In 1961, Donna Bierlein, who was a dancer and former cheerleader at Falls Church High School in Virginia, was sitting at her work desk, when a thought came across her mind! The Washington Redskins football team needed professional cheerleaders...so she called the Redskins office and got a meeting with Redskins owner George Preston Marshall to discuss her proposal! Donna shared her idea with her friend Betty Lou (Albright) Johnson, who agreed to go with her to the meeting. Mr. Marshall met with Donna and Betty Lou and sent them to talk it over with Joel Margolis, who had recently joined the organization as producer of the Redskins Show Staff. After a series of meetings between Margolis, Bierlein, and Albright, the concept was presented to Mr. Marshall who gave his approval.
With this decision in hand, Margolis set out to work. One of his first moves was to offer the position of Redskinettes Director to Doris Snyder, the head majorette/choreographer of the Baltimore Colts show staff for the past 15 years. Upon acceptance of her new position, Ms. Snyder made the first of many important decisions, which would shape the future of the Redskinettes. The appointment of Ann Bittenbender and Mary Lu Bucci as Assistant Directors.
A high-powered team was in place. Now the hard work was to begin. Contacts were made with the women throughout the Washington metropolitan area as potential candidates for the Redskinettes squad.
April 1962, all candidates had been auditioned and selected, and after endless hours of rehearsals conducted by Snyder, Bittenbender and Bucci, the Redskinettes were ready to say "Hello" to the fans of Washington.
The original Redskinettes uniform was commissioned by Doris Snyder, who worked closely with the New York firm that submitted the winning design. Ms. Snyder spent many long hours and made numerous trips to New York City to oversee this work, even to the extent of examining the beading that was done by hand on each costume and to assure that the work proceeded on schedule.
After many fittings and re-fittings, the uniforms were ready for the grand entrance on September 30, 1962. And so it began, and continues today! Contributions: Redskinettes - Donna Bierlein (62-67) Rosemary Webb (62-73)