Saturday, July 25 Bry can't sleep. While open auditions for the Cavalier Girls aren't scheduled until 10:30 a.m., the South Carolina native wakes by 5:30 a.m. to do her hair and makeup. "I really couldn't contain myself," says Bry (whose name rhymes with fry).
At Quicken Loans Arena, the former Cleveland Gladiators dancer signs in as 100 or so hopefuls gather to get their swag bags, instructions, competition numbers and photographs.
Then the contestants are organized into three rows before the judges, many dancers themselves, at a long table on the hardwood court. With Omi's "Cheerleader" blaring over the sound system, Bry and the others perform turns, kicks, leaps and other simple choreography. With a big smile for the judges, Bry never misses a step.
Round two brings a full dance routine. "I was drenched in sweat by the end of the audition," Bry says. "My goal had been to make myself stand out."
By the end, Bry clearly has. She's one of the 66 finalists to advance to the first test in front of real Cavs fans.
Sunday, July 26 It's sunny and warm, but not too hot at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Bry approaches a group of visitors and tells them she's auditioning for the Cavs' dance team. Fans want pictures, and she shows a little girl how to leap like a cheerleader. Bry twirls and jumps for the kids, who love the mini-performance.
The outing culminates in front of the elephant exhibit with a routine Bry and the others learned the night before. When the music stops prematurely, the dancers offer an assist, singing and dancing to the tune in their heads.
"It was all about engaging with the fans," says Bry. "They loved it as much as we did."
Tuesday, July 28 Today is a formal job interview, and Bry is excited to show the judges her personality. An English major with minors in dance and childhood studies at Case Western Reserve University, she's on a pre-law track. "My goal is to be a family court attorney," she says. "I plan to [live] near a professional sports team so I can also continue to cheer."
Later, she poses for photographs and changes into her outfit for a workshop led by Cavalier Girls manager and former Denver Broncos dance team captain Margaret Foy.
"We were looking at their flexibility and dance technique," Foy says. "Cheerleading is a very athletic sport."
Thursday, July 30 Dressed in her favorite Cavs gear with black dance top and shorts underneath, Bry settles onto the court at The Q while paper and pencils get passed out. It's test time.
"Fans will ask the Cavs Girls questions about the Cavs and the NBA," says Emily Smith, director of dance and entertainment teams. "So they need to be prepared to give statistics and explanations about the team."
Another dance workshop tests balance, form and creativity. Foy encourages them to make small adjustments to showcase their level of skill. Some of the girls, including Bry, add an extra swing to their hip movements or an acrobatic flip.
Friday, July 31 On the final day of auditions, Bry feels jittery. She has embraced Cleveland since moving here and even holds the 2015 title for Miss Greater Cleveland in the Miss America pageants.
"Being a Cavalier Girl is a once-in-a-lifetime chance," Bry says. "I feel very blessed to have gotten this far."
The finalists meet on The Q's practice court to perform a dance routine from a YouTube video.
"Most of us have school or daytime jobs, so knowing how to get a dance routine down from a video is really important," says Bry. "I went to a football field with my friends [last night] and had fun with it."
In a whirlwind of hip-hop, modern and jazz dance moves, Bry and the others glide and leap across the floor with judges taking notes.
After, Bry gets one more chance to impress the judges, telling them about her South Carolina upbringing, her experience in pageants, her ambition for law school and her love of sports and dance.
Saturday, Aug. 1 Bry is up early again after a restless night. The call on the final decision will come today, so she starts getting ready for photo sessions and video introductions for the Cavaliers website in case she makes the team.
As she's preparing, her phone rings. It's Foy.
"I think you did a really, really great job at the auditions," Foy says over speakerphone. When she offers Bry a spot on the final squad, she nearly drops the phone in excitement. "Yes,"Bry replies.
"Having this opportunity to be a Cavs Girl is really living my dream," Bry says.