Victoria is the breakout star of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. After filming, she quit the team.

There's a lot to digest after watching the new Netflix docuseries America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, but most viewers' immediate takeaway has been: Victoria Kalina deserves the goddamn world.

In the series, Victoria is introduced as a fourth-year cheerleading veteran who happens to be one of a handful of legacy cheerleaders. Her mother Tina was also a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (DCC) for four years in the '80s. 

But what sets Victoria apart in the seven-part series is how candid she is about her more vulnerable sides. Victoria speaks candidly about her history of mental health struggles and disordered eating, along with detailing how her issues of perfectionism have weighed on her throughout her time at DCC, which was a lifetime dream of hers growing up.

Watch the trailer for the Netflix series. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

So what do we actually know about Victoria? We're diving deep into America's Sweethearts most fascinating subject.

Victoria's introduction on Making The Team.

Victoria was first introduced to viewers on the reality TV show, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, a series that aired on US network CMT for 16 seasons from 2006 until it was axed in 2022. 


Like the Netflix series, the long-running reality show followed 36 cheerleaders from the first day of auditions through to the grueling boot camps before the coveted spots on the team were awarded. 

Victoria made her debut in season 13 when she was an 18-years-old senior in high school. At the end of the season, she was cut from the team in an emotional scene that went viral online. 

She returned in season 14 and this time, Victoria made the team.

"Last year, getting cut, it was definitely a time where I was questioning whether or not I'm worthy enough," she said on the show. "Going through the first audition process, to getting cut, to getting back into training camp, and finally putting on this uniform and having it be mine was totally all worth it." 

Victoria's breakout role in America’s Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Victoria started the Netflix series as a veteran but because of the hectic rules, she had to reaudition to be part of the 2023 squad. At first, it looked like Victoria could have been cut early as she made mistakes in her first audition, but she eventually made it through to boot camp and then scored a spot on the final squad of 36. 

Throughout her time on the series, Victoria discussed her struggles with an eating disorder and depression during her time in DCC, revealing she took a 'gap year' between seasons to focus on her mental health. 

"My depression, like, it turns into this bad cycle," she admitted. 


"Whenever I get into a bad depression, I turn to bad coping skills, which causes bad eating habits. And as a dancer, the hardest thing you can fight are eating disorders plus depression." 

An interesting dynamic plays out in the series between Victoria and director Kelli Finglass and lead choreographer Judy Trammell, the DCC decision-makers she's known since childhood. The season culminates in Victoria telling the women that if she were to audition the following year, she would hope to progress in the team to a more senior position, but Kelli and Judy pour cold water over her aspirations. 

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Victoria and her mother, Tina.Victoria and mother, Tina. Image: Instagram/@victoriakalina.


The season ends with Victoria saying she'll be back next year to try out again, but in a final update before the credits roll, the series reveals that Victoria has since decided to hang up her cowboy boots and retire. 

Why Victoria retired from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Victoria has since elaborated on her decision to quit DCC. 

"I was fully ready to step into season five for my veteran year," she told Glamour UK in a new interview. 

"I had my audition song ready to go. I had my trip planned for choreography. I had everything set and ready. I had my costume designed. It was all on track. That conversation [with Kelli and Judy], it just hit me like a bullet I wasn't expecting. I feel like I got blindsided by that conversation, honestly." 

Despite telling the DCC heads she planned to reaudition, Victoria reconsidered after taking some time to think. 

"I took the weekend to process... You never want to react to something too soon. So I just sat with it, really thought about pros and cons, and then that's when I came back to telling the camera I wasn't going to return."

What Victoria is up to now since retiring from Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. 

The DCC veteran may have grown up in Texas, but she just set off for a city change: to the bright lights of New York City.

"This Southern belle Dallas girl is about to hit the steps and go full throttle with dance training in the concrete jungle," she told Glamour UK. "I feel like since I went straight from high school to the Cowboys, this is my time that I’m finally going away for college, but for life now."


Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Victoria in New York CityVictoria has her sights set on NYC. Image: Instagram/@victoriakalina. 

And she has a new dream she wants to live out: becoming one of the Radio City Rockettes. 

"There's so many dance opportunities up there, and I have always admired the Radio City Rockettes," she said.


"They are absolutely fabulous and so precise in their movements. When you're a dancer, you're always wanting to be a Rockette."

Aside from her career as a professional dancer, Victoria also has another bucket list item to tick off: she wants to start dating New York men. "Oh goodness. Is it silly? I'm excited to date," she joked.

"DCC is so time-consuming, where I didn't want to put that effort into dating when I was a cheerleader because you just never knew when an appearance would come up or when a special show would come up... my whole life I 'dated' DCC. I'm excited to find that time in my new routine, new schedule, new life in New York City to go out with girls, to go out and about and meet some people."

As far as her time with DCC, she hopes things get better for the next generation of women. 

"Their organisation is special in the way they make tradition super important," she said.

"Even from when my mom cheered in the '80s, we see that there's been change. There's been more pay, and there's been more publicity. There's been a CMT show. I think that it's just is going to take more time... but I think it’s going to eventually change just with time."

Feature image: Netflix. 

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