Sea Gals’ very own ‘Calendar Girl’

I love, I love, I love my calendar girl

Yeah, sweet calendar girl

I love, I love, I love my calendar girl

Each and every day of the year.

Geraldine “Gelly” Lirio obviously wasn’t born when Neil Sedaka crooned his hit tune in 1961. Heck, her parents were toddlers when Sedaka’s signature song was climbing the charts.

But Lirio is the Sea Gals’ “Calendar Girl,” as she graces the cover the squad’s 2012 calendar that will be unveiled Wednesday night at the Munchbar at Bellevue Square. The event starts at 7 p.m. and Lirio and the other 31 members of the squad will be there to sign calendars and model the outfits they’re wearing on its pages.

To say that being the cover girl caught Lirio by surprise only scratches the surface of her initial reaction to the honor.

“I did not have one clue,” she said. “Honestly, I got way more than I bargained for just making the squad. I’m still excited about that, and then when I heard I was going to be in a calendar it just flipped everything over for me.”

When Sea Gals director Sherri Thompson showed the calendar to the girls for the first time at a recent practice, Lirio admits, “I glanced at and said, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty cover.’ And then I went back to what I was doing.”

That’s when everyone else started glancing at her.

“All of a sudden it got kind of quiet and I see all these eyes looking at me,” she said. “I was like, ‘What?’ Someone said, ‘That’s you!’ I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ ”

Lirio still is “figuring out what I feel about it,” as she put it. “It’s definitely a huge change for me. Something really new. But nonetheless, I am so excited about it.”

This is Lirio’s first season on the squad and the 22-year-old “rookie” from Covington comes at it from an unusual background.

“This style of dancing that we do – Sherri calls it ‘The Sea Gal style’ – I love it, but it’s also new to me,” she said.

That’s because her training is in ballroom dancing. She started competing after attending Kentwood High School and she’s currently an instructor.

“I’m of Filipino decent, so it’s customary when girls turn 18-years old to have big Debutant Balls,” she explained. “So a lot of what I do is choreograph for those events.”

There is one similarity between ballroom dancing and 50-yard line dancing. “It’s all entertainment, which I love,” she said.

There’s also one huge difference.

“As far as the size of the audience, the crowds for even a large ballroom dancing competition is not nearly the size of the crowds at CenturyLink Field,” she said. “It’s such a big chance and I’m just loving every minute of it.”

When not dancing with the Sea Gals, or practicing with the squad, Lirio helps her parents with their property management business. She has completed her degree at Green River Community College and will enroll at the University of Washington for the winter quarter.

“Right now, I consider this my job,” she said of her Sea Gals’ duties.

The proceeds from the $15 calendar go to charity, which is an added plus for the cover girl.

“I am so excited about that, and the fact that I get to represent that girl on the cover and being someone who just wanted to try out a dream that I had and I made it happen,” she said. “I got more than I bargained for. I’m so grateful.”

Now, back to that Sedaka tune.

“Of course I know that song,” she said. “It’s actually a favorite karaoke song.”

Now it just has a new meaning for Lirio.

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