Danielle Demski can do it all. She is a model, TV host, a former Miss USA finalist and was even a cheerleader for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Now she’s co-hosting the Tennis Channel’s “Fit to Hit” series, which aims to inform viewers about sports nutrition and fitness while revealing the tenis secrets that can give any weekend player an edge.
Demski brings her love of the game to the show and has even picked up a few new skills of her own.
“I implement [new techniques] into my game with friends. I was just playing with my friend the other day and she was like, ‘Wow, great backhand!’ ” Demski told Headlines and Global News in an exclusive interview.
The Arizona State graduate spoke to HNGN about her passion for the sport, how she stays fit and healthy and reveals the one tennis player she’d be terrified to go up against!
You recently started a new job at the Tennis Channel hosting a show called “Fit to Hit.” How is that going?
It’s good, it’s great! It first started airing on August 16th and it airs every Sunday on the Tennis Channel. It is a really fun show to work on, really interesting! I am not a professional tennis player, and I am not somebody who has toured. But for your average tennis player or your weekend warrior, it is a great way to improve your game. It is also for people who just picked up a racket for the first time. Honestly, even if you are not that into tennis, there is a lot of fitness and nutrition information that is really interesting.
How did you get involved with the show?
Well, I grew up playing tennis and I am very into fitness and nutrition, and I have been hosting for a long time now. The Tennis Channel got in touch with my agent and I came in and I met with them, and it ended up being a really good fit. From there, it was an awesome first season, so hopefully there is a second one.
Have you already finished filming for the first season?
Yes, we just finished up so we are all done with the first season. It was fun!
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When the 27th season of “Amazing Race” takes off Friday on CBS, Richmond resident Krista DeBono will be atop a water bike with teammate Tiffany Chantell Torres, peddling and paddling from Marina del Rey to Burton Chase Park in Los Angeles for the first leg of a 21-day race around the world.
Former NFL cheerleaders, they will be one of 11 teams starting out on the Emmy-winning series’ premiere at 8 p.m., Sept. 25, striving to avoid being eliminated while heading for unknown destinations that include China, India, Zimbabwe and Netherlands.
The goal with each challenge is to avoid coming in last and face elimination. The ultimate goal is to win $1 million.
The prize was a big motivation. It would enable DeBono to repay college loans that include a masters in speech pathology. But regardless of whether she achieved the ultimate goal, DeBono set her sights an equally valuable one.
“We only wanted to make our hometown and family proud,” said the 29-year-old. “People already have stereotypes from ‘Mob Wives’ and ‘Jersey Shore.’ That’s what they expect from you when they hear you’re from Staten Island.”
Working the role as “The Cheerleaders,” she relished being underestimated and revealing there is “so much more to us than cheerleading.” Her day job is at a private school in Brooklyn as a speech pathologist. Torres, who lives in Hoboken, N.J., is a consultant with Physicians in Healthcare.
Not that cheerleading isn’t important to them. On the New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleading Squad, the two became best friends. And they say in their introductory video, the preparation and discipline getting ready for the season was rigorous.
Still, when it came to the “Amazing Race,” they both hired personal trainers to work on cardio and strength training three of four times a week to take their fitness up a few notches. DeBono says she did a lot of mental gymnastics too – puzzles and brain teasers. It was the combination of challenges, both mental and physical, that made this particular reality show right for her, she said.
“It had to be a family show. I would not have done anything that was not right,” she said.
Completion of the first challenge got you a plane ticket to the next one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“When you watch, it looks so easy. But when you have no sleep or food, you’re just exhausted; it’s a whole different ballgame,” said DeBono.
That is as much as she could reveal. Although she knows the outcome (which she is under contract not to reveal), she is as anxious as anyone to see the final edit of hours and hours of taping.
She discovered that there is an extra interest for some – they are betting on an Amazing Race Fantasy League.
“You can see on the threads [comments]: These two will be the first ones out,” she said. “Hopefully we will inspire other women, and teach you should not judge a book by its cover.”
“I’m just really excited for people to see us travel around the world and for them to get a glimpse into other places. It was amazing to see them first hand,” she said.
DeBono is not the first Staten Islander to compete in the “Amazing Race.” One of the most successful Islander competitors was fellow St. Joseph-by-the-Sea almuna Danielle Turner who competed in 2006 with her classmate Danielle (Dani) Torchio. Turner returned in 2007 to win with Floridian Eric Sanchez, who she met her first time competing.
