Chicago Luvabulls Auditions

The Bulls are looking for Chicago’s most talented and engaging dancers to represent the organization and this great city!


Open Auditions: Saturday, July 14th

Doors open at 9am for registration and close promptly at 9:30am
Wolcott Arts and Athletic Center – 1950 W. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL – Click here for directions


Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age as of July 14, 2018 – please bring ID
  • Must have training in jazz and hip-hop dance, with an emphasis on synchronized dance team choreography – tumbling skills, cheer stunts and pom experience are a plus
  • Must reside in the Chicago-land area and have a reliable means of transportation
  • There are no minimum or maximum height or weight requirements
  • Candidates must be able to attend a 3-day training camp on July 16th – 18th
  • Team photo shoot (August Date TBD)
  • Evening rehearsals during the work week will start on Tuesday, July 31st
  • Bulls home games until the end of the NBA season (includes Playoffs)

Things to know:

  • The Luvabulls are professional dancers, but the job is a part-time position
  • Luvabulls rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some Sunday rehearsals will be required.
  • The Luvabulls appear at corporate and charity events around Chicago and have also appeared internationally in Europe, Asia and South America.
  • Please wear form-fitting dance or athletic attire and gym shoes
  • Hair and makeup should be glamorous and sophisticated
  • Bring kneepads, water and snacks each day
  • Auditions are closed to the public. Friends and family are not allowed to watch.

For more information on the current Luvabulls: Click Here

Chicago Luvabulls Photos

The Chicago Bulls have posted a few Luvabulls photos from the season.  Click here to view the galleries.

Chicago Luvabulls Auditions – July 15

The Bulls are looking for Chicago’s most talented and engaging dancers to represent the organization and this great city!


Open Audition: Saturday, July 15th

Doors open at 9am for registration and close promptly at 10am
Quest Multisport Complex – 2641 W Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60612 – Click here for directions


Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age as of July 15, 2017 – please bring ID
  • Must have training in jazz and hip hop dance, with an emphasis on synchronized dance team choreography – tumbling skills, cheer stunts and pom experience are a plus
  • Must reside in the Chicago-land area and have a reliable means of transportation
  • There are no minimum or maximum height or weight requirements

Candidates must be able to attend:

  • 3-day training camp on July 17th – 19th and a 3-day finalist boot camp on July 24-26th in the evening
  • Team photo shoot (August Date TBD)
  • Evening rehearsals during the work week, starting the week of August 10th
  • Bulls home games until the end of the NBA season (includes Playoffs)

Things to know:

  • The Luvabulls are professional dancers, but the job is a part-time position
  • The Luvabulls appear at corporate and charity events around Chicago and have also appeared internationally in Europe, Asia and South America
  • Please wear form-fitting dance or athletic attire and gym shoes
  • Hair and makeup should be glamorous and sophisticated
  • Bring kneepads, water and snacks each day
  • Auditions are closed to the public

Click here for more information.

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

The Chicago Luvabulls Roster

Continuing our coverage of NBA dance teams, let’s take a look at the 2016 – 2017 Chicago Luvabulls roster.

And the Chicago Bulls have posted a concept video on their web site featuring their dance team.  Take a look.

Rosemont’s Cargola At Home With Luvabulls

By Diana Turner-Hurn
Journal & Topics Reporter

Each year, women from around the U.S. try out to be a Chicago Luvabull. Only 25 are selected to cheer on and represent the city’s one NBA team.

This year, one of the 25 selected was Rosemont native Nicole Cargola, daughter of Dianne and Frank Cargola of Rosemont.

“I love being able to represent the Chicago Bulls not only at the games, but during charity events such as recently helping the children’s hospital with the Santa flights helping ill children and their families,” Nicole Cargola, 24, told the Journal.

1516_nicole_poster

Cargola is not only a dancer working part-time for the Luvabulls, but also a physical therapist assistant. She says she really enjoys her work at The Admiral at the Lake skilled nursing facility in Chicago where she works full-time.

“Everyday I work with people that put a smile on my face,” Cargola said. “It is very rewarding work. The only bad thing is that when a patient gets better, they move on and I don’t get to see them as often. A few of them truly touch my heart.

“But although you will miss them, you know you’re doing your job when you are able to send them home,” Cargola said of the patients she works with.

This is the first year Cargola has been a Luvabull. Without disclosing what the job pays, Bulls officials said to become a Luvabull, one must be 21 and have training in jazz and hip hop dance with an emphasis on synchronized dance team choreography, tumbling skills, cheer stunts and pom experience. Those selected must attend evening rehearsals during the week and perform at Bulls home games until the end of the NBA season including the playoffs.

