Will Ferrell may be a baller on the comedy court, but he fouled out big time with his latest stunt.
During halftime at Wednesday’s Lakers-Pelicans game in New Orleans, Ferrell participated in a faux-half court shot competition. But instead of shooting the ball, Ferrell threw it and hit a nearby cheerleader in the head. Ferrell was then promptly “ejected” by security after hitting the cheerleader.
The stunt was filmed for Ferrell’s upcoming 2015 movie “Daddy’s Home,” according to Sports Illustrated. IMDb describes the film as “When a divorced guy’s ex-wife re-marries someone way more uptight, he re-enters her life and wreaks havoc.” Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, and Hannibal Burress are set to star in the film alongside Ferrell.
Watch a video of the “incident” here.
A few of the Xtreme Dance Team members pose with their 2015 Dance Team calendars at the Trenton (NJ) Freedom Fan Experience held at the Sun National Bank Center
[Trenton Freedom Xtreme Dance Team]
This past weekend, I spent some quality time over at Bernie’s. That would be Bernie Lilavois and the Ontario Fury of the MASL. Indoor soccer is fast and furious, kind of like what Arena Football is to NFL football. The action is non stop, the scoring is sudden, and this weekend…physical. I went to see some indoor soccer and a hockey game broke out.
Yes, there is boarding in the MASL and like hockey, when you slam a player into the boards, that’s a penalty. And yes, there are goons in the MASL and like hockey, when you cheap shot a guy, there will be retaliation.
I saw a lot of hockey type action in the two Fury games that I attended…and as a spectator…it was a lot of fun to see. Fast break action and thuggish play to boot! Well, I guess that’s one way to try to stop the Fury…or not…both opponents, the Turlock Express and the Las Vegas Legends, lost to the home team.
But the real reason for my return visit was the Ladies of Ontario Fury.
Lynae de Leon, the director of the dance team, let me know that the Ladies of Ontario Fury were going to be performing a special Cowgirl themed dance on Sunday, so I was eager to forgo my NFL Championship Game watching to be able to photograph the hottest dance team in the MASL one more time.
So here is a collection of images taken over the course of two days with the lovely Ladies of Ontario Fury.
Pregame Meet and Greet
Continue reading Weekend At Bernie’s – Part Deux
Auditions for the 2015 LA KISS Girls kicked off over the weekend in Irvine, CA. It was the first day in a four part audition process that includes an open call, panel interviews, finalist bootcamp, and a final dance audition.
* (Skip all the blah blah blah and check out the photos) *
It was obvious from the word go that this ain’t your momma’s dance team. Usually when I walk into a pro dance team audition, it’s all candy-colored track suits, Swarovski crystals, and long flowing hair extensions. Not here. Here the ladies were dressed in black, with metal studs, edgy hair, and lots of ink. We ain’t in Kansas anymore.
Outside in the corrider, six members of last year’s team, Vanessa, Alexis, Xandi, Julianne, Sheldon, and Niaps were on hand to greet people at the door and direct them into the audition. These six (and perhaps a few others from last year’s squad) will join the audition process at finals, in hopes of keeping their spots on the team.
Before the audition started, I had a chance to say hello to the new KISS Girls Director/Choreographer Lindsay Rodolico.
First impression: enormous blue eyes, big bright smile, and tons of positive energy. Warm and friendly, but make no mistake, this one takes care of bizness.
While all of the dancers were filling out their applications, I eyeballed the group to see if I recognized anyone from last year’s audition.
I saw at least four or five that I recognized.
But THIS was someone I’d never seen before. Six feet tall. Flaming red hair. “Big Red” is her handle, and you couldn’t possibly miss her. I bet that hair glows in the dark.
I am in awe of that hair. That takes guts. I could never pull that off, but she totally owns it. (She did admit, however, that the maintenance is a nightmare.)
I also noticed this lady. Isabella, the only one who auditioned in a KISS shirt. Smart! In retrospect, I’m shocked that nobody else thought of this. Especially since they had no idea whether the members of KISS would be present.
There was also a dancer from last year who I did not recognize at all. And can you blame me? Last year Ellie wore pink. This year, she didn’t even look like a distant relative of the girl I remember.
If not for the Aussie accent (she’s from Perth), I never would’ve realized it. When I asked her about it, she said her overall look last year was “orange.” Hence, the makeover. LOL.
