Photos of the Year – December 22

(As the year ends, we’re sharing our favorite photos from the past 12 months)

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My favorite photo of the year comes from the opening game of the Baltimore Blast soccer team of the Major Arena Soccer League. I’ve covered the Washington Redskins Calendar Release Party and Wizard Girls Final Audition Showcase this year, but the Blast Cheerleaders is the first team that I covered during a game.

I love capturing action, and this photo was taken just as the team completed their dance routine. I also chose this photo because I wanted to showcase the team. The Blast Cheerleaders are very interactive with the fans, and each member is friendly and personable.

Halftime surprise proposal brings extra holiday joy to Rams Cheerleader Karielle and fiance Drew

Edward Jones video of proposal of Drew to Rams Cheerleader

Edward Jones Dome video of proposal of Drew to Rams Cheerleader Karielle

There was a monumental shift from the first to second half of the Rams game at the Edward Jones Dome. No, not on the field, as the Rams trailed throughout. The big change was on the sidelines, as Rams Cheerleader Karielle went from Rams Cheerleader during the first half to engaged Rams Cheerleader, to fiance Drew, in the second half.

At halftime, the Rams Cheerleaders lined up at midfield to watch a highlights video. But instead, it was a proposal from Drew, and eventually he was on the field on one knee. Karielle said yes and a super big group hug ensued.

When Karielle returned to the sidelines for the third quarter, the fans cheered in support of her change in status.

Rams Cheerleade Karielle shortly after her surprise at halftime

Rams Cheerleade Karielle shortly after her surprise at halftime

Karielle is originally from Kansas City, was on the Golden Girls dance team at University of Missouri, and is a rookie Rams Cheerleader. What a way to end the first season!

But I must ask, usually the surprise proposal this time of year is the future groom dressed as Santi Claus, and also the Rams Cheerleaders were not donned in any holiday apparel during the game. Did the Grinch claim he was taking their Christmas-y costumes to the North Pole for emergency mending? Well, just like Christmas in Whoville, the joy of the Karielle-Drew engagement could not have been more joyous than it was.

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More photos of engaging Karielle are at this link.

Allen Americans Ice Angels 2014 Christmas Performance

The Ice Angels are choreographed by Stephanie DiBiase-Wheat.

[Ice Angels on Facebook]

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Coach Hawaii’s Military Youth

From HawaiiReporter.com

Eleven Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders were in Hawaii this week as a part of the team’s effort to reach out to military families stationed here.

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Over the weekend, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders worked with grade school cheerleaders whose parents are stationed at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders also attended three separate events on Monday, including one at Barking Sands on Kauai and two others on Oahu.

Their coordinator, Dan Devens, told Hawaii Reporter that the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders left Dallas Dec. 7 to begin a Pacific tour in support of the military and their families.

The cheerleaders traveled to Yokota Air Base in Japan and to a Naval base and Air Force base in Guam, where they put on free youth fitness clinics for both boys and girls in partnership with a retired army master sergeant.

After working with about 300 children across the Pacific, the cheerleaders wrapped up their tour in Hawaii and return to Dallas in time for the next Dallas Cowboys game.

This is the 78th tour in 37 years that the cheerleaders have made in support of America’s troops.

Devens said the cheerleaders go overseas “to thank people who are protecting our country.”

Get to Know Rams Cheerleader Jennifer

By Sarah Bricker
StLouisRams.com

Driven. Passionate. Bilingual.

ramsFifth season Rams Cheerleader Jennifer is, to say the least, extremely multitalented. The Granite City, Ill. native is a Rams Cheerleader, a talented salsa dancer, a skilled merchandise planner and an avid intellectual explorer. She’s also fluent in Spanish.

At only 29, Jennifer works full time as a merchandise planner for Brown Shoe Company and is currently working towards her MBA through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s online program. She attended college at the University of Illinois where she double majored in international studies and Spanish. Her love of Spanish flourished during her junior year when she studied abroad in Spain, and led her to return in 2008 in pursuit of a master’s degree in Spanish language and translation.

“I’d been in Spain during my junior year of college and loved it, and New York University’s accelerated master’s program allowed me to go back and pursue something I was passionate about,” Jennifer said. “I don’t really do much with my Spanish now, but when I am done with my MBA (2015) the plan is to go on for a J.D. degree and practice international law. I’m already taking some law classes now through Washington University and will take the LSAT soon.”