Asked who her favorite Bulls are, Cargola said, “They are all great, but my favorite is Benny the Bull. On a serious note, Jimmy Butler works hard, is very good and seems to be carrying the weight of the team on his back.”

The Luvabulls also appear at corporate and international events. Recently, Cargola appeared with the group on “Good Morning America” for an NBA event.
Cargola is well qualified to be a Luvabull. The 2009 East Leyden High School graduate was a member of the 2011 Adrenaline Rush Dance Team for the now-defunct Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush that played at Allstate Arena.

Cargola began dancing at the age of 3 and participating with cheer and dance teams when she was 7 through Rosemont Park District programs. She was a Rosemont School cheerleader while continuing to take dance lessons.

At East Leyden, Cargola tried out and was accepted for the Leydenettes poms team, and later on, the dance team at Elmhurst College before trying out for the Rush.
“I owe a lot to my Leyden dance coach and neighbor Brenda Drehobl,” Cargola told the Journal. “She coached and inspired me for years and continues to do so.”
After attending Elmhurst and earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Management Science, Cargola attended Fox College where she received a physical therapist assistant associate’s degree.

“My parents have been super supportive of everything from my dancing to my work. They are terrific,” Cargola said. “As has been my younger sister Amanda.”
When asked what the future holds, Cargola said someday she’d like to be a dance coach.
“The toughest thing for me in the beginning was at the games, and being in front of 20,000 fans, having all those eyes on you,” she said. “You’re just out there. But I’m used to it now and enjoy being part of the Bulls.”

[Nicole at the Bulls Website]

From Nunnery to Honey Bears Sisterhood

By Burt Constable
The Daily Herald

After graduating from her all-girl high school in 1964, Cathy Core entered the convent of the Sisters of Charity on her path to becoming a nun.

On Friday night, Core, 68, of Wheaton, will be celebrating a different sort of life’s work when her sisters of the Chicago Honey Bears reunite at a charity event Friday in Addison.

core

“There’s just a sisterhood, and part of that sisterhood has to do with Cathy,” says Suzy Kopp-Jones of Bartlett, one of many alums of Core’s Honey Bears dance squad that roamed the sidelines at Chicago Bears football games a generation ago, and still remains close.

“It’s a pretty special little sorority,” says Jackie Nicholas Thurlby, a Naperville real estate agent and former Honey Bear, whose three children all boast Cathy Core and her husband Joe Core as their godparents. “The lives she’s impacted — you can’t count the numbers.”

Inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame last September before a crowd packed with cheering, former Honey Bears, Core also was in charge of the Chicago Bulls Luvabulls squad for 29 years until her retirement in 2013. She’s toured the globe with the Luvabulls, directed a host of other dance groups with Chicago’s professional sports teams, run camps for kids, and been a key part of many charity events. In the world of sports entertainment, she’d done everything, except make good on one girlhood dream.

“I always wanted to be a cheerleader,” Core says, “but the nuns decided differently.”

One of the nuns teaching at her high school in her hometown of Jersey City, N.J., wanted her to sing with the glee club instead of being a cheerleader, Core says. Core says just minutes before cheerleader tryouts, the nun sent Core to a closet to get supplies. Somehow, the door locked, and by the time Core was freed, she was too late for cheerleader tryouts.

Determined to scratch her cheerleading itch, Core coached the younger girls’ cheerleader squad at her school. Planning to study nursing after graduating from high school, Core moved into the Sisters of Charity convent in Morristown, N.J. But that wasn’t her calling. So she took a job as an office manager in the fledgling computer department at Pace University in New York, where she ended up coaching the university cheerleading squad.

She grew up on Bidwell Avenue in Jersey City, just a couple of blocks from her future husband, and they went to the same grade school and same Sacred Heart Catholic Church. But they didn’t meet until a young adults dance at their church.

A graduate of Seton Hall University, where he joined the ROTC, Joe was inducted into the Army in 1966, married Cathy on Feb. 4, 1967, and was assigned to duty for a year in Hawaii, where his bride picked up a few dance moves from her hula lessons. After a year in Vietnam, where he was awarded many medals, including a Bronze Star, Capt. Joe Core came home and started a career as a federal agent with the Treasury Department. The couple bought their home in Wheaton when he was transferred to Chicago in 1974. Reluctant to leave New Jersey, Cathy Core decided to make the best of things at her new home. She volunteered as the cheerleading coach for young girls at St. James the Apostle School in Glen Ellyn, and took a job at a teachers’ credit union in Westchester.

