The inventor of the newest baby accessory might just have one of the more interesting resumes around.
Meet Marcie Miller: engineer, new mom and former professional cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals.
Her creation, the Intel Smart Clip, is designed to warn parents if they’ve left their baby behind in a car — the latest effort to prevent hot car deaths among children.
Marcie Miller with her daughter, Brooklyn.
Miller, who lives in Chandler, Arizona, where temperatures reached 111 degrees this summer, has heard the stories all too often. So far this year, 15 children in the U.S. have died of heat stroke in cars, according to KidsAndCars.org.
More than half of kids who die are simply left behind by a caregiver who has forgotten they are in the backseat.
Miller’s invention is designed to never let that happen. Ask her if her family life inspires her work, and she’s quick to reply.
“Oh, 100 percent, yes,” Miller, 34, told TODAY Parents. “Having a daughter over this past year, having heard these things happen, it just kind of hit home a little bit closer.”
Marcie Miller straps her daughter Brooklyn into a car seat.
Miller grew up in Arizona excelling in math, science and athletics. As she worked on her electrical engineering degree at Arizona State University, she joined the school’s cheerleading squad.
At 23, Miller started working for Intel, a job that she loved but one that also made her miss the camaraderie of women and performing in front of crowds. So in 2007, she decided to try out as a cheerleader for an NFL team and joined the Arizona Cardinals.
Marcie Miller spent four years cheerleading for the Arizona Cardinals while also working at Intel.
She got to go to the Super Bowl, travel around the world on USO tours and perform at the Pro Bowl — all while also working as an engineer for the tech giant.
“It didn’t feel like two different lives at all. It was just my life; it was things I was passionate about,” Miller said. “It gave me a nice balance between my work friends in a more male-dominated industry and then just a group of really passionate, hard-working women.”
Miller’s career as a professional cheerleader ended in 2010. She gave birth to her daughter Brooklyn 16 months ago and she has a second child on the way.
Marcie Miller with her family.
Last fall, Intel asked her to look into ways to prevent child deaths in hot cars. Miller and her colleagues came up with a prototype for the Smart Clip, a gadget filled with sensors that parents can slide onto the strap of their baby’s car seat.
The clip communicates with an app on the parent’s smartphone, sounding an alarm if it senses the baby is still strapped in while the parent is walking away.
Marcie Miller, left, and her colleagues at Intel work on the design of the Smart Clip.
“You often hear a lot of people who are really judgmental right away when they hear about something like this happening, like ‘How could a parent do that? I would never do that,'” Miller said.
“Unfortunately, every year — especially growing up in Arizona — you hear of these tragedies because it gets so hot, so quickly.”
Miller asked friends who had recently had babies to act as a focus group and was pleased with the feedback. The device will be available for sale this holiday season for under $50, Intel said.
For parents who wish to encourage their daughters’ interest in science and math, Miller urged them to expose the girls to those fields early on: Try a robotics, engineering or science camp, she advised.
“Help inspire that passion and help that passion grow as they get older,” Miller said, noting that’s how she plans to introduce her daughter to STEM fields. “Just to give her some exposure and realize she can do it.”
For decades, the group associated with Dallas Cowboys entertainment was the famed cheerleaders. Lately, though, a new troupe has made a name for itself at AT&T Stadium and garnered quite a bit of attention, even if they’re still somewhat unknown in certain circles. The Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue is a co-ed hip-hop dance team and drumline dedicated to engaging fans when the Boys in Blue have home field advantage, and they’re the only team of its kind in the NFL.
The dancers, directed by Jenny Durbin Smith, hope to reach a new set of audiences with their appearance as guest dancers for the Second Annual Dallas DanceFest. I had a chance to catch them in rehearsal, and I was impressed with the group on a number of levels.
Every single member looked as if they could do an informal performance right then. Ladies donned black leggings, a black team shirt, and boasted classy hairstyles and professional makeup. Gentlemen wore black track pants and brand new white shirts with the Cowboys’ silver star and stripe.
Of course, the snazzy get-ups could’ve been because I was crashing the party, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Durbin Smith required it every week. She runs a tight ship, but she’s no dictator. Rehearsal is relaxed but disciplined, and the dancers seem to thrive in that balanced, supportive environment.
After a short conditioning warm-up led by Sammi Paradice (one of four captains), the group got to work on the piece for DanceFest. It looked like something you’d see from an elite hip-hop crew performing on television or at an international competition, with complex arm movements, frequent formation changes, and of course, fierce energy. Some sections have a stepping vibe to them, a few dancers insert robotic moves, and other segments resemble something more akin to cheerleading choreography. But there’s no bubbly buoyancy or high-powered spirit fingers. The performers maintain a level of grit combined with infectious energy that will get people on their feet.
