By James Dunn
The Daily Mail
October 1, 2015
This is the amazing moment when a dolphin returned an iPhone to its owner after diving to the bottom of the sea to retrieve it.
Miami Heat dancer Teressa Cee had left the phone with a friend on a boat while diving with dolphins off the coast of the Bahamas, but he accidentally dropped it into the ocean.
However, dolphin Cacique saw the phone drop and dived to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve it.
The clever dolphin eventually emerged with the phone in its beak and gave it back to one of the men on the boat.
He then hands it back to bikini-clad Miss Cee, who is delighted that it had been returned from the depths.
She then shared her story with the 40,000 people who like her Facebook page, posting the video for all to see.
Miss Cee wrote: ‘True Story: While in the Bahamas, I had the opportunity to go swimming with dolphins on The Bahamas.
‘We were filming on this floating platform in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So, against a my better judgment I asked someone to hold my phone for me and he accidentally dropped my phone into water and it sank to the bottom.
‘Cacique, the dolphin, actually retrieved my phone and brought it back up to me. Cutest thing ever!’
People were amazed by the video, now liked by more than 46,000 people and shared more than 20,000 times.
One viewer, James Kim, wrote: ‘Dolphins are such awesome creatures.’
Another person, Yeszteyei Masochism, wrote: ‘I watched this more than five time. Adorable.’
There were also plenty of people asking if the iPhone in the video still works after being submerged.
Clinton Ikechi wrote: ‘She said it’s never gonna work again but thanks.’
October 3, 2015
Lake Travis High School alum and former Cavalette Simone Culwell is taking her skyward kicks to new heights as a recently minted member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Culwell, a 2011 graduate of LTHS, attended the University of Hawaii Manoa and graduated with degrees in anthropology and communications. Culwell said being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has held allure to her for a long time.
“I’ve kind of always wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader ever since I was a little girl,” Culwell said. “Originally, I did competitive gymnastics, and then I made the Lake Travis Cavalettes my sophomore year of high school. I didn’t get serious about trying out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders until my junior year of college, when I started training and getting into shape and mentally preparing, studying up on Dallas history and the current players.”
Lake Travis High School alum Simone Culwell performs as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader during a game.
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are expected to know everything about the team, Culwell said, and she took the requirement seriously. Tryouts for the cheerleading team took place in May, and the initial pool of 350 hopeful girls was cut down to a training camp of 46 and then a final team of 34, Culwell said. Her days as a Cavalette helped her out in a crucial way, she said.
“A lot of girls get cut during the semifinal round if they don’t have good kick technique, and as a Cavalette I learned kick technique,” Culwell said. “I did jump splits on the Cavalette team, so I’m more comfortable with my kick background since I did that back in the day for every single halftime. It’s one less thing I had to worry about.”
Cheerleaders risk hamstring and knee injuries just performing their regular routines, Culwell said.
“Your body is not supposed to be flying in the air and landing in the splits, but we do it anyway,” she said. “My body is aching from the game yesterday – three straight hours of full-out dancing.”
She learned 40 new dances during her time in Dallas Cowboys cheerleader training camp, and faced particular challenges when an old injury returned.
“I had sprained my shoulder and had tendonitis in my rotator cuff, and when I started training camp, it flared up again,” Culwell said. “When I couldn’t even move it, they called me in the office and told me to take it day by day but if it took too long to recover I’d have to be let go from training camp. … It was hard to learn dances and practice, and by the end of training camp, I was getting a little nervous I was falling behind, but I ended up making the team, and what makes that more rewarding is I dealt with a lot of adversity.”
While currently busy with practice, games and other promotional appearances, Culwell hopes to get a public relations job in Dallas. She regularly visits her family in the Village of the Hills, and her parents come out to almost every game to support her, she said.
“One of my favorite things about being a part of this organization is being an influence for young girls,” she said. “The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are world-class women, and I love what we stand for and being an inspiration to everybody.”
Here’s more from Sports Illustrated. Click here for photos from week 2 and click here for photos from week 3!
Lots of fun along with the inside scoop on the audition process at the Soulmates workshop yesterday. Hope to see everyone at Open Call Auditions next month.
