the beautiful “Blue Hole!”

MCD: Greatest memory?

SB: Wow, this is a tough one! There are so many! The first time I ran out of the tunnel was exhilarating and definitely unforgettable, but if I had to choose only one, I’d relive the day we played the Minnesota Vikings in 2013! We were lucky to cheer in the most beautiful blizzard, and as one of my teammate’s described, “It was like cheering inside a snow globe!” While it was too slick to stunt during the game and we were freezing cold, it was definitely one of my best games and fondest memories.

MCD: Favorite player?

SB: Of course, I will always support our quarterback, Joe Flacco, but my heart skips a beat when they put in our backup, Tyrod Taylor (I cheered for him in college at Virginia Tech!).

MCD: For those who have never been to your stadium, describe the atmosphere?

SB: I’ve had the opportunity to cheer in two different NFL stadiums, and both are totally unique. The thing I find most fascinating about M&T Bank Stadium is how the fans bring the energy with them to every game. They are incredibly passionate, and they support their team whether we’re up or down- there’s never an empty seat in our house! You should hear them during the National Anthem. I love the “O!” they shout towards the end. It’s very unique to this town because of our baseball team, the Orioles, a.k.a. the “O’s.”

MCD: If you had a Real Housewives intro, what would yours be? Or which Spice Girl?

SB: I can’t think of a good answer for this question… I don’t watch the Real Housewives, and to be honest, I was never a huge Spice Girls fan. If we’re talking about The League, I’m definitely a Jenny MacArthur–a huge football fan who can hang with the guys!

MCD: Who’s your bestie on the squad?

SB: It’s impossible for me to choose only one! I love all my teammates–both guys and girls! The Ravens are unique in that our team is split between stunt (which is coed) and dance. Because I work more with the stunt team throughout the year, I’ve developed a really strong bond with that group. I feel like I have to recognize my stunt partner, Greg! He’s the one who catches me and keeps me safe throughout the season!

MCD: Biggest misconception about NFL cheerleaders?

SB: There are so many misconceptions, but I think one of the biggest ones I face with the Ravens is that NFL cheerleading is only dance. Please don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dancing, and of course that’s what we’ll be doing at the Pro Bowl! But the Ravens are unlike most other teams in the NFL because in addition to dancing, we also throw co-ed stunts, pyramids and tumbling during the games. This adds another element of athletic ability to NFL cheerleading. Because we do so much acrobatics, our practices are extremely rigorous with a lot more risk involved. While it is more dangerous, I think that element of risk adds excitement for us and for our fans.

She must workout. (Yes, Stephanie takes great pride in her workout routines)

She must workout. (Yes, Stephanie takes great pride in her workout routines)

MCD: What charity is nearest and dearest to your heart?

SB: The Ravens Cheerleaders do a lot of work with the Ronald McDonald House. Once or twice a month, we’ll visit the Baltimore house to do crafts and play games with the children. These families are going through so much, and organizations like the Ronald McDonald house really seem to offer some relief and comfort while moms and dads can focus their time and energy on what’s really important–their child’s health.

MCD: If you could only dance/perform to one artist for the entire season, who would it be?

SB: I love rock music, so I’d have to say the late, great, Ronnie James,a.k.a. “DIO!” He’s certainly not your typical NFL cheer-style music, but his songs are classics!

MCD: What’s the most embarrassing/random thing we’d find in your recent Google history?

SB: We visited with the kids at Ronald McDonald House on Monday, and I was trying to find fun things for us to do with the kids, so I Googled “New Year’s crafts.” I’m not sure if you’d consider it random, but it’s not something I search for often!

MCD: Since you’re so busy getting ready for the games, (sadly) you miss one of my favorite parts – tailgating! If you were asked to bring one thing, what would it be?

SB: Hands down, I’ll bring the crab dip! My dad has the most amazing secret recipe! And in our city, no tailgate is complete without some kind of crab dish! Welcome to Bal’mer, hon!

MCD: I know a huge part of being an NFL cheerleader is visiting/spending time with the military (which I love!). If you could give a message to those who serve our country and fight for our freedom, what would you say?

SB:These men and women make incredible sacrifices to protect our many freedoms. I’d like to express how grateful I am for everything they do. I may wear purple on game day, but I’m red, white and blue in my heart!

MCD: Look in your purse/bag right now – what’s the most random thing in there?

SB: Ha! I just looked! A banana! When we leave the stadium after home games, we walk by a few homeless people, and my teammates and I try to bring something to give them–sometimes gloves, hats, snacks… This past Sunday after we played the Browns it happened to be bananas, and I had one left over! Hello, afternoon snack!

MCD: Favorite book?

SB: I love biographies. I think it’s fascinating to read about people’s back-stories, how they grew up, and how they ultimately became successful. One of the most entertaining books I’ve read has to be Bossypants by Tina Fey. If you haven’t read it, it will definitely put a smile on your face!

MCD: Cheerleaders are known for taking the perfect selfies – probably more so than Kim Kardashian – what’s your secret to a perfect selfie?

SB: Always include a friend! Selfies with friends are way more fun!

MCD: Twerking: Fun while it lasted or wish it never started?

SB: I was never much of a “twerker,” but after seeing some of my talented teammates, I have to say fun while it lasted.

MCD: Time for hobbies?

SB: Yes! I’m obsessed with karaoke! My karaoke spot in Baltimore is Max’s in Fells Point! I love to sing rock (Ronnie James “Dio,” KISS, and Motley Cru), but occasionally I’ll add in a Nicki Minaj song! Remember, karaoke is 90% stage presence, 10% talent! It’s all about putting on a good show!

MCD: What’s the team’s character like?

SB: The best way to describe our team’s character would be fearless. Our girls fly in so many stunts and pyramids, and as much as we strive for perfection, falling is inevitable. What I’ve learned is that no matter how hard you fall, it’s essential that you get back up and keep trying. Even though we all come from different backgrounds, all the men and women on our team have that fearless attitude, and I love that about us! If we fall, we fall, but we never stay down.

MCD: Homebody or an adventurer?

SB: I’m definitely a homebody. After I’m done with work, practice and the gym, I love to put my feet up and just watch TV or do a few cryptograms to unwind.

MCD: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

SB: I competed on American Ninja Warrior, season six, in Denver. I didn’t do very well, but I’m considering giving it a second shot this season! It’s very intense and training for the course is very difficult. Agility and grip strength are essential!

MCD: Tell me something about you people would find completely interesting?

SB: People would be surprised to find out that I’m low-maintenance. I’m not a huge fan of name-brand items. My game-day lipstick was 99 cents from Wet n Wild, and it still looks fabulous! And of course I feel like a star when I’m all done up in game day hair and makeup, but I feel just as beautiful when I’m makeup-free with a ball-cap and t-shirt. It doesn’t matter how expensive your clothes are or where you get your makeup from…It’s all about feeling beautiful on the inside.

To see this original article (and as always more photos), click here. Thanks to ShockTop for being a great sponsor to this series to learn more about the lovely ladies on the NFL sidelines.