No Country For Old Men: The 2015 P-R-O Convention – Part One

James Blakey, UltimateCheerleaders.com’s publisher and our illustrious leader here at the blog, celebrated his 50th birthday two days prior to this year’s P-R-O Convention. I, myself, am…um…a tad older than James. And let me say that photographing hundreds of beautiful and talented professional cheerleaders is exhausting work…physically demanding work…mentally draining work.

It’s not for the faint of heart, nor the infirmed. I should know…I took a little spill off the stage on Saturday…nothing serious, just a scrape of the knee as my leg buckled…no, not from MS or something like that…just old age. At least I spared my camera equipment from a nasty crash by falling on my right side. “Superstar!”

An event like this is for the young. Young cheerleaders and young photographers. This convention is no country for old men…unfortunately, old men is all we got.

*                 *               *               *                *

The P-R-O Convention is the premier professional cheerleading convention and over 250 dancers from all over the country gathered in Atlanta, Georgia for two days of intensive dance training and team building. This year, we celebrate the 12th year anniversary of this wonderful event. And if you weren’t in Atlanta, here’s what you missed.

2015 PRO  093

2015 PRO  366

2015 PRO  435

2015 PRO  427

2015 PRO  342

2015 PRO  119

2015 PRO  422

2015 PRO  401

2015 PRO  434

The P-R-O Convention is the premier professional dance convention and the instructors represent the very best in professional cheerleading and dance. This year’s instructors included:

Jakene Ashford – Atlanta Falcons (NFL)
Tara Battiato – Tampa Bay Bucaneers (NFL)
Sandy Charboneau – ProTour Productions
Tricia Crawford – Milwaukee Bucks (NBA)
Denise Garvey – New York Jets Flight Crew (NFL)
Alto Gary – Houston Texans (NFL)
Stephanie Jojokian – Washington Redskins (NFL)
Stacie Kinder – Tennessee Titans (NFL)
Shannon Kingsley – Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
Tami Krause – Minnesota Vikings (NFL) & Minnesota Swarm (NLL)
Brandii McCoy – Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) & Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Tracy Rutledge – former NBA Atlanta Hawks & South Georgia Wildcats
Derric Whitfield – Washington Wizards (NBA)

James and I were given exclusive access by the organizers of the event, All-Pro3. For our readers who have never attended a dance convention, the following report will give an idea of what goes on during a weekend of nonstop dance action.

Continue reading No Country For Old Men: The 2015 P-R-O Convention – Part One

AllPro3 Photo of the Day – July 6

TLU14

Washington Wizard Girl Chimere

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: Charlotte Honey Bee Victoria

Around this time last year, the Charlotte Lady Cats became the Charlotte Honey Bees and when they arrived in Atlanta, they were in the process of designing their new uniforms and building their organizational identity. As a consequence, they did not have the distinctive team wear that they were known for when they were the Lady Cats.

This year, with a season under their belt, the Honey Bees rolled into Atlanta and brought what seemed like their entire squad with them. They had a large contingent at P-R-O and they were, as usual, quite an impressive group of young women. And they had their Honey Bee attire…no more black and white Punchinello dance pants.

I can say with certainty that the Honey Bees are the hottest dance team in the NBA…top to bottom, hands down. And I was able to shoot a few of them for this series, but for today we would like to recognize one of their bevy of beauties…one that is not only drop dead gorgeous, but extremely photogenic. Introducing Honey Bee Victoria, our latest 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  01

Victoria is a former NHL Cheerleader for the Carolina Hurricanes and the reigning Miss Charlotte USA 2015. She’s a stunning beauty who can now add the title of P-R-O Convention All Star to her list of accomplishments!

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  13

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  11

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  03

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  05

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  12

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  04

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  10

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  15

Honeybee 2015 Victoria  07

Honey Bee Victoria…our latest 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders 2015-16 Swimsuit Calendar Cover Unveiled

On Thursday the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders unveiled the cover for their 2015-16 17-month swimsuit team calendar. Third-year team member Kelsey was chosen to be on this year’s cover.

mvc2

mv1

Fans can order their calendar online early next week. The MVC will be out in public selling the calendars in person starting this weekend in the Twin Cities.

Houston Rockets Power Dancers Finals

Thursday night a packed House of Blues was witness to the 2015-16 Rocket Powers Dancers Finals.

rpd6

rpd5

rpd4

rpd3

rpd2

rpd1

Congrats to the new squad!

[RPD Finals Gallery]

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Elizabeth

Last year, one of my fondest wishes came true…the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders wore their game day uniforms to the convention.  Wearing your game day uniforms to a working dance convention like P-R-O adds a bit of glamour and specialness to the event.  And when you combine a sexy The Line Up designed uniform with one of the hottest dance teams in the NFL, you get some special images.

Our next P-R-O Convention All Star is the embodiment of the All American Girl and I knew that when I first saw her last year, that she was going to be special…and she is.  So, on this Independence Day, I can think of no other cheerleader to recognize on this special occasion.

Introducing Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Elizabeth, our special Independence Day P-R-O Convention All Star.

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  06

The Titans Cheerleaders got new uniforms this year…special uniforms…hot uniforms…sexy uniforms.  And I must say, the girls looked great in them.

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  02

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  07

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  04

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  09

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  15

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  18

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  12

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  21

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  17

TTC 2015 Elizabeth  16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July!  Our next All Star is a special one (aren’t they all!) and you won’t want to miss that one, so stay tuned.

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Autumn

As I review and post process the thousands images from the 2015 P-R-O Convention, I wanted to kick off our convention coverage by paying homage to some of the more memorable professional cheerleaders in attendance. We refer the these beautiful and talented women as P-R-O Convention All Stars.

We begin this year’s tribute with a cheerleader that I first saw a couple of years ago at the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders Final Auditions. With a distinctive hair style and a beautiful smile, you could say she is an attention grabber. This year the Rams Cheerleaders brought their game day uniforms (thumbs up!) to P-R-O and it was my destiny to snap a few photos of Autumn for this series.

So without further ado, introducing Autumn of the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders…our first P-R-O Convention All Star of 2015.

Rams Autumn 03

Rams Autumn 01

Rams Autumn 05

Rams Autumn 08

Rams Autumn 07

Rams Autumn 12

Rams Autumn 15

Rams Autumn 19

Rams Autumn 18

Rams Autumn 20

Autumn is the first of many special cheerleaders to be honored here at UltimateCheerleaders.com. Our next P-R-O Convention All Star is the definition of All American. So as we celebrate Independence Day, you will definitely want to check back on the Fourth of July!

AllPro3 Photo of the Day – July 3

bucks

A Milwaukee Bucks Dancer

Colts Calendar Launch Party and Bowling Tournament

colts

On Friday, July 24, the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders are teaming up with Latitude 360 to unveil their 2015-16 Swimsuit Calendar during a special launch party. The event will run from 5:30-9 p.m. and will include the unveiling of the calendar, an autograph session with the Colts Cheerleaders, and a bowling tournament. Beginning today, fans can purchase tickets to the event online at www.colts.com/cheerparty.

General admission tickets are $20 and include an appetizer buffet, a 2015-16 Colts Cheerleaders Calendar ($15 value), access to the autograph session and the chance to win two (2) tickets to the Colts home opener on Monday, September 21. Fans who would like to participate in the bowling tournament can purchase tickets for $40. These include food, a calendar, an autograph session and a spot on a bowling team captained by a Colts Cheerleader. Each member of the winning bowling team will receive a ticket to the Colts home opener on September 21. A bowling team of 5 can also be purchased for $175. General admission tickets will be available for purchase at the door on July 24.

WHAT:2015 Colts Cheerleader Calendar Launch Party and Bowling Tournament

Unveiling of 2015-16 Colts Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar
Autograph Session with Colts Cheerleaders
Bowling Tournament
Food and Drink

WHEN: July 24, 2015

5:30 p.m. – Doors Open
7:00 p.m. – Bowling Tournament

WHERE:

Latitude 360
4016 E. 82nd St.
Indianapolis, IN 46250


COST:

$20 – General Admission Ticket
$40 – Admission and Bowling Tournament Ticket
$175 – Bowling Team (5 Tickets)

Vote for the 2015-16 Sixers Dancers

The Philadelphia Sixers Dancers preliminary auditions are over and now it’s down to the Finalists.

sixers

Cast you ballot for your favorite hopefuls here.

AllPro3 Photo of the Day – July 2

char

A Charlotte KnightinGal

Former Colts Cheerleader and Ice Angel Tessa continuing progress from stroke

Seven months ago, former Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader and Allen American Ice Angel Tessa experienced a debilitating stroke in her sleep. At age 28, Tessa could not speak and her right side was completely paralyzed.

We cheer on Tessa’s great progress so far, and will continue to cheer on Tessa as long as she needs it! Here is an update from a “GoFundMe” set up to help Tessa.

First and foremost, Tessa wants to thank everyone for all the support you have shown these past few months. Whether it has been financial or in spirit, she has been beyond blessed to have received them all.

Tessa, as we have been blessed enough to witness, has made unbelievable progress. She finished her in-patient therapy in Bloomington IN, began treatment with world renowned Anat Baniel in California, and is continuing the neuromovement therapy back in Dallas.

With all these blessings being counted, it is with a humble and grateful heart that we are asking for your help. With this type of treatment we know comes great financial stress. This is a stress we can carry FOR Tessa. This is how we can all be Tessa Strong too.

Tessa is fighting (and kicking butt) at a battle that would break even the strongest of us. I ask we continue to rally together for this beautiful soul by giving $1, $5, $10, $20. You can make a difference & continue to follow her journey! THANK YOU!

Dallas Stars Ice Girls Prep Classes and Auditions

dsig1

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron

Prep Classes will start on July 8th at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco (2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco, Texas 75034). There will be 4 total classes before auditions and all of these classes will fall on either a Monday or a Wednesday. (dates are below) Registration will begin 20 minutes before each class. Cost per individual prep class is $35. Ladies may also pay in advance which reserves their spot in the class. Walk-ups are welcome until the class is full. All prep classes are non-refundable.

What to expect:

1½ hours of dance instruction (includes stylized combination similar to audition routine)
1 hour of ice skating (includes drills, tool work, proper on-ice technique)
Different dance routines and skating drills will be taught each class.

Attire:

Top: Half Top
Bottoms: Pants (dance or yoga) and shorts (with tights)
Dance Shoes: dances sneakers or jazz shoes
Hockey Skates: if you own them if you do not have hockey skates we will provide them for you.
Be sure to bring a jacket, tall socks, and water


Prep Class Dates:

Wednesday, July 8th 6:30-9PM
Monday, July 13th 7-9:30PM
Wednesday July 15th 6:30-9PM
Monday, July 20th 7-9:30PM

DSIG2

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron


Auditions:

Preliminary and semifinal auditions will be held on Saturday, July 25th at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, TX (2601 Avenue of the Stars) from 10AM – 8PM.. Interested applicants should complete the application and waiver and return them to the Dallas Stars office in person or via mail. They must include their application fee ($35 cash or check) and a recent photograph. Professional headshot style photos are preferred, but not necessary. These photographs will be used for identification purposes and will not be returned. Applications must be received by 5PM on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015. Auditions are closed to the public. Ladies that tryout can be a skater OR a dancer but do not have to do both.

Preliminary round:

Upon arrival ladies will check in and receive and audition number and will be divided into 3 groups Skaters, Dancers, and Both. During the preliminary round of auditions the ladies that are registered as skaters will show the judges a freestyle skate and basic drills. The ladies that are registered as dancers will show a freestyle dance with a short tag that is compiled of a few 8 counts. After all the ladies have gone thru the first round the judges will deliberate and come back with the ladies who will progress to the semifinals.

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron

Semifinal round:

This round the selected rookie candidates will be joined by the veteran candidates. During this round the ladies who are registered as skaters will show executive skating drills, freestyle lap, along with doing a mock run thru of how we clean the ice at Dallas Stars Home Games. The ladies that are registered as dancers will learn a dance combination and perform in small groups. After all the ladies have completed the semifinal round the judges will deliberate and come back with the ladies who will be advancing to finals.

DSIG4

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron


Finals:

Finals will be held at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Mckinney, TX July 27-30, 6:30-10:30PM, July 31, 6-10PM, and August 3-7, 6:30-10:30PM. Final squad will be announced Thursday, August 7, 2015.

Attire for Auditions:

Top: Half Top
Skating Bottoms: Pants (dance or Yoga)
Dancing Bottoms: Shorts (with tights)
Dance Shoes: Sneakers or Jazz Shoes
Hockey Skates if you own them, if not we will provide a pair for you
Be sure to bring a jacket, tall socks, water and snacks

Requirements:

– Must be 18 years of age on or before July 25, 2015
– Must have previous skating OR dance experience
– Have a High School diploma or GED
– If selected, must reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth area
– Have reliable means of transportation to practices, game, and appearances
– Hold a job or be enrolled in college
– Must commit to the Dallas Stars Ice Girls Schedule, which includes but is not limited to attendance at all practice and home games, for one full year (August 2015 – July 2016)

DSIG5

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron

For more information regarding prep classes or auditions you may visit DallasStars.com/IceGirls

AllPro3 Photo of the Day – July 1

autumn

Autumn of the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders

Titans Cheerleader Competing on So You Think You Can Dance

marissa

[Marissa on Twitter]