Go behind the scenes at the Cleveland Cavailer Girls photo shoot.
Lots of great pics of the MDC at the Daily Mail.
by Deirdre Reilly
Hear the words “football cheerleader” and what comes to mind? Probably a combination of American fantasy and culturally idealized females — squads of beautiful, athletic women high-kicking, clapping and pyramid-building on the gridiron sidelines as your favorite team battles it out toward victory.
Though they are certainly pretty, peppy, and fit, professional NFL cheerleaders are much more than meets the eye.
They’re highly educated, professional women with careers in multiple fields who cheerlead part time as a way to fulfill their interests in dance, charity work, and public speaking.
Meet two NFL cheerleaders:
Karen Link, 24, New England Patriots
Career: Corporate communications specialist for Nuance Communications, a multinational computer software technology corporation
Karen Link is proud of her colleagues on the New England Patriots cheering squad.
“For many of us, cheerleading is not the only job we have,” she says. “The women I cheer with are so much more than ‘dancers on a field.’ Many of us have corporate jobs, and cheering is part time. Currently we have a neuroscientist, a bio-mechanical engineer — and one woman just moved out of state to become a dentist.”
Cheerleading hours are long, and happen after the “real” workday is over. For Link, it means eight-hour days at her corporate job, and then every Tuesday and Thursday a 90-minutes drive to Foxboro, Massachusetts, for several hours of practice. Then there’s the game on Sunday or Monday nights. Cheerleaders also practice many hours each week during the off-season.
So why do it?
“The chance to perform in front of 70,000 fans is one reason,” Link told LifeZette. “Another is the chance to practice dance, something I have always loved. Additionally, we do a lot of appearances and public speaking, and we work hard for charity. That is extremely rewarding to all of us — the chance to give back. We participate in toy drives; we serve food to the homeless. We make hundreds and hundreds of public appearances a year. Our larger community is extremely important to our whole organization.”
“The other women are amazing, truly,” Link said. “We are like sisters. The social aspect, for me, is worth all the hard work. I love the other girls, and we really support one another.”
And the pay? For many, surprisingly low. Many NFL cheerleaders earn about $125 per game. This July, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed into law a bill that designates cheerleaders in the state as employees rather than independent contractors, which would entitle them to meal breaks, paid sick leave, and the minimum wage, according to the Los Angeles Times. Cheerleaders for the Los Angeles Raiders, as well as the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills, have sued their teams, alleging those teams withheld pay and did not reimburse mandatory expenses, among other claims.
Some cheerleaders, such as Link and her fellow cheerleaders for the Patriots, are part-time employees of their team and are compensated for their appearances on behalf of the team.
Link’s best moment? Going to last year’s Super Bowl as a rookie cheerleader.
“I was over the moon,” she said. “It was a fantastic whirlwind of excitement and opportunity. If I could re-live that victory every day, you bet I would!”
Dana Luker, 29, Atlanta Falcons
Career: Audit manager and certified public accountant with Warren Averett LLC
What drives Luker to be a cheerleader? Her love of the game.
“I absolutely love football,” Luker told LifeZette. “It has been my favorite sport since I was a little girl. I grew up in Atlanta, and most of my family members attended the University of Georgia. So as you can imagine, there were no two football teams that I would’ve rather cheered for than the Atlanta Falcons and UGA.”
Related: Ready for Some Football, Ladies?
She has accomplished both. But Luker has a full-time job as a CPA.
“I help clients with preparation of reviewed and audited financial statements,” she said. “I am focused on managing benefit plans, construction and technology audits, but I also work for a large insurance brokerage firm and on a number of smaller engagements.”
She explains how she manages her professional schedule and her cheer schedule.
“On practice days, I make sure that I get to work early enough to finish everything that needs to be done that day so that I can leave work around 4:30 p.m., run home to let my dog out and feed her, and then head to practice, which typically starts at 7:30 p.m.,” she said.
