SI.com: Houston Rockets Power Dancers

Sports Illustrated has photos of the 2014-15 Power Dancers in action. Click here to check it out!

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Aussie Angela Minucos is a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers

By Rowena Ryan
News.com.au
May 29, 2015

Forget everything you’ve seen in the movies.

Cheerleaders are not all blonde, they don’t all date football players and they don’t just shake pompoms.

Australian cheerleader, Angie Minucos, 24, knows this all too well.

She has just made it big time by being accepted as a cheerleader for the highly competitive San Diego Chargers National Football League (NFL) team in the United States, the home of cheerleading.

While cheerleading is still relatively small in Australia, think the Paramatta Eels, the WestsTigers and the Sydney Sixers, in the United States there are around 3.6 million cheerleaders competing fiercely every year for the chance to make the team.

Landing a place in one of the 32 NFL teams is incredibly hard and those who do make it have to re-audition every year. The week long audition sees hundreds of girls competing, learning difficult routines in front of a panel of judges. It’s extremely gruelling, taxing on the body and nerve-racking but Angie made the cut!

The pinnacle for any cheerleader is the American NFL.

“It’s a whole other level in North America. There’s much more of a purpose, the entertainment value cheerleaders provide in the game itself is huge — NFL is a long paced game of up to four hours unlike rugby at home that is much quicker.”

But it is also a misunderstood sport. It’s not just about on-field performances, cheerleaders in America are involved in community projects, charity events, public speaking and media appearances.

2015 Chargers_Angie Minucos

“I think there’s misconceptions everywhere,” says Angie, “It’s a performing art. It doesn’t differentiate from any other dance, at the end of the day it’s more than dancing though — we are ambassadors, we have a platform and we have a voice,” she says.

A typical training week for a Charger Girl involves two evening sessions of four hours from 6pm — 10pm as well as Saturday from 8am — 5pm and it’s big business.

Cheerleaders are paid a salary, they have personal trainers, a team nutritionist and are expected to take part in media interviews, photo shoots and events.

It’s also one of the most dangerous sports in terms of injuries. A study reported in the Wall Street Journal found that cheerleading is the number one cause of catastrophic injuries among girls and young women in the USA.

A 2012 study from The American Academy of Paediatrics found that cheerleading accounted for 65 per cent of catastrophic injuries to girl athletes at high school and 70.8 per cent at college level between 1982 and 2009.

While the number of catastrophic injuries are small, there were 110 closed head injuries, skull fractures and cervical spine injuries over that time, it’s the disproportionate number of severe injuries in this one activity that was found to be most concerning.

Angie recently almost had an injury end her career. Four months prior to the audition she sustained a labral tear in her hip, a common dancer injury.

“Typical this means surgery resulting in at least six months off but I was determined to make that audition,” she says.

“I searched and searched until I found a wonderful physio who was confident we could strengthen my hip again by the time of the audition.

“I spent three hours a day on rehabilitation of my hip for the three months leading up to the audition and currently spend a few hours a week maintaining it.

“Considering I could barely walk without pain let alone dance, I had a really fortunate recovery,” says Angie.

Born in Sydney’s western suburbs before moving to Five Dock during high school, Angie is one of six kids and grew up dancing. She started ballet at just two years old, but it was a chance opportunity to join a recreation cheerleading program at school at age 15 that forged her career.

“I fell in love with it straightaway,” says Angie. “I had never participated in a team sport before and I never thought it could have taken me around the world.”

For now Angie is enjoying life in San Diego and the thought of performing in front of a stand of 80,000 fans when the season begins in September.

“I’m a big believer in following opportunities wherever they may go, in taking a leap of faith. This is my dream and I’ll see where that takes me,” she says.

Orlando Magic Dancer Auditions Will Be Extra Special This Year

By Josh Cohen
OralndoMagic.com

Orlando Magic Dancers, past and present, all seem to share similar sentiments.

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Faces light up when reflecting back on all their performances during games and other events. They cherish the times they were out in the community improving lives. They treasure the friendships they built with teammates. They still laugh about all those elusive moments they shared.

Being a Magic Dancer signifies a lifelong bond that only strengthens as time evolves.

“It was absolutely life-changing for me,” said Lyndsay King, a Magic Dancer for two seasons (2010-2012). “It was a wonderful decision to audition and be a part of the team.”

“There are so many memories with the girls,” she added. “They are all like family to me. Some were even in my wedding and babysit my child. That’s how close we are.”

Dozens of hopefuls will start the audition journey soon (click here for audition details). Only 20 women will be chosen to be part of the 2015-16 Magic Dancers. That journey will only be the beginning of a dream come true or, for some, a dream relived.

Magic Dancer Nicole, who has been with the team since 2012, hopes to relive that dream. She will be auditioning again this year in hopes of making the squad for a fourth straight season.

