Chicago Blitz Girlz prep class on February 18th

Chicago Blitz Prep Class 1 2016

The Chicago Blitz, a proud member of the American Indoor Football League, will be looking for members for their professional dance team. Jenny Hinz, the Director of the Chicago Blitz Girlz informs us of their upcoming prep class, and additional information is below:

Are you ready to be part of a ‪#‎worldclassdanceteam‬?

The Chicago Blitz Dancers have officially announced their prep class!
Date: Thursday February 18
Time: 8:30-1030pm
Location: Dovetail Dance Studio (2853 W Montrose Ave, 60618 )
Email with any questions
Meet the director, learn some audition choreography early, get pointers, and get your questions answered for $15. Bring your smiles, we will be photographing!
‪#‎blitzgirlz‬ ‪#‎chicagoblitzdancers‬ ‪#‎dance‬ Chicago Blitz

Code Red Pro Dance Team Auditions on March 5th

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Saturday March 5, 2016 @ 3:30pm Location: Woodland Community Center Park 212 Parkview St. Houston TX 77009
(InThe Height’s) Registration Starts @ 2:30pm

Code Red is an energetic dance squad that ignites the crowd at any event with elements of street jazz, two-step, Funk,hip hop dance, and gymnastics. The talented men and women of Code Red Cheer & Dance Team work hard to keep the crowd pumped up and to make sure you feel the action and excitement of the game at your seat to give the team that extra “push” during key on-Field action.


* Open auditions are closed to the public, family, and friends

* This round will consists of a series of 2-3 eliminations that will include, freestyle, stylized choreography and Mix choreography

* Finalists will be chosen and announced at the end of the day

* We recommend that you bring snacks, water and any items to freshen up between rounds

* Candidates will be judged on appearance, dance ability, style, strength and completion of choreography, energy, projection and potential

Audition Requirements

* Must be 17 years or older and (valid photo I.D. required)
* Must be a full/Part time college student or hold a full/Part time job
* Completed Application, release form and professional/dance resume
* Must be able to attend Energy home games & all evening rehearsals two times a week
* Must be able to attend a certain number of appearances & other related Code Red activities
* If selected to the team, a one year contract and commitment are required
* Must provide one non-returnable head-shot color photo & full body photo
* Drug test screening for finalists & back ground checks
* Walk ups day of auditions are also welcomed
*$10 non refundable Registration Fee Cash Or Money order Please day of Audition

What to wear: Wear what you look the best in at all times!
* Dance or athletic half-top
* Girls Hot pants, booty shorts, boy shorts, skirts – two piece dance ensemble (must be fitted, no full length pants or capri pants) Boys Dance or athletic wear
* Sneakers or danceable shoe of preference with non-marking soles (please no black soles)
* Flesh tone hose or tights
* Performance ready hair and make-up

What we’re looking for:
* Confidence, personality, showmanship, energy and enthusiasm
* Professionalism and maturity
* Dancers who are well spoken and can represent the Houston Energy and Code Red in a professional manner at all times
* Ability to pick up dance choreography quickly
* Consistent positive attitude
* Strong teamwork skills
* Personal appearance
* Ability and desire to commit for one full year

Houston Energy Football
Code Red Pro Dance Team
Coach A.P.

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Jacksonville natives cheer for Panthers

By Amanda Thames
The Daily News – Jacksonville, NC
January 24, 2015

Two Jacksonville natives will be among the many cheering for the Carolina Panthers this weekend — the difference is they’ll be on the field.

Friends since elementary school, Aliscia Taplin and Annalise Coleman are both TopCats cheerleaders.

The two were both dancers and cheerleaders from a young age, and the first time the two girls remember spending time together was at a friend’s house where their families were watching a Panthers game.

Their families still watch the games, but now they’re in the stands and pay more attention to the cheerleaders than the football team.

Aliscia Taplin

Annalise black

Both girls are enjoying their first year as TopCats during one of the Panthers’ best seasons in the team’s history. The football players are hosting the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals today, and the TopCats will perform during halftime.

Annalise’s mother Vanessa Coleman said she asked about Sunday’s game in hopes of learning more about a possible Panthers Super Bowl game, but her daugher wouldn’t talk.

“They don’t want to jinx it,” Vanessa said, laughing. “They just want to get out there and win.”

Vanessa will be wearing her lucky Panthers earrings and socks at today’s game.

Out of the 28 on the squad, Annalise and Aliscia share Jacksonville roots and are in the same group of six on the sidelines that cheer together every game.

Aliscia graduated from Northside High School in 2010 where she was captain of the cheerleading squad. She started cheering at the age of 5, according to her mother Valerie Taplin, and her mom immediately saw that cheering would be a part of her future.

