The Latest Super Week Photos From Social Media

Super Bowl week has arrived in full force in Houston with many, many related events going on.  Here are the latest batch of photos from Super Bowl week.

 

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

 

Japanese Cheerleader in NFL ‘Falls in Love’ with the Intense Experience

From The Mainichi News
(Mainichi Japan)

Azusa Hashizume (Photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins)

Azusa Hashizume is one of a growing number of Japanese cheerleaders busting their moves under the gaze of National Football League (NFL) crowds in the United States. However, she is a relative newcomer, having just marked one year since her audition for the cheer squad of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Hashizume recently spoke with the Mainichi Shimbun about her first season on the squad.

Hashizume was born in Tokyo in 1986, and began classic ballet lessons at a young age. In 2001, she spent a year at a performing arts school in Massachusetts, where she studied ballet and dance. After graduating from a private Tokyo high school, she crossed the Pacific once more, this time to attend Carleton University in Ottawa. After graduating four years later, she returned to Japan and got a job with an electronics maker.

Electronics is a long way from dance, and at 26, Hashizume says she thought to herself, “I love dance, so is there anything I can do where I’d be able to use my dance training?” She began hunting for just such an opportunity, and eventually found the cheerleading squads for teams belonging to X League, Japan’s American football league, on these teams’ websites.

Hashizume tried out, and won a spot in the cheerleading squad for the Big Blue American football team of IBM Japan.

In her third year of cheerleading, she took a trip to San Francisco, and while she was there took in the 49ers’ final home game of the season. She also got to see Big Blue alumni dancing with the NFL team’s Gold Rush cheerleading squad.

“It was amazing to see them (the cheerleaders) get every fan in a packed stadium really excited,” she says. From that moment on, Hashizume decided she would try to make it onto an NFL squad herself.

In 2015, she made it to the final tryout stage for one team, but didn’t quite make the cut. In 2016, she auditioned for a spot with the Washington Redskins, and made it. She hooked up with the full squad in May that year to start a training session ahead of the start of the NFL season in the autumn.

An NFL team’s regular season is 16 games long, and cheerleaders only appear at their team’s home games. As such, cheerleaders only get to show off their moves on-field 10 times a year, including pre-season games. If a team makes it into the playoffs, then of course there are more games and more chances to cheer. Washington, however, lost its final game of the regular season and fell short of the playoffs. And so Hashizume’s first year as an NFL cheerleader came to an end.

“Looking back after it’s over, it feels like it lasted only a moment. But it was a highly concentrated, really intense year,” Hashizume tells the Mainichi.

She added that, while cheering for Washington, she came to understand how deeply the locals loved their team. For home games, some 80,000 Washington fans would cram into FedEx Field stadium. They would all sing a traditional fight song when the home team scored a touchdown, and when the other team was on the attack, they would turn so noisy — a gambit to distract the opposition — it was impossible to hear even the person next to you. Hashizume says that being in that place, cheering with those throngs of passionate fans, meeting and spurring on their excitement, was an irreplaceable experience.

Hashizume also had plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with the fan base, as cheerleaders were required to join at least 20 public events during the year. She visited local schools and retirement homes, taught kids some of her cheerleading moves and tried to raise the spirits of the elderly. Through these appearances, Hashizume says she truly understood that cheerleading wasn’t just about performing, but about the importance of communication skills.

During one visit to a junior high school, Hashizume gave a speech in front of about 300 students about what makes for good interpersonal connections, and what makes a good person. As a non-native English speaker, she had a serious case of nerves about the talk. “But following the phrase ‘push the limit,’ I decided not to think, ‘This is impossible. I can’t do this.’ I focussed on getting one step beyond that moment, and expanded my communication skills in the process,” she says.

Hashizume says one of the things that made the biggest impression on her was the cheerleading team’s one-week visit to a U.S. military base in Bahrain. There, she met many U.S. troops who had at one time been posted to Japan, as well as Japanese spouses of U.S. personnel, so she got to reminisce about Japan quite a bit during her stay in the Persian Gulf nation.

Hashizume will audition for the Redskins’ cheerleading squad again this spring, saying she has “fallen in love” with both the team and cheerleading itself. She is ready to head into the next NFL season with fellow cheerleaders she respects and football players she adores, she says.

 

SI.com: Pro Bowl Cheerleaders

Si.com has posted a gallery of cheerleader images from the Pro Bowl.  Click here to view the gallery.

Today’s Round Up of Super Bowl Photos From Social Media

The Super Bowl is being played in Houston, Texas this coming Sunday and as you can imagine, there are a myriad of activities surrounding the event.  As the host team, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders are making the rounds and they have posted many, many photos from their appearances.  Over the course of Super Bowl week, we will be featuring many of their social media offerings.

 

The Line Up – Audition Tips: 15 Things to Consider for Your Pro Cheer Audition Outfit

The Line Up, a leading fitness apparel and dance team uniform designer, has published some helpful audition outfit tips for the aspiring professional cheerleader.  As a long time sponsor of UltimateCheerleaders.com, we are please to reprint their advice here and for more insightful tips, please visit their blog.