“I am so excited to hopefully experience another fantastic and exciting season with the best organization and group of women I know,” Nicole said. My favorite memory every year is actually the day of auditions. Seeing familiar faces from previous auditions and knowing that there’s a new season ahead is indescribable.”

The same perspective plays in the mind of Magic Dancer Alex, who hopes to be named to the team for a second consecutive year.

“The idea of being an Orlando Magic Dancer for another season honestly gets me so excited every time I think about it,” Alex said. “Rehearsals, appearances and game days just add so much excitement to my life and always gives me something to look forward to.”

“I had such an incredible year with the team this past year and take so much pride in my role as an OMD, that I would be so grateful and even more excited to come back for a second year, as a veteran,” she added.

Unlike past years when auditions lasted for no more than five days, this year it will be a much more elaborate and extensive process. For one, the entirety of the auditions goes from June 6 until June 19. Between those days, there will be a series of evaluations, including interviews, fitness assessments and obviously performing dance routines in front of expert judges.

Also, for the first time, all finalists will take part in a swimwear photo shoot.

But perhaps the most appealing aspect of this year’s auditions is that the finals will be held at the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas. The 30 finalists will travel to the resort on June 16 and return to Orlando on June 20 (finals are scheduled for June 19).

As Nicole and Alex point out, the length of this year’s auditions makes it extra important to prepare for everything and not skip any of the details.

“It consists of working out, eating right, taking dance classes and getting my audition outfit ready,” Nicole said about gearing up for auditions.

“Knowing that there is a possibility of going to the Bahamas for finals and a swimwear photoshoot has made me work even harder this year,” Alex said. “I have been in the gym just about every day, preparing myself for the audition day and to be able to have the endurance to make it through bootcamp.”

For retired dancers like Lyndsay, auditions are now an opportunity to give advice and show support for prospective Magic Dancers.

“You definitely have to prepare yourself mentally and physically,” she said. “It’s about being a well-rounded individual. Someone who will get people excited about the Magic.”

2015 DCC Star Magazine Swimsuit Cover Vote

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Cast your votes here.

Photo of the Day – May 29

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A Baltimore Blast Cheerleader

San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer Audition Prep Classes Begin May 31

The Spurs Silver Dancers will host five prep classes, beginning Sunday, May 31 and leading up to the July 18 Silver Dancer Auditions. Sessions are available in San Antonio and San Marcos.

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The classes will be taught by Silver Dancers Choreographer Katie Gibbons, and will cover a wide range of styles including jazz, jazz funk, hip hop, heel and pom. Each of the five sessions lasts two-and-a-half hours and will feature two short, unique routines to help prepare dancers for team auditions.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in comfortable clothing, and to bring several changes of shoes to accommodate different routine styles. There is no limit to the number of prep classes a dancer can attend, and the classes are not required for Silver Dancer Auditions. Prep classes and auditions are open to those 18 years of age and older as of August 1, 2015. Pre-registration is not necessary for prep classes, but is encouraged for Silver Dancer Auditions. For more information on the 2015 Silver Dancer audition prep classes, go to Spurs.com/SilverDancers.

George Gervin Youth Center
6944 S. Sunbelt Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78218
Sunday, May 31 from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 9 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Registration fee: $25

San Marcos Student Recreation Center
1001 Academy St.
San Marcos, TX 78666
Saturday, June 13 from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Registration fee: $25

The Spurs Silver Dancers are entering their 24th season of entertaining fans as the official on-court dance team for the San Antonio Spurs. In addition to their game night performances, they are active members of the community, making appearances and attending events throughout the year, as well as leading Jr. Silver Dancer clinics throughout South Texas.

Brittany Wagner Crowned Miss United States California 2015

Brittany Wagner, a Ladies of Ontario Fury dancer for the past two years, was crowned Miss United States California over the weekend.

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Brittany also participated in the Miss California USA pageant earlier this year and placed as the 1st Runner Up. She has been a member of the Ladies of Ontario Fury dance team for the past two years and I have had the pleasure to photograph her on numerous occasions.

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She is as nice as she is beautiful and we would like to congratulate her on her most recent accomplishment.

Tampa Bay Storm Cheerleaders

In between the Lightning games I took advantage to visit the Tampa Bay Storm over the Memorial Day weekend. The theme of the game against the Philadelphia Soul was “Salute to Military”. The Storm took a beating but my attention for the night was on the talented dancing cheerleaders.

The 2015 squad has thirteen members including 5 rookies. Returning veterans Jalyssa and Philippa are Co Captains this year and Jalyssa was the Arena Bowl representative in 2014.

Our thanks to Director Kindra Stocher and choreographer Stephanie (Arena Bowl 2013) for the hospitality to allow Ultimate Cheerleaders the chance to cover these attractive performers. The Storm web site has nice bio descriptions for each member, check it out. Arena football is great fan friendly inexpensive entertainment, try and get out to a game.