But Jennifer isn’t only a skilled intellectual and professional, and despite a late start to dance in high school, she has a natural talent. “I started dancing later than most girls, with maybe one year of tap or ballet when I was little, but I was busy with other things like tennis and horses. My parents never made me go to dance class, so I just sort of tried different things until middle school and high school.” Jennifer cheered during her junior high years and when she got to high school, encouragement from friends and family led her to go out for the school’s dance team. She made the team, dancing all four years and served as captain in her senior year.

High school was critical for Jennifer as well, for it put her on the path towards her current Rams position. “Friends of my high school dance coaches who had gone on to be Rams Cheerleaders, or were at the time, would come to our practices and help us with skills and routines,” she said. “My family had season tickets and we were Rams fans, but that was my first up-close experience with them. After that, I’d always hear about how they were involved with the community and what great role models they were.”

Jennifer continued to dance in college, dancing for a year on the Illinettes Dance Team and then performing with Dance 2 Excess’s salsa division. While with Dance 2 Excess, Jennifer actually practiced and performed with fellow Rams Cheerleader Autumn, but she said when Autumn tried out for the team neither recognized each other. “It’s funny because we knew each other in college and were friends, but at tryouts it had been so many years we just didn’t recognize each other. I didn’t think of her with kids or married and she didn’t think of me with red hair. I had blonde hair back then and we hadn’t seen each other in over four years,” Jennifer said.

Now, Jennifer is underway with her fifth season and has no intention of it being her last. “Every year is different,” she said. “The team is always doing something new and St. Louis is always changing. You can get bored after four years with most jobs, but with this it’s totally different. There is always something new, someway to better yourself and some way to grow. That opportunity for constant self-improvement, it’s my favorite part of it.”

Allen Ice Angels Cheer on Teammate Recovering from Stroke

(Here’s more on Tessa’s story that Dave first covered here.)

By Natalie Solis
MyFOXDFW.com

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

The Allen Ice Angels are used to cheering on their favorite team, and now they’re cheering on one of their own as she fights to relearn how to walk and talk after a rare stroke.

Tessa David, 28, is a cheerleader and ice skater. She was even featured on a popular show when she tried out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Since Dec. 1, David’s life has changed dramatically.

“When I got the call saying that Tessa is in the hospital and she’s had a stroke, I was like, ‘There’s no way,’” said Brooklyn Rivera, a friend of David’s. “I said, ‘We dance for four hours straight, three or four times a week.’”

Rivera was an Ice Angel two years ago with David. Rivera still has a hard time believing that David, who was an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader for five years before becoming an Ice Angel, could suddenly have a stroke.

Sarah Wiewel, David’s roommate, says at first, it was a mystery why her usually-bubbly friend wouldn’t get out of bed.

She thought maybe David had gone through a bad breakup. A couple of days went by until finally it clicked.

“Tessa was just sobbing and couldn’t say a word, and at that point, I thought, ‘We need to call 911,’” said Wiewel.

David’s father rushed from Indiana to be by her side, and so have all her friends, filling her hospital room.

“She relearning how to speak, her right side was completely paralyzed.”

Despite the complete 180 her life has taken, her dad says the biggest improvements have happened just recently.

“Her speech therapist yesterday morning walked in, and she said, ‘Hi, Stacy!’ and she just looked at her and said, ‘Hey,’” he said. “She was so excited…I can see now she’s going to make it back, probably 99 percent if not 100 percent.”

David’s father says she was able to move her right hand this week — the biggest improvement so far.

Why David’s stroke happened remains a mystery to doctors.

A fund to help with medical expenses has been set up for David here.

Meet The Westchester Knicks Dancers

The Westchester Knicks Dancers are the latest and greatest addition to the National Basketball Development League.

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The WKD had their individual and team photo shoot last Friday.

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Rehearsal at the Westchester County Center

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The Westchester Knicks Dancers are under the direction of Heather Van Arsdel and Dina Giordano. Heather was a 6-time NY Knicks Dancer and Dina is the Artistic Director of City Center Dance in White Plains.

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Natalia is a student at Montclair State College where she is double majoring in Nutrition & Dietetics and Dance.

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Melissa is a Nutrition and Dietetics major at the University of New Haven and has 1+ hour commute for games and practices.

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Long time friend of Ultimate Cheerleaders, Christie is originally from Pittsburgh and naturally a huge Steelers fan.

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Bringing the Attitude.

