After nearly three months of fan voting, Prowlers Dance Team member Gizelle will represent the Orlando Predators as part of the “AFL Dream Team” at Arenabowl XXIV.
The “AFL Dream Team” is composed of one dancer from each AFL team who along with performing at the ArenaBowl will also make appearances during the AFL’s championship week.
“’AFL Dream Team’ adds even more excitement and entertainment for our fans at ArenaBowl,” Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said.
36 dancers (two in each market) competed for a spot on the team. Fans voted on one dancer per team once a day on ArenaFootball.com. The dancers with the most votes on each team made the cut.
[Gizelle at OrlandoPredators.com]
The Allen Americans have named Stephanie DiBiase-Wheat, as new Ice Angels Director/Choreographer.
DiBiase-Wheat, comes to the Americans with an impressive resume, including stints with both the Dallas Mavericks, 2000-2002, where she was Team Captain. And the Dallas Desperados, 2003-2004 as a choreographer/dancer. She has also made appearances on “Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Day Dallas, and Fox Sports Net.
“After dancing and choreographing for different sports organizations, it feels great to have a team of my own, said DiBiase Wheat. I look forward to sharing my experiences and expertise that I received as a dancer and choreographer for the Dallas Mavericks, and Dallas Desperados”. “To be a part of the Americans organization and The Ice Angels is extremely exciting for me. Let the fun and entertainment begin”.
“We feel with the experience that Stephanie brings to our organization, the Ice Angels will
continue the success that has been started here. We are excited to have her join our
organization and look forward to the upcoming season and to repeat as the Best Dance Team in the CHL.” Added Matt Canavan, Americans team President.
The Ice Angels were founded by BreAnna Foddrill in 2009 and have been an integral part of the Americans organization. The Allen Americans Ice Angels are actively involved in the Collin County and surrounding communities civic and nonprofit organizations.
The Ice Angels prep classes begin July 22nd and tryouts are August 13th.
Georgia Force Cheerleader Britney greets fans prior to the home game against the Chicago Rush
Often, pro dancers either began performing at such a young age that they cannot even remember not dancing, or were stricken with a lifelong love of dance like a lightning bolt during a memorable opportunity when they were a bit older. But Britney of the Georgia Force Cheerleaders started dancing when she was young, only to quit. Twice! But that period of her dance journey illustrates three aspects of Britney’s personality: a keen desire to excel at everything she puts her mind to, always keeping an open mind, and being true self-starter. These traits led Britney to being valedictorian of her high school class, graduating Magna Cum Laude from college, earning a Master’s degree at Georgia Tech, and now being part of the ‘thinking outside the box’ world of software. And read on, because Britney’s advice may help save your computer from utter peril and destruction.
The first bump in her road to professional dance occurred when Britney was about three years old. “The preschool I attended had a ballet program,” recalls Britney, who was born and raised in suburban Atlanta. “I did not enjoy dancing at that time and stopped taking ballet when I turned five; to this day I wish I had stuck with it. At the age of eight, I began taking jazz dance classes and that’s when I fell in love with dance. Like any child, I had always danced around the house whenever music was playing, but when I first saw my jazz teacher dance, that’s when I fell in love with it as an art form.”
So this must be the key moment, Britney loves dance, so she dances for the rest of her life, eventually making it to the AFL sidelines, right? Nope, as Britney explains, “Though I loved it, I don’t think it loved me back because I was not very good. My sister told me that I was too stiff and needed to loosen up. I was not accustomed to not excelling and I did something that I dedicate myself to not doing now, I quit. I stopped dancing around the age of ten and didn’t dance again, outside of the regular dancing everyone does, until my junior year in high school.”
But luckily for Georgia Force fans, Britney relaxed and allowed dance to love her back during her third encounter with it. “My best friend had made our high school dance team our sophomore year, and I would watch them perform and want to be out there so badly. When auditions came up our junior year she begged me to audition and so I went, and I was actually good,” Britney remembers. “Up until that point I had pretty much been known as a ‘brain.’ I was, ‘Britney, the smart girl.’ People were surprised when I auditioned, and even more surprised when I actually performed well. I had of course grown both physically and mentally since the age of ten, and I stopped caring so much about not looking good and just performed. I truly enjoyed performing and I have not stopped dancing since, and I plan to keep dancing until I just can’t anymore.”
‘Britney, the smart girl’ persisted, just morphing into ‘Britney, the smart girl who can dance.’ Britney’s desire to make herself the best she can be at any task can be traced to her childhood. “My first ‘job’ ever was folding boxes in the bakery my grandfather owned when I was around ten years old,” Britney recalls. “Though I believe he was just trying to keep me and my sister busy, this was the first time that I was paid for doing work. He probably would have given me the $10 whether I folded the boxes or not, but it felt good to believe that I had earned it. Even back then I tried hard to excel at what I did even when it something as simple as folding more boxes in a shorter time than my older sister.”
