Click here for the Sun-Sentinel photo gallery from this year’s Miami Heat Dancers open call audition.
Click here for the Sun-Sentinel photo gallery from this year’s Miami Heat Dancers open call audition.
Auditions for the 2015-16 Miami Heat Dancers kicked off today. Click here to check out the Miami Herald’s collection of photos from the open call.
At least once a year I try to give a shout out to the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders Training Program. Every year the MVC extend invitations to around 20-30 dancers who didn’t make the team, but who show a lot of potential. Those ladies spend the next year prepping for the following year’s tryouts. They meet weekly, they dance, they learn technique, kicks, cheer, interview and media skills. They learn how to achieve their best look, how to perform with presence, and much more to bring that potential out. They also have opportunities to perform with the Vikings Cheerleaders during the season. A year is a HUGE commitment for both the MVC and the ladies involved, but the program has been going strong for almost 10 years. There’s nothing else like it in the NFL, and many an MVC has the Training Program to thank for eventually making the squad!
New team selected at final auditions Thursday night at Riverwind Casino
Oklahoma City, Friday, July 31, 2015 – The Oklahoma City Thunder selected its 2015-16 Thunder Girls dance team on Thursday night, the team announced. The final audition took place in front of a full house at the Showplace Theatre in Riverwind Casino.
The audition included both team veterans and newcomers. Of the women selected, seven are newcomers to the Thunder Girls.
“I am excited to enter a new season with this outstanding group,” said Paige Carter, dance team manager and choreographer for the Thunder. “Thunder Girls engage with our fans on and off the court, and sometimes even across the globe. These ladies will add excitement and energy to the Thunder experience at Chesapeake Energy Arena, as well as being excellent community ambassadors.”
A panel of judges – including Roy Williams, former NFL player and an All-American safety with the University of Oklahoma; former Miss Oklahoma Kelli Masters; Caroline Bennett, the 2015 Miss Black Oklahoma U.S. Ambassador; and Command Sgt. Maj. Tony F. Riggs of the Oklahoma Army National Guard – assisted Thunder staff in making the final selections.
The final audition process consisted of three rounds: a choreographed jazz/hip-hop routine, a question-and-answer session and a solo dance.
Following last Saturday’s open audition, 34 women were selected as finalists for Thursday’s. During the week, finalists took part in formal interviews and rehearsals to prepare for the finals.
Although just a rookie on the dance team, the Lake Oswego native had already achieved great camaraderie with the other dancers. Bronwyn Gibson had thought she was through with dancing.
But now the 23-year-old Lake Oswego woman will be dancing more than ever as a rookie with the Sea Gals, the dance team for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Gibson is already traveling far and wide. The Sea Gals’ schedule is already packed with events, such as the recent parade in Boise, Idaho. Of course, the Sea Gals slew the crowd.
Gibson is pumped. But not long ago the Lake Oswego High School graduate thought she was done with dancing. At age 19 she had already been dancing in competitions and on school dance squads for 16 years, and Gibson thought it was time to give her feet a permanent rest.
“I had done all kinds of dance,” she said. “I took a four year hiatus, with no dancing in between. I thought it would be easy to give up dancing. It wasn’t.”
Soon after graduating from the University of Oregon, Gibson was working as a freelance writer, and she came to a crossroads in her young life: whether to try her luck on the East Coast or else stay on the West Coast and be near her family in Lake Oswego. She chose to remain close to home and start dancing again.
However, Gibson chose to make her dancing comeback in one of the most competitive venues, dancing on a dance line for an NFL team. And the Seattle Seahawks have one of the highest profiles in the league. With the exception of one bad pass in the last Super Bowl, the Seahawks are probably the best team in the NFL, and with winning comes glamour. They also have the loudest, most rabid fans in the league. Making a pro sports dance team is almost as tough as making the players team, yet Gibson gave it a shot. There were 200 applicants when the Seahawks held tryouts in the spring.
But four years off made no difference. Gibson had what the Sea Gals were looking for. She had all the right moves, and the looks, too.
“Everyone there was pretty and a good dancer,” she said. “The key to the auditions was that they were looking for the whole package. They wanted a good dancer, a good role model, a good speaker. They wanted someone with a good vibe. I wanted to impress them in every category.”
This summer Gibson is concentrating on becoming a good teammate for the 30-member team, and things are working out quite well.
“There are no issues with us, even though we all have different ages, dynamics and interests,” she said. “We have such a common passion. We all get along great. This is the best team I’ve ever been on for getting along.”
The good times are rolling for Gibson, and the best part hasn’t even started yet. That will come on Aug. 14 when the Hawks host their first exhibition game of the 2015 season against the Denver Broncos. Gibson is already thinking big.
“The Super Bowl is already on my calendar,” she said. “That’s my goal.”
