Jaclyn DeAugustino was a member of the Bulldogs' cheerleading team from 2007 to 2010 and a member of the University of Florida's Dazzler dance team from 2010 to 2014.
Jaclyn DeAugustino has a full-time job.
Nearly every day from 3:30 a.m. to noon, the 25-year-old reports the traffic and other news stories on WCPO, the local ABC affiliate in Cincinnati. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing one of her passions in her off time — dancing.
After going three years without so much as waving a pom pom, DeAugustino — a former cheerleader at Flagler Palm Coast High School and a former member of the University of Florida’s Dazzler dance team — earned her way onto the Cincinnati Bengals’ cheerleading squad.
“I just realized that I really missed dancing,” said DeAugustino, who started dancing when she was 10. “I just feel like if you love something, you’ll make time for it.”
She built her base for dance while cheerleading for FPC — where her father, Steve DeAugustino, is currently the athletics director — from 2007 to 2010 under then-head coach Stacia Davis.
Davis, who is now an assistant principal at the school, said DeAugustino was a natural talent always willing to do the extra work to perfect her craft.
“Not everybody on the team was a competitor, but she was the opposite of that,” Davis said. “She had a lot of natural talent, but she had a tremendous amount of drive. … She always continued to work on whatever it was she was doing until she got it.
“She was one of my favorite cheerleaders that I’ve coached.”
Davis still keeps in contact with DeAugustino, staying in touch mostly by texting throughout the week. Davis wasn’t too surprised when DeAugustino texted her a photo of herself in a Bengals cheerleading uniform.
“I was just so happy for her,” said Davis, who cheered on DeAugustino when she was a Dazzler even though Davis was a Florida State fan. “I’m just so proud of her.”
On Sept. 14, DeAugustino suited up for her first game at Paul Brown Stadium — a game the Bengals lost 13-9 to the Houston Texans. However, DeAugustino, who last performed on Oct. 8 when the Bengals took on the Buffalo Bills, didn’t feel anxious performing on a professional stage, on TV and in front of thousands of fans. She was more worried about what was to come after — the aching muscles.
“I was just like, ‘Man, I’m definitely going to be sore,’” DeAugustino said. “That’s what happens when you haven’t really danced in three years. I wasn’t really nervous, but it was kind of a rusty feeling, I guess. But it comes back to you.”
And despite facing the tall task of balancing a full-time job with her cheerleading duties, DeAugustino is happy to be doing what she loves — being a reporter and a dancer.
“I love my job,” she said. “It’s really cool to just look up and see a sea of fans looking up to see you dancing.”