I’ve finally gotten around to updating the audition dates page with the most recent NBA Dance Team auditions dates. We will be updating this page on a regular basis, so stay tuned for the latest audition news.
NBA Dance Teams (2016)
Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders: TBD. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (Boston Audition): Friday, July 8th. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (NYC Audition): Wednesday June 16th. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (L. A. Audition): Wednesday, May 18th. [Details]
Brooklynettes: Saturday, June 4th. [Details]
Charlotte Hornets Honey Bees: Saturday June 25th. [Details]
Chicago Bulls Luvabulls: Saturday, July 23rd. [Details]
Cleveland Cavaliers Cavalier Girls: TBD. [Details]
Dallas Mavericks Dancers: Saturday, July 9th. [Details]
Denver Nuggets Dancers: Friday, July 15th. [Details]
Detroit Pistons Dancers: Saturday, July 23rd. [Details]
Golden State Warrior Girls: TBD. [Details]
Houston Rockets Power Dancers: Saturday, July 9th. [Details]
Indiana Pacers Pacemates: TBD. [Details]
Los Angeles Clippers Spirit: Saturday, June 25th. [Details]
Los Angeles Lakers Laker Girls: Saturday, July 9. [Details]
Memphis Grizzlies Grizz Girls: TBD. [Details]
Miami Heat Dancers:TBD.[Details]
Milwaukee Bucks Dancers: Friday, July 15th. [Details]
Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers: TBD. [Details]
New York Knicks City Dancers: Saturday, June 11th. [Details]
New Orleans Pelicans Dance Team: Saturday, July 16th. [Details]
Oklahoma City Thunder Girls: TBD [Details]
Orlando Magic Dancers: Saturday, July 23rd. [Details]
Philadelphia 76ers Dancers: Sunday, June 26th. [Details]
Phoenix Suns Dancers: Saturday, July 30th. [Details]
Portland Trailblazers BlazerDancers: Sunday, July 10th. [Details]
Sacramento Kings Dance Team: Friday, June 3rd. [Details]
San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers: Saturday, July 16th.[Details]
Toronto Raptors Dance Pak: TBD. [Details]
Utah Jazz Dancers: Monday, June 6th. [Details]
Washington Wizards Wizard Girls: TBD. [Details]
Patriots cheerleaders thrive on performing in front of a crowd, and once their time on the sidelines is over, some pursue ways to continue showmanship. For former cheerleader Leah, she found solace in an unlikely place: the wrestling ring.
After three seasons with the Patriots cheerleading squad and a season with the Lakers, Leah found her way to the WWE NXT as Carmella, a leopard print clad princess of Staten Island. Her character is fun, fierce and fabulous, she said.
“She actually is a lot like me. She’s fun, high energy, and I don’t really take anything from anybody,” Leah said. “I’m going to stand up for myself. She’s fabulous. I love fashion, and I try to incorporate that.”
Even though Leah grew up watching the sport, she never pictured herself in the ring, but after she graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 2010 and completed her year with the Lakers in 2011, she said trying out for the WWE just “evolved” naturally.
“I never thought it was something I could even do. I never thought it was a possibility. I never thought it was something I could train for and do,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, what a challenge.’ I had 10 tryouts and kept making the cut, and I found myself in the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and I’ve been there for two and a half years.”
While her path to NXT was not one Leah had imagined, she said her time with the Patriots squad helped her transition. From time management to knowing how to represent a well-respected organization, she said the Patriots prepared her for this next course.
Moving forward, Leah’s goal is to win the NXT Women’s Championship, move up to the WWE and claim the women’s championship there.
With her background in dance, Leah has been able to incorporate her moves into the ring, but she has surprised herself with how quickly she has been able to adapt to a new and different world of physicality. Though many of her fellow wrestlers have backgrounds in the sport, wrestling in independent circuits before coming to NXT, Leah has had to learn the moves from the basics while using her dancing background and ability to work the crowd to her advantage.
“[The thing I’ve learned about myself is] probably just the fact that anything I can put my mind to, I can do. I really wasn’t sure when I started. I’m very confident in my ability to learn, but every time I’m in the ring, I can’t believe the things I can do and that I’ve learned,” Leah said. “It’s been really crazy. I see a move and it looks so hard and then I can do it. The coolest thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how long it takes me, I’ll do it over and over until I get it.”
This drive and determination to get the moves down has helped make Carmella a force in NXT and to be a wrestler for her fans to look up to.