The team was announced last week, and these are the ladies who survived the gauntlet and made the cut. Congrats!
Last spring all 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders traveled to Anna Maria Island off Florida to shoot their 16-month swimsuit calendar. Now the result of all that hard work has come to fruition. Click here to check out photos from the team’s calendar reveal, and click here to watch the video. Also click here for scenes from the photo shoot.
Whew! We have finally reached the end of a long journey to identify and highlight those special girls who attended the 2015 P-R-O Convention. To be sure there were many more girls that I would have liked to feature, but scheduling and time constraints prevented me from visiting each squad as much as I would have liked to, but you can snag only so many girls during the brief breaks in the action.
Our final honoree of 2015 hails from the Minnesota Vikings and she is in her first year with the team, according to their web page…introducing Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Hannah, our 28th and final 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.
Well, this concludes UltimateCheerleaders.com’s coverage of the 2015 P-R-O Convention from Atlanta. If you are a professional cheerleader, you may wanted to consider attending this convention next year. It is the premier professional cheerleading and dance convention in the world and the opportunity to meet your peers and learn from the best choreographers in professional sports is truly inspiring. Plus, you may get to meet a couple of old geezers and get singled out for some special attention…Wink! Wink!
They say that honey bees are in decline to colony collapse syndrome, but that is certainly not the case in Charlotte! I can report that the Honey Bees are alive and doing well in the Tar Heel state…at least the two legged kind. Our next honoree is a second year veteran and another one of those amazing Charlotte Honey Bees…introducing Katie, our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.
We are down to our last All Star for 2015…I simply ran out of time in Atlanta…see who is our final honoree.
Titans Cheerleader Kiara Recounts Her Experience at the Recent Miss USA Pageant.
By Danielle Bertiger
Our cavalcade of Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders/P-R-O Convention honorees continues with a six year member of the MVC…introducing Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Karen, our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.
Only a couple more left before we conclude our coverage of the 2015 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta…see who is next!
After a three year hiatus, the Sussex Stags have returned to their 2010 home at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ! After spending 2010 in the MLF (formerly BNEFF) at Skylands and their 2011 season in the GDLF at Vernon HS, the organization took a three year hiatus.
This season, the Stags have returned to their original home and are thrilled to be a part of the 2015 Empire Football League. One of the greatest assets of the Stags Game experience was the dance team on the sidelines. In 2010-2011, the team was under the direction of Natalie Hendricks (New York Jets Flight Crew) and Christine Sampson (New Jersey Nets). Upon the team’s return, the Stags Dancers are now under the direction of 2010-2011 team member Kari Brantner. “It has been a dream come true to take over the Sussex Stags Dance Team! I took on the job knowing that I had big shoes to fill. I believe I have embraced their professionalism and creativity while creating the 2015 Game Day experience. I have been fortunate enough to turn to Natalie and Christine for guidance and am lucky to have their support in this new adventure in my dance career!”
The Sussex Stags Dance Team is compiled of 12 dancers from the North Jersey area with impressive resumes! From commercial models to college dance champions to national tour performers, the girls have come together to create the ultimate Game Day experience at Skylands.
The Sussex Stags Dance Team is fortunate to pair up with Kari’s alma mater, Generations of Dance, as the studio sponsor. Several members of the team have studied under the Generations’ nationally ranked choreographers. “It has been wonderful to reunite with dancers from my childhood for the Stags! We have all come back together so seamlessly and our new team members blend right in!” says Kari.
The Stags opened the 2015 season at Skylands Stadium on July 11th to a crown of over 1,500 fans! “We were all thrilled to take the field at our first game so we could show everyone what we worked so hard on over these last several months!” said Nicholle. Maggie summed up the adrenaline rush perfectly by stating “The energy out of the crowd and the Stags team was awesome! Nothing like live football!”
The July 11th game has some extra special meaning. 2010-2011 Stags Quarterback Colin Doyle passed away on July 4th, 2013 from a difficult battle undifferentiated sarcoma. Colin’s family was escorted onto the field during the pre-game ceremonies and greeted by veteran members and coaches of the Stags. The Doyle family was presented with a framed #15 jersey, which is the first retired number in Stags history. Colin Doyle will always be remembered!
Unfortunately, the Stags fell short to the Watertown Red and Black 8-7, but the game finished with children asking for autographs from the Football and Dance Teams as well as a full stadium round of high fives. Even with the loss, the support from the crown was enormous! “We are a lucky organization to have such a positive, supportive crowd out in the stands!” said Cory.
Since the home opener, the Stags currently have a 2-1 record with the top ranked defense in the EFL. The Sussex Stags Dance Team is looking forward to another exciting game at Skylands on August 8th! Be sure to like the Sussex Stags Dance Team on Facebook and follow @StagsDance on Instagram!
Photos courtesy of Mark Fletcher.
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