Cheers through the years

Many thanks to Pats Cheerleader alum Paula McDonald for these photos from her trip to see the Patriots “Cheers Through the Years” exhibit. It looks like its a real hit with the fans!

Vote for your favorite Jazz Finalists

The first rounds of auditions for the 2010-11 Utah Jazz Dancers are over. The pool of candidates has been narrowed down to 31. Your votes will help determine the final team. Click here to see who made the finals. Then click here to vote for your top ten!


(Not pictured: Nicole G.)

Penguins To Hold Auditions For Skating “Ice Crew”

Pittsburgh Penguins
Friday, 07.09.2010

The Pittsburgh Penguins will introduce a skating “Ice Crew” for the 2010-11 season – a team of energetic girls and guys who will help clean the ice, interact with fans and take part in other promotional activities.

Putting the crew on skates will add a new level of excitement to the Penguins’ game presentation as the team enters a new era at CONSOL Energy Center.

“We’ll be looking for energy, athleticism and passion for the Penguins,” said James Santilli, the team’s vice president of marketing. “We think it’s a great way for fans to get even more involved with Penguins hockey and help make games at CONSOL Energy Center an even greater entertainment experience.”

The first set of auditions for the Ice Crew will be for girls 18 and older who will skate and help clean the ice during TV timeouts. The auditions will be held at Iceoplex at Southpointe on the weekend of July 31-Aug. 1 and will include interviews and skating.

Preliminary auditions for girls will be held Saturday, July 31 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and final auditions will be Sunday, Aug. 1. Applicants 18 and older with skating experience or the desire to learn are encouraged to complete an online application at

Prep classes will be held Wednesday, July 28 from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Friday, July 30 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Iceoplex at Southpointe. Prep classes will give participants an opportunity to meet with the Ice Crew coordinator and gain a better understanding of the audition process.

Auditions for guys will be held at a later date.


Jazz dance team auditions

2009-jazz_nicole2SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Saturday marked the first day of auditions for the next group of Jazz dancers.

More than 140 contestants showed up to the Jazz basketball practice center for their first day of auditions. The women said that with so many skilled dancers, the competition is intense.

This process in its own way is tougher than making the basketball team. When it comes to the dance team, there are no “returning stars”.

Dance director Meikle Lahue told ABC4 that, “Even the veteran dancers have to try out every year, so we’ve got new girls and old girls trying out today.”

Only 30 women will pass Saturday’s audition, and judges say it will get even tougher next week when they select the 17 member Jazz team.

Dance studio mixes art with athleticism


Spokane Elite is holding open house today
Juli Bergstrom-Wasson
The Spokesman-Review
July 10, 2010

A longtime competitive dancer, cheer coach and choreographer recently opened Spokane Elite Dance Studio in Spokane Valley, where the artistic elements combine with athleticism and high energy.

“The atmosphere of our studio is all about high energy and fun, but it also is structured and purposeful so that every dancer at every level is getting the instruction that is appropriate for them,” said lifelong West Valley resident and studio owner Maggie Cahalan-Kazemba, who hopes to improve the competitive dance world in Spokane for individuals and dance teams.

Her studio also serves as the practice home for the Spokane Shock Dance Team, as the 24-year-old Cahalan-Kazemba is the director/choreographer for the 18-member group. She continues to choreograph for her alma maters: the West Valley High School award-winning dance team and the Washington State University dance team. She also serves in the same capacity for the Mt. Spokane High School dance team.

Cahalan-Kazemba has been a ballerina since she was 4 years old. She found hip-hop at age 10, which led her to the high school dance team, the Eastern Washington High School Competitive Dance Team, and the WSU team.

Now, as well as working full time as an intern architect with a local firm, she and several other instructors will teach beginner to advanced tap, jazz, hip-hop and cheer and some exercise classes, including Pilates. The various classes are for age 4 to adults.

The studio is located at a shopping plaza near the corner of Sprague Avenue and University Road.

“All of the instructors at Spokane Elite Dance Studio have a background in competitive dance, and we have all been part of more than one competitive or professional dance/cheer program,” said Cahalan-Kazemba. “Our mission statement is to provide dancers of all ages with the competitive edge they need to both begin and further their personal careers in dance.

“What competitive dance style means to me is that I am training athletes as well as artists,” she said. “It’s marrying the athlete with the artist.”

