The NFL first introduced cheerleaders back in 1954, and now history will be made again on Sunday when two male cheerleaders appear at the Super Bowl for the first time in NFL history.
Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, cheerleaders for the Los Angeles Rams, are heading to the big game and into the history books. In fact, Super Bowl LIII, will be an all-around a history-making event, with the oldest starting quarterback (Tom Brady for the Patriots) and youngest head coach (Sean McVay for the Rams) in Super Bowl history.
Last year, Peron and Jinnies auditioned to join the squad, earning spots as part of the team of 40 cheerleaders who root for the Rams during each game. While both the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts have male stuntmen, Peron and Jinnies are the first-ever male dancers for a professional NFL team—and they have already inspired others. After the success of Peron and Jinnies, Jesse Hernandez decided to audition for the Saintsations, the New Orleans squad, ultimately making the 2018 roster.
If it weren’t for a missed call at the NFC championship game, Hernandez could have been the male cheerleader making history on the sidelines of the big game, but it’s the Rams and Peron and Jinnies who are Super Bowl-bound this year.
Here’s what you should know about the two cheerleaders, according to their bios:
A California native, Jinnies has spent 12 years dancing, including stints at San Marcos dance team, Esperanza Song, West Coast School of the Arts, Orange Coast College, Pace Elite, Disneyland, Team USA, and Maker Empire. He likes jazz, funk, and contemporary dance, and his favorite dance memory is winning gold for Team USA.
When he’s not performing, Jinnies is a freelance makeup artist and beauty blogger. “I felt like, this is the year. This moment in the world, it feels more accepted. If you have the talent and work hard, why not?” Jinnies told Fast Company last year about his tryout. “If someone laughs at you, I mean, this is not Carrie: The Musical. My skin is so thick.”
The California native has been dancing for 10 years with tenures at Dellos Dance and Performing Arts, Adage Dance Center, Mt. SAC, and Pace Elite. His favorite styles of dance are jazz and hip-hop, and “Wavey” by CliQ is his favorite tune to dance to.
His favorite dance memory? Making the Rams cheer team, of course. Although he probably also loved his time at Disneyland as a part of “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” on Main Street. He has also been a guest choreographer for the USC Trojan Dance Force Dance Team and Santa Margarita Catholic High School Dance Team in addition to his continuing work with different age levels from dance studios in California.
“Yeah, you get to put on the uniform, but for us this is just another stage,” Peron told Fast Company about why he tried out to be a cheerleader for the Rams. “As a performer, you will do anything to get on another stage.”
Aye Napoleon, you think Atlanta is ready for us? … NAHHHHHH ????????????… WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/oWFAElcw61
— Quinton Peron (@Qperon) January 21, 2019