“Her hands were straight. She stood out from the other girls,” Valerie said. “That’s when I knew.”

Aliscia was known as a “silent leader,” Valerie said. “Others looked to her as an example because she was a good cheerleader.”

Vanessa said Annalise also showed early talent.

“Her preschool teacher rated her ‘Gifted in Rhythm’ at 4 years old,” she said.

Annalise has a long history of dancing, including ballet, pointe, jazz and modern dance. Vanessa Coleman has more than 170 of her daughter’s trophies in her home. Dancing is her passion, Vanessa said, and she’d wanted to be a TopCat for years.

“We went to a Panthers game when Annalise was 17. She watched the cheerleaders and she said, ‘Mom, I’m going to do this,’” Vanessa said.

It wasn’t a straight shot to the Panthers’ field for either girl, though.

Aliscia originally planned to join the U.S. Air Force. She was set to leave on a Tuesday but the Sunday before, she changed her mind. Aliscia told her mother she wanted to be a TopCat. Valerie said some people take rejection and settle for another, easier-to-achieve goal, but not her daughter.

“It really inspires me because she believed in her dream even when things weren’t going her way,” Valerie said.

Aliscia told Annalise she was trying out for the squad again and shared tips with her friend about the auditioning process. Annalise was teaching at a dance studio and double majoring in public health education and dance at UNC-Greensboro, and decided to join Aliscia and try out for the 2015 squad.

Richelle Williams, the TopCats manager and choreographer, said she’s had a great season with Aliscia and Annalise on the squad.

“When you speak with them, when you watch them perform, it’s hard to say to yourself, ‘They’re rookies,’ because the learning curve was not that big for them,” Williams said.

Now both girls practice three hours once per week and another three hours the day before each game, getting ready to pump up the crowd at the Panthers’ games.

“They’re quiet, they come in and learn and they get the job done,” Williams said. “I appreciate that.”

To prepare for games, Aliscia focuses on her plate. At the beginning of the season, Aliscia researched the best foods for energy and what foods would keep her body in the best shape. She also said prayer has been the most consistent thing she’s done throughout the season.

“The reason I’m dancing is because of God,” Aliscia said, adding that it was a spiritual feeling to be out on the field.

Quiet by nature, Aliscia said she shows more personality when she’s cheering for thousands than she shows in one-on-one conversations.

“When I’m out in front of the crowd and dancing it’s a certain type of freedom,” Aliscia said. “It’s the rush and the excitement of it.”

The cheerleaders sign contracts for the season, and Vanessa said the contracts state they are not allowed to mingle with the football players. Annalise has had a couple of close-up encounters, though.

During one play, Luke Kuechly was running straight for her and Annalise told Vanessa later, “Mom, he was so big!” Vanessa said, laughing.

Aliscia white

Annalise blue

The girls do appearances and sign autographs as part of the squad, representing the Panthers organization. Aliscia said her favorite event was celebrating with fans as the 50-foot Christmas tree was lit up outside the Panthers stadium. It was a family event, and Aliscia is all about family. Her mother is one of her biggest supporters.

“I’m not really a football fan,” Valerie said, laughing, “but this year I would definitely call myself a Panthers fan. It’s all about those cheerleaders.”

Each year, veteran cheerleader or newcomer, the girls have to re-tryout for the TopCats squad. Aliscia said she’ll be there and hopes to be back on the field for the 2016 season.

“I just want to dance for as long as my body will let me,” Aliscia said.

For any local dancers and cheerleaders interested in trying out for the TopCats, Williams said to attend the TopCats Audition Clinic. The clinic gives an inside look at what it takes to be a TopCat and helps girls choose whether it’s a good fit for them.

The clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The cost is $185 and open to girls age 21 and older.

Swaggy P weighs in on dancing for the NFL vs the NBA

laurenDancing in the NBA…and the NFL
by Mike Trudell
Los Angeles Lakers
January 24, 2016

What’s the difference between dancing for an NBA team, and cheering for an NFL squad?

Well, Nick Young doesn’t really know, but that didn’t stop him from speculating extensively and randomly on the topic!

To balance things out with some actual insight, we enlisted first year Laker Girl Lauren, who used to cheer for the New Orleans Saints.

Below is a transcription of separate interviews with Swaggy P and Lauren:

Q: How does the audition process compare for NBA team vs. NFL teams?
Swaggy: I think they all find fliers and stuff on Instagram and Twitter to find out. It’s probably harder to be a Laker Girl because there’s more variety in L.A. and it’s a different stage. There are just more ladies, you know what I’m saying!
Lauren: The auditions were actually very similar, I must say, with some slight differences. There were a lot more girls auditioning for the Lakers Girls, which made it more competitive. With the Saints, it was a little longer of a process, lasting a full week, but it still had the preliminary round, with cuts through the day. We had to take a football test to make sure we knew the game, including naming all 32 teams. I did get all of them (after studying), but I’d known nothing about football before I cheered for the Saints. That did make me gain a love for it.

