Alexandra is the Dream Team Soulmate

Alexandra

Alexandra

Congratulations to Captain and 1st-year Philadelphia Soulmate who will represent her squad on the Arena Bowl XXIV Dream Team.

[Alexandra at PhiladelphiaSoulmates.com]

To Fill in the Plank, the Georgia Force Cheerleaders Use a Balanced Attack

Georgia Force Cheerleaders planking prior to the Force-Chicago Rush game (click to enlarge)

If there was a Guinness World Record entry for, “First Planking by an Entire Professional Cheerleading Squad,” I think the Georgia Force Cheerleaders could be the winner of 2011’s photo craze. GFC Director Joie Ashworth had the squad planking prior to last Saturday’s AFL game against the Chicago Rush.

And the Force Cheerleaders choice to balance upon the padded sideline walls is appropriate for this squad comprised of engineers, math majors, and a host of other bright women, as their knowledge of gravitational pull, perpendicularity, and fulcrums certainly may have helped their “not as easy as it looks” balancing act.

Here are some photos as the GFC prepared to have a planking good time. And we will have features and interviews with some of the talented women of the Georgia Force Cheerleaders in the coming days!

Continue reading To Fill in the Plank, the Georgia Force Cheerleaders Use a Balanced Attack

Brianne is the Dream Team Sidewinder

Brianne

Brianne

Congrats to second-year Sidewinder Brianne who will represent her squad on the Arena Bowl XXIV Dream Team.

[Arizona Sidewinders]

Tampa Bay Storm Dancers

Central Florida is a sports paradise for viewing college and professional sports. With the NHL, NBA and NFL asleep I finally got the time to go see the AFL Arena game. Tampa Bay Storm football is action packed entertainment and the family value is unmatched.

Pre game warmups

Pre game warmups

The Storm Dancers are part of the very fan friendly atmosphere. Besides leading cheers on the field they also greet patrons on the outside plaza before games and join the players mingling with fans for autograph/photo sessions during post game. Since 2003 the squad has been led by Ms. Kindra Strocher-Ebanks, Director/Choreographer. Kindra was also a Storm Dancer for three years and has developed an informal “underground railroad” for recruiting University of South Florida alumni—–current members Tiffany, Cori, Samantha and Sasha all danced on the Sundolls team at USF. Kindra also was manager twice of the All Star team at the ArenaBowl.

Cori, Jessica, Charlyne, Vanessa

Cori, Jessica, Charlyne, Vanessa

Danielle, Rachel, Lauren, Ericka

Danielle, Rachel, Lauren, Ericka

Friday’s (July 1st) game theme was “salute to military” and members of the armed services were introduced throughout the night. A real feel good evening. During the week Savenah, Trista, Jessica and Rachel courageously volunteered for a shooting simulation and repel exercises at the USF ROTC buildings. Sasha, Charlyne and Vanessa participated in a skydiving outing with SOCOM at MacDill Air Force base. The girls also routinely visit the local VA Hospital and interact with the wounded soldiers. The dancer’s red box collections for the night went to the Treats for Troops organization for mailing care packages to deployed forces. Just recently these young ladies also assisted at the Derrick Brooks Charity Foundation. Mr. Brooks is the new President of the Storm and has very supportive of the Dance Team and it’s value to the organization.

First Quarter Performance

First Quarter Performance

Jessica, Cori, Tiffany

Jessica, Cori, Tiffany

Cori, Charlyne, Sasha, Tiffany, Lauren

Cori, Charlyne, Sasha, Tiffany, Lauren

 

2011 Tampa Bay Storm Opening Video from Scott Audette on Vimeo.

Introduction before the game included a nifty video of the players and dancers caught in a heavy rainstorm . Team photographer Scott Audette has allowed us to post a few stills in our album.

ArenaBowl Rep Sasha

ArenaBowl Rep Sasha

Five-year veterans Sasha, who will represent the Storm at the ArenaBowl and Charlyne, are team captains. Ericka is a performer at Busch Gardens and will be singing the national anthem at this year’s final game.

Lauren and Cori

Lauren and Cori

Tiffany

Tiffany

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area come out to a Storm game—–tell the Dancers Jackson sent you.

[Storm Dancers Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Storm Dancers]

Angie Baker Selected to Direct Arena Bowl XXIV Dream Team

The Arizona Rattlers’ Sidewinders co-director, Angie Baker, was selected by the Arena Football League to direct the 2011 Arena Bowl XXIV dancers, the Aaron’s “Dream Team”.

The team will consist of one dancer from each AFL team that will perform in the pregame festivities, during the Arena Bowl and will assist in the presentation at the AFL awards banquet. Baker will be responsible for music and choreography for the dream team as well as coordinating its events in the host city.

The host location of the Arena Bowl is to be determined.

