Photo of the Day – July 29

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A New Orleans VooDoo Doll

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

A little birdie told me that our next honoree is a former member of the First Ladies of Football…okay that birdie was James, my publisher and he ought to know. Well she is the second person to relocate from the D.C. Metroplex to Nashville and become a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader this year…introducing Jessica our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star!

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Jessica has got this posing thing down pat!

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Jessica is another reason to get out to a Titans game…her and Marcus Mariota!

Thunder Girls Final Audition to Feature 34 Finalists

Riverwind Casino to host Thursday’s event, which is free and open to the public

The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the final audition for the 2015-16 Thunder Girls on Thursday at Riverwind Casino, starting at 7 p.m. Fans of all ages are invited to watch as 34 finalists compete for a spot on the dance team. Admission is free and doors open at 6 p.m. The event will also be streamed live on the Thunder website, okcthunder.com, and on the Thunder Mobile App.

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; and Caroline Bennett, the 2015 Miss Black Oklahoma U.S. Ambassador – will assist Thunder staff in determining the final squad. The Thunder will announce the new team at the end of the evening.

Sixty dancers participated in Saturday’s open audition, where judges narrowed the group down to 34 ladies for Thursday’s finals.

WHAT: Thirty-four Thunder Girls finalists will compete for a spot on the 2015-16 Thunder Girls dance team

WHEN: Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m

WHERE: Riverwind Casino, in the Showplace Theatre

1544 W. State Hwy. 9, Norman (I-35 and Hwy. 9)

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Front row (from left; first name and hometown listed): Kim (Houston, Texas); Tiffany (North Richland Hills, Texas); Chelsie (Oklahoma City); Kara (The Woodlands, Texas); Kayle (Oklahoma City); Stephanie (Oklahoma City); Jennie (Owasso, Oklahoma); Katie (Moore, Oklahoma); Jaimie (Yukon, Oklahoma); Monique (Kansas City, Kansas); Kourtney (Fresno, California); Sarah (Moore, Oklahoma); Brooke (Prague, Oklahoma); Whitney (Kansas City, Missouri).

Middle row: Jessica (Madison, Wisconsin); Alex (Weatherford, Oklahoma); Kalyssa (Chickasha, Oklahoma); Audrey (Edmond, Oklahoma); Addie (Stillwater, Oklahoma); Kelly (Owasso, Oklahoma); Rachel (Oklahoma City); Blaire (Greensboro, North Carolina); Taniah (Fort Worth, Texas); Alicia (Moore, Oklahoma); Natasha (Edmond, Oklahoma); Carly (McAlester, Oklahoma).

Back row: McKenzie (Mustang, Oklahoma); Kaitlyn (Wichita, Kansas); Liz (Franklin, Tennessee); Kimberly (Del City, Oklahoma); Sydney (Mansfield, Texas); Jeanette (Guthrie, Oklahoma); Tressena (Moore, Oklahoma); Lauren (Duncan, Oklahoma).

2015 Clippers Spirit Auditions

This year’s Clippers Spirit auditions kicked off on Sunday morning at the Clippers training facility in Playa Vista, CA. Over 200 ladies queued up for
the opportunity to represent the Clippers organization and entertain fans at home games this fall.

The entire thing was filmed by a tv crew, so the place was crawling with black-clad crew members with cameras, microphones, clipboards, and other mysterious looking equipment

The dancers, who’d started arriving before 8 am, had plenty of time to warm up and get ready for the day.



The day kicked off at 9:30 am with a pep talk, where dancers were encouraged to do their best, put it all out on the floor, and try to have some fun with the process.

They also introduced the judges and the numerous helper elves (interns) there to make the process go smoothly.

Clippers Spirit alumni Brianna, Justene, Anasheh, Brittany, Bianca, and Michelle were on hand to assist the choreographers.

The Clippers organization shook up the audition process this year. In addition to the change in venue (Air conditioning! Praise the Lord!), there were different choreographers, and a different format than usual.

Unlike past years, where the audition began with a technical across-the-floor combination, this year, the first round one didn’t involve any choreography at all. Instead, for this “First Impressions Round,” the dancers were called into the room in groups of 25.

Then they took the floor in groups of four or five to introduce themselves to the judges, and then freestyle and show off their best moves.

We saw lots of tricks, lots of technique, a little bit of tumbling, and more than one dancer twerked it out for the judges.







As each group of 25 finished up, they were steered outside to hear their fate: in or out.

Those who made the cut headed back inside to wait for the next round. That first round took almost three hours. After a break for lunch, the veterans from last year’s team made their entrance. Fourteen of them, dressed all in black, matching down to shoes and accessories.

I know and like all of these ladies, but heck, even I was intimidated when they walked in.

14 veterans. 18 spots on the team. That’s scary odds for both the veterans AND the aspiring rookies. After the lunch break, everyone gathered around to hear the plan for the rest of the afternoon: first a jazz/technical combination, then another cut, then a hip hop combination, followed by a third cut.

Sophia Aguiar choreographed the first combination. Sophia’s resume includes performances with JLo, Nicki Minaj, Justin Timberlake, and heck if I know what all else. She’s a member of the cast for Britney’s Spears’ Vegas show. Just so you know. This is no slouch off the street. Sophia chorographed a really fun dance to Pharrell’s “Freedom.”