Q: How did you find out you made both teams?
Swaggy: I always wanted them to put it up on a sign, and be able to see my name on a list somewhere. Probably outside the arena on a wall or something. You know?
Lauren: One sweet touch with the Lakers that was nice is that (Lakers Director, Game Operations and Entertainment) Lisa (Estrada) calls each girl individually to let them know if they made the team or not. I was at the beach at the time – because that’s my happy place – just hoping for the best. Lisa called, and she thanked me for my time and coming out and told me she had a position for me. I was very, very happy. The Saints posted it online. I was in school at the time, in class, refreshing the Saints website until I found out. I think I got a text from my dad letting me know that they’d updated it and I’d made it.

laurensaintsQ: Is there a difference between dancing and cheering?
Swaggy: Yes. Big difference. With cheering they have the permanent smile. It’s more nice. Make me happy, make you all happy. Dancing sometimes you just get your groove on. I can dance. I’m kinda like Michael Jackson. I’m the king of the dancing video games, actually. I’m good.
Lauren: They’re both dance teams that require technical training. I was a cheerleader in high school, where you have the tumbling and stunting and all that. We don’t do that here, where it’s more high-energy routines. One thing that’s completely different about the NFL is dancing with pom poms. I’m had to get used to my hand placement here with the Lakers, because you don’t think about it like that (with pom poms). The pom poms probably made us look more like cheerleaders, but since there are so many people in the dome, it was a visual for people especially sitting up high. But yes, you have choreographed routines for both the NFL and the NBA, though we dance more with the Lakers.

Q: What is the game day experience like in the respective sports?
Swaggy: They probably listen to some crunk music to get fired up to dance. But for cheering maybe it’s make up and hair first. But the dancers may have to get more, like, ready for game day. But the Laker Girls are also classy. They’re doing their thing!
Lauren: It’s a much longer season in the NBA, and a lot smaller of a team. There are 22 of us Laker Girls, and we had 36 on the Saints, which made it really, really different. I know when I first made the Lakers, it felt so much smaller and more close knit. You’re able to build relationships a little easier, being that it’s a smaller team. You get to know every girl on the team. Game day experience wise, Staples Center is also smaller and more intimate than the Superdome, because you’re much closer. In the Superdome, we were standing far away from the fans, and I could barely make out any faces in the crowd.

Q: Why did you want to become a Laker Girl?
Swaggy: (Editor’s note: Swag was not asked this question, but his response probably would have been: “I’m not a Laker Girl tho.”)
Lauren: I always wanted to move to L.A. and audition for the Laker Girls, and (current Laker Girl) Karla and I used to dance together in Atlanta, and I reached out to her and asked her about it. She told me about her experience, and it just seemed like a really good fit for me. There can be an image tied to a lot of professional teams, and it can be hard to find a team with class. There are very few teams I’d actually go out for, and the Saints and Lakers are two of them. There is something very traditional about the Laker Girls that hasn’t changed, and it’s very refreshing to have that class, and have girls that are so smart. All these girls are very driven and very smart with lives outside of this.* You’d be amazed: these girls have substance. I’m probably going to do it until I can’t do it anymore, because I love it and you only live once. *Lauren is an entertainment coordinator for L.A. Fashion Week.

Q: How do the practices to get ready for games go?
Swaggy: I think there’s a difference … don’t the NFL cheerleaders have to practice on the field so maybe they need cleats? It’s kinda tough to dance in cleats, so, yeah. But the NBA can be in the gym … but also, they probably practice more hours and they have more games.
Lauren: It’s very similar, as we actually practiced Tuesday and Thursday in New Orleans, and Tuesday and Thursday for the Lakers if we don’t have a game. They last around the same amount of time.

Q: What athletes are more impressive?
Swaggy: Basketball players obviously. You really have to be an athlete … football you just have to get buff and run. I think it’s harder to be in the NBA than the NFL … but I like people to see me. Faces out! In football, you’re covered by a helmet.
Lauren: Now that I’m getting more comfortable I’m able to watch a bit more of the action. In my first few games, I was thinking more about the next routine: the formation, the counts and everything. I was a nervous wreck my first few games. But now I’m able to actually watch and relax and enjoy it more.

Q: Difference in the fans?
Swaggy: Well, L.A. is L.A. They’re the best, obviously. I don’t know the Saints fans or NFL fans as much.
Lauren: The fans are equally as loyal. Lakers fans are great, and they really get into the game. If there’s a little girl, I can actually make eye contact with her and wave, and that’s a special kind of interaction that you don’t get as much in football.