When it was time for the audition to begin, Lindsay gathered everyone together to explain how the audition would work. The dancers would be taught a combination, which would then be performed for a panel of judges in groups of three. At the end of the day, finalists would be announced, and those chosen would move on to the next phase in the process. Simple enough, right?
She also introduced last year’s KISS Girls and said that they were an example of what the organization is looking for. She also explained that the members of last year’s team only had an advantage until the end of the day. Once the open call was over, the dancers had to turn in their costumes, and from that point on, they were the same as every other finalist.
And then it was time to get started. The dancers spread out on the floor and Lindsay began teaching the first eight-counts.
Sheldon and Niaps
It was a little nerve-wracking for the dancers, as tons of gym-goers were loitering around, openly staring through the windows.
Lindsay has a very fun, relaxed teaching style, and the dance was just right for the occasion. Challenging but not too hard. Fun, and full of attitude, although Lindsay did have to warn them not to go too far over the top with the sexy. Some (relatively few) women can successfully pull off the sexy/sultry thing when they dance. Everyone else should just stick to a pretty smile because – it has to be said – what they think is a sexy face, looks more like stankface.
The music was “The Beautiful People” which samples Marilyn Manson, with a hard, driving beat that is enough to get anyone’s blood pumping. The combination had break for a tiny solo in the middle, before repeating the from the beginning. The dancers would essentially have a chance to do the combination twice. Lindsay explained that this was by design. She and the judges want to see the ladies dance as much as possible, to get a good read on their abilities.
(Apologies for the quality. $100 Flip cam + gym lighting = you get what you get.)
I particularly enjoyed the hair whipping about 35 seconds in. I find myself doing this move at random moments throughout the day. Very awkward when I’m at the office, where we generally don’t see much stomping and head banging.
After about an hour of learning the choreography, it was time for the audition to begin. Lindsay left the music on repeat for the dancers while she gathered the judges around to talk about what they were looking for and how to score the dancers.
The judges were an eclectic group, each one more accomplished than the next. The panel included a professional dancer/choreographer with a resume as long as my arm (Diddy, Rihanna, BEP, Katy Perry, Pussycat Dolls, Romeo, Snoop, and on and on), radio hosts from Playboy Radio (they broadcast from the concourse at home games), the General Manager of the fitness club hosting the auditions, and representatives from the LA KISS organization, including a wide receiver, the social media director, and the team president.
Personally, the judge I was most excited about was Bonnie-Jill Laflin (in orange above). Bonnie-Jill is a reporter for Fox Sports. Before that, she was a scout for the Lakers. Before that she was a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. She’s also a huge advocate for animal welfare and for our armed services. I’ve seen her everywhere for years, and had no idea she was a close friend of Lindsay’s. So it was a chance to say hello to someone I’ve admired for ages.
Once the judges were assembled, last year’s KISS Girls took the floor to dance together for the last time as members of the 2014 team. #bittersweet.
No pressure, right?
The ladies auditioned in groups of three. Some groups were asked to do the combination a second time. My theory on this is in some cases, it was because they’d completely screwed up and Lindsay was giving them another chance. But in other cases, there was one dancer who did such a great job, the group needed to go again so the judges could pay attention to the other two ladies in the group.
About half of the groups had performed when team President Schuyler Hoversten did something I’ve never seen before at an audition. He pointed at one dancer and said the group had to do the combination again because she’d completely screwed up the whole thing. OUCH! I am sure she was mortified. After the group did the combination, Schuyler called a halt to the proceedings to remind everyone what they were here for. The KISS Girls are the best. They aren’t like any other dance team. They go hard. They have attitude. Their dances are challenging. And they know the frikkin choreography!
Ok, he didn’t say that last bit, but that’s what he meant, and we all knew it.
On the one hand, I couldn’t blame the guy. It’s extremely frustrating to watch one lukewarm performance after another. It’s boring, and as a judge you feel like their time is being wasted. You’re trying to do something great here, and it’s annoying when the dancers don’t deliver. On the other hand, a lot of girls audition for a pro dance team just for the experience of doing it. They aren’t professionals, they aren’t used to learning choreography so quickly, and the whole experience is stressful. Stressful and very very scary. But after Schuyler read the whole room, they knew they needed to get it together. Immediately, if not sooner. Because the reality is this: LA KISS would rather have NO dancers than mediocre ones.
Well ok then.
Lindsay had the six KISS Girls come out and do the dance again. Think of it as sort of a palate-cleanser. A way to hit everyone’s mental “reset” button on this process.
