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In her own words: Veteran cheerleader Alexandria


*As a veteran New England Patriots Cheerleader, Alexandria has the squad's calendar shoot routine down. Not only has she appeared in the pages of the calendar for the last three years, but she's also landed on the coveted cover twice, including as a rookie in 2012. Now, as she kicks off her final season as a Patriots Cheerleader, the team captain shares her thoughts on this year's shoot in Punta Cana and all the work that goes into making it happen.   *

The planning for this trip never gets easier. Every year it's the same – it's a lot of preparation. As soon as you get here you can kind of relax but leading up to it, it's all about the fitness training and picking the perfect bathing suit. Plus, every year you want a different look. That's the tough part about this. It's my fourth year, so I was thinking, "What am I going to do this year to make it different from every other year?"

Picking the swimsuits is the best part, though. It's so fun. We have our annual swimsuit try-on and [Cheerleaders Director] Tracy tells us to bring our favorite suits and we sort of just have this big bikini party. You have to bring ones you like and hope you get put in those, but Tracy has a good eye for it. She knows what looks great because she's been doing this for so long, but it's not always the one that you try on in the cheer building [in Foxborough]. There's like a bajillion suits that she takes pictures of and then when you get here you could be in something completely different or, you know, you could have like a leaf for your suit [laughs]. There's a lot of preparation but you have to understand that it can all change.   

I honestly don't know how many suits I brought with me on this trip. It's a sickness [laughs]. Once you're on this team, you just can't stop with the bathing suits. You can never have too many.

I got the swimsuit for my photo shoot in purple and a peach color too. Tracy thought she was really going to love the suit in peach but then she ended up putting me in the purple one. There's so much that goes into it; it has to do with the location, time of day, how many girls are wearing that color bathing suit so far.

The shoot went exactly how I wanted it to. It's so sad that my last swimsuit calendar shoot is over but I wouldn't have done it differently. I remember back to my rookie year, I had never done anything like this before. I had never modeled, never mind swimsuits. I remember crying before my first photo shoot because I was so nervous, but it just felt great yesterday. It's crazy how far I've come and how close I am with our photographer Justin and how well we work together. Tracy was there but she wasn't really directing me because I'm so comfortable at this point. It was bittersweet, though. It feels like I've accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but I'm definitely going to miss this.

The calendar trip is one of my favorite parts of being on the team. You get to bond with everybody, but once the trip is over you realize that it's really just the beginning; the season's really going to start after this. And the best part of the year, honestly, is the first game. There's just nothing like a game at Gillette Stadium. That's what I'm really going to miss the most about being a Patriots Cheerleader.

Check out photos of Patriots Cheerleader Alexandria.

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