School was the central venue that provided a chance for Britney to excel, as she says, “Excellence in academics was always important to me growing up as well. Although my parents assured me they simply wanted me to do the best that I could, ‘the best I could’ for me became being number one. Starting in elementary school, once I knew what a Valedictorian was, I set my sights on becoming Valedictorian. It was never my parents who pushed me to be at the top of my class, though once I got there it was an expectation of theirs and mine that I would stay there.”
Continue reading Incredibly Smart from the Start, GFC Britney Knew to Give Dance a Third Chance
July 11, 2011
CHICAGO (July 14, 2011) — The Chicago Rush is pleased to announce that Adrenaline Rush dancer Brittanie has been selected by arena football fans to represent the Chicago Rush on the AFL Dream Team sponsored by Aaron’s at ArenaBowl XXIV. She will be performing during the game as well as making numerous appearances throughout the week leading up to the ArenaBowl on August 12th.
“I’m very, very excited and thankful to have been selected by the fans,” says Brittanie. “It’s a great accomplishment to represent Chicago.”
Brittanie is a second-year member of the dance team and lives in the suburbs of Chicago. Off the field she works as a teacher as well as a bartender.
“I am so happy for Brittanie,” said Adrenaline Rush Dance Coordinator, Gloria Esposito. “She is extremely deserving of this recognition and will represent us well.”
The Aaron’s “AFL Dream Team” is comprised of 18 dancers from each AFL team who will perform at ArenaBowl XXIV. 36 dancers competed for the available spots as fans voted for one dancer per team at ArenaFootball.com. The dancers with the most votes were named members of 2011’s Dream Team.
Kim in the arena lobby during pre-game greeting of the capacity crowd at the July 9th Force-Chicago Rush game
When you think of the coolest movie characters of the 20th Century, people like Tom Cruise flying in Top Gun, John Travolta dancing in Saturday Night Fever or Pulp Fiction, and Harrison Ford, either jetting through the galaxy in Star Wars or going from academia to adventure as Indiana Jones, come to mind. Well, move over fellas, in the 21st century there is going to be a young woman who rolls all of these cool roles into being one of the singular coolest people of the new millennium. And she isn’t going to be relying on a script or using stunt people, she will be doing it all on her own, for real. Kim of the Georgia Force Cheerleaders is an aerospace engineer, and after work, she may be out flying planes or dancing on the field during a sold out AFL game at Gwinnett Arena outside of Atlanta. Plus, she is gracious, hospitable, and as nice a person as you’d ever want to meet.
Kim is in her rookie season as a Georgia Force Cheerleader. Her dance experience includes being a member and captain on both the Georgia Tech Goldrush Dance Team during undergrad, and then the Atlanta Chiefs Semi-Pro inaugural team after graduation. This is just the recent stuff; Kim has over 22 years of dance experience, and has choreographed routines for semi-pro and high school teams.
Kim received her undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and is currently working on her Masters in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She works as a flight test engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and has participated in test programs on the AT-6C and A-10 aircraft. Kim also has her private pilot’s license and is a VFR rated pilot for single engine aircraft and enjoys flying Cessna 172’s when she can. Her future plans include applying for a fighter pilot slot with the United States Air National Guard, in addition to one day coaching her own high school or collegiate dance team. So if they ever need to get away that James Bond concept and looking for someone to be Jane Bond, or to develop an original super cool adventure hero, I think Kim is the person to fit the bill.
Kim during the pre-game performance
Kim kindly agreed to be interviewed by UltimateCheerleaders.com, and we learn about her love of dance, and her passion for engineering and flight, and why someday, we may all be flying around like “The Jetsons.”
UC.com: Tell us about your life’s journey: Where were you born? What was your first job ever?
Kim: I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, where I lived until I moved to Atlanta for college. I grew up in a three generational home with my maternal grandmother helping raise my little sister and me in our house. Both of my parents are law enforcement officers, so I had a very protected but loving life growing up, and my first job was at my dance studio working as an assistant teacher to children from age two to twelve. After high school graduation, I moved up to Atlanta to go to Georgia Tech, and have never left. After graduation from Tech, I went from undergraduate student to research faculty member in a three week time span, and have been a Research Engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute for the past two years.
UC.com: Tell us about how your love of dance developed! Were you a high energy child with no shyness about being in the spotlight?