And we’re back…And many of the dancers visibly upped their game.
After the dancing was done, the judges went off to deliberate. When they returned, Lindsay announced the 27 finalists.
She congratulated everyone and explained the next steps in the process.The purpose of the interview is to get to know each dancer. The purpose of bootcamp is to learn the rest of the choreography, see how these ladies work, and see if they can look fabulous while doing it. The purpose of finals is to blow. the judges. away.
Then she served up some audition realness.
Dancers were expected to show up looking and acting the part at every stage of this process. From now on, they are representing the team, and need to comport themselves accordingly. They would be provided with tips and tools for how to do this, but it’s up to them to take advantage of that. She also mentioned that dancers could be cut at any point between now and finals. Dancers would be excused for having shady crap on facebook and instagram. And – this was interesting – Lindsay would likely be doing an additional invitation-only open call, so there might be some new faces at finals. (So don’t be giving the new girls the side-eye, all “Who is SHE???”, okay?)
The competition is just beginning.
So by now the dancers have been through interviews, and bootcamp is next on the agenda. What new faces will be in the mix? Will any of the other veterans audition? Who will ultimately be chosen for the squad? Patience, my friends. All will soon be revealed…
In the meantime, click here for more photos from the open call.
Our Audition Prep Classes have a phenomenal success rate over the past seven years with nearly 80% of our participants making a pro or semi-pro dance or cheer team! Each year we bring in more expert current and former NFL alumni cheerleaders and guests to focus on targeted physical training, hair & make-up consultations and more. When combined with step-by-step techniques for audition skills like turns, kicks, jumps, splits, and various dance styles, you’ll feel a transformation that will give you an edge on the competition.
This year we will offer Pro Audition Prep “Boot Camp Style”- once a month, utilizing separate spaces based on your skill level and workshops by guest experts at the same time.
Which Class is right for you?
If you’ve taken PCA Foundation’s Audition Prep Classes before: Try the Pro Audition Boot Camp Refresher
Advanced dance technique and skills to help you brush up on all of the necessary skills and presentation without all of the information you’ve heard before.
You can choose to sit in on guest speaker events like hair, makeup, fitness, presentations if you would like a refresher
This class will be offered at the same time in a different classroom, to push you to a higher level of competition.
If you’ve never taken PCA Foundation’s Audition Prep Classes: The Pro Audition Boot Camp is for you!
Learn audition expectations and insider tips from alumni cheerleaders
Build your confidence with healthy diet and exercise tips
Refine your interview skills and composure
What to expect and bring on audition day
Dance/Athletic Bra Top Dance pants/shorts
Dance shoes or sneakers.
Boot Camp Dates:
Each all inclusive class is $50. Payment methods: Paypal online, cash, credit card on site (please arrive early if paying the day of class)
Saturday, January 24, 2015 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 21, 2015 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Saturday, March TBD* 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
*based on the date of local NFL team auditions to be announced
Bailey’s Health & Fitness
Studios A & B
9550 Baymeadows Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32256
[Complete Registration Information]
‘This is a good goodbye,’ she said.
By Steve Annear
Michelle Nigro has been a cheerleader with the New England Patriots for four years. And with her last game as an official member of the squad coming up, she’s going out with a bang.
“Having my last game be at the Super Bowl is just a dream come true,” said Nigro, a full time PR professional by day and Miss Cambridge 2014 winner. “This is what I wanted from day one. I had been telling all of my teammates that I felt like we were going to be going to the Super Bowl this year.”
And they will.
On Sunday, February 1, the Patriots will take on the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl XLIX. The team’s appearance will mark the second time since Nigro first became a cheerleader that she will set foot on the field to watch the Patriots play for the championship title.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “We just found out this morning; we got the official email that we will be going.”
Nigro, an Emerson grad, said she was thrilled to be able to attend the Super Bowl against the New York Giants in 2012, even though it ended with a loss. To return for a second time, capping off her short career as a cheerleader, feels once again like luck is on her side.
“I feel—I just don’t even know. I feel extra lucky to be going to two Super Bowls. Some NFL players don’t even get to go to the Super Bowl. I’m just happy the Patriots organization is taking us,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to seeing this year’s halftime performers, Katy Perry and John Legend, take the stage.
Nigro said her appearance in Arizona alongside her squad is more of a business trip with some activities on the side. In 2012, the trip was a series of early mornings and late nights jam-packed with appearances on network television shows like Fox and Friends, and visits to a military base. There was also a planned media day and practice sessions squeezed into the short few days prior to the big game.