The Line Up Blog
Posted by Trista on Jan 26, 2017

Audtion tips for your pro cheer audition

Over the years, the tryout process for NFL cheerleaders and NBA dancers has become increasingly competitive and can feel very intimidating, even to the vet!  The key is to be prepared, do your research and be confident!  

To help, we’ve compiled a list of tips for your pro cheer audition outfit, pulled from the many years we’ve been outfitting pro cheerleaders and dancers!  From choosing a style to paying attention to the little details – we want you to help you be 110% confident!

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

1. Know the Expectations, Criteria and Tryout Process for the Team You Are Auditioning 

Make sure you are clear about audition apparel criteria. This will vary depending on the team.  Some teams require special attire such as briefs, not shorts. Or pants and a crop. It’s common for teams to specify the color of the attire to be worn (typically team colors.) Be sure to:

  • Visit your team’s website to get more information. Get details about clinics, information sessions and audition criteria. 
  • Attend prep clinics and info sessions. These are offered to help you prepare, get to know the expectations of the team, and get a feel for the audition process.  The more prepared you feel, the more confident you will feel at opens!
  • Adhere to the rules – it shows you did your research!

2. Dress the Part …

Just like a job interview, first impressions are important. Your goal is to be noticed for properly representing the team. Make sure you are an attraction, not a distraction! Get a feel for your team of choice by:

  • Studying videos and photos of the tryout process from the previous year. If most of the candidates accessorize with rhinestones, be prepared to add bling to your outfit. If most wear shorts instead of briefs, be prepared to do the same.
  • Consulting a veteran cheerleader/dancer. They have been through it before and can provide you with valuable tips. They might even have a bra top you could borrow for prep classes!

At the end of the day, you want the judges and coaches to say “I couldn’t tell if she was a rookie or a vet!”

3. … But Add Your Own Personal Flair

You want to dress the part, but also let your personality shine through!  The style possibilities are endless!  Create your own look by simply changing fabrics or mixing and matching tops and bottoms.   Navigate the choices by styling true to yourself.  

  • Choose a style that represents you.  Are you more girly? Consider a style with lace, sequin, or ruffles.  More sporty?  Consider a style with athletic mesh, side stripes, or criss-cross ties. 
  • Choose a color combination that you feel confident in! If you aren’t a pink girl, don’t wear it. If you are, have fun with it! The style and color combos say a lot about your personality. How do you want to be seen?


Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

4. Think Beyond the Colors You See Online

If you order an outfit ‘as is’  (the same style and color combination as seen online) you run the risk of seeing your outfit on someone else. So get creative!  Simple color changes or rhinestones can transform any style. 

5. Make Sure Your Outfit Is Balanced and Visually Appealing

You can pick the cutest style of top and bottom, but if the fabric selections aren’t quite right, even the most flattering garments will fail. Here are some suggestion for what works best:

  • Limit the color combinations to three colors or less. Trying to incorporate 4 or more colors can become busy and distracting.
  • Balance the colors of your top and bottom. To do this, make sure the colors of your top are incorporated into your bottom. If your bra band is blue, the waistband of your bottom should be blue. Or, if there’s a little pink on your strap, add some pink rhinestones on your bottom as well as the top! 

6. Fit Is Fashion

Proper fit is essential. If your garment does not fit properly, the focus will be on your flaws and not your flattering features. No one wants their skills to be ignored because a bra is peaking out!

  • Check the size chart before ordering.  Check your measurements against the manufacturer’s size chart in order to determine the right size. You might find your size varies from one company’s website to another!
  • If you are between sizes, go up a size! A garment that is too large can easily be taken in. A garment that is too small is hard to let out.  Also, pieces that are too small run the risk of pushing in in all the wrong places.

 

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

7. Wear Shoes that Elongate Your Leg

Research the required footwear for your team, or bring options.  Many teams require tan jazz shoes. However, if they do let you choose your own, avoid dark or heavy footwear.  It will look heavy and will distract from your form. A few flattering shoe choices include:

  • Nude jazz shoes – These are usually best, and will blend in and add length to your legs.
  • White boots – If these are allowed, choose a boot with a medium size heel you can dance in.  This heel will also add length.

8. Tights Are Common, but Not Always Required

Pro cheerleaders usually wear tights for performance, but they not always required for auditions.  So wear whatever feels comfortable for you!  One rule of thumb though: only wear tights that match your skin tone. No colors that are too dark or too light like white or black.  

Peavey is a well respected brand of tights, used by a lot of pro teams.  They come in a variety of skin tones, and are low rise.  Nude fishnets are another fun option! 

9. Consider Extra Support

Here’s a little secret: most pro cheerleaders wear a bra underneath their cute bra tops.  It’ll give you a little extra lift if you need it!  But be sure to select the proper bra: no lines, supportive, and stays hidden  in place beneath your outfit.  

 

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

10. Pin It In

Pin your bra to your top to ensure your bra straps or band doesn’t show. Even the clear straps! Clear means clear, not invisible.  We also know of a lot of ladies that pin their tights so they don’t peek out too!