“I love interacting with the fans and being a positive role model for little girls,” she said. “I didn’t think I could become a wrestler, and I did it. I want them to know that whatever dreams they have, they can follow them as well.”
Once again, it is that time of year to decide who will be on the cover of the Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine, swimsuit issue. 21 veterans from last year’s team were in contention, and thousands of photos were narrowed down to the top 12. Click here to vote for your three favorites.
Dancers wait to enter the field before the 2016 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders final auditions held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Saturday May 21, 2016. 11th season of CMT’s “Making the Team” was being filmed during the auditions. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)
On the field, at games, and at auditions, we often see photos of the game faces and poses of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders — the ‘peak action’ they are so good at and are paid to do.
Shooting it is what we call fish in a barrel. The hair, the legs, the smiles, the bods, the moves … they are so perfect, polished and well-executed all the time that there’s usually little variation in the expected images, despite the ever-changing cast of cheerleaders.
Tryouts are another story. They offer a small glimpse of what is happening off the stage and because it’s more uncommon that is what interests me more. Not to be trite, but the best photojournalism is often about showing us more than we already know. Yes, really good photos of the commonplace are always fun to look at and any photos of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders will always be super popular with their fans. But to journalists, getting past the surface is our real challenge. Many readers will always want to know as much as they can about the cheerleaders, and would eat it up if we were able to visually:
• follow a cheerleader through a full game day
• be with someone when they got the news of making the team
• show how much the cheerleaders do all week to prepare and stay in shape
• show what other jobs some of the cheerleaders do when they aren’t cheerleading
• do videos or portraits and interviews where the cheerleaders explain why they want so badly to do this job
Andy Jacobsohn had a chance to shoot cheerleader auditions today and he turned in an array of photos covering both performance action and context.
Here are some of his peak action images, and some that begin to touch on the unexpected. [Photo Gallery]
On April 9th, the final audition was held for 2016-2017 Washington Redskins squad. Japanese native, Azusa made the team as one of eight rookies. The Washington DC area will be her new home for the next few years as she dances on the sidelines at FedEx Field in support of the burgundy and gold.
At the age of 5, Azusa started classical studio ballet in Tokyo. Since then, she has always loved dancing, performing and growing her technical abilities. In her college years in Canada, she didn’t have the opportunity to dance. She focused on her education but she missed performing and knew in the not so distant future that she would begin dancing once again. Her college degree landed her a reputable job for a major Japanese electrical company. Three years after she started working as a sales representative traveling to many countries like Germany, UK, Switzerland, Italy, China and Korea to conduct business, she began focusing on her love for dance again. She auditioned for IBM BigBlue cheerleaders, an American Football cheerleading team in Japan, and made it on her first attempt. From there her cheerleader life began.
In regards to cheerleading, Azusa said, “In the very beginning, I tried out because it looked like fun, but little by little, I was hooked.” During the summer of 2014, she took a Redskins Cheerleader workshop in Japan, which a former Japanese Redskins Cheerleader Maki Nakayama hosted. Then she started to think about trying out for the National Football League…with her eyes on the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. She wanted to as well prepared for the auditions as possible, so in addition to taking numerous dance classes in Tokyo, she also applied for a spot on Sideline Prep’s Professional Cheerleader Coaching Program. She received one-on-one and group advice from Sideline Prep, pro cheerleader alumni, and other participants in the group. This also enabled her to have the “inside scoop” on auditions on the east coast. It was a great support system for preparing to be a pro cheerleader.
In January 2016, she attended Sideline Prep’s Pro Cheer Audition Prep Workshop where she was able to learn from and meet the top coaches in the DC area. Then in March 2016, she flew to Washington D.C to attend prep classes and try out for the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. As Azusa thinks back to the auditions held at the beginning of April, she said “There was a moment where I exceeded my limit but I have always believed in myself and slowly but surely, I pushed myself through. After many hours of preparation and practice, now I’m happy to be a member of the First Ladies of the Football and can’t wait to perform at FedEx Field in front of fans!” Her journey as Redskins Cheerleader just has begun.
The offseason is a busy time for Patriots cheerleaders, but it’s even crazier for Cheerleader Jessica. After being crowned Miss New Hampshire in November, Jessica is set to compete in the Miss USA pageant beginning June 5.
Jessica is in her second season with the Patriots cheerleading squad, and though she just began competing in pageants four years ago, she is ready to represent New Hampshire on the national stage.
“New Hampshire has never won Miss USA, so I am there to make history,” Jessica said. “We haven’t placed in a very long time, and I’m ready to bring it home. I think New Hampshire has a lot more than people may think.”