SI Cheerleader of the Week: Hannah from the St. Louis Rams

Click here to check out 3rd year veteran Hannah’s gallery on Sports Illustrated.

2015 SI Cheerofweek_Hannah

Raiderette Vintage Goodness

Thank you very much to Patrick, for directing us to this amazing photo of the 1961 Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders. The hat, the fishnets, the sash, the corset, the polka dots…what I wouldn’t give to see this in color.

The Raiders’ cheerleaders perform at a game on Sept. 26, 1961, at Candlestick Park.

Click here to check out the article that goes with, “Raiders’ home headaches: From 1960 in S.F. to today”.

2015-16 Westchester Knicks Dancers

The Westchester Knicks Dancers have posted photos of the new squad:


[Westchester Knicks Dancers]

[WCK Dancers on Twitter]

Sea Gal Melanie: Blonde Hair, High Kicks And Football

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

By Jayme Lamm
CBS Local
January 21, 2016

She may be born a California girl, but Sea Gals cheerleader Melanie has no problem fitting in in Seattle, particularly on the sidelines of Seahawks games. She’s now in her fifth straight year cheering on the team.*

In our exclusive interview with Melanie, she tells us what it’s like cheering on the sidelines for a Super Bowl win, her incredibly hectic day-to-day life (which may explain why it’s been five-plus years since her last vacation), her yearlong Christmas spirit and more much.
Sea Gal Melanie Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

CBS Local Sports: Where are you originally from?

Melanie: Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

CBS: Years on team?

M: I am lucky enough to say this is my fifth season with the Sea Gals.

CBS: Occupation or School?

M: I currently work as a sales coordinator in the travel industry.

CBS: Give me details about your day-to-day life:

M: My day-to-day routine is non-stop! I love starting my day with a workout, so I usually will wake up about 5:45am when I do. Then it’s off to work, which keeps me busy all day. Luckily two days a week I get to work from home (this is when I can squeeze in tidying up the mayhem in my house and do a little laundry!). After work, if I didn’t get a good sweat in yet and it’s not a practice day, I’ll head to the gym or some sort of fitness class. Most always, I have SOMETHING after work I’ve scheduled for myself. Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s straight from work to Sea Gal practice. We can have some pretty late nights too — sometimes after 11pm! Other days after work I’m usually rushing off to a Sea Gal appearance, work event, the gym or social event. I actually just realized I have not taken a real vacation in over five years! I do love keeping myself busy, but I definitely appreciate when I have a day off — a rare occasion!

CBS: Have you ever gone onto the field and forgotten your routine?

M:I have not forgotten an entire routine on the field, thank goodness. But I have had moments of sheer panic when we are on the field waiting to perform and I forget a part of the dance (or so I think) and the music comes on and I’m saved by my muscle memory! This is when I am very thankful for all those late night practices!
Sea Gal Melanie Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

CBS: If you had a Real Housewives intro, what would yours be?

M: ‘Never underestimate a woman with blonde hair and a high kick.’ OR ‘You can do anything you set your mind to, especially when you have a squad of incredible women by your side.’

CBS: Miley, Taylor or Beyoncé?

M: Beyoncé for sure!

CBS: What song instantly puts you in a good mood?

M: ‘All I Want for Christmas’ by Mariah Carey. Yes, I’m guilty of listening to Christmas music yearlong!

CBS: If I gave you two plane tickets anywhere in the world — where are you going and who are you taking?

M: I would take my mom and tell her to pick anywhere she wants to go.

CBS: Favorite thing about your city?

M: I can’t choose just one so my first favorite thing about Seattle is the amount of enthusiasm and camaraderie for our Sports — specifically the Seahawks. It’s actually weird if you live in Seattle and are not a Seahawks fan. My second favorite thing is its beauty. Not to mention, the mountains, ocean and lakes are all so close. There are so many things to see and do in and out of this city!
Sea Gal Melanie Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

CBS: When I say the letter ‘T,’ what’s the first word that comes to mind?

M: Time — I need more of it!

CBS: App you use most?

M: Instagram or Snapchat — guilty, time-consuming pleasures!

CBS: If you could go to dinner with any celebrity/athlete?

M: Hands down, Ellen DeGeneres. She’s absolutely hilarious, smart, kind and humble. I would love to see what she’s like in person in a causal setting.

CBS: During the offseason, what does your perfect Sunday look like?

M: I absolutely love football Sundays, but when season has come to a close, the perfect Sunday will consist of sleeping in a bit, relaxing with some coffee on the deck or couch, and not having to be anywhere. I would be most content spending time with loved ones, doing something active outdoors or just lounging around watching movies.

