In something of a weirdly-timed turn of events, the NRL’s Melbourne Storm have announced they will be axing game-day all-female cheerleaders in favour of a much more modern in-stadium experience.

The extremely American-style dancers have been largely falling by the wayside in Australian sports for quite some time; the AFL hasn’t seen anything remotely like it since the mid-80s, the NBL has begun integrating men into courtside cheerleading troupes, and the Formula 1 famously did away with grid girls entirely not too long ago.

However, since the club’s inception in 1998, the Storm have regularly featured cheerleaders at all home games.

This morning, however, club officials revealed that from this season on they’ll be shifting away from the cheerleading troupes of yore in favour of what they’re calling a “gritty street crew.” Which sure sounds like a real thing.

The club has put the call out for the new crew that will “celebrate Melbourne’s thriving arts and culture scene – bringing together amazing performers from across hip hop, street, break dancing and acrobatics.

As part of the search for new performers, the Storm are looking for “male and female hip hop, street dancers, breakers and acrobatic performers to join the Storm ‘street crew’,” and the new troupe will virtually slip in seamlessly to pre-existing game-day entertainment; providing sideline movement for the team’s entrance to the stadium while AC/DC’s Thunderstruck plays.

There’s an open call-out for auditions if this sort of thing sounds like your bag, with all the vital information available via the Melbourne Storm website.

Source: Melbourne Storm
Image: Getty Images / Scott Barbour