Kelly From 'America's Sweethearts' Is Back In DCC Training Camp

kelly villares in a turf gym
Where Is Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Kelly Now?Netflix

Netflix's new docuseries America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders explores behind the scenes of the iconic DCC, from auditions to game day. But not everything is glitter and cowboy boots: Many squad hopefuls are cut from the roster, despite being pretty qualified.

One of those women is Kelly Villares, a fan favorite rookie candidate from New Jersey who, despite having twenty years of competitive dance experience, did not ultimately make the team. Below, learn more about Kelly and what she's been up to after filming wrapped.

She's a New Jersey native who has always dreamed of being a DCC.

Kelly is from Weehawken, New Jersey, as announced by DCC director Kelli Finglass in episode one. She cheered at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey for all four years of college and graduated in 2023, according to her Instagram.

At tryouts, Kelly impresses the judges at tryouts by dancing a lyrical-jazz number to Celine Dion's "Ashes" in a bedazzled blue costume. She makes it past the first round of tryouts and, after receiving a makeover with the other rookies in episode three, Kelly shares more about why she wanted to join the team in the first place.

"I have wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader my whole life," Kelly says. "I just didn't think it was in the cards for me, considering I live in New Jersey."

(In one hilarious moment, Kelly discusses New Jersey's plastic bag ban with her new friends. "Kelly was so looking forward to coming to the South because we have plastic bags," Reece Allman, another DCC hopeful, says.)

Her parents, Lina Londono and Onel Villares, still reside in the state and have always supported her in the dream. The couple is now divorced, but they told cameras how they stayed together to preserve their children's way of life.

In episode three, the two tearfully look through pictures of Kelly dancing when she was younger. Her mother, Lina, confesses that "there was absolutely no way" she could have financially provided for Kelly to keep dancing as a single mother, and does not regret her decision.

After getting cut, Kelly leaves to live at home for the first time since her parents divorced. But what's most important to her is making her parents proud.

"I would love to, like, just show them, 'Look what I did. You didn't sacrifice all this for nothing,'" she says.

She's been dancing since she could walk.

During the same scene, Lina says Kelly first showed an interest in dance "when she started walking."

"She just loved it, anything that had to do with music, and cameras, to be honest with you," Lina says.

Her father agrees, adding that all Kelly ever dreamed of was "being a star, being center stage."

"You can just see the passion," Onel says. "The way that her eyes express it, she makes you feel like you're up there on the stage dancing with her."

Kelly grew up dancing at Studio L Dance Company in New Jersey. She competed on a national level with the studio, and even won the jazz category in the UDA National Dance Team Championship in 2019 with her team, according to The Cinemaholic.

She joined the Rutgers University Dance Team when she went to college, and won the the All Big Ten Dance First Team winner award in 2020 and 2021 for her performance. She was co-captain of the team for the 2022-23 season, and received numerous awards from the organization across her four years, The Cinemaholic said.

Where is Kelly from America's Sweethearts now?

The DCC have surely not seen the last of Kelly. On June 25, just six days after the docuseries was released, the DCC posted photos from training camp for the upcoming 2024-25 season. And, on slide 7, Kelly is pictured dancing her heart out in a sparkly red two-piece. She expressed her excitement in the comments.

"I am so privileged and honored to be back in Training Camp," she wrote. "Grateful is an understatement!! Thank you for this opportunity 🥹🤍"

Kelly also appears to have made lifelong friends during last season's audition process. She reunited at several of the women who she went through this process with at Reece's wedding. On Instagram, Kelly has posted photos with squad member Anna Kate Sundvold and fellow rookie candidate Charly Barby.

Luckily, Kelly seems to be back on the road to becoming a DCC. Best of luck, Kelly!

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