11. Let’s Be Honest, Bra Pads Are Your Friend

Here’s another little secret:  take a peek at our models in the pro section of the store, and most of them are wearing Bravo pads.   They’re that secret accessory that will enhance your figure and fill out your tryout top. 

 

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

12. Add Sparkle as a Finishing Touch

Sparkle is popular for one very good reason: it’s eye catching!  It can also completely transform your outfit, and make a simple style more interesting. A few ways to add sparkle:

  • Rhinestones: They’ll give you the greatest amount of shine the greatest at a distance. Check out our How To Rhinestone Video Tutorial!
  • Sequin Encrusted Fabric: Try using zsa zsa (sequin fabric) in place of rhinestones. It creates an all-over sparkle and can be a more economical alternative to rhinestones!
  • Beaded Fringe: We’ve seen a few trend setting cheerleaders add their own fringe to their tops, for a little extra movement and flair!

13. Accessorize Appropriately!

Accessorize and add the finishing touches to show that you’ve thought through EVERYTHING. Literally head to toe, you are ready to be on this team. But whatever you do, don’t let it fall off!  

  • Rhinestone earrings – to add sparkle and frame your greatest asset: your smile!
  • A Cute belt – either as apart of your shorts, or tacked and pined in place!

Avoid anything distracting or that will get in your way while dancing though!  Avoid a lot of jewelry or things that will move around.  

 

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

14. You May Need More Than One Look

For many NFL and NBA dance teams there are multiple rounds of auditions, and many dancers like to wear different looks for each. Don’t worry about this breaking your budget though!  Consult your other tryout friends or alumni, and borrow a top or organize an outfit swap.  Save your special outfit for semi-finals or finals!

If you do make it to finals, you might need additional outfits!  Some teams have swimsuit or little black dress rounds.

15. Do a “Dress Rehearsal”

Do a “trial run” in your full outfit, hair, and makeup to ensure you are fully prepared, feeling your best, and everything stays in place. It’ll give you time to see if those straps are falling down or shorts are riding up so you can get a fix in place!  You don’t want your outfit to be a distraction for the judges or you.

 

Minnesota Vikings pro cheer auditions

Audition Photos via Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders

And most importantly, our best tip is CONFIDENCE.  The more prepared you feel, the more confident you will feel at opens!  Be proud of yourself for all you did to prep. Just showing up and putting yourself out there is impressive.

 

Shop Pro Tryout Apparel

 

Final Round Up of Pro Bowl Photos From Social Media

With the 2017 Pro Bowl come and gone and as we turn our attention to Super Bowl related activities, here’s the last and final batch of 2017 Pro Bowl photos from social media.

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2017 NBA All Star Dance Team – Washington Wizard Girl Emily T.

The Washington Wizard Girls have announced Emily T. as their 2017 NBA All Star Dance Team representative.

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Snapshots: Ladies of Ontario Fury – 01/26/17

A little known secret in professional sports is the MASL, an indoor soccer league composed of 17 teams that play a brand of soccer that can only be described as up tempo, fast break soccer.  It’s fast paced, high scoring and very exciting to watch.  It’s physical too! I saw a player get checked into the dasher boards and he was horizontal as he crashed into the corner.  He had to take a minute or two to compose himself…I bet he thought MASL soccer was non-contact.  Not hardly.

Many of the MASL squads have dance teams.  Of course, being from Los Angeles, my team is the Ontario Fury and they have a very special dance team…the Ladies of Ontario Fury.  When January and February come around, I like to spend some quality time with the Ladies of Ontario Fury.  This past Friday, I attended the Ontario Fury game against the Dallas Sidekicks game.  And let me tell you, that game was an exciting, back and forth affair that only ended with an overtime goal by the home team.

Final Score: Ontario Fury – 11, Dallas Sidekicks – 10 OT

What I like about going to a Fury game is that you can get up close and personal to watch the game and get up close and personal with the Ladies of Ontario Fury.  Indoor soccer is an intimate game…wink! wink!

So let’s take a look at some snapshots that I took at the game.

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There are many more photos after the break, including photos of their special country themed halftime performance.

Continue reading Snapshots: Ladies of Ontario Fury – 01/26/17

The Latest Round Up of Pro Bowl Photos From Social Media

Here’s the latest batch of Pro Bowl photos from social media.

 

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2017 NBA All Star Dance Team – San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer Erika

The San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers have announced Erika as their 2017 NBA All Star Dance Team representative.

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Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

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Today we launch a new feature…the Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day….because we just can’t get enough of our NBA Dance Teams!  Isn’t social media fun?

2017 NBA All Star Dance Team – Miami Heat Dancer Teressa

The Miami Heat Dancers have announced Teressa as their 2017 NBA All Star Dance Team representative.

Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders in Hong Kong

The Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders are in Hong Kong to help celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year and here are some photos from their international escapades.  Check back here regularly as we update this page with their further exploits in H.K.

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2017 NBA All Star Dance Team – Indiana Pacemate Dancer Kayla

The Indiana Pacemates have announced Kayla as their 2017 NBA All Star Dance Team representative.

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