“We are able to have a little fun,” she said. “Last year, the Krafts had a welcome party, and after the game they had a get-together. It’s a great mix of working and enjoying the huge accomplishment of the Patriots making it to the Super Bowl.”
But this is the last time she’ll get to enjoy it. Due to regulations, Patriots cheerleaders can only serve four years on the squad before they are rotated out for a new crop of performers. Nigro was on the team for three consecutive years before taking some time off. She later returned for the current season.
“This is a good goodbye,” she said. “… It’s literally everything and more that I could ask for out of this season, to finish up my fourth year like this.”
The only thing that could top the opportunity to go to Arizona would be to ride on a Duck Boat during a post-game celebration in Boston, she said. “That would be incredible.”
[Michelle at Patriots.com]
By Jim Dallke
The demands of working at a startup are notorious. Long hours, multiple responsibilities, and building a truly innovative business can put a lot of pressure on a young company and its employees. But if you’re used to performing in front of 20,000 screaming fans, maybe the pressures of the tech world don’t seem quite as intimidating.
Amelia Carpenter is a marketing and communications associate at Narrative Science, a Chicago startup that turns massive amounts of data into written stories. She’s also one of the newest additions to the Luvabulls, the professional dance team of the Chicago Bulls. The dual roles have Carpenter growing a tech brand and doing internal communications during the day, and practicing and performing at the United Center at night. The two jobs require vastly different skill sets, but the gigs have more in common than you might think, Carpenter said.
“At Narrative Science, we have this product and we’re working day in and day out on this team and we all have the same goal,” she said. “And ultimately we have this audience that has these expectations of us. And it’s exactly the same as being on the Luvabulls. You’re working really hard as a team to put something together and deliver to an audience.”
After a full day at Narrative Science, Carpenter practices at least twice a week with the Luvabulls, plus games. During larger performances, like for Halloween and Christmas Day games, the team will practice four times a week. And there are the autograph signings and community outreach events that keep the dancers even busier. It’s a demanding schedule for the 25-year-old Detroit native, but doable with some creative time management, she said.
“I love working on a team,” Carpenter said. “I love working toward something awesome and putting in the work and the time to make it amazing. And the performance part of it, whether it’s delivering a product at Narrative Science or performing at a game, that’s the really rewarding part for me.”
Making the Luvabulls is intensely competitive; roughly 20 women make the team of over 200 that try out. Carpenter made the 2014-15 squad after unsuccessfully trying the previous two years. A dancer all the way through college at the University of Miami Ohio, she said making the Luvabulls was a dream come true.
“You don’t always get instant gratification as a dancer, so making the team was kind of indescribable,” she said. “It was amazing. I worked really hard for it.”
In college, Carpenter was in the entrepreneurship department at Miami and always had a desire to be a journalist and tells stories. So when Narrative Science CEO Stuart Frankel came to the school (where he graduated) to give a talk, Carpenter knew that was the company she wanted to work for.
“I knew about his success at DoubleClick and the sale to Google, and I was really interested in journalism, so when Narrative Science came up it was sort of a natural fit with journalism and tech. I pretty much just emailed him until he responded for an interview.”
Having a dual role in both the tech scene and the professional dance community comes with its challenges. And Carpenter acknowledged that both professions come with their fair share of stereotypes. But Carpenter is proof that techies can be extroverted performers, and dancers can be sort of nerdy. Both communities are very open minded, she said, which is something that attracted her to both professions.
“I think both communities are accepting of all personalities, especially in tech.” she said. “There’s so many good ideas and so much innovation, you have to be (open minded). And you have to be smart to be a dancer … to be that creative and to do the things that we do.”
The jobs have Carpenter thinking about how to merge the two, like using Bulls data at Narrative Science to perform predictive analytics before the season. She said both jobs compliment her personality, and she hopes to continue the roles in the future.
“I get to have my day job, and I’m really passionate about the people I work with there. And I get to go and be really creative and pursue my passion in dance at night.”
[Amelia the Bulls website]
A Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader
By Paula Wolf
The six players from the Philadelphia Eagles will not be the only ones representing the franchise at this year’s Pro Bowl in Arizona.
Joining them will be Lancaster Catholic High School graduate Alicia Marie Parks, one of the team’s 39 cheerleaders.