Angie has been involved in the cheerleading and dance industry for almost 20 years. She cheered professionally for 6 years, 4 of those with the Arizona Rattlers. During her time as a Sidewinder, Angie represented the Rattlers at the Arena Bowl in 2007 and at the Talladega International Speedway as part of the AFL’s Dream Team.

Angie was an Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader from 2008-10 and performed at the Super Bowl in Tampa FL. She was also a member of the Arizona Cardinals Show team and had the opportunity to travel to Ft. Hood and perform for the military and their families. She is a veteran Cheerleading Instructor and Judge for USA and stays busy with competitions and dance/cheer events year-round.

Martial Arts Night with the Philadelphia Soulmates

Last Friday was Martial Arts Night at the Tulsa Talons-Philadelphia Soul game. And the Soulmates got into the spirit by dressing up as ninjas for their end of the third quarter performance.

[Philadelphia Soulmates Gallery]

2011 Orlando Predators Prowlers

The Orlando Predators have updated the dance team section of their website. Click here to check out the Prowlers!

Nicole F, Brittany, and Jessie

Tampa Bay Storm Girls

Thanks to Jackson for these photos of the Tampa Bay Storm Girls at last Saturday’s Pittsburgh-Tampa game.

Sisters Jessica & Rachel

Sisters Jessica & Rachel

Tiffany

Tiffany

Rachel again

Rachel again

[Tampa Bay Storm Girls]

2011 Georgia Force Cheerleaders

The Georgia Force Cheerleaders pages have been updated! Click here to learn more about the ladies on the team. (Click on each headshot to view a full length photo).

Click to view full size

SI.com: Arizona Rattlers Dance Team

The Sidewinders, dance team for the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, are featured on Sports Illustrated this week. Click here to check out the photos!


Check out the Sidewinders’ individual profiles here.

Philadelphia Soulmates

I was finally caught up with photos, and then I went to Virginia on vacation for a week. On the Friday before Memorial Day, I caught up with the Philadelphia Soulmates at the Wells Fargo Center as the Soul defeated the visiting New Orleans VooDoo 70-49.

2011 Soulmates

2011 Soulmates

Pre-game Performance

Pre-game Performance

National Anthem

National Anthem

Soul Squad practicing in the tunnel

Soul Squad practicing in the tunnel


Continue reading Philadelphia Soulmates

Cleveland’s “Glad” to Have the Goddesses and Kickoff Crew

The Goddesses (click to enlarge)

Back on April 16th, I had the opportunity to see the wonderful Cleveland Goddesses in action at the Gladiators AFL game against the Voodoo, and was so pleased to be able to interview Dance Team Coordinator Kristen Bickel, and Goddesses Kristie, Elise, and Danielle. Here are a few more photos of the evening’s activities of the Goddesses, plus, there is a second important cheer team with loads of spirit, the Kickoff Crew.

Plus, for this Saturday’s game on March 21st, the Goddesses are supporting the the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women.”  See their video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKtcWXJqkK4[/youtube]

Prior to the Glads-Voodoo game last month, the Goddesses circulated to meet fans in the concourses prior to the game, including encountering a sizable lion.

Sure, mascot Rudi seems cute and fuzzy, but bet he'll be sneaking up behind you and pullling your hair during the game

The Kickoff Crew rose to the occassion, and enthusiastically showed their precision at the main entrance gate of the Quicken Arena. Heather Zidek is the coordinator of the co-ed Kickoff Crew.


Continue reading Cleveland’s “Glad” to Have the Goddesses and Kickoff Crew

Philadelphia Soulmates

Back to the Wells Fargo Center where the Philadelphia Soulmates delighted and entertained while the Soul easily defeated the visiting Georgia Force 68-49.

Soulmates lined up and ready to hit the stands.

Soulmates lined up and ready to hit the stands.

Kristina and AJ

Kristina and AJ

Melissa

Melissa

Soul Squad

Soul Squad

Deonna

Deonna

End of the Third Quarter Performance

End of the Third Quarter Performance

Soulmates smiling at their first home win.

Soulmates smiling at their first home win.

[Soulmates Gallery]

[Philadelphia Soulmates]

2011 San Jose Saberkittens

The Saberkittens are back from 2011, and this time, they’re golden. Literally!
Click here to learn more about the ladies on the team.