This history has not hindered Jessica. In fact, she has consistently pushed back and fought to achieve the goals she has set for herself.
“I really pride myself on three words: drive, dedication and determination. This plays true with the Patriots. I tried out four times before I made the squad. I push through to get what I want,” she said. “My parents will say I’m a stubborn girl and I push to get what I want … Anything can happen as long as you stay driven and focused to believe you can get what you want. It’s still surreal that I’m going, but it’s an incredible journey that my friends, family and cheer sisters are going on with me.”
Her family with the New England Patriots, she said, has been crucial to her preparation for Miss USA. Jessica said she has received nothing but support and motivation from her fellow cheerleaders, Cheerleader Director Tracy Sormanti and the organization as a whole.
“The Patriots and the Kraft organization have been so supportive. Tracy is one my biggest cheerleaders. Sometimes people think girls are catty and jealous,” Jessica said. “I can tell you, my cheerleader sisterhood is so supportive. I wouldn’t be as confident as I am without them.”
Jessica said she has been tackling the mental part of the competition by getting in mindset that she has already won the crown.
“I feel like I’m Miss USA already. For the past couple of months, I’ve presented myself as if I were Miss USA,” she said. “You have to believe it, believe in yourself and believe things are possible in order for them to happen. I’m confident but not overly confident. I’ve worked hard for this.”
The Miss USA competition airs on Fox on June 5 at 7 p.m.
Told by doctors as a youth that she would never walk again, a determined and inspirational Jennifer Chang not only walks but dances and cheers, making the world-renowned Miami Dolphins cheerleading team.
It’s been some journey for the talented young lady.
She and her family (mom, dad, sister) defected from Cuba to Miami 11 years ago. They stayed with her uncle in Palmetto Bay. Assimilating to their new country, she learned a new language while learning to walk again.
Jennifer and her family overcame plenty, sticking together and supporting each other. During the final auditions for the Dolphins cheerleaders on Sunday, May 1, they proudly watched Jennifer make the team.
Final auditions for the 2016 version of the Dolphins cheerleaders were at the Miniaci Theater at Nova Southeastern University in (South Florida) Davie. The practice/training facility for the Dolphins’ football team is across the way.
Residing in Kendall and studying to be a nurse, Jennifer, 20, is a graduate of Palmetto Sr. High School and Miami Dade College.
Of 70 beautiful finalists, she was one of 40 selected for the team. They will attend the Dolphins Cheerleading Training Camp. There are no mandatory cuts at training camp, but if a team member does not attend or can not pick up the cheers/dances, she can be cut.
Twenty of the 70 who qualified for the finals were from other countries. The Dolphins became the first NFL team (and pro sports team) to host auditions internationally, traveling to Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eleven of the final 40 chosen were from the international auditions.
Dolphins cheerleading summary
The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders at the Miniaci Theater at Nova Southeastern University selected 40 lovely and talented women to advance as Training Camp Candidates. These ladies will participate in a seven-week boot camp that consists of workouts, etiquette training, team building, uniform fittings, look development and performance training. Cuts are not mandatory but are possible during training camp.
The 40 were selected from the largest turnout for Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Auditions.
More than 800 ladies registered to be the next Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, as the organization became the first NFL team (and pro sports team) to host auditions internationally, searching for enthusiastic, charismatic and talented women in Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and South Florida to represent one of the most prestigious teams in the NFL.
Jessica and Monica are two women with Miami roots who are firmly planted within the Miami Dolphins Cheerleading infrastructure.
Jessica was chosen for the squad on May 1 for the fifth consecutive year and Monica heard her named called for the fourth time.
Nothing is given. They again earned it.
Just because you were a member of the team the previous year does not automatically grant you a spot for next season’s team. There are no multi-year or guaranteed contacts with NFL cheerleaders. If you want to remain a member of the team, you have to tryout and show well.
Jessica and Monica did just that.
Jessica, a graduate of Ronald Reagan High School in Doral, is a college student.
Monica, a Braddock High School graduate, is a long-time cheerleader. Starting with the Tamiami Colts youth cheer program, she also cheered for Beckham Elementary School, W.R. Thomas Middle School and Braddock. She joined Heidi & Joe’s Dance Center, specializing in hip hop, jazz and tap. A flyer on the cheer team, she took gymnastics as well.
Very beautiful, Monica twice graced the cover of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar. Her mom, Lily, who cheered from the crowd for her at the audition finals on May 1, is very proud.