By Grant Martin
For a time, Margaret Moseley lived a secret life. But after appearing in television commercials, movies, print ads, calendars and on the covers and pullout sections of several magazines —as well as spending the past four seasons as a cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons—it’s safe to say her secret is out.
In truth, Moseley’s “secret life” lasted only a few hours. While still a senior at UAB, she left town in the predawn hours of an April day in 2008 to try out for the Falcons cheerleading squad. Once she got through initial rounds, however, the secret became too much for her to carry. “When I made it through the first two cuts, I called my mom,” she says. “Of course, she was thrilled. Both my parents have been very supportive.”
Before leaving town that morning, Moseley wasn’t sure that would be the case. After spending the previous two years totally immersed in campus life at UAB, the marketing major and member of the UAB Golden Girls dance team was looking forward to the challenge of starting over in a new place, but her family wasn’t so certain. “My parents wanted me to wait for a year and figure out what I wanted to do,” Moseley says. “I was active in so many different things at UAB—marketing chair on the homecoming committee, chair of the school’s talent show, and captain of the Golden Girls, plus I worked part-time. My parents were worried about how I would adjust to moving out of state where I didn’t know anyone.”
They didn’t need to worry. Soon after moving to Atlanta, Moseley connected with the Xcel Talent Agency, which helped her land various modeling and dancing auditions. Today, she puts her business marketing degree to work as the talent director for Xcel, which represents actors, choreographers, and dancers who tour with artists such as Beyoncé, Usher, and Taylor Swift. “We’re a boutique agency that places dancers in many different kinds of productions,” Moseley says. “Some of them are on world tours with different performers or productions, and with the city booming in the entertainment industry, we are able to do a lot of work with commercials and movies filming in Atlanta.”
The Right Moves
Moseley says she didn’t follow the same track as many of the other professional dancers she works with, who focused on dance from an early age. “I was involved with a lot of different sports and activities,” she says. “I took gymnastics for years, and I was on the swim team and played soccer before I ever got into dance.”
That all changed when Moseley tried out and made the Golden Girls squad prior to her freshman year. “My best friend taught me the basic turns and things I would need to know to try out, and I really enjoyed it.”
The Golden Girls start each year with strenuous summer boot camps to prepare for the football and basketball seasons. “The role of the squad is very different for football and basketball,” Moseley says. “In football, we’re more like cheerleaders: We dance when music comes on. Basketball brings a different kind of pressure, because we have to constantly learn new routines in different genres.”
In her role with the Falcons, Moseley says she had to take all of her UAB experience and magnify it to a much larger scale. “The average sports fan doesn’t realize the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes,” Moseley says. “Ideally, a strict schedule is set around the game—the music, dancers, videos, promotions—and it will all seem to run naturally. There are so many people involved, and we all work hard to make things flow. We do huge halftime and pregame routines, but we also have to keep an eye on the game at all times. Everything we do has to coordinate with what is happening on the field.”
Beyond her duties at Falcons home games, Moseley practices with the cheerleading squad two days a week and keeps up her own individual workouts throughout the week. Additionally, she is often asked to appear at corporate and charity events throughout Georgia. “We’re required to do at least 20 charity events. We typically exceed the obligation. One of my favorites is our Falcons Fitness events, which is an effort to teach kids proper ways to work out, eat right and how to avoid injuries.”
And although there is a no-fraternization rule between cheerleaders and players, Moseley does have a connection to one Falcon—receiver and fellow UAB alumnus Roddy White. “He graduated right before I got to UAB, but we had a lot of the same friends, so I was acquainted with him while I was in school,” she says. “It has been exciting to see him succeed like he has and for both of us to have that UAB connection.”
Step by Step
Although Xcel helped place Moseley in some auditions as a dancer early on, she says she quickly realized that her comfort zone was not on stage. Instead, she opted for modeling jobs that eventually led to a Reebok ad for Dick’s Sporting Goods stores nationwide. She also has appeared in the past two Falcons cheerleader swimsuit calendars, is one of the Top NFL Cheerleaders in 2011, according to the Web site Bleacher Report, and was chosen out of all NFL cheerleaders as this year’s cover of Sideline Distraction magazine.
Moseley also hosts several television shows in Atlanta. “I thoroughly enjoy just being me on camera,” she says. “Whether its interviewing celebrities on the red carpet or outside charity fundraisers I get to connect the community with what’s happening. Interviewing Sugar Ray Leonard has been my favorite moment so far; we danced and boxed, and I found out my hands are bigger than his!”
“My job really has worked out faultlessly for me in that I get to work on the business side with so many talented dancers and performers who inspire me, but also stay informed on opportunities that might be a good fit for me,” she says.
Like White, Moseley says her experience at UAB helped prepare her for life in the NFL limelight. “It was at UAB that I learned how much I loved dancing, performing, and being part of a team,” she says. “That was what motivated me to take a chance and try out. Even though I didn’t have the professional training or dancing background that some of the other girls did, I realized I wanted to keep learning and dancing and see where it could take me.”