CBS: Heels or flats?

M: Day-to-day, flats for sure. But don’t get me wrong, I love heels when I get dressed up or some cute heeled booties!

CBS: What’s your one (top-secret until now!) beauty hack or trick?

M:Eyelash extensions! They save me so much time getting ready and look so good (when done right). They are definitely worth it!
Sea Gal Melanie Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks

CBS: Tell me something about you people would find completely interesting?

M: I am the lightest sleeper ever! I have to wear earplugs almost every night to shut out any sound, even if there is none!

CBS: A quote or mantra you’re totally vibing?

M: ‘Someday everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.’

CBS: Fill in these sentences:

CBS: I wish more people in this world would…

M: Be kind to one another.

CBS: I can’t get enough…

M: Of my family and friends. They’re my world.

CBS: Yoga pants…

M: Are the best invention for women.

CBS: The single coolest moment as an NFL cheerleader…

M: Was being on the sideline as we won the 2014 Super Bowl.

CBS: What I love most about myself is…

M: I work hard, laugh often and always make time for the things that matter in life.

Follow Sea Gal Melanie on Facebook @ Sea Gal Melanie and Twitter @SeaGalMelanie.

** Correction: This isn’t Melanie’s “fifth straight year cheering on the team.” She is a 5th year veteran, but it hasn’t been five years in a row. Melanie was a Sea Gal for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. Then she was a San Diego Charger Girl for the 2009-10 NFL season, returning to the Sea Gals for the 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 seasons. ~sasha

Z Pro Prep in Atlanta and Charlotte



Colts Cheerleaders to Represent the U.S. in Hong Kong

Hong Kong selects Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders to represent the U.S. at the 21st annual Cathay Pacific Lunar New Year Celebrations.


Hong Kong is set to kick off the world’s largest and internationally televised Chinese New Year celebration. On February 8th, award-winning performance groups from around the globe will gather in Asia’s World City to participate in this year’s Chinese New Year festivities. Today, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced its selection of the National Football League’s (NFL) Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders as the performance group representing the U.S. in Hong Kong.


“We are honored to have our Cheerleaders selected to represent our country, Indiana and the National Football League in Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year Celebration,” said Pete Ward, chief operating officer for the Indianapolis Colts. “Our cheerleaders are tremendous ambassadors for our organization and we are excited to have them share the spirit of the horseshoe on an international stage.”

This marks the first visit to Hong Kong for the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders. As part of the event, the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders will unveil a brand-new performance exclusive to the world-renowned Chinese New Year Parade.

Headlined by the award-winning Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Parade in Kowloon, and Chinese New Year Fireworks Display on the iconic Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong is set to welcome the “Year of the Monkey” – the ninth sign in the Chinese Zodiac symbolizing riches, honor and luck for 2016.

“Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year celebration has been recognized as a world-class event as thousands of international visitors celebrate the sophistication and rich traditions that only Asia’s World City can offer,” said Bill Flora, U.S. Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. “With Hong Kong’s East-meets-West culture, it’s only fitting that we bring a performance group from one of the largest sports organizations in the U.S. Fans and visitors will get a chance to watch the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders perform in Hong Kong for the first time during the festivities.”

The award-winning Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Parade kicks off Hong Kong’s festivities on the first day of Chinese New Year (February 8), bringing an extravagant procession of embellished floats and international performers to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Celebrating its 21st year with the theme “Playground of the World. Party of the Year.” the Night Parade is set to feature an extensive roster of critically-acclaimed performances by world-renowned talents, including the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders.

Following the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders’ Hong Kong debut, the celebration rolls on as Hong Kong’s annual Chinese New Year Fireworks display engulfs the breathtaking skyline of Victoria Harbour on February 9, 2016.

Rigdon heading to Hawaii for Pro Bowl

Tina Pro Bowl

The Ledger Independent
January 21, 2015

Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader Tina Rigdon will be heading to Honolulu, Hawaii Monday to cheer in the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl, but don’t think it will be all fun and games while there.

In fact, the six days she will be in Hawaii are already packed full with rehearsals, public appearances, NFL promotion events and visiting military service men and women, leaving little time for leisure.

Tina doesn’t mind the fact she won’t have a lot of down time during this once in a lifetime experience. Being a veteran cheerleader with the Cincinnati Bengals, she understands the importance of her selection to represent her team and the duties that come with it.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 31. One cheerleader was selected from each NFL team, however, five NFL teams don’t have cheer squads, so rather than 32 cheerleaders, she is one of 27.

TinaHer duties include a lot more than just learning one or two dance/cheer routines for the game, and she will spend upwards of six hours a day practicing.

