SI.com has uploaded a gallery of NFL cheerleaders from week 3. Click here to view the gallery.
SI.com has uploaded a gallery of NFL cheerleaders from week 3. Click here to view the gallery.
After 40-year wait, fans give 28 dancers a thumbs-up for first game.
They bounded onto the field with the energy and athleticism of many of the players who’d soon follow them.
The Detroit Lions Cheerleaders strutted, kicked, twirled, arched, jumped and danced Sunday afternoon during the Lions’ home opener against the Tennessee Titans — a home opener of their own more than 40 years in the making.
Clad in blue abs-baring shirts, short white shorts and white shoes, waving shiny blue pom poms, the 28 women did what the team calls long-form performances after the first and third quarters.
Their routine in the west end zone after the first quarter was set to Detroit native Aretha Franklin’s classic “Respect.” The one after the third quarter was choreographed to “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses.
Both performances were heavily dance-inspired, as is the norm in the NFL, as opposed to the gymnastics-inspired stunts style popular on the high school and college levels. During each, though, one cheerleader put down her pom poms for some quick gymnastics moves.
They also did a short pregame dance, stood at attention — with one leg cocked each — during the singing of the national anthem. While the game was played, they divided into four groups and hung out in of the four corners of the field — in formation, but breaking out into enthusiastic jumps and moves when the Lions did something great. During breaks, they also did mini-dance routines.
Cheerleading coach Rebeca Smoker was pleased with how the debut went. She said she’d give them a 9 or a 10 out of 10, adding that they’d done “an amazing job.”
“We’re there to connect the fans to our players and add as much spirit as we can and keep everybody involved to help support them,” she said. “And it’s certainly sad about a loss, but we have faith in them. They’re a good team.”
The cheerleaders cheered their own performance.
Briana, a former high school and college cheerleader who works as a recruiter but whose last name was not made public, said she was crying during the cheerleaders’ first performance.
“The fans’ reaction was amazing and they made us all feel comfortable, so that’s what eased our nerves,” she said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but honestly the outcome was very, very amazing.”
Agreed Nicole, who’s new to cheerleading, but has danced since age 4: “The crowd was amazing. They were super supportive. They were cheering us on the whole time. It was incredible.”
The last time the Lions had cheerleaders was during the 1974-75 season, when they played at the Pontiac Silverdome, according to team spokesman Ben Manges. Fan demand is what inspired their return.
“It adds a vivacity; it’s exciting,” said Monica Chown of Metamora, located in Lapeer County.
The 43-year-old physical therapist thought they should be called the Lionesses, though.
Her husband, Rick Chown, 50, a banker, remembers the Lions cheerleaders from four decades ago.
“These are better,” he said. “They look like they’re great dancers.”
He doesn’t think the addition of the cheerleaders in 2016 will translate into more filled seats at games.
“They’re not going to have an impact on ticket sales,” he added. “It’s the product on the field.”
And the cheerleaders are not the product.
Jeannette Anderson, who drove eight hours from Marquette to attend the game, said feminism is about having the right to choose what a woman wants to do.
“I love it, because it brings more women (to games),” said the 33-year-old gas station attendant. “Who doesn’t want to see pretty women dance? They want to do it. We’re supposed to do what we want to do.”
During halftime, one of the two teams playing, the Eastside Eagles, had cheerleaders.
Zoe Carrie, herself a former high school cheerleader, wasn’t wowed by the pros.
“They’re good. They’re something different. They look nervous to me,” said the 20-year-old Northern Illinois University student. “They were out of sync to begin with. I want to see more tumbling. It gives more depth to the performance. It’s more skill.”
Chosen from an open audition of more than 300 this spring, the cheerleaders have trained as much as 12 hours a week under Smoker, herself a former professional cheerleader. Most have dance or cheerleading backgrounds; they have day jobs ranging from a Blue Cross Blue Shield account manager to a Beyonce backup dancer.
Northern beaches dancer Courtney Watts finally flies to start LA Clippers dance job after landing role on holiday
Courtney Watts, 27, from Dee Why, will begin work for the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team and has already been to Vegas on holiday with the girls. Picture: Instagram
A former NRL cheerleader will start her dream job this week, dancing for a top American basketball team.
Courtney Watts, 27, of Dee Why, will begin work for the Los Angeles Clippers’ Spirit Dance Team.
She was thrilled to get the job — but then had to secure a visa. She now has one, given on the basis of “extraordinary talent”. After being unable to join the first month of training, Watts said she faced a big catch-up before the season starts next month.
“I’ve been on the outside —— I wasn’t allowed in just because of the legalities,” she said.
But it is set to be a glam life for the former Mackellar student, who has just got an apartment in West Hollywood, close to Sunset Blvd and the Hollywood Hills.
The squad has a reality TV show on channel E! and she will be involved if another series is commissioned.
“I’ve never thought about myself going on reality TV — when the time comes I’ll have to deal with it,” she said.
“The girls all had fun last year and they’re hoping that there is a season two.”
Watts, also a former Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Kings cheerleader, has already been on a trip to Las Vegas, where everything was free.
The only overseas dancer in the squad, Watts said her teammates were still getting used to her lingo.