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Stephanie is a Biology major at Hunter College

[Westchester Knicks Dancers]

[WKD on Facebook]

Audition for the New York Lizards Dance Team

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Tryouts for the 2015 New York Lizards Dance Team will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 17 and 18. Open auditions will be held on Saturday, January 17 from 2 PM – 5 PM at Pearl Studios in NYC. Callbacks will be on Sunday, January 18 from 2 PM – 4 PM. To register for tryouts, email Paula Sanders at PSanders@NYLizards.com.

[NY Lizards Dance Team]

Read how clarinetist Jen would wind up on the Ohio Dance Machine

Jen performing with the Ohio Dance Machine last summer; try-outs are coming for 2015

Jen performing with the Ohio Dance Machine last summer; try-outs are coming for 2015

Not too many people have this response when asked about their dream job. “Dream job? I think I have it right now, doing hair,” said Jen, who was in her second year dancing for the Ohio Dance Machine last season. Just like this refreshing response, Jen was part of a refreshing group of dancers that support Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine. The Dance Machine is the only squad of pro dancers in the Columbus, Ohio area, the largest city in Ohio. And their try-outs for next season are coming up right after the New Year! Jen shared with UltimateCheerleaders her many artistic sides, the contrast between Columbus and her hometown, and why orchestras really need to replace sheet music with flat screens.

Jen is originally from the Toledo area, specifically growing up in Oak Arbor, Ohio. Oak Harbor is a small farming town, and Jen reflected, “I like that everyone knew each other. Everyone was nice, everyone was really close.”

But Jen moved to Columbus for college, and she enjoys her new hometown because, “There’s so much to do and so much to see. I met a lot of different people. There are a lot more job opportunities.”

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Jen initially came to Columbus to attend Capital University and studied Clarinet Performance. Starting clarinet at age ten, Jen was trained in classical music and then moved into modern.

Now personally, I always get stressed out when I’m watching an orchestra because they still have to turn the sheet music pages as they play. What if they don’t turn the page in time?! What if the page flips back?! Musical chaos I bet! Why can’t they get digital screens? Jen, how important is the sheet music? “Usually by performance time, I just play,” Jen explained. “There was one time my music blew off the stage. I tried to turn it and it just blew off. It’s like, okay, I’m going to keep going, or tried to.” Did anyone notice that it happened? “Not really, no,” answered Jen. Wow, she’s in control.

So, I always wonder, are you really watching the conductor? Seems to me, conductors get way too much credit and no one is really watching them anyway. Back me up on this Jen, are you watching that baton? “Yes,” replied Jen. “We have to watch to get the tempos.” Okay Jen, I’ll take your word for it.

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Asked about her favorite clarinet pieces, Jen said, “There’s too many. The first one that came to mind was Mozart’s concerto for clarinet.” Mozart’s Clarinet concerto in A major was written in 1791. It was also one of Mozart’s final completed works, and his final purely instrumental work.

Jen decided to take a different career path after graduating from Capital, and attended Aveda Institute Columbus for cosmetology, and Jen’s current job is hairstylist. Jen’s favorite part of her job includes, “Interacting with people and talking to them all the time. Getting to know them more than just saying, ‘Hi, how are you?’”

Jen, is it hard sometimes to convince people the hair style they should have versus the one that they want? “Yes, I’ll make suggestions and then usually they’ll come around to it after time.” How does Jen keep track of all the new styles? “I take a lot of classes. I also look online and lots of different magazines.”

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So, last summer, I asked Jen what was the hot trend was in hair. “I would say varied bowl cuts, very blunt, minor colors,” replied Jen.

So Jen expresses her artistic side as a stylist, musician, and of course, through dance, taking her to the sidelines with the Ohio Dance Machine. “I’ve been dancing since I was six,” Jen explained. “I thought it would be fun. I actually started gymnastics first and then branched out in to every other kind of dance that I could possibly do.”

Jen also continued her gymnastics her senior year in high school. In gymnastics and dance in general, is there a synergy between them? “Definitely yes,” Jen answered, “Dance, helps the movement flow, and gymnastics helps with power dancing.”

Continue reading Read how clarinetist Jen would wind up on the Ohio Dance Machine

Photo of the Day – December 19

Las Celestes from Mexico City’s Cruz Azul

2015 Calgary Drill Crew Calendar

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The Calgary Drill Crew released their 2015 calendar this week. Order your copy here.