Kim: My family has always had dance in our lives, and so I believe my love of dance came from my mother. My mother and aunt danced for over fifteen years growing up, and it was as much a part of their lives as it was for my sister and me. I don’t quite remember too much about when I first started dance, except I remember being really excited to put on mommy’s make up at my first dance recital and every year, without fail, my father would show up with a beautiful bouquet of flowers to give me after my performance. I was always a social child, but I loved keeping my nose in a book and was quite happy at home, so my parents were a little shocked when they saw how much I loved performing on a stage. I think that dance has always been an outlet for me to escape whatever realities I was facing, and get to be an actress of sorts for whatever piece I’m performing. My parents recognized this early on, and encouraged me to continue to dance all the way through the collegiate and professional levels.
Backstage with Kim (lower right) next to Kiley, with (standing) Dana, Tiffany, Britney, Loren, and Macy
Continue reading Aerospace Engineer, Pilot, Pro Dancer: Georgia Force Cheerleader Kim Soars to Success
Kiley of the Georgia Force Cheerleaders (GFC) has had quite of few memorable experiences in her young life. Sure, I bet meeting Oprah was cool, but encountering Mr. Belding from the “Saved by the Bell,” the show with the best TV theme song of all time, now that had to be be uber awesome. And now, Kiley will represent the GFC as a member of the Dream Team at the upcoming Arena Bowl, which will feature the best of the best AFL teams. But one has a feeling that the real superstars to Kiley are the cancer patients and families she works with on a day to day basis. Though their names are not as universally known, Kiley’s mission is making their days the best they can be.
Kiley is in her first season with the GFC and also serves as captain. A relative newcomer to Atlanta, Kiley recalls, “I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where I spent my time with a huge Irish Catholic family. The only period I lived outside of Chi-town was when I was in college at Purdue University. I never thought I would live anywhere but a big city, but I bleed Black and Gold despite Purdue being in the middle of the corn fields of West Lafayette, Indiana.”
Growing up, Kiley had an eventful childhood, including, as she says, “I worked a ton of special event jobs growing up! One of the craziest jobs I ever had though was working the Taste of Chicago. I worked in one of the grocery store booths and was in charge of dipping the corn into giant butter tubs and chopping up watermelon. It was an interesting way to spend the hot and humid Chicago nights. “
But one unique childhood job provided an opportunity to meet a multi-media icon, Kiley recalls, “I did a few promotional videos for Oprah with my little brother. Thankfully we were two kids who could ham up any situation and were selected among several to goof around on playgrounds and shoot scenes acting out the serious situation Oprah would speak on that day. We did meet Oprah and her voice is larger than life! It’s great. The studio is much smaller than you would think! We had a blast and if anyone still has a working VHS, those videos are ready to be shared (laughing).”
Kiley and her brother with Oprah
Since practically the beginning, dance also played a big role in Kiley’s life, as she was inspired and mentored by truly special people, including, “My mom is my biggest supporter and number one role model. She says I danced before I could walk and decided to channel all my energy into ballet classes. It’s a good thing I’ve always been taller than most, because my mom snuck me into ballet as a two year old, when you are supposed to be three to start! (laughs) I am very shy when you don’t see me under the spotlight or in uniform, and dance has helped to increase my self-esteem and allowed me to meet so many amazing people! Aside from my mother, all of my coaches have always inspired me to be stronger and dig deeper than I thought possible. My college coach at Purdue first introduced me to the professional world through the Indiana Pacemates. I’m living in a dream world now, and I can’t believe the many blessings I’ve been given. Dance will always be deep in my heart, so it’s unbelievable to see the journey it’s taken me on so far!”
Continue reading From Oprah to Mr. Belding to Purdue Pete; Georgia Force Cheerleader Kiley Continues Her Star-Studded Journey with the Dream Team
Kiley greets the sold out crowd as they enter for the Force-Rush game on July 9th
Congratulations to Captain and 1st-year Philadelphia Soulmate who will represent her squad on the Arena Bowl XXIV Dream Team.
[Alexandra at PhiladelphiaSoulmates.com]
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
Congrats to second-year Sidewinder Brianne who will represent her squad on the Arena Bowl XXIV Dream Team.
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
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
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
Jessica, Cori, Tiffany
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
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
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]
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.
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]
The Orlando Predators have updated the dance team section of their website. Click here to check out the Prowlers!
Nicole F, Brittany, and Jessie
Thanks to Jackson for these photos of the Tampa Bay Storm Girls at last Saturday’s Pittsburgh-Tampa game.
Sisters Jessica & Rachel
[Tampa Bay Storm Girls]
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