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders already had become a national institution when Chicago Bears owner George Halas decided his team should have “dancing girls.” A failed and quickly forgotten experiment with the Bear Essentials, a group of cheerleaders wearing long skirts and knee socks that revealed less skin than the players’ uniforms, led Bears brass to ask around the office for a real cheerleader coach. One woman suggested the cheerleader coach at her church’s school, and Bears General Manager Jim Finks gave Core a call.

“I thought it was someone playing a joke on me, so I laughed and told him I was Shirley Temple,” remembers Core, who didn’t recognize the names of Halas or Finks.

“The next day I answered the phone at the credit union and the voice on the other end said, ‘Shirley, this is Jim Finks. Can we talk?'” Core says.

She was never a cheerleader and her only formal dance lessons were in Irish step-dancing, but Core immediately found success with the Honey Bears as the squad’s director and choreographer.

“I’d do a lot of stuff at home. I’d have the music blasting and be sweating my buns off,” says Core, who admits to learning from her pupils. “I would listen to them. My talent was that I could see the big picture. I could tell right away if it was going to work.”

The first professional football game she attended, Core was on the sidelines directing a squad of 28 Honey Bears adorned in white “hot pants” and a vest that covered their midriffs and laced in the front. “When the girls first hit the field, the fans went crazy,” she remembers.

So did Bears management. At halftime, Core was given a note complaining that the dancers were showing too much cleavage, so Core had them lace up the front. When the Honey Bears came out for the second half with a more modest look, Core got a phone call on the sideline from Finks.

“What are you doing? The girls look like a bunch of nuns out there,” he told her.

“Jim won out,” says Core, who notes that the Honey Bears never showed as much skin as the cheerleading crews in Dallas or Miami. Those original members were required to be full-time students or have jobs. They were paid $5 a game that first season, but were in demand all year for personal appearances.

“I never thought the girls were being exploited. They were always treated with the utmost respect,” Core says, who eventually formed C.C. Company with her husband, and hired choreographers. “They (the Honey Bears) took great pride in their appearance, the way they handled themselves, their education, their talent.”

Making sure that the women adhered to strict behavior codes, including no fraternizing with the players, Core remembers firing a couple of Honey Bears for posing nude in magazines, and another for building a relationship with a player. She ran a tight ship.

“You learned how to be young women,” says Thurlby, who remembers being “scared to death” of doing something that would require a reprimand from Core.

“I still can’t chew gum,” says Kopp-Jones, recalling Core’s ban on gum.

After Halas died, the team soured on the Honey Bears. Their last game was Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986, in New Orleans.

“If you’re going out, that’s a great way to go out,” Core says. “And they haven’t won a Super Bowl since, I might add. The curse of the Honey Bears.”

Core took over the Luvabulls in 1984, and continued with the squad through the Michael Jordan years and six championships. She and her husband had Jordan sign a few items during the years, including a photo from his rookie season, just in case Jordan became famous someday. Jordan assured them he would.

In traveling around the world with the Luvabulls and other groups, the Cores became involved in A New Day Cambodia, a charity begun by sports photographer Bill Smith and his wife, Lauren. For the past decade, the Cores have been frequent visitors, financial and emotional supporters, and active “parents” for Samong, now 20, and her brother, Pov, 18.

“That’s been wonderful,” Joe Core says, noting so many of their friendships, travels and joys have grown out of the career that began when Cathy Core agreed to be the “Ma Bear” for the Honey Bears.

“I never thought I could tell you anything about football, and now I yell at (Bears quarterback Jay) Cutler like everybody else,” she says, adding that she’d like to see the Honey Bears revived. “I think the team needs a little something-something now.”

Core has gotten more from her career than she ever imagined.

“It’s phenomenal,” Cathy Core says of the relationships she and her husband have built. “Having these women in our lives has been the icing on the cake.”

Techie By Day, Luvabull By Night: How to Juggle Startup Life and Professional Dance

By Jim Dallke
ChicagoInno.com

The demands of working at a startup are notorious. Long hours, multiple responsibilities, and building a truly innovative business can put a lot of pressure on a young company and its employees. But if you’re used to performing in front of 20,000 screaming fans, maybe the pressures of the tech world don’t seem quite as intimidating.

ameila

Amelia Carpenter is a marketing and communications associate at Narrative Science, a Chicago startup that turns massive amounts of data into written stories. She’s also one of the newest additions to the Luvabulls, the professional dance team of the Chicago Bulls. The dual roles have Carpenter growing a tech brand and doing internal communications during the day, and practicing and performing at the United Center at night. The two jobs require vastly different skill sets, but the gigs have more in common than you might think, Carpenter said.

“At Narrative Science, we have this product and we’re working day in and day out on this team and we all have the same goal,” she said. “And ultimately we have this audience that has these expectations of us. And it’s exactly the same as being on the Luvabulls. You’re working really hard as a team to put something together and deliver to an audience.”