“Fortunately, my busy season as a CPA is during the off-season for the Falcons, and we do not have required practices during the off-season,” Luker said. “While we are not required to attend group fitness workouts as a team, we make sure that we are getting those in regularly on our own time. We typically workout on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and in the morning before we start work or school.”
Her favorite part of being an NFL cheerleader? The time with her “peers of cheer.”
“Every single Atlanta Falcons cheerleader has an awesome and inspirational story to share,” she said. “We all have full-time jobs or are full-time students, so at practice, I am surrounded by girls juggling as much or more than me. We celebrate successes together and support each other through tough times.”
She added, “I am definitely a better woman for having been a part of such a wonderful team.”
Despite their foothold as icons in the world of American sports, today’s cheerleaders are working hard not just on the football field during halftime, but in other aspects of their lives, modernizing their brand and busting old myths that depicted them merely as peppy gals with pompoms.
A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader
A Trio of New York Lizards Dancers
This past weekend, I made a road trip to visit the Phoenix area and to see the 2015 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders in person. I have covered their auditions over the past several years, but this year I was not able to attend and I was very interested in seeing the new squad in person. They have a new director, Kristina Ferdig who was a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader and I was looking forward to seeing the changes she brought to the sidelines being that it has been a couple of years since I last attended a game here.
And I was very pleasantly surprised. The girls are gorgeous and there are more opportunities to photograph the girls interacting with the crowd, which for me was the reason why I came to Phoenix.
Continue reading Road Trip 2015 – The Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
The Ravens have finally updated their cheerleader pages for the 2015-16 NFL season. Alas, they’ve once again left the fellas out, but click here to learn more about the ladies on the team.
Amber Lynn, Jackie, and Melissa
Twin sisters Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming professional cheer and dance team members in the NFL
September 29, 2015
Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg cheer for the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium last Sunday
Some things never change. The same mantra goes for former Augustana student-athletes and current members of the Minnesota Viking Cheerleading team Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg.
Cheering for the Augustana Vikings as kids, cheer and dance team members, and now alumnae, they still cheer for the Vikings, with the only difference being the level of play and the color of the uniform.
Sioux Falls natives and twin sisters, Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg fulfilled a life-long dream and became members of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading team this summer. Growing up in Sioux Falls, Karmen and Kirsten were immersed into Augustana athletic events at a young age but neither really remembers the games. It was the cheerleaders that caught their attention.
“We grew up going to Augustana football games and rather than watch the game, we would watch the cheerleaders on the sideline,” Karmen said. “We were always just blown away by them and it was something we knew we always wanted to try.”
You would not have been able to find a busier pair of student-athletes on campus during their time at Augustana. Karmen and Kirsten never had a season off. Preparing for cheer and dance in the late parts of summer and into the fall, they also spent numerous hours on the track in the Elmen Center in preparation for the indoor track and field season. As the winter wore on, cheer and dance resumed, now moved indoors to basketball games, but the training never ceased as the two were talented sprinters and relay runners on the Vikings track and field squad.
“We really learned about time management and dedication during our time at Augustana being involved in so many things,” Karmen said. “We’ve definitely benefitted from that now being a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader.”
The hectic schedule and lifestyle has helped them adapt to the life in professional sports and being a member of a professional cheer and dance team. Karmen and Kirsten can now be found substitute teaching in the Minneapolis area as well as attending graduate school all while juggling the craziness that ensues with being a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading team.
When able to make it work with the schedule, Kirsten can be found student teaching while Karmen is attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota.
“One of the great things about being at Augustana is we were fortunate enough to be able to do all the activities we wanted to, cheer, dance and track and field,” Kirsten said. “Having that experience and being able to manage all of that plus academics has helped us manage the transition and schedule both personally and professionally.”
Not only will you find Karmen and Kirsten on the sideline at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday’s, the two are also required to practice three times a week as well as make community engagement appearances throughout the season.
The two have experienced a whirlwind of changes since making the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading team in May, but the one thing that has remained constant in their lives is each other.
“Being twins, we have a unique experience,” Kirsten said. “We have always done similar activities growing up, including everything at Augustana between cheer, dance and track and field. I don’t think we would have gone through this without each other. It has always been a big dream and goal of ours to cheer professionally together and if one of us had done this without the other, we would have felt incomplete.”