Durbin Smith, a veteran choreographer for commercial dance and sports team squads, has a keen understanding of dynamics and variety. Her eye for precision, synchronization, and visual effect likely contributed a great deal to her success in the field. The dancers seemed to pick up and retain the choreography quite easily (a prerequisite skills for the job), so the rehearsal was spent refining the details.
Another remarkable feat was the level of consistency the dancers exhibited throughout. They came to every phrase with explosive energy, even though the same eight-count may have been drilled 20 times. But what was even more extraordinary was the amount of support the 12 ladies and three men displayed. When one member nailed a part after struggling with it, the rest of the group eagerly applauded the success. When the energy began to wane, one or two would take it upon themselves to rev it back up.
Durbin Smith demonstrates that encouragement herself. Even though she’s stern and commands attention, she knows how to correct in such a way to bring out the best in her dancers.
As enjoyable as it was to watch them rehearse, the most gratifying part of the evening was chatting with the dancers and director. Every single member welcomed me with a smile and a warm greeting, and they were eager to brag on each other and on the team as a whole.
TheaterJones: Why was Rhythm and Blue created?
Jenny Durbin Smith: In 2009 when Cowboys Stadium [now AT&T Stadium] opened, we had the challenge of entertaining more fans. What else from a gameday entertainment aspect could we bring? So we brainstormed and developed Rhythm and Blue, with the drumline and the dancers.
What is unique about the team?
Christen Ancona (Captain): The biggest thing that unique about us is that we’re focused on hip-hop, which is something different for the sports world, especially the NFL, where teams are cheerleading-based or have more traditional [drill team] style of dance. We’re so excited to be a part of the DDF, and being able to represent this genre means a lot to us.
Ariana Thompson (Captain): One of the unique things about us is family, the bond that we have here. We don’t really fight, we don’t get into arguments, we all get along here. It’s really awesome to be dancing for a team that I love. We’re a mixed group of people with different backgrounds, but we come together as one big family.
What kind of dancer do you look for at auditions?
Jenny Durbin Smith: First and foremost, I look for people who can be positive brand ambassadors for the organization. Would they represent the Cowboys name well, can they speak to our fans, can they communicate and engage and make the connection with our fans? Second, I look at dancing ability and of course, image. Also, we are blessed with really strong dancers, so you have to be able to keep up with the dancers already in uniform.
What is your favorite thing about dancing for Rhythm and Blue?
Melody Woodard: My favorite thing is getting to do something I love with some of my best friends. Dancing at the stadium is amazing, we have such great fans. It’s an exciting and different environment than dancing on the stage, which is what I grew up with.
Brittany Robinson: Performing for the best fans in the nation! It’s amazing, there’s no other feeling like it.
Marcus Sophus: I was drawn to the team because it is eye opening and guys are allowed to dance professionally in this arena. Most guys get turned down by pro teams because it’s all female, so this is going to open a lot of doors.
What are the team’s plans for the future?
Jenny Durbin Smith: We perform one production a year with the drumline around Christmas time, but it’s our goal to do more together this year. Also, we are trying to incorporate more breakdancing and acrobatic skills, so that’s been a huge focus for us in rehearsals lately. They’re doing things that many of them have never done, so everyone is going and being pushed. We set our goals and outlined what we want to achieve this year, and they’re amazing because they go all in.
Jacey is a third-year veteran, born in Hollywood, FL and currently residing in Pembroke Pines. She is a proud graduate of FIU with a degree in elementary education. This marks Jacy’s second appearance in the Miami Dolphins Swimsuit Calendar, formerly appearing as Miss July 2015.
Jacy is featured here in DollStreet Swimwear with Tiffany Lee Jewelry. Photo credit: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders will host their annual Swimsuit Calendar Unveiling and Fashion Show on Friday September 18th. Get your tickets here.
On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the Pearls Dance Team for the Bay Area Shuckers basketball team held their auditions in Lansdowne, MD. The audition started with a warm-up led by former Pearls dancers. Veteran Pearl Brittani showed the ladies the dance routine for the audition. After learning the routine, the ladies performed in pairs, and each answered questions from the judges. This process was repeated in one more round. The Pearls will have one more audition before the announcement of the final team. The Bay Area Shuckers basketball team is part of the American Professional Basketball League and is celebrating their Fifth Year.
The Judges: Former Pearl Ebony, Pearl Director Jennifer, Pearl Director Larissa, Shuckers Co-Owner Dante, Former Pearl Director Shay
Week 3 of the preseason saw the Seattle Seahawks fly into San Diego to play the Chargers in a titanic battle of…okay…it was just another preseason game. The defending Super Bowl Champions…uh…Super Bowl runner ups survived the unseasonably hot weather to prevail in the last minute on a 60 yard field goal by Steven Hauschka, 16-15.