For starters, her wardrobe is to represent her team colors at all times, from her evening attire to her bathing suit. She will take four suitcases on the trip: two will be carry-on items because they will contain her Ben-Gals cheer outfits, and they can’t be checked luggage. She is to take one white and one black dress, with the coordinating jewelry for each to be in the Bengals colors; she is also required to take one dress in the team colors.

“We have to act very professionally while we’re out,” she said. “We always visit the troops, that’s always pretty big.”

She will learn three “rows” right off, which will determine her placement within the squad on the sidelines. After that, she will learn two dance routines, which will be practiced everyday. In between those practices, she is on duty for all but about two hours of her day, with her last events in the evenings wrapping up around 9 o’clock.

She’s also been asked by her coaching staff to make a daily video diary, which will be posted to the Bengals’ website.

“I’m surprised by how much practice time we are having. But they do treat you so, so good,” she said, referring to her trip to Japan in January 2015. During that trip she was one of four NFL cheerleaders selected to meet and greet U.S. Army service men and women during a nine day promotional tour.

The process to be selected for the Pro Bowl is done on a point scale in which each member of the squad and the coaches cast a vote for their top three choices of the 24 women on the squad, she explained. The number one spot earns three points, the second place spot earns two points and the third spot earns one point. The point system is part of the overall process which also includes scores on leadership skills, mentoring service, speaking and presentation skills.

2015 Bengals_Tina Rigdon2“They look for everything,” she said of the criteria.

The announcement of her selection was made during the Dec. 13 home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. She said now that she is captain of her particular squad, she has other duties throughout the game, which kept her from watching the announcement on the scoreboard near the end of the game.

She said as the football players and coaching staff went into the tunnel after the game, she was congratulated by Andrew Whitworth and one of the coaching staff.

“It was like wow, he knows who I am,” she said of Whitworth’s acknowledgement of her selection.

In addition to the fun and prestige of cheering at the Pro Bowl, Tina will also receive an engraved ring with her name, the date of the game, etc. She said it isn’t quite as fancy as the ones given to players, but it is special nonetheless. She said her toughest choice is whether she wants the ring in gold or silver.

In regard to her future with the Ben-Gals, she said it is tradition for a Pro Bowl cheerleader to return to her squad the next year, so yes, she plans to return for the 2016-2017 season. Beyond that, she said she’ll wait and see what the future holds. She said she is the oldest cheerleader on the Pro Bowl squad at the age of 37, with the average age of the others being 25.

But if there is one thing for certain about her experience as a Ben-Gals cheerleader, she has developed a tight network of girlfriends over the years.

“It is definitely a unique sisterhood, some of my closet friends have come from this experience. And now I will be making new friendships,” she said.

Dolphins Become First NFL Franchise To Host Multiple International Cheerleader Auditions
January 21, 2016

International 2016 MDC Auditions

The Miami Dolphins will host cheerleader auditions in Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Dolphins also will continue to host auditions in South Florida. The team will canvas Latin America in search of adding enthusiastic, charismatic and talented women to represent one of the most prestigious brands in the NFL.

“Miami is the gateway to Latin America and the Miami Dolphins are a global brand. We are excited to combine the beauty we have in South Florida with the ladies we meet in Latin America in hopes of forming a truly international squad,” said Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Entertainment & Brand Impact Dorie Grogan.

One of the most visible entertainment groups in all of professional sports, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have traveled to more than 30 countries on five continents over the past decade and continue to be an iconic and international face of NFL Cheerleaders. The cheerleaders are on the sidelines for all home games and are extremely active in the community; visiting schools and hospitals, as well as charity and corporate events.

Ladies at least 18 years old by May 1, 2016 and high school graduates by June 1, 2016 with a valid passport for travel are welcome to register for auditions. The following are the dates and locations for auditions:

March 3 – JW Marriott Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
March 6 – Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel y Centro de Convenciones – Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 12 – Universidad la Salle – Mexico City, Mexico
April 2 – Four Points by Sheraton – Bogota, Colombia
April 23 – Doctors Hospital Training Facility – South Florida

A select few ladies will make it to Final Auditions, scheduled for May 1 at Nova Southeastern University.

For further information or to register for auditions, please visit

Small-Town Cheerleader In The ATL: Nicole B. Interview

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

By Jayme Lamm
CBS Local
January 21, 2016

Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Nicole B. hails from a small town. And she uses that small-town upbringing to leverage her big-time values in the big city. Moving from tiny Covington, Georgia to sprawling Atlanta, Nicole brought her mom’s wise words, her faith and her “jokes for days.” And she has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

The 5’8 blonde bombshell just celebrated her second year on the squad. Within moments of chatting with her, it’s obvious that no obstacle can get her down. Want proof? She tried out to be a Falcons cheerleader WITH A BROKEN ARM, and still made the team.