This went fast. 30 minutes later, she’d taught the combination, the dancers had run through it a few times, and then it was time to line up for round two.

Show us watcha got, ladies!




By 3pm, round 2 was over.


Clippers Spirit, past and present, waiting for the judges to finish deliberating.

90 minutes later, the second cut was announced, narrowing the field down to 60 danceers

There was no time to hug your girlfriends goodbye. Everybody get up and put your pants on, it’s time for hip hop. The choreographer for this round was Bryan Tanaka.

Because why wouldn’t Beyonce’s dance captain be choreographing for the Clippers Spirit audition? Honestly, sometimes I actually forget this is Los Angeles. And then something like this happens.

Bryan’s combination was to Dawin’s “Dessert”. (The song will confuse you at first. But the jam hits you about 45 seconds in. “Watcha gon, watcha gon do with that dessert? Murder dat, murder dat, murder dat dance floor.)

This time there were less than 30 minutes to learn the dance. This is where they separate the boys from the men. So to speak.

On to round 3 judging:






And then it was over. Nothing left to do but wait for the judges.

Spirit vets with Bryan and Sophia When the judges returned, they cut the group down to 41 dancers (including all 14 veterans – woot!), who will duke it out at finals tomorrow night. It’s going to be insanely competitive. To say the least. Stay tuned!

OMI – Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) with The New England Patriots Cheerleaders

Photo of the Day – July 28

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A Baltimore Blast Cheerleader

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

The most impressive squad at P-R-O was the Charlotte Honey Bees. They were all very attractive and they were all interesting subjects to shoot, whether it was for their dance ability, their good looks, or that part of their personality that can be captured in a still image. Each and every one of them was a pleasure to shoot and as I have said before, my only regret was that I didn’t get to shoot all of them. They were that impressive.

Our next honoree is one of those amazing Charlotte Honey Bees…introducing Helen Ann, our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

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We are definitely winding down our coverage from the 2015 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta…only a handful of girls to feature left!

More Chesapeake Hawkettes

Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Video & Photography Productions for sharing these photos of the MLL Chesapeake Hawkettes form their July 2nd game:

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[Mid-Atlantic Video & Photography Productions]

[Chesapeake Hawkettes]

New York Lizards Dancers

The New York Lizards Dancers under the direction of Paul Sanders, perform at the home games of the Major League Lacrosse New York Lizards. I had the pleasure of visiting with the dancers at their final home game of the season back on July 9th. Unfortunately a thunderstorm rolled in at half time necessitating a suspension of the game so the squad was only around the for first half. Enjoy the photos!

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Continue reading New York Lizards Dancers

Photo of the Day – July 27

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Dawn of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

Former Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Michelle C. Selected For The Laker Girls

Congratulations to former Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Michelle C. for being selected to the 2015 – 2016 Laker Girls.

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For the past several years, I have been fortunate to photograph this lovely dancer, first as a Anaheim Bolts Dance Team Member and for the past two years as a member of the Ladies of Ontario Fury Dance Team. I first saw her at tryouts for the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team and I knew she would be special. More recently, Michelle has been delighting fans while cheering on the Ontario Fury at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.

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Under the direction of Dance Team Director Lynae de Leon, Michelle and several other members of both dance teams have blossomed and gone on to greater challenges with such squads as the Clippers Spirit, Charger Girls and now the Laker Girls. For your shot at dance greatness, auditions for the Ladies of Ontario Fury are on August 22, 2015.

2015 tryouts

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Kelley

I have a few more profiles of the MVC than any other remaining squad, so we will be doing a back to back feature highlighting another special Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader. Our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star is first year member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders, introducing Kelley.

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She and the rest of her squad were kind enough to take some time out of their busy convention day schedule to pose for some photos.

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Only a handful of profiles left, so stay tuned to see who is next!

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Kayla

I was impressed with our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star…she stood out and that is one of the most important qualities of that you can have as a cheerleader. Every one of the girls at P-R-O is beautiful…they’re professional cheerleaders and I have never seen an unattractive one. They’re all proficient dancers….some better than others, all worthy of their uniform. But some girls stand out from the others. They have a special quality and our next honoree caught my attention in a sea of beautiful and talented dancers…introducing Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Kayla, a 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

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Wow, only 11 more months until the 2016 P-R-O Convention!

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

If my memory serves correctly, I first saw our next honoree at this convention six years earlier, when she was a member of the Washington Wizard Girls. The year was 2010 and it was my first year covering this wonderful event. Back then, I had not yet come up with the idea of doing these features. Fast forward to 2015 and as the saying goes, “what is old, is new again”. Introducing our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star, Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Kimberly.

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I think the change in locale has done her well!

Kimberlee Garris Moving on From The Brooklyn Nets

 

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Good friend of UC, Kimberlee Garris is moving on after 10 seasons in the NBA, first as a Knicks City Dancer and then as Director of Entertainment for the New Jersey and then later Brooklyn Nets.


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Kim was approached with the exciting opportunity to consult on a show coming to Broadway next spring called “Gotta Dance” that is based on the Nets senior (over 60) dance team she created.


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She will be consulting on that Broadway project, in addition to offering her consulting services to dance teams in the U.S. and abroad.

Good Luck, Kim!