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.

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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!

Vote For Your Favorite Spurs Silver Dancer Finalist

On July 26th, the top 30 Spurs Silver Dancers finalists will audition in front of a live audience. Don’t miss your chance to meet the finalists, watch them perform, and watch the announcement of the 2015-16 Silver Dancers!

Where: Arneson River Theater on the Riverwalk

When: Sunday, July 26th, 7:00-9:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Admission: $5 donation to local flood relief fund through Silver & Black Give Back.

But in the meantime you can cast your vote for who you think should make the squad.

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Cast your vote here.

2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: Houston Texans Cheerleader Daranesha

The Houston Texans Cheerleaders always bring a large contingent of beautiful cheerleaders to Atlanta and I was able to snap a few photos with some of them. In this installment of our All Star series, we focus our attention on another one of those remarkable Houston Texans Cheerleaders…second year veteran Daranesha, our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

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There’s just something special about the Texans Cheerleaders and look forward to photographing them each and every P-R-O Convention!

Chesapeake Hawkettes

Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Video & Photography Productions for sharing these photos of the MLL Chesapeake Hawkettes form their June 6th game:

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[Mid-Atlantic Video & Photography Productions]

[Chesapeake Hawkettes]

2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Crew Auditions

The Pittsburgh Penguins have chosen of their 2015-16 Ice Crew. It’s the largest squad ever with 24 members. Check out the video for more on the selection process.

Photo of the Day – July 24

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From 2008 – Janelle of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders

LA Kings 2014-15 Ice Crew Profile – Keegan

Kings Vision was on hand for the 14-15 Ice Crew calendar photo shoot Check out this profile featuring Ms. November 2015, Keegan!

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Where’s Waldo? Just ask the Charity of the Ohio Dance Machine!

Charity is a third-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse's Oho Dance Machine

Charity is a third-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse’s Oho Dance Machine

Charity gets asked, “Where’s Waldo?” all the time. And she knows the precise answer, “I say it’s between Delaware and Marion.”

The reason Charity gets asked “Where’s Waldo?” so much, is because the member of the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine is from the town of Waldo, Ohio. So when Charity tells people she is from Waldo, she often hears the standard “Where’s Waldo?” pseudo-question. “I usually laugh, because I do hear it a lot, but it’s still funny. I like that they make that connection. Sometimes my automatic response, even though I understand the joke, I say, ‘It’s between Delaware and Marion,’ because that helps people locate where it is. And they say, ‘Wait, do you get it? The joke?’ So they get a little confused, and I say, ‘No, I get it.’”

And a frequent answer to the question, “Where’s Charity?” is “Dancing.” As far as dance, Charity explains, “I started when I was four. My sister danced, so I’ve just been dancing at Douce Dance Studio since I was little. And I love it!” During the 2014 season, the ever-smiling Charity kindly spent time with UltimateCheerleaders so we could learn more about where Charity has been, and what the future may hold.

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The Ohio Dance Machine is the first sidelines cheer role for Charity. “Before that I’ve only danced. I played violin and trumpet, but I quit all that when I went to high school. I just focused on dance.”

Charity’s dance support begins at home. “My mom’s always has been there for me, for all dance. And she’s really supportive of anything I do, and she never misses any performances. She’s been to every single one I’ve ever done. My family’s very supportive of dance.”

Like much of the Ohio Dance Machine, Charity has a Capital University connection. Charity graduated last May from Capital with a degree in Exercise Science, and she says, “There’s a dance group there called Orchesis and one of the girls that was on the team last year was in Orchesis and she posted it on the page, and someone saw it. So I went to try out.”

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And third year veteran Charity found a sidelines home with Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine, “I really like it. I like that I can still dance. And it’s not just dancing in the room, but I actually to perform, and show people what I’ve learned. And plus, the girls made me want to come back more, because I really like all of them.”

So Charity, if you were in charge of picking a location to take your teammates on a Ohio Dance Machine Calendar shoot, where would you pick? “I would want to pick different locations,” Charity replies, “but if I had to pick one, Colorado’s pretty nice, because of the mountains, and you can have different looking backgrounds in the same area.”

Asked about what her dream job would be, Charity made it all about giving to others. “I don’t really know my dream job. I just like helping people, that sounds weird, but I just really like to help, somehow.” Not weird at all Charity! Charity’s enjoyment of anatomy and physiology lead her to exercise science, and she would like to use her knowledge to assist others, like going into a field such as occupational therapy. “That’s why occupational therapy is really awesome, because it helps you live your daily life better.

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Charity has worked as a personal care assistant in a retirement home and really liked it a lot. Charity values time spent with the senior generation, saying, “Learning their lessons through life, they have a lot of wisdom to teach us, and help us with our decisions; to just mentor us. And I think it’s important to help them too, because sometimes they might get lonely because they’re not around their family at the retirement home. So just going in and talking with them really helps them, plus you learn from their past, and I like that.”