CBS Local Sports chatted with Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Nicole B:

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

CBS Local Sports: Where are you from?

Nicole B.: I am from a small, country town called Covington, Georgia, and I now currently reside in the big city of Atlanta, Georgia.

CBS: Years on team?

NB: Two wonderful, exciting years. I had wanted to tryout for the Falcons since I first turned 18. I put it off and finally decided to go for it one year. I told myself that I would try out, and if I didn’t make it, it would just be practice for next year. Little did I know during a hectic week of tryouts I would break my elbow the night before final auditions. I walked in completely dressed ready to audition with a cast and sling on my left arm.
I broke it tumbling, something I had done for years. I told the coaches, and they told me if it was my year, I would make it. They told me to do my best. I was nervous and confused. I thought they would no longer want me, but I did it. I did the best I could with a cast and I made it. I was actually the last name called, so it was a bittersweet moment for me. One I will never forget.

CBS: Give me details about your day-to-day life?

NB: I am a full-time student at Georgia State University. My major is Journalism, with a focus in telecommunications, and a minor in speech. I am an aspiring sports broadcaster. My day-to-day life consists of going to school Monday through Friday. I have practices on Tuesday and Thursday night for three hours. I like to fit in either Flywheel or Flybarre classes during the week when I can, in between classes. When I am not at school, studying, doing homework, practicing, working out or doing Falcons appearances, I also model. I have done television shows, commercials, print work and promotional modeling. I also love spending time with my friends on the weekend. I am very busy, but I like it that way!

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

CBS: Have you ever gone onto the field and forgotten your routine?

NB: I actually have! (Shhh… Don’t tell my coaches!) Sometimes the adrenaline and the crowd noise and excitement gets to me, and I have forgotten a little of my dance. But I caught right back up. I am not sure if it was even noticeable. I just remember being in the moment and going OMG my mind when blank. But honestly it happens to most of us at least once, and we end up laughing about it later.

CBS: If you had a reality TV show, what channel would it be on?

NB: If I had my own television show, my family, close friends and boyfriend would say Comedy Central, because I have jokes for days. But if it was up to me, I would love it to be on E. I would want it to be on myself, my family and daily life. My family is so fun and crazy. And we love traveling, and we all crack each other up. I also do stuff daily that I’m like, if other people were watching me, they would think this girl and her life is nothing like I would expect it to be.

CBS: Miley, Taylor or Beyonce?

NB: Beyonce without a doubt. Have you seen that girl dance? She has moves for days. But seriously, I love her energy and genuine personality. She is so real and such an inspiration. I remember watching her biography on TV, and it only made me love her that much more. She has such a passion for what she does, and she does it so well. She is THE fiercest!

CBS: What song instantly puts you in a good mood?

NB: Gosh there are so many, but I would probably have to choose a Beyonce song. ‘Run The World (Girls)’ is one of my favorite Beyonce songs. It instantly puts me in a good mood, and whether I am driving or in a dressing room, if I hear that song, the dance moves come out.

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

CBS: If I gave you two plane tickets anywhere in the world — where are you going and who are you taking?

NB: I am taking my mom and we are going to Bora Bora. That is my dream vacation spot. The beach is my favorite place, and the pictures of Bora Bora make me fall in love!

CBS: Favorite thing about your city?

NB: My favorite thing isn’t just one thing. I love that there is so much to do in Atlanta. There are so many tourist things you can do it’s like you can never do them all. We have some amazing restaurants, and awesome places like TopGolf, an amazing Aquarium and sports events. We have tons of festivals and concerts. Atlanta is always full of excitement and always has something that you can look forward to.

CBS: When I say the letter “T” what’s the first word that comes to mind?

NB: Taylor. That is my younger sister’s name! She is one of my best friends.

CBS: App you use the most?

NB: Instagram. I love looking at pictures, and cool vacation/traveling pictures.

CBS: If you could go to dinner with any celebrity/athlete, who and why?

NB: Chrissy Teigen. I love her energy. She is hilarious, and the girl loves to eat. And so do I. She also posts some of the funniest things to social media. I stay laughing at her. She doesn’t care what people think, and I like that about her. She doesn’t take life too serious, and she doesn’t let fame change who she is. I think that makes her even more beautiful than she already is.

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

Photo Credit: Art Morrison

CBS: During the offseason, what does your perfect Sunday look like?

NB: Getting up and going to church. After church I stuff my face with some good ole Mexican food. Then I either lay out and have a pool day, or if it is raining, I like to turn on the TV and crawl up in bed with a big blanket and watch movies all day.

CBS: Heels or flats?