Enjoy the photos:

1 Megan

Megan

2 Salina

Salina

3 Christina

Cristina

4 Tyanne

Tyanne

5 Kayla

Kayla

6 Allison

Allison

7

Tyanne and Shaniqua

8 Jalyssa

Jalyssa (Captain)

9

Le’Dreauna, Shaniqua, Jalyssa and Lexxie

[Storm Cheerleaders Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Storm Cheerleaders]

Courtney is the Sea Gals New Choreographer

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The former Sea Gal and 2014 Pro Bowl representative is shown here with the squad after teaching her first dance.

[Courtney on Twitter]

[Courtney – 2013 P-R-O Convention All-Star]

Photo of the Day – May 27

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A member of the New York Jets Flight Crew

Title: 14-15 Ice Crew Profile – Taylor

Kings Vision was on hand for the 14-15 Ice Crew calendar photo shoot! Check out this profile featuring Ms. March 2015, Taylor!

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Get Your Dance On: Sixers To Hold Auditions For 2015-16 Sixers Dancers

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced audition details for the 2015-16 Sixers Dancers, which include auditions in both Philadelphia and New York City.

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The team will host an open call audition in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 17 at the Sixers’ home arena (3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19148) beginning at 6:30 p.m. (media encouraged to attend between 8:00 and 8:45 p.m.). Walk-ups are welcome, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

The team will also host an audition in New York City on Monday, June 15 at Broadway Dance Center (322 W. 45thSt., 3rd floor, New York, NY 10036) at 8:00 a.m. (Dancers in the Philadelphia region are encouraged to try out at the local audition on June 17.)

Individuals interested in trying out for the Sixers Dancers must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2015 and should have prior experience in dance. They must also fill out the application form linked HERE and pay a $20 audition fee.

Dancers are also encouraged to register for one of the upcoming Sixers Dancers Pre-Audition Workshops. The Sixers will hold workshop sessions at Touch of Class Dance Studio (483 Park Way, Broomall, PA 19008) onSaturday, May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Attendees will learn the necessary choreography for auditions and get inside tips from current members of the team. Those interested in attending the Pre-Audition Workshops must email Derrick Hayes, Sixers Live Events Manager, atderrickhayes@sixers.com.

The Sixers Dancers are entering their 19th season as an integral part of the Sixers’ game night entertainment, performing multiple times and visiting fans at every home game. Off the court, the careers, educational accomplishments and community involvement of the Sixers Dancers will empower young girls in the Philadelphia region to pursue their goals, while also inspiring them to be beautiful inside and out.

Yes, Chicago dancers can still cheer for their football team; Chicago Thunder Dancers prep classes and auditions are here

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The Chicago Thunder Football Club, a proud member of the MidStates Football League of minor league outdoor football, will again include a professional dance team this season. Jenny Hinz, the Director of the Chicago Thunder Dancers (AND also Director of the Chicago Blitz Thunder Dancers) informs us of their upcoming prep class and auditions. Here is the scoop!

Chicago, Are you Ready to Go Pro?
Chicago Thunder Dancers Prep Class
May 28 8:30-10:30pm
$15
*FFC Gym East Lakeview, 3657 N Pinegrove Ave, Chicago Il 60613.

Chicago Thunder Dancers Auditions
June 4 8:30-11pm
$20
*FFC Gym East Lakeview, 3657 N Pinegrove Ave, Chicago Il 60613.

Auditions are $20. Come ‘camera ready’ as we will be filming the web series: Chicago Blitz Dancers, Making the Team!

Email chicagothunderdancers@gmail.com to register or receive additional information.

Registration Starts at 8:15pm
o Train and bus nearby, as well as pay to park
o Plan to come early so you can find the place.
o $15 prep class, $20 auditions

Photo of the Day – May 26

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A Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS – Golden State Warriors Store Opening in Westfield Mall

With the incredible momentum and popularity of the NBA brand in SF Bay area, the Golden State Warriors have opened up a storefront on Market Street of 1800 sq ft of retail space to sell merchandise to new adoring hordes of fans. At 11am on Saturday May 23, fans lined up at the grand opening and had the chance to buy 2015 NBA Playoffs memorabilia and take advantage of other specials.

With a weekend trip planned to SF Bay for Memorial Day Weekend, I was happy to take advantage to checking out some fan events of the Golden State Warriors even if the team is in Texas for the duration of the time I am in town. Of course the highlight was a brief conversation with a few members of the Golden State Warriors Dance Team and get a free swimsuit calendar.

Fans who arrived early were able to grab an assortment of handouts from a car flag, MVP Stephen Curry poster, and a Strength In Numbers button.

GSW Dance Team Member Rachel

GSW Dance Team Member Yvonne

GSW Dance Team Member Danielle

Up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals vs Houston Rockets, hopes are high for the first NBA Championship to SF Bay since 1975.