And Charity’s past has some great memories already. Charity liked growing up in small Waldo, with her parents and her older sister, plus “My friends, who are down the road from me. They have eight kids in their family. And they have some of my best friends in their family. So it’s nice being able to hang out with all of them.”

Charity also loved her time at Capital University, which is kind of the opposite of Ohio State. “It would take me maybe four minutes to get to my farthest class, if I left my room, so I loved how small Capital is. My biggest class was under thirty. So that was nice, you knew the professors a lot better.

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On Saturday, July 25, the Ohio Machine hosts the Boston Cannons at Selby Stadium on Fan Appreciation Night. It is the final regular season home game for the Machine before beginning its playoff run. The Ohio Dance Machine will be there too, and we appreciate sweet Charity’s lovely spirit, love of dance, and concern for others. Wherever Waldo is, it creates some really special people.

Thanks so much to Charity for spending time with UltimateCheerleaders last season, and the support of the Ohio Machine franchise. More photos of Charity from 2014 are at this link.

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Brooklynettes Final Auditions

The Brooklyn Nets held final auditions for the Brooklynettes dance team on July 14 at Barclays Center.

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[Brooklynettes Finals Gallery]

Former Oregon Ducks Cheerleader Delaney Burns Makes New England Patriots Dance Team

By Pete Christopher
The Oregonian

When Delaney Burns applied to become a New England Patriots Cheerleader, she kept it a secret.

“I didn’t want to jinx it for myself,” she reasoned.

Originally from Beaverton, Burns danced at Westview High School before cheering for four years with the Oregon Ducks, where she served at team captain her senior year. She moved to New England, where her family resides, after graduating in 2014. Burns kept her goal of making an NFL cheer team quiet from nearly everyone except family, including Oregon cheerleading coach Dana Guthrie.

“I actually didn’t even find out she was going through the process until after she was in it,” Guthrie said. “She didn’t want to tell many people in case it didn’t work out.”

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Although Burns grew up in Oregon, her family roots in New England made her a Patriots fan from a young age. In March, Burns began a month-long tryout with the Patriots that included four rounds of auditions, interviews, performances and cuts. By the end of the month, Burns was one of 28 women who made the team among nearly 300 applicants.

If college athletic program success is measured by the percentage of athletes that reach the professional ranks, Oregon’s top program might well be cheerleading. Five others in Guthrie’s six-year coaching career at Oregon are now with professional sports franchises that include the Portland Trail Blazers, the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers.

“I wish more of them would come east with me, but I have just lucked out where I’ve landed,” Burns said. “It’s also fun hearing from friends with the Blazer Dancers, which is way different from an NFL experience.”

Cheerleaders and dancers in the NBA typically work at all 41 home games, but perform routines intermittently during game breaks. NFL cheerleaders are responsible for fewer games during the season, but are visible in the spotlight throughout the entire game.

Burns enters the professional cheerleading ranks at a turning point in the sport’s history. In July, California legislators passed a law requiring all professional cheerleaders in the state to be treated as team employees, as opposed to contract workers. The law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, gives cheerleaders access to minimum wage, overtime, sick pay and more benefits.

The bill stemmed from a lawsuit filed by cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders, who claimed that they were denied basic benefits because of their contract worker status, even though they were otherwise treated like team employees.

Although no such bill exists in Massachusetts, Burns is considered a team employee with the Kraft Group, which owns both the Patriots and their home in Gillette Stadium.

Getting ready for her first NFL season is not the only thing Burns has on her mind, as she also holds a full-time job outside of the NFL as a merchandising analyst for a home furnishing company in Boston. Several of her Patriots teammates are graduate students. The Patriots cheerleading team holds practice twice per week, with occasional promotional appearances included.

When the regular season begins in September, Burns’ schedule will get even busier. The Patriots cheerleading team works during all eight regular-season home games, and during two preseason home games. Those Sunday home games require Burns and her teammates to arrive up to five hours before kick off. When asked if she would still be able to watch Oregon Ducks games on Saturday, she sighed.

“I’ll record any games that I can’t watch live,” Burns said. “I’m still trying to figure out if I can go to any, but it is not looking likely. I have still never been to Patriots game, but Ducks games are just special.”

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

As we begin to wind down our coverage of the 2015 P-R-O Convention, we still have a few more cheerleaders to feature. Purple must be my favorite color because I seem to be attracted to all the cheerleaders that were wearing purple at the convention…it’s a flattering color…at least in my opinion. And our next honoree wears purple well and she happens to be a five year veteran of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders…introducing Molly, our next 2015 P-R-O Convention All Star.

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More to come.