Goddesses Elise and Kristie Spring into Action, Heating Up the Sidelines for the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators

Kristie, a long-time Goddess

In Cleveland, every spring, sometimes suddenly and without warning, an event occurs that is so cherished: the first bright, sunshiny, warm-ish day; aka, the first “nice day!” See, spring happens everywhere, but after months of snow and gray skies, there is a special rejuvenation when it happens in Cleveland. For example, Kristie, one of the Goddesses dance team that performs for the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators, says, “Cleveland goes crazy when there are the first nice days of spring. Everyone’s windows are down blaring music, and downtown restaurants open their patios. I usually head down to one of them with my friends to hang out and enjoy the nice weather. I also like to go for a walk around town with my iPod!” Goddess Elise concurs, “There is nothing better than the first warm day in Cleveland! I don’t have many days off for outdoor activities, so I’m excited not to freeze while I’m walking to work from the parking lot! When I do get extra time I love to run or hike the trails in Cleveland’s Metroparks.”

But, luckily for Clevelanders, even if Old Man Winter takes his sweet time moving out of town, the Goddesses brighten and heat things up during the spring at Quicken Arena. Kristie has been on the Goddesses since their beginning, remembering, “I tried out for Goddess back in 2008 when the team first came to Cleveland. I heard about the team from another dancer. I really did not have much experience auditioning, and did not know what to expect. I was pretty shocked that I made the squad! I was fresh out of high school competing against girls who had far more experience than I did. The experience has been unforgettable and amazing. I’ve met great groups of girls that are hard working and share the same passion as I do. Even the game itself is incredible!”

Rookie Goddess Elise

Rookie Goddess Elise is experiencing this excitement for the first time. Elise’s impetus to join was, “I tried out for the Goddesses because my dance friend, Alyssa, has been on the team for two years. I would see all of her pictures on Facebook, and it looked like she was having so much fun! I have always wanted to be a part of a professional dance team, so I saw this as an awesome opportunity. I was so excited to make the team, almost instantly we all became great friends. It has been so amazing to work with such great dancers; everyone on the team is so talented. The whole experience has been surreal. I have never been a part of something that is so much fun with such great people. All of the hard work we put into it is worth it.”

Elise’s surreal experience included those first moments stepping on to the field, as she recalls, “Being on the field for the first time was unreal. The day before the first game, I got so nervous because I had never performed on turf before. On the day of the first game I started to get very excited, and by the time we ran through the tunnel and onto the field, I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening! After we performed and stood on the field watching the hype video, I had chills. The fans cheering in the stands, the lights, the smoke, the players, the whole atmosphere was unreal! At that point I was so excited and proud of my dance team. We had made it to the first game.”

Kristie and Elise as the April 16th Gladiators-Voodoo game gets ready to rumble

Veteran Kristie can relate, remembering her first game, “As you’re standing there ready to go out on the field for the first time, the emotions are endless. I was so excited to be able to perform and do what I love in front of thousands of people. There is so much anticipation building up to that first game. All of your hard work pre-season is about to be laid out there for everyone to see. Along with being excited, I was a nervous wreck! There were so many things running through my mind. Do I remember all of the choreography? Am I going to mess up? And most importantly, does my hair look okay?! Once you are on the field everything kind of falls in place.”

Kristie is a lifelong Clevelander, from the eastern suburbs, and Elise is from a small town to the south. Kristie says, “My favorite thing to do in Cleveland is go to all of the sports games. Cleveland is such a sports town. Everything runs off of game schedules and the fans are so passionate, it’s mind-blowing. Win or lose, our stadiums are always packed with fans.” Elise connects her favorite times to her new friends, “My favorite thing to do in Cleveland is to go to Sushi Rock or Barley House for a night of fun with the Goddesses!”

Lauren, Kelly, and Kristie greet fans prior to the Gladiators-Voodoo game

The road to Goddess-hood started for Kristie in athletics, as she recalls, “I originally started out as a gymnast. The floor exercise was my favorite, because of the dance involved. I went and saw my cousin’s dance recital and begged to be signed up for hip- hop and jazz classes. In order to strengthen my technique, I took ballet class. I started competing nationally and regionally for my dance studio. I instantly fell in love with it and the rest is history! I also cheered for my high school football team.”

A family connection was also part of the dance genesis for Elise, saying, “I have been dancing since the age of three, when my mom worked at a local studio. She started me in classes right away. As a little girl, I participated in dance competitions but I eventually grew out of it. When I was a preteen I enrolled in a pre-professional ballet school. I belonged to a Youth Ballet Company all through middle school and high school. While I was with the youth ballet, I had so many awesome opportunities and even danced with the Cincinnati Ballet when they came to Cleveland!” Recently, Elise had a wonderful experience in the Big Apple, fondly recalling, “This past summer I was had the opportunity to intern with Broadway Dance Center in New York City. I lived in Manhattan for the whole summer while taking classes everyday at BDC. It was the most invaluable experience of my dance career. I love NYC and feel like it is my second home. Maybe one day I will be able to live there for good!”

Alyssa and Elise during the fourth quarter of the Glads-Voodoo game


Continue reading Goddesses Elise and Kristie Spring into Action, Heating Up the Sidelines for the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators