When Bethany Tonguis tried out for the Saintsations dance team four years ago, she had no idea what she was getting into.
“When I first tried out, I thought we just danced on the sidelines,” Tonguis said.
But Tonguis, psychology senior, quickly figured out there was a lot more to being a professional cheerleader than looking pretty and performing halftime shows.
The Saintsations are the dance team for the New Orleans Saints, and they are hosting preliminary auditions Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Saints Practice Facility on Airline Highway in Metairie.
The Saintsations perform on the sidelines at all Saints home games, and their annual swimsuit calendar and the “behind-the-scenes” television shows about the making of the calendar have turned the team into regional celebrities.
“You meet so many people and learn so much about yourself,” Tonguis said. “You are working with professional photographers and businessmen.”
Team member Courtney Harper, biological sciences freshman, said she was intimidated when she first came to tryouts, but she’s happy she did it now.
“I came in straight from high school to try out,” Harper said. “When my friend called to tell me I made the team, I started running around the restaurant like a crazy person. I think it was the happiest moment of my life.”
Bethany, Lashelle, Meagan, Courtney and Alexis
Besides performing at the home games, the girls make appearances throughout the year at private parties and charity events. The girls have even made trips to the Middle East to visit the troops stationed there.
“We’ve been on two different military tours — the first to Afghanistan and Kuwait and the second to Iraq,” Tonguis said. “It’s just a humbling and incredible experience to meet the people protecting our country, and it’s so different there. It’s not like you can go to Wal-Mart if you forget something.”
The girls also traveled to Mexico and London to represent the Saints and the NFL.
But being a Saintsation isn’t all fun and games.
Tonguis especially remembers shooting the swimsuit calendar a few years ago.
“We were shooting on a big beautiful horse,” Tonguis said. “When I got on the horse, it started freaking out, and it kicked me off. I flew into the air, and I broke my tailbone when I landed. But I got up and I shot the rest of the calendar. Sometimes you’ve just got to take one for the team.”
Team member Lashelle Johnson, business administration sophomore, said time management is the hardest part of being a Saintsation.
“It’s a big commitment between school, work and Saintsations,” Johnson said. “We’re always in our cars.”
The girls drive to Mandeville at least twice a week for practice, in addition to games during the season and appearances across the state.
Next season the girls will get a little break, as one weekly practice will be held in Baton Rouge.
The girls also work at the NFL draft and the Superbowl festivities, holding a free clinic for young girls in the Superbowl host city.
Team member Meagan McDaniel, communication studies senior who was a Tiger Girl a few years ago, said she thinks being on a professional cheerleading team is completely different than performing on a collegiate team.
“I think it’s another level of experiences,” McDaniel said. “It’s professional, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
The girls will be getting ready for tryouts this week, as returning members have to go through the same process as new applicants.
“When people look at our tryout process, it looks intimidating. It is a hard tryout process but it’s not the competitive air you’d think it’d be,” Tonguis said. “You learn a lot about yourself and the other girls. Every girl has a fair chance.”
Seahawks.com: Watch the Sea Gals audition finals on Sunday May 3, 2009 live on Seahawks.com. Hosted by Seahawks Insider Tony Ventrella and former Sea Gal of the Sequoia, the three-hour webcast will feature final auditions by all the finalists, Sea Gal features and the naming of the 2009 Sea Gals.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks will host the final tryout for the First International Bank & Trust RedHawks Dance Team on Saturday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wallman Wellness Center, located on 18th St. N. on the NDSU campus. Registration is from 6:30-7:00 p.m.
Marissa Parmer, RedHawks Dance Team Coach, will conduct the tryouts. Dancers will learn a dance routine and kick routine, and will need to do a demo of the following moves: toe touch; jump of choice; split leap; single/double turn; split and a featured skill of dancer’s choice. Dancers are asked to come ready as if you were performing at a game with hair and make-up done. All dancers must be 18 years of age or older.