Since graduating from Augustana in 2014 the two have felt a void in their life and wanted to take on the challenge of making the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading team.
“We weren’t ready to be done with cheerleading and dance,” Kirsten said. “Having been involved in it for so long, we knew that the next challenge for us was to try get to that top tier level of cheer and dance and that is the NFL. Growing up in Sioux Falls we have always been Viking fans so it felt like the right fit.”
Karmen and Kirsten will be making appearances as Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders in Sioux Falls this weekend and will also be attending the Augustana football game against Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday. Prior to Saturday’s game, Karmen and Kirsten will make an appearance at Nyberg’s Ace on 41st and Minnesota from 10-11:30 a.m. where they will meet and greet and sign autographs.
The two will then make their way to Kirkeby-Over Stadium where they will attend the pregame tailgate event from 12-1 p.m. Earlier that day, they will also make an appearance at Augustana’s junior cheer and dance camp. To join Karmen and Kirsten at Augustana’s junior cheer and dance camp, register HERE.
“I’m excited to get back and be a part of the cheer and dance clinic,” Kirsten said. “Sharing my passion for cheer and dance with the participants and letting them know if they work hard and they want to be a professional cheerleader, they can.”
Karmen is looking forward to getting back to Augustana to experience a game day as a fan again but is also excited for the opportunity to share her experience in achieving a dream.
“Hopefully we can help give the girls an incentive to continue to chase their dreams,” Karmen said. “I never would have thought growing up in Sioux Falls that I would become an NFL cheerleader. Hopefully that if it is something they learn they want to achieve, if they work hard, they can.”
From rehearsing at Redd’s to entertaining fans outside MetLife Stadium, it’s always a fun time when I visit the Gotham City Cheerleaders. Follow them on twitter and help get them inside the stadium.
Continue reading The Gotham City Cheerleaders
By Ben Crandell
It’s been 20 years since Marcy Crowe quickened the pulse of the men of South Florida with something they had never seen before: a Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders swimsuit calendar.
Crowe, then Marcy Kislia, a Florida State graduate from Boca Raton, was the first cover model for the publication that has become a much-anticipated rite of the season.
Such is the interest in the calendar now that the team has created an event around the unveiling, which for this year’s 20th calendar takes place on Friday at the remodeled Sun Life Stadium. Highlighted by a swimsuit fashion show, proceeds from the evening will help fund the high-profile charity work of the Miami Dolphins Foundation.
Marcy Crowe in a photo taken for the first Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders calendar, which debuted 20 years ago.
“Everything is so much bigger and better and brighter since I was there,” Crowe, 42, says.
There was no calendar when Dorie Grogan, who now carries the title of senior director of entertainment and brand impact for the squad, arrived after five years as a cheerleader with the Dallas Cowboys. The calendar was her idea, and she organized the photo shoots around Miami, but no one was sure anything would come of it, Crowe says.
One day Grogan walked into the cheerleaders’ stadium studio with an armful of calendars and handed them out to the women seated on the floor, Crowe says. If that unveiling lacked the pomp and glamour of this weekend’s affair, the cheerleaders then were no less happy.
“We weren’t sure if it was going to happen, and she made it happen. The quality is not at all what they are now, but it was just exciting that we even had one,” says Crowe, also “very excited” to be attending Friday night’s event.
Crowe, later a choreographer with the squad, went on to get a master’s degree in education from Florida Atlantic University and is now a stay-at-home mother of three boys, ages 11, 9 and 6. She doesn’t talk much about her cheerleading days, in the same way her husband, Andy, doesn’t wear the 1993 national championship ring he received as an FSU football player (a center and long snapper, he later played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears).
But she’s not shy about pointing out the hard work the cheerleaders are putting in on the sidelines when the family is watching Dolphins and FSU games. It’s a tough crowd.
“The boys will say, “We know, Mom,” Crowe says, imitating their exasperation. “And they sure don’t like to see me dancing around the kitchen, I can tell you that.”
An Arizona Rattlers Sidewinder