When you’re good you’re good. Believe this eye witness that the MDC organization is good. Kudos out to Dorie Grogan and Jamie Quadrozzi for presenting another great Swimsuit Calendar Unveiling and Fashion Show. The North Club at the newly renovated Sun Life Stadium was turned into a LIV look-alike nightclub for the annual runway showcase. The high energy show was styled by Dolphin’s Pro Bowl alum, and present Cheerleader Coordinator, Ariana Aubert. Current and alumni cheerleaders were the stars of the evening’s outstanding entertainment.
The night showcased swimsuit designs by Miss Fanatic x Montce, Lila Nikole, Luli Fama, Meg Liz Swimwear, DollStreet Swimwear, and DESPI as well as jewelry from Brooke & Arrow Boutique, Dune Jewelry and Tiffany Lee Jewelry.
The fashion show opened with swimwear designs by Miss Fanatic x Montce Swimsuits, showcasing the cheerleaders in aqua, orange and gold in honor of the Dolphins 50th season. That followed with an artistic Wynwood section, where cheerleaders wore attire and accessories that were hand painted by local Miami artists. Next was the sexy all black Dark Angel segment. The final element of the fashion show was the Garden of Eden theme which opened with a samba routine by professional Ivan Mulyavka and ballroom trained cheerleader Britt. This was followed by the MDC covered in flowers head to toe. Beautiful.
Following the conclusion of the fashion show, the 2016 calendar ladies again walked the runway. The past cover girls then strolled out in honor of celebrating 20 years of swimsuit calendars.
Cheerleaders Monica, Jessica and Andrianna were unveiled to loud applause as the cover ladies for the 2016 calendar. Monica is a 3rd year veteran, born and raised in Kendall, FL with a Cuban background. Jessica is a fourth year veteran, born and raised in Doral, FL. Jessica is of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent and enjoyed the privilege of going on military tours with the MDC. Andrianna is a second year veteran, born and raised in Parkland, FL. She comes from Italian heritage.
Monica is a business and marketing major. This marks the second year Monica is featured in the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar, as she was the cover girl on the 2015 edition. Jessica is currently studying psychology and this marks Jessica’s third appearance in the MDC Swimsuit Calendar. Adrianna is interested in pursuing a career in interior design.
Courtney and Paige, sisterly love and adoration
Buccaneer alums Meagan and Tiffany were in the house. Tiffany tells me “It was an honor to design custom jewelry for the Dolphins Swimsuit Calendar. The girls looked amazing on the runway! Great night with my fellow NFL sisters.”
The 2016 calendar was shot on-board Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway.
The Eagles Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar, which was unveiled last week at a fashion show to kick off the NFL season, is now available and can be purchased at www.PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Eagles Pro Shops and bookstores nationwide. A portion of the calendar’s proceeds will be donated to the Elmwood Park Zoo in support of their mission to promote wildlife and environmental conservation. Elmwood Park Zoo is the home to Noah, a live bald eagle that makes special appearances throughout the year at various Eagles events, including home games.
Gracing the cover of this year’s calendar is Casey Baldwin, a sixth-year veteran of the squad. In 2013, she represented the Eagles Cheerleaders at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and the NFL Tour of China while also traveling to Kuwait in 2011 as part of the Eagles Cheerleaders Goodwill Military Tour to the Middle East. A graduate of West Chester University, Casey is a fit model for top fashion designer, Lilly Pulitzer.
The Eagles Cheerleaders partnered with Apple Vacations and Iberostar Resorts for the 2016 calendar photoshoot in Riviera Maya, Mexico. As part of the trip, the squad dedicated time to the surrounding community by focusing their efforts on local youth and wildlife conservation. The cheerleaders spent a day at the Little Yellow School House in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, a school for special needs children completely funded by donations, where they surprised the students with suitcases full of school supplies and Eagles gifts. The squad also visited Tortugranja, a hatchery for endangered sea turtles, as a way to bring awareness to the farm’s preservation endeavors.
The Eagles Cheerleaders also traveled to Xel-Ha in Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, Mexico, where they participated in a team-building exercise which included zip lining, cliff jumping, rope swinging and balance coordination on the trepachanga.