EW.com gets the lowdown on what makes one sexy strutter better than the rest

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
February 19, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Karla: J Gregory Raymond

Okay, so her team lost its first three games of the XFL season, but New York / New Jersey Hitmen cheerleader Karla, 24, is on a winning streak: She was just named Cheerleader of the Week by the New York Post. EW.com asks her exactly what it takes to be the best Hitwoman of the bunch.

How’d you get the job?
I was dancing for the New Jersey Nets. My girlfriend called me the night before and said there’s a huge audition tomorrow at 9 a.m., so I went. They taught us the combinations, and by 5 p.m., they cut us down from about 400 girls to 27. Then we did a quick bit for the camera, saying something special like, ”I’m a contortionist.”

I’m a contortionist?!
One girl said that. I was like, okay, there are no token beauty queens, so I’ll be the token beauty queen. I was in a contest in Long Island. And they ate it up, I guess. The finals were at the WWF store in the nightclub and we danced for judges and they chose the final 14.

Did it feel life changing?
It felt like a huge step for my career, and they were saying that to us. They were saying, ”You’re going to get major media attention, you’re going to be shown as something other than normal cheerleaders,” and they warned us that we’d make enormous amounts of appearances, which we are. We’re working like crazy.

Do they own your time?
They pay us a monthly fee, and we have to make a certain number of appearances, and then over that, they pay us for other appearances by the hour. It works out very well.

Do most of the girls have other jobs?
It’s technically part time. One girl is a flight attendant, and one is a veterinarian technician. A couple of girls are aerobics instructors. I teach dance.

How long did you have to prepare?
The audition was in October, but we didn’t start rehearsing until December, so we really only had a month and a half to prepare.

How do you learn your routines?
Some of them you learn on your own time. That’s what I’m doing right now — I’m sitting in front of the TV, watching a tape of what I need to learn. If you show up without having had a chance to learn it, the other girls will teach you.

So there aren’t big cat fights?
We haven’t had that much time together where we COULD be catty. I’m sure after six months of rehearsing together there are going to be some problems, but I’ve already made friends. We go out together.

Did you get freaked out at the first game?
They started our music a little too early, so we had to strip off our jackets and run onto the platform really quickly. A lot of these girls are technically trained dancers who have been in ballet shoes their whole life. Suddenly, you’re throwing them into platform shoes 5 feet in the air, and that can be a little tricky. It can be a little scary. We don’t really cheer — we mostly dance.

Do things threaten to pop out of your costumes?
I think we have a little more clothes on than [our L.A. counterparts]. Girls who are big breasted are always going to have problems falling out, but it didn’t to me, thank God. Otherwise, you just tape yourself down. There are ways to work it.

How are the NY / New Jersey Hitwomen different than your XFL counterparts?
We like to say we’re really versatile in terms of all the different types of girls we have, that we’re a melting pot of really strong, educated, powerful girls. We consider ourselves chic, really stylish, and cool. We’re like cool rocker chicks.