Poland native makes NFL cheerleading squad

carly-lopez1By Christine Keeling
July 9, 2010

There were no million dollar contracts or big-time endorsement deals, but Poland native Carla Lopez is going pro.

After cheering for the Poland Bulldogs as a young girl and doing handsprings at the University of Cincinnati, Lopez will take her spirit to the NFL sidelines as a member of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals this fall.

“Eighty girls tried out and they took 30,” said Lopez. “Twenty were veterans. I was very impressed with the talent and success of the girls who tried out,” said Lopez. “There were lawyers, chemical engineers and doctors.”

The semifinals of the tryouts focused on a lot of technique but the bathing suit portion in the finals was the hardest and most uncomfortable part for Lopez.

“I was never a pageant girl,” said Lopez.

Donna Lopez, Carla’s mom, watched a portion of the tryouts and said she liked that the focus wasn’t on glamour but rather what the girls do for the community. She thought her daughter’s opportunity with the Ben-gals was wonderful.

“It will give her the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people,” Donna said. “I’m really proud of her.”

Since making the squad, Lopez has been balancing her sales position at Ikon Office Solutions and three times a week practices. She said it’s time consuming and exhausting at times but she isn’t worried because she is really good at time management.

carly-lopez2Lopez began cheering at 6-years-old for the Poland Little Bulldogs. She performed for two years at Poland Middle School, four years at Poland Seminary High School and three years at the University of Cincinnati.

She helped younger cheerleaders hone their skills at Universal Cheerleading Association camps and has now reached the summit of cheerleading.

Lopez said that she loves being in front of a crowd and that cheerleading has been a positive experience that has helped keep her in shape, made her outgoing and allowed her to meet a lot of new people.

She said that trying out for the Ben-gals was just the next step after college.

The Cincinnati Bengals are scheduled to start the preseason Aug. 8 during Hall of Fame Week against Dallas. Lopez said she would definitely be prepared for that and all home games.

She’ll be cheering close to home Oct. 3 when the Bengals visit the Browns at 1 p.m.

“Don’t let anybody stop you,” Lopez offered to girls who want to pursue cheerleading. “Here I am now, on the Bengals.”

Titans Cheerleaders Complete Their Own Version of Training Camp

2010-titans-training-campBy Brittany Lynn Evans
Titans Online
Jul 8, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans cheerleaders recently finished their 2010 training camp in June, physically preparing themselves for the upcoming season.

The seven rookie cheerleaders practiced every Saturday in June, working on sideline dance routines and building relationships for a successful season.

The rookies were taught by the four veteran captains, including Brooke, Julia, Natalie, and Shauna. The leadership of the captains helped the rookies understand the importance of representing the Tennessee Titans organization.

Throughout training camp, the entire squad practiced dance routines that will be performed at the home games this year, beginning with the preseason home opener against Arizona Aug. 23 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The cheerleaders not only learned dances, but also prepared for their two tests which included a written exam and fitness test.

On June 25th, the Titans cheerleaders participated in Fitness Friday, which consisted of a timed mile, shuttle run, endurance drills, v-ups, and step up tests. The cheerleaders who successfully completed this portion of training camp received a special commemorative tank top.

“It definitely is a challenge both physically and mentally,” veteran cheerleader Shauna said. “The exercises are difficult and you definitely want to stop, but we all succeeded with each others’ help and motivation.”

The cheerleaders will enjoy a two-week break prior to resuming practices in mid-July.

Patriots Cheerleaders Gather for Exhibit

Don Wallace Blog: Patriot Cheerleaders, past and present, were on hand last night for the new exhibit at the Patriots Hall.

P-R-O 2010: The Charlotte Lady Cats, NBA Dance Bracket Champions

This is one of the photos that helped the Charlotte Lady Cats dethrone the Heat Dancers and go on to become 2010 NBA Dance Bracket Champions.

Jessica, Ashley and Jordan

Ashley, who’s the mother of an adorable 21-month old boy, tells me that the pose was entirely spontaneous. She had no idea that Jessica’s was resting on her.


Here’s the recreation of the photo with Kristy filling in for Jordan, who was at a NASCAR race in Vegas.

[Lady Cats P-R-O Gallery]

[Charlotte Lady Cats]

Raiderette Medallion Ceremony

liz-medallion2Recently, the Oakland Raiderettes participated in their annual medallion ceremony. The medallion is a Raider shield charm worn by all Raiderettes during their year as members of the team, and is an emotional experience for both veterans and rookies. Click here to watch the video.