Big Turnout at 2010 Gold Rush Tryouts

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The entrance at Stanford University's Maples Pavilion was lined with hundreds of young women this past Sunday morning, all were on hand to compete for a spot on one of the NFL's premiere performance groups, the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush presented by Coors Light.

Sunday featured two rounds of the elimination process, in which a panel of judges watched over 400 dancers perform with the hopes of joining the 2010 team.

Gold Rush veterans were given a pass for the Sunday's first round of the tryout, but the opening round saw several hopefuls perform a routine taught 20 minutes before the tryout by professional choreographer Jeannine Sabo.

"We're teaching them a dance routine, checking out their crowd appeal, their energy and seeing if they have what it takes to make the squad," said Gold Rush director Erin Olmstead. "It's so hard for me because I like everybody; I have a hard time saying no. It's good we have other judges here to balance my scores out."

In groups of three, dancers performed a short routine emphasizing personal style, dance technique and the same cheer movements used by the Gold Rush cheerleaders on Sundays.

"I'm moving here to go to Berkeley and it's something I want to be a part of," said Gold Rush hopeful Christine. "It would be a dream come true. It would be so much fun to represent a great organization."

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After scores were tabulated, the initial group was trimmed in half and added with last year's returning members for the second part of Sunday's audition. The remaining Gold Rush hopefuls learned an addition to the dance routine from the morning session and were able to introduce themselves to the judges in the second phase of the competition.

"It's a little nerve-racking still," admitted three-year Gold Rush veteran Jasmin. "All you can do is try your best and show the judges that I still want it back."

Veterans like Jasmin know all too well how special it is to be on the squad.

"There are so many things about the Gold Rush that I love, just the fact that we're involved in the community, we interact with fans and we do so much, being able to connect is just amazing."

To conclude Sunday's evaluation, judges finalized a list of 70 hopefuls for the last stage of the audition, who will attend a practice at 24 Hours Fitness to simulate what a Gold Rush practice is like in the regular season.

Following the practice, the remaining women will go through an interview round Wednesday night and one final dance audition on Thursday, before finding out the final outcome right here on 49ers.com.

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