By Kelsi Matylewicz/ Social Media Intern, Benco Dental

Cheerleader or Dental Student? Melanie Sanches is both.

This fall, Melanie Sanches, a student in the Tufts Dental Clinic, will spend her time working with patients, learning from the practice coordinators and other faculty members, and preparing for life after graduation.

According to a story by Tufts Dental Medicine, when the New England Patriots (NFL Super Bowl XLIX contenders) play at Gillette Stadium this season, you’ll also find Melanie Sanches, Tufts Class of D2015, on the sidelines as a cheerleader.

Sanches competed in pageants and danced throughout her life, but this was her first attempt at being a cheerleader. Recruited in early May to the cheerleading team for the 2014 – 2015 season, she will be seen on the sidelines at all Patriots home games.

She was one of 28 women from among 320 applicants who made the cut after auditions. Pre-season training included a trip to Cancun to pose for a calendar shoot and that’s when she realized how much fun it was to be a part of that team.

Sanches planned to try out for the previous season, but cancelled when she found out that the auditions were the same day as the D15’s White Coat Ceremony.

Tryouts to be a cheerleader for a professional team are intense and very competitive. Several auditions and three rounds of cuts, culminated in an intensive two-week boot camp with fitness and physical training, choreography, public speaking exercises and promotional appearance training drills.

As of Jan. 18,  Sanches’ Patriots also made the cut – they’ll compete against the Seattle Seahawks Feb. 1 in the Big Game.

Stay tuned.

To read the full story about Melanie Sanches: