Soulmates Auditions Workshop


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.

Cavalier Girls Photo Shoot


Go behind the scenes at the Cleveland Cavailer Girls photo shoot.

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders in London


Lots of great pics of the MDC at the Daily Mail.

Pompoms and Graduate Degrees: The secret lives of NFL cheerleaders

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 LinkKaren 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.”

Another perk?

“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 LukerDana 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.

Photo of the Day – October 1


A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Photo of the Day – September 30


A Trio of New York Lizards Dancers

Road Trip 2015 – The Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders

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

Roll Call: 2015 Baltimore Ravens 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

Amber Lynn, Jackie, and Melissa

Some things never change, Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg cheering for the Vikings in the National Football League

Twin sisters Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming professional cheer and dance team members in the NFL
Tim Evans
Augustana University
September 29, 2015

Karmen and Kirsten Nyberg cheer for the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium last Sunday

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.”

2015 Vikings_Karmen Kirsten2_crop

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.”

The Gotham City Cheerleaders

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

Twenty Years Ago the Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Calendar Debuted

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.”

Photo of the Day – September 29


An Arizona Rattlers Sidewinder

Introducing the New 2016 MPFL San Antonio Warrior Maiden Dancers!

Fourteen ladies from the San Antonio, Texas area were selected on September 22nd at the Josephine Theatre Dance & Fitness Studio to be the dance/cheer/promotion squad for San Antonio’s football team the MPFL San Antonio Warriors of the Minor Professional Football League.

Contestants attended an orientation meeting and attended two prep audition classes prior to auditions and three hopefuls and the director helped promote the auditions beforehand by making and appearance and performing on the local KSAT 12 SA Live TV show.

The San Antonio Warrior Football Organization established since 2004 is proud to announce that after 4 years they were able to recruit Cynthia Trinidad back as their Dance director who was the Warrior Cheerleader director from 2006-2011 she is also a former NBA Spurs Dancer and former NFL Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

Former Warrior Cheerleader Melinda Tapia was named Assistant Director and former Warrior Cheerleader Erynn Moore was named choreographer and the Warrior Maidens are looking forward to their first pre-season charity football game this December for the Warriors annual “Toy Bowl “that collects toys for charity organizations.


Congratulations ladies!! From left to right Front row: Kristen, Christina, Mikayla, Taylor, Gabrielle, Daniela and Jacqueline. Second row: Alexis, Felica, Director Cynthia Trinidad, Niqwa and Ana. Back row: Dominique, Angela and Cassie.

[Maidens on Facebook]

[Maidens on the Warriors website]

Dolphins Alumni Cheerleader Recalls Cheering During Undefeated Season

By Leslie Gray Streeter
Palm Beach Post

In the history of the National Football League, only one team – the 1972 Miami Dolphins – had a completely perfect season, undefeated from their opening game until their Super Bowl victory. Die-hard fan and Boca Raton native Teresa Vignau is one of the few people who can say they were on the field for the entire season.

But she didn’t actually tell anybody for almost 30 years.


“With the feminist movement, I didn’t even let anyone know I was a Dolphins cheerleader until my 40s,” admits Vignau, now a retired teacher and Boynton Beach resident. “I was not really on the cheerleader wavelength. But when as I got older I realized how really special it was. It led to the Super Bowl. It didn’t get better than that!”

This Sunday, Vignau, 64, along with a few other Palm Beach County residents and former cheerleaders, will be there when the Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium as part of a celebration of those cheerleaders, “Past, Present and Future.”

“They used to do it every year, but now it’s every three years,” says the retired St. Andrews Academy drama teacher, who hearkens back to the Fins’ days at the Orange Bowl, where the cheerleaders had to buy pillows to go under their go-go boots lest the heels sink into the hot, hot AstroTurf. She’s participated nearly every year since the alumni have appeared since around 2000, because “I thought ‘I wanna do that! I wanna go on the field where Dan Marino walked!’”

Coming off a winning but non-championship 1971 season, the Dolphins held cheerleader tryouts at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where Vignau, then a student, says she decided it would be fun to “get season tickets for dancing. That seemed like a cool deal.” At the time, the team trained at St. Andrews, where her father was a teacher at the time, and where she eventually would work, so it seemed like a good idea.

So for a year, she got paid $15 a game, from the season opener until she found herself “flying on an old National Airlines 747, with the coaches’ wives and trainers” to the Super Bowl. In those days, the squad was “very collegiate in moves. “Now they have all these pelvic lifts,” she says. “They’re great athletes, fabulously talented dancers. I love that they’re so graceful. I just wish they’d wear a little more clothing.”

After that perfect season, Vignau realized that continuing as a cheerleader would be an incredible time commitment, and with school and a serious boyfriend who would become her husband, she thought ‘How do you do better than that?’”

Now she looks forward to getting with alumni cheerleaders, including locals like Angel Wrona of Lake Worth and Danielle O’Connell Murphy of Delray Beach. It’s become a great memory, she says, of her part of “an unbelievably cool thing. Not quite as cool as walking on the moon, but cool.”

The Miami Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, featuring a performance by alumni Dolphins cheerleaders, current squadmembers and young dancers, some of whom are daughters of alumni members.

Photo of the Day – September 28


A pair of Washington Redskins Cheerleaders