“I said something about a rig and they were like, ‘What’s a rig?’ and I said, ‘Your body!’ ” she said. “They find it hilarious.”
Watts, whose parents Jan, 56, and John, 61, live in Dee Why, began dancing at aged four at Dance North Academy in Narraweena, where she also recently taught.
LA Clippers reality show
She also worked as a personal trainer.
She said she was not earning a Hollywood wage.
“I wouldn’t say it’s well paid,” she said. “We do it for the love and not the money.”
Time: Registration Starts at 9:30am (Auditions begin promptly at 10:00am)
Location: Anthony Munoz Community Center (1240 W. Fourth St, Ontario, CA 91762)
The Ladies of Fury uphold a high standard of quality dance performance and community involvement to represent the Ontario Fury with professionalism on and off the field. During the audition process, applicants will be judged on dance ability, showmanship, physical fitness, crowd appeal, and individual applications. Final round dancers will participate in a group interview and display their own choreography highlighting strengths and specialties (music will be provided).
To ensure a professional and relaxed atmosphere for all participants, the auditions will be closed. No guests or spectators allowed.
What to wear
For further information, contact Dance Team Director, Lynae de Leon at Ldeleon@ontariofury.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
* * * * *
Editor’s Note: I have been covering the Ontario Fury and their predecessor organization, the Anaheim Bolts for several years now and Lynae de Leon has a knack of developing dance talent that make it onto major league dance teams in the NFL and NBA. This past season, four of her 2015-2016 Ladies of Ontario Fury dancers (Sativa-Skye, McKenzie, Lizzie and Kellie) made it to the Rams Cheerleaders, 49ers Gold Rush, Clippers Spirit and Sacramento Kings Dancers. And several others on that squad were finalists.
So if you are an aspiring professional cheerleader, you might want to hone your skills with Lynae de Leon and the Ladies of Ontario Fury.
Check out the HTC’s fun Freestyle Fridays video series.
Saw the Rays blank the Yankees yesterday, 2 to 0, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Enjoy a couple photos of Amanda and sisters Khrystle & Kiana who are members of the Rays Cheer squad.
Flickr Rays album is here
NFL teams that hosted games during week 2 of the regular season have uploaded photos of their cheerleading squads to their team sites. Click on the links below to go to the team page galleries.
The Jaguars will be home this weekend versus the Baltimore Ravens. Tickets are available so try and get out to see the fan friendly ROAR cheer the Jags to victory. We posted some additional photos from our preseason coverage, enjoy:
Flickr album is here
SI.com has posted a large gallery of images of cheerleaders from Week 2 of the regular season. Click here to view the gallery.
Perhaps channeling his inner Robin Williams, Late Late Show Host James Corden, along and the guys from A League Of Their Own, joined the Rams Cheerleaders performance during the Seahawks game. Let’s go to the video, and another at this link.
We’ll have to wait and see if other celebs embrace the chance to join the Rams Cheerleaders this season.
And donning the uniform harkens back to the 1970’s, when an episode of Mork and Mindy featured Robin Williams joining the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders. Sorry kids, it was a hairier time. People accused celebrity males (Andy Gibb) of augmenting themselves with chest toupees. Yep, you had to be there.
The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders will finally get to open their home schedule this Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns at newly named Hard Rock Stadium.
The annual Swimsuit Fashion Show is on Friday, September 30th. Ticket link is here.
We added some additional photos to our preseason album. Enjoy:
Flickr album from preseason is here
Our good friends from the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders write us that the MVC debuted new uniforms and two new dance routines at last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Check them out here.
And here are a couple of photos of their classic “Baby Helga” uniform.
Did I mention that purple is my favorite color?
Tour De Force: \ˌtu̇r-də-ˈfȯrs\ noun – an impressive performance or achievement that has been accomplished or managed with great skill.
This past Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars roared into town to play the San Diego Chargers, who were fresh off a disappointing meltdown loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Things would be different this week as the Chargers stormed out to a 35 point lead and never took their foot off the accelerator. Philip Rivers threw four touchdown passes, tying a career high, and Melvin Gordon ran for 102 yards and another score. A strong defensive effort by the home team doomed the hapless Jaguars, who crossed midfield only six times during the game. This game was over at half time.
Final Score: Navy Blues – 38, Teal Blues – 14.
However, the news wasn’t all good. For the second week in a row, the Chargers lost a key player for the year due to injury. Versatile running back Danny Woodhead tore his ACL and joined Keenan Allen on injured reserved. Who’s next? Philip Rivers?
Well…on to the good stuff…the hottest dance team in the NFL, your San Diego Charger Girls!
I play fantasy football (five championships and counting!) and I have never seen a beginning to a season like this, where there have been so many serious injuries to key players…star players. It’s mind boggling. Let’s hope this misfortune doesn’t plague our favorite sideline entertainers, our beloved cheerleaders.
Okay, let’s begin this week’s coverage of the Charger Girls with the Captains: Marissa, Delani, Bridget, and Teran.
Tonight, the regular season debut of the Vikings’ new digs, US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Kindly, fan Steve peovided some Vikings Cheerleaders photos during the pre-season. During that game, the current squad performed with nearly 200 MVC alumni before the kickoff.
by Dana Hunsinger Benbow, firstname.lastname@example.org
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