[Calgary Drill Crew]

‘Inside the Magic: Hard Court Dancers’ Premieres Dec. 19 on FOX Sports Florida

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Prepare to be taken behind the scenes into the joys and challenges of being the rhythm and movement of Orlando Magic basketball. On Friday, Dec. 19 at 10:00 p.m., FOX Sports Florida, the regional television home of the Magic, will premiere a brand new episode of “Inside the Magic” upon conclusion of the Magic vs. Utah Jazz game. Titled “Hard Court Dancers,” this episode is an upbeat step into the world of the Orlando Magic Dancers.

From dance rehearsals and public appearances at community events, to dancing front and center for fans on game nights, the Magic Dancers give their full commitment, as they follow their passion of uplifting the Orlando community through dance. What most people don’t know is that the Dancers also have full-time jobs or are full-time students. “Inside the Magic: Hard Court Dancers” will take a look at the careers of four dancers: One is a third grade teacher, one works for an Orlando radio station, another is a physical therapist and one is a student at UCF.

The Dancers rehearse three times a week for approximately three hours, in addition to game night. “Hard Court Dancers” follows the group on game night, starting with rehearsal, followed by meeting-and-greeting fans, taking pictures and signing autographs. On this special night, all 20 Dancers come together for a special halftime act, where the team is officially introduced to the fans.

Re-Air Schedule:

Sun 12/21/2014 5:00 p.m.
Fri 12/26/2014 10:00 p.m.
Mon 12/29/2014 10:30 p.m.
Tue 12/30/2014 10:00 p.m.
Sat 1/3/2014 10:30 a.m.
Wed 1/7/2014 8:00 p.m.
Thu 1/8/2014 11:30 a.m.
Sat 1/10/2014 10:00 a.m.
Sat 1/10/2014 9:00 p.m.
Mon 1/12/2014 7:00 p.m.
Wed 1/14/2014 10:30 p.m.
Thu 1/15/2014 11:00 a.m.
Fri 1/16/2014 5:00 p.m.

[Orlando Magic Dancers]

First Annual Miss Dallaswear Contest

Miss Dallaswear for FB ad

It’s the first Annual Miss Dallaswear Contest! The winner is chosen by online vote starting January 19th. The contestants have from today until January 15th to get their submissions in to be considered for the contest.

To enter, go to www.MissDallaswear.com and fill out the entry form. Simply tell us “Why should you be chosen as Miss Dallaswear” as well as upload a picture of yourself in your favorite Dallaswear outfit. It can be any of our outfits from Dallaswearuniforms.com, an Dallaswear audition outfit, Dallaswear custom Audition outfit or any Dallaswear Team outfit (NFL, NBA, NHL etc) as long as it’s Dallaswear, you can enter! All entrants must be 18 as of Decebmer 15, 2014, the start date of the contest. If anyone doesn’t have any Dallaswear outfits, we are offering a 20% off coupon code for anyone who wants to snag up an outfit asap to enter the contest. Use coupon code PAGEANT.

We are a MADE IN AMERICA brand and what better way to choose Miss Dallaswear than to have America decide. :) January 19-23, an online vote will decide the Finalists and they will progress to a final online vote that will determine the first ever Miss Dallaswear! The winner will be announced on Feb. 2, 2015.

The winner will receive some amazing prizes!

Official Miss Dallaswear Crown and Sash
Blinged-Out Dallaswear Jacket
Dallaswear Wardrobe worth over $1200
The chance to be featured in our 2015 Dallaswear Music Video

There’s never been a contest with cool prizes like this and a title! What an amazing chance to be the very first Miss Dallaswear.

Miss Dallaswear Prizes for UC

**Note**- The new Miss Dallaswear will be crowned after the 2014 Football season and before the 2015 football season for those girls worried about NFL contract obligations. :)

[MissDallaswear.com]

[DallasWearUniforms.com]

Photo of the Day – December 18

A New York Lizards Dancer

Titans select Ashley P to be on the Pro Bowl sidelines

Ashley P was awarded the Titans Pro Bowl slot

Ashley P was awarded the Titans Pro Bowl slot

I think Santa played a role in the Titans Cheerleader Pro Bowl selections this season. Because on his nice/naughty lists, Titans Cheerleader Captain Ashley P has to be at the top of Santa’s, and everyone else’s, Ultimate Nice list. Congratulations Ashley, and have a great time at the Pro Bowl!

You can learn more about Ashley at this link

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Continue reading Titans select Ashley P to be on the Pro Bowl sidelines