NB: Flats for sure. I love comfy shoes. I could wear Nike Roshes every day of my life!

CBS: Best advice you’ve ever been given but ignored?

NB: That if my plan for something in my life doesn’t work out, don’t try to force it and make it happen, but instead trust God. His plan will always be perfect. We may not see it at the time, but if we trust Him, He will make all things new and great in our lives. Wise words from my mama.

CBS: What’s your one (top-secret until now!) beauty hack or trick?

NB: I wash my face every day. If I don’t it will break out. My secret is when I get a bump on my face; I put a small amount of toothpaste on it and leave it overnight. It’s gone by morning. Works every time!

NB: Tell me something about you people would find completely interesting/out of character?

NB: I hate wearing makeup. If I had a choice I would never wear it. Eye shadow itches my eyes, and I feel like my face is sticky and gross when I put foundation on. I would rather wear none at all ever.

CBS: A quote or mantra you’re totally vibing on right now?

NB: ‘Just a girl who decided to go for it.’ I believe in dreams and going of them. I have had so many amazing opportunities in my life because I decided to not be afraid and go for things, even when I didn’t always feel comfortable.

CBS: Fill in these sentences:

CBS: I wish more people in this world…

NB: Would have a sense of humor like Amy Schumer.

CBS: I can’t get enough of…

NB: The Biebs.

CBS: Yoga pants are…

NB: The

CBS: The single coolest moment as an NFL cheerleader was…

NB: Getting to cheer in Wembley Stadium in London.

CBS: What I love most about myself is…

NB: My heart. I love people and the ability I have to forgive and love others. I also believe loving oneself is important too.

Raising the exercise barre in Swampscott



Michelle Nigro, a Swampscott resident, is teaching a new barre class at Studio 21 in Swampscott.
January 20, 2016

SWAMPSCOTT — A former New England Patriots cheerleader and longtime fitness enthusiast has opened up Town Barre, a new fitness business, with rented studio space for classes in both Swampscott and Marblehead.

Swampscott resident Michelle Nigro, 25, got certified as a barre instructor over the summer and opened up her new business in October. She teaches four classes, with plans to double that number as her business grows.

Nigro doesn’t have her own studio yet, but rents out two studios. She holds two classes a week at Marblehead Fitness Center and two at Studio 21 in Swampscott. She’s at Studio 21 Monday at 7:45 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m. She teaches in Marblehead on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m.

The method of barre Nigro teaches is the Bootybarre method, which she said is being taught and trained with fitness instructors all over the world.

“I noticed the area didn’t have any classes,” Nigro said of the method. “I wanted to try to offer something like this.”

Nigro said Bootybarre is a proven method that uses larger and smaller movements. She said the barre, light weights and resistance bands are incorporated to work the arms, legs, buttocks, back and a person’s flexibility.

She said barre, which she describes as a combination of dance, pilates and yoga, has become a “fitness craze” because anyone can do it at any age or fitness level. Nigro said during the low impact workout, a person would do plie movements on the barre, along with lunges and squats.

Nigro, who was a cheerleader for the Patriots for four years, with her final game at last year’s Super Bowl, said she first started taking barre classes with her teammates and got hooked. After some research, she found she could get certified and become a barre instructor.

Although Nigro went to Emerson College for journalism and public relations, and works at a PR firm in Waltham full-time, she said she eventually wanted to become a personal instructor. However, she always thought it was her responsibility to “go and get a real job.”

“The older I get, the more I’m realizing if you want to do something, now’s the time,” Nigro said.

Nigro said another draw to the barre trend is that the classes are “a lot of fun,” but still help people stay in shape. She said barre is also easy to learn, with her clients usually catching on quickly.

Business is growing. Nigro outgrew her first studio space in Marblehead before moving to Marblehead Fitness Center, which is the larger of her two current studios. Her Marblehead studio can hold up to 18 people per class, while Studio 21 in Swampscott can only hold six to nine people.

Nigro currently has 75 clients signed up in her system and has about 25 regular clients. She said the number of clients who signed up with her “blew her mind,” as she’s only been in business for three months.

As her business continues to grow, Nigro said she plans to double her class sizes from four to eight within the next month or two. She is considering hiring an employee, as she currently runs the business and teaches all of her classes on her own.

MVC Karen is Ready for the Pro Bowl

Every year, the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders’ Pro Bowl representative has a “show-off” night. That’s the night when teammates MVC staff, friends, and former MVC Pro Bowl reps to check out all of the choreography and couture for the upcoming Pro Bowl. This year’s representative, Karen, recently had her big night, and thanks to our friend Polly, we have a few pics from the evening. Thanks Polly!






Karen with last year’s MVC Pro Bowl Cheerleader, Kaylee.