‘There I was, and here I am’: Jesse Hernandez is right at home on the Saintsations dance team

NEW ORLEANS -- Jesse Hernandez has made history -- and national headlines -- as the first male dancer on the Saintsations dance team.

He made his debut at the Superdome Friday night (Aug. 17), and a few days later, he stopped by the News with a Twist studio to tell us about his experience.

The Saints have had male cheerleaders in the past, but Hernandez, an Acadiana native who’s been dancing all his life, is the first male Saintsations dancer.

Hernandez has been making waves, but there's been one burning question on the minds of Saints fans: Why no pom poms? The answer is really pretty simple.

"I'm a boy. I've never used pom poms before," he said.

Although he's been dancing all of his life, the decision to try out for the Saintsations wasn't a lifelong dream.

"It was actually just recently before tryouts," Hernandez said. "I had a couple of friends going. And my mom had sent me the article about the Ram Boys, and I went to a clinic and met Ashley and a couple of the other girls ... Everyone was so awesome. And then came to tryouts, and there I was -- and here I am."

For his fellow Saintsations, having Hernandez on the team means a little bit of tweaking their routines, but overall, it only makes them better.

"I think it has made everybody step up their game, too, because the minute you see him dance you just want to be at that level with him. And you totally get it. I mean, everybody keeps asking questions about him. I'm like, watch the boy dance. No more questions needed."

You can watch Hernandez on the field again Aug. 30 for the preseason home game against the Rams, and when the Saints take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the home opener on Sept. 9.