Parmer is in her first season as team coach after being a member of the inaugural First International Bank & Trust Dance Team in 2008. She is a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader and is the owner of ONE Training and is a Fitness Specialist and Head Dance Coach at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
For more information on the tryouts, please contact Marissa Parmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Phoenix Suns Game Entertainment department is currently hiring for a full-time Director, Suns Dancers. This individual will be responsible for: managing all aspects of the Phoenix Suns Dance Team including but not limited to, auditions, practice and game scheduling, personal appearances, photo shoots, choreography, payroll and marketing of team.
Required qualifications include:
• Minimum one-year experience as NBA Dance Team Director or equivalent professional team (highly preferred)
• Strong organizational skills
• Flexible schedule – ability to work nights and weekends
• Choreographer (highly preferred)
The Phoenix Suns are an equal opportunity employer. M/F/D/V
Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:
1. Yes/No: I have at least one year of experience as a Dance Team Director for a sports team.
Kingwood Now: Estela Frias (more commonly referred to as Miss Yvette) has tried out for the Texans Cheerleaders before but each year she has come close but never made the team. This year she could make it with your vote.
She has taught dance in the Kingwood area for several years, molding many of the young girls into KHS Fillies. According to Michelle Parnell, “Estela has been a great inspiration to my daughter as both a dance teacher and role model.”
The Texans have narrowed their choices for the 2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders to 42 talented women and Estela is one of them. Now it’s up to the fans to help the Texans decide which of these women should be included on the final squad of 30.
The Texans have narrowed their choices for the 2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders to 42 talented women. Now it’s up to the fans to help the Texans decide which of these women should be included on the final squad.
Voting ends at noon on Thursday, April 30. Visit Texans TV that afternoon to watch the live streaming video of the squad being announced.
This is one of those “can you help a sista’ out?” kind of posts.
The Dallas Cowboys introduced a new dance team during this year’s draft day festivities. The team is called the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dance Team, presented by Miller Lite. Most of the R&B Dancers appear to be former Dallas Desperados Dancers. Their performance indicates that they will have a much more urban hip-hop vibe than either the Desperados Dancers, or the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (who also performed during the festivities.)
That’s about all we know about them at this point. Who they are, where they will perform, and their overall role as part of the Cowboys organization is a bit of a mystery, so if anyone has the scoop, please let us know.
In the meantime, you can watch two different videos of their recent performance
Every year, photographer Mitchell Zachs shoots the Dolphins Cheerleader finals at Aventura Mall in Miami. This year, he didn’t disappoint. Click here to view an extensive collection of photos from the competition!
April 29th, 2009 | Category: New |
Comments are closed
Last week auditions for the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders culminated in the selection of dancers to the team. More information is coming soon, but you can view photos from this year’s auditions right here.
The 2009-10 Washington Redskins Cheerleaders made their debut this past Saturday at the Redskins Draft Day Party at FedEx Field.
At 2:00, the hottest part of the day, Redskins Cheerleader took the field in the blistering heat to perform for the fans and then celebrate the arrival of the Redskins head coach Jim Zorn.
Coach Zorn arrives.
After the onfield performance it was up to the club level where Cheerleaders signed autographs….
and posed for photos.
Congratulations to Stephanie Jojokian who is in her first year as Director of the Redskins Cheerleaders. Stephanie became the Redskins Cheerleaders first full-time choreographer back in 2004.
Stephanie told us a little of what is coming up in 2009 for the squad. Next month all 43 Cheerleaders are off to Marco Island in Florida to shoot the 12th edition of the always popular Redskins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar. There are also plenty of uniform changes coming: a new skirt, a new winter uniform and an brand new uniform for the Ambassadors.
Captain Kelly entertains the fans with her lovely singing voice.
Not only did Kelly sign, but a few lucky fans had a chance to dance with her on stage.
Kelly and some young fans.
Around 6:30 the Cheerleaders made their way to the stage. The squad has been together less than three weeks, but in that time. Including the highly-energetic, 7+ minute “The Rock” that the Rookies traditionally perform at Draft Day.
Former Memphis Grizzlies Dancer Annika is currently putting the finishing touches on her debut album. With most songs drawn from personal experiences, this album promises to give insight into the person she was and the person she has become.
Annika mixes a little bit of the old with the new and defines her familiar yet distinctive sound as smooth and groovable. She will be featured at a listening session on May 8 at Cris Charlz.