“It was such a humbling experience” to be chosen, said Parks, 25, who’s in her third year on the squad.
The announcement was made during the Eagles’ home game versus Dallas last month.
“I was just floored” to hear the news, said Parks, who was able to share it with her family.
A press release from the Eagles called Parks “a talented performer and fan favorite.”
Barbara Zaun, who directs the Birds cheerleaders, said in the release that Parks “is well-respected by her teammates and will be an outstanding representative … at the Pro Bowl. She is very deserving of this wonderful honor.”
A 2007 alumna of Lancaster Catholic, Parks described cheerleading for the Eagles as “a part-time job but a full-time commitment.”
She is a 2011 magna cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in education and also received a master’s in history from Villanova University.
Parks works in Philadelphia at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania as lead educator for “HEAD for the future,” a program that promotes document-based learning in the K-12 classroom.
She said she’ll arrive in Arizona days before the Jan. 25 Pro Bowl, and faces a packed itinerary.
“We’re going to be busy as soon as we get there,” Parks said.
She was also sent the Pro Bowl choreography in advance, and “we have to learn 10 dances” ahead of time, she said.
Once they get there, the cheerleaders — one from each NFL team — will rehearse every day; do morning shows with Arizona media; and hold a cheerleading camp for special-needs children, Parks said.
“We do that with the Eagles,” she said of the camp, and it’s something Parks really enjoys.
At the Pro Bowl, which airs at 8 p.m. on ESPN, the cheerleaders will perform at halftime and throughout the game.
A presence in the community
“I’ve always been a huge Eagles fan,” said Parks, who moved to Philadelphia from North Carolina after receiving her undergraduate degree.
Her parents, Bob and Janet Parks, live in Palmyra, and she has extended family from Philadelphia.
She said her mom and dad, who will be joining her at the Pro Bowl, are big supporters. “They’ll always been there for everything I’ve done.”
Parks said she decided to try out for the Eagles’ cheerleading squad because she wanted to get back to dancing.
While at Lancaster Catholic, she performed in musicals and had other dance experience.
The Birds cheerleaders “are mostly a dance team,” she said.
So Parks went to the yearly auditions, where she was among 500 or so women.
Only eight new cheerleaders were chosen — and she was one of them.
“I was overjoyed,” Park said, and a little bit shocked, too.
Now a squad veteran, she said she’s established a bond with her fellow cheerleaders. “I love getting to hang out with them every week.”
So what’s involved in being an Eagles cheerleader? A lot more than performing during home games, it turns out.
Park said the women “do a ton of events to promote NFL PLAY 60,” a campaign to encourage kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
They also push breast cancer awareness, a cause close to her heart because it’s affected members of her family, she said.
The cheerleaders show up at schools, businesses and charities, and participate in salute-to-veterans events, Parks said.
“We are everywhere,” she said — even planting trees.
She said she likes to encourage girls especially to follow their dreams.
“It’s a lot of fun to make public appearances,” Parks said, particularly with children.
[Alicia at PhiladelphiaEagles.com]
The New Orleans VooDoo packed the legendary Hard Rock Café on Saturday afternoon for the 2015 New Orleans VooDoo Doll Finals. Hundreds of patrons were in attendance to see the VooDoo finalists compete for a spot as a 2015 VooDoo Doll.
The franchise is very pleased to announce that 20 young ladies have been selected to represent the franchise for the 2015 season as VooDoo Dolls.
“I’m so thrilled for the amount of talent and beauty we have on the team,” said VooDoo Doll Director Bridget Cordes. “These ladies worked so hard for a spot, and I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them.”
“Throughout these last two weeks the finalists really showed some amazing talent and personality,” said VooDoo Doll Director Brittany (B-Dub) Warden. “It was extremely difficult picking just 20 girls, but I am so proud of our 2015 VooDoo Dolls.”
The New Orleans VooDoo welcomes back 12 VooDoo Doll veterans, having danced for the team last year or in year’s prior.
The 2015 VooDoo Doll Dance Team is listed below:
The Lightning Girls 2015 Calendar is now available, check it out at link below.
Here’s some photos from a recent Lightning victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Erica and Megan
Kelsey, Cher and Isabella
Heather and Rachael
Kelly, Miss March (photo by Scott Audette)
[Lightning Girls Gallery]
[TB Lightning Girls]
[Lightning Girls Calendar]
Carley of the Philadelphia Soulmates
A West Chester Knicks Dancer