If you like kicks, this was a game for you as three kickers combined to score six field goals. Yawn. Me? I like kicks of a different sort.
The San Diego Chargers honored the men and women in uniform at this past Saturday’s game, holding their 27th annual Salute to the Military celebration. The Charger Girls were adorned in military themed uniforms to cheer on the boys in blue, but it was to no avail as the Chargers succumbed to the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.
Side note: I never played a down of football in my life, but I am smart enough to know that if you are on the opponent’s one yard line in the Super Bowl with seconds left in the game and you have a player nicknamed “Beastmode”, you feed him the ball…on second down…on third down…and on fourth down.
I am a proud San Diego Chargers season ticket holder and a Charger Girl fan…like most of you reading this article. So let’s kick off this week’s coverage of the Charger Girls with the captains: Tawnie, Katelyn, Kayla, and Tina.
This week’s Charger Girl of the Day is a second year veteran who really caught my eye this year…introducing Delani!
Tampa Bay players took a beating in pre season game number three. The dress rehearsal for the starters did not go well, Browns 31 Bucs 7. Thank goodness nothing counts until the September 13 opener versus the Titans.
Kudos out the Buccaneer Ladies for a excellent halftime show last Saturday with the Junior Cheerleaders. The Bucs do a great job with that program. The smiles on the youngsters are priceless.
The TBBC are ready and pointing to the opener at Ray Jay. Tickets still remain available on Buccaneer.com
Check back in next week for our report from Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Enjoy the photos, the attached album can viewed using Flickr’s slide show full screen mode.
The Coast Guard and Buccaneer relationship goes wayyyy back (to Piracy days).
On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the First Ladies of Football revealed their 2015-2016 Swimsuit Calendar at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland. The show featured the cheerleaders performing some of their on-field dance routines. Between routines the First Ladies walked the fashion runway with women from Redskins Salute and WOW (Women of Washingon). The Fatured Designers on the runway were At & Such Shop, DMilikah, South Moon Under, Cabi, and Studio D’Maxsi.
SI.com: The New York Islanders will cart plenty of tradition along with them as they make their move from the Nassau Coliseum to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season. But one longstanding tradition will be very noticeable by its absence: the Islanders Ice Girls. In their place will be a co-ed ice crew charged with “helping create the best ice possible as mandated by the NHL.” Back in 2001, the Isles were the first NHL club to create a cheerleader-style Ice Girls squad that, along with performing various promotional duties, was charged with shoveling loose snow off the ice at stoppages.
Second-year Raiderette Tess loves football. She loves the roar of the crowd on game day and she loves being on the sidelines of O.co Coliseum cheering on the Silver and Black.
Over the past few years though, she’s discovered another love – one that isn’t quite as noisy as the energetic crowds on Sundays.
“One thing I started like two or three years ago was yoga,” said Tess. “I got really into it and I consider myself a yogi now. When I’m not dancing, I’m doing yoga, and it’s been really fun and challenging too. I really like it and it helps keep me centered when my life is really crazy, which it usually is with work, and Raiderettes and everything.”
In addition to her newfound love of yoga, Tess also has a passion for all things outdoors – a passion she shares with one of her fellow Raiderettes.
“I like to do outdoor stuff a lot, like hiking. Jen and I go hiking on Mission Peak,” Tess said. “I’ve gotten really into that like hiking and outdoorsy stuff.”
“It’s really awesome and I’m really glad we started doing it,” Tess continued. “We actually did it to get in shape for auditions, but then we continued it because it really helps keep us in shape. It’s also fun and we can catch up on the way there.”
Heading into her second season as one of Football’s Fabulous Females, Tess is more confident and comfortable as a Raiderette than she was as a rookie.
“I feel like obviously I have a better handle on things,” Tess said. “I feel like my first year was a whirlwind of emotions and everything. Game day was so exciting but also super nerve racking. I feel like now I’m more ready and prepared. I feel more comfortable and I’m really excited.”
Tess thoroughly enjoys all aspects of her Raiderette life, from dancing, to practices, to making community appearances, but game day still stands out as her favorite.
“Game days are so much fun,” Tess said. “Game day is the best.”
Game day is nothing though without the energy and enthusiasm of Raider Nation, and it is that enthusiasm that propels Tess and the rest of the Raiderettes through 60 minutes of football.
“The crowd is always amazing and the fans are awesome,” Tess said. “Usually the fourth quarter is my favorite, even though we’re all really tired, but that’s when the fans are going the craziest. They are so loyal and diehard that’s it’s hard to be tired when they’re cheering so loudly.”