After a full day at Narrative Science, Carpenter practices at least twice a week with the Luvabulls, plus games. During larger performances, like for Halloween and Christmas Day games, the team will practice four times a week. And there are the autograph signings and community outreach events that keep the dancers even busier. It’s a demanding schedule for the 25-year-old Detroit native, but doable with some creative time management, she said.

“I love working on a team,” Carpenter said. “I love working toward something awesome and putting in the work and the time to make it amazing. And the performance part of it, whether it’s delivering a product at Narrative Science or performing at a game, that’s the really rewarding part for me.”

Making the Luvabulls is intensely competitive; roughly 20 women make the team of over 200 that try out. Carpenter made the 2014-15 squad after unsuccessfully trying the previous two years. A dancer all the way through college at the University of Miami Ohio, she said making the Luvabulls was a dream come true.

“You don’t always get instant gratification as a dancer, so making the team was kind of indescribable,” she said. “It was amazing. I worked really hard for it.”

In college, Carpenter was in the entrepreneurship department at Miami and always had a desire to be a journalist and tells stories. So when Narrative Science CEO Stuart Frankel came to the school (where he graduated) to give a talk, Carpenter knew that was the company she wanted to work for.

“I knew about his success at DoubleClick and the sale to Google, and I was really interested in journalism, so when Narrative Science came up it was sort of a natural fit with journalism and tech. I pretty much just emailed him until he responded for an interview.”

Having a dual role in both the tech scene and the professional dance community comes with its challenges. And Carpenter acknowledged that both professions come with their fair share of stereotypes. But Carpenter is proof that techies can be extroverted performers, and dancers can be sort of nerdy. Both communities are very open minded, she said, which is something that attracted her to both professions.

“I think both communities are accepting of all personalities, especially in tech.” she said. “There’s so many good ideas and so much innovation, you have to be (open minded). And you have to be smart to be a dancer … to be that creative and to do the things that we do.”

The jobs have Carpenter thinking about how to merge the two, like using Bulls data at Narrative Science to perform predictive analytics before the season. She said both jobs compliment her personality, and she hopes to continue the roles in the future.

“I get to have my day job, and I’m really passionate about the people I work with there. And I get to go and be really creative and pursue my passion in dance at night.”

[Amelia the Bulls website]

The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Wynne Lacey, long associated with professional cheerleading both as a director and NBA dancer herself, has now written a book geared towards women who have been, currently are, or aspire to be in industries like pro cheer, where outer appearance is a major factor in determining success. As an author, Wynne explains her simple Life Formula designed to help any woman understand what it really means to be the’ Total Package.’ Wynne’s book is entitled An Enlightened Cheerleader: Volume 1: A Journey to Self-Mastery.

Wynne danced in the NBA with both Chicago (four years) and Milwaukee (one year). Wynne also danced/captained for the AFL’s Chicago Rush dancers before becoming a professional director of her own teams. Wynne’s most visible directorship is with the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew (2003 to present), in addition to directing the Chicago Soul FC Dancers and Promotional Outreach Team, Chicago Slaughter Indoor Football Dancers, the Adrenaline Rush Dancers, and Chicago White Sox Pride Crew. Also, in 2011, Wynne completed her professional Life Coach training.

Pro dancer, choreographer, captain, and dance coach Katie Knepler says about Wynne’s An Enlightened Cheerleader:

“Those who know me well know that I am not one to promote a book, because they rarely appeal or engage me so. But this, my new bedside bible, is now a stable foundation for the life I wish for myself. Wynne Lacey, for those who know her, has spent many a year in the public eye and has observed females in the professional world. Her reflections noted in this book are life changing. Being one who has been in the spotlight as a pro dancer, this book opens your eyes to what lies beneath all the glitz and glamour. What I never took into account was myself, and what my inner self was and truly meant. Even through years of working with Wynne and hearing some of her values and wishes for her teams and women alike, her words really drive it home in this book. I, after reading this, have the drive to find the pure joy in my inner self. I want people to know me for my soul and beauty in the inside, not just the outer beauty that pro dancers are known to hold and maintain. I want to thrive, not just survive. This book is a guiding light… Not just for women in the spotlight, but for all women! It’s an honor to know this wonderful woman, as she has been a role model, sister, coach, and wonderful friend in my life that truly anyone’s life would be enriched to be in her presence. Her book itself is the inner cheerleader that will give support to that woman out there that is buried beneath all the false beliefs of beauty and lack of identity and confidence. Every woman should read this book.”

Wynne shared with UltimateCheerleaders her goals in writing An Enlightened Cheerleader, her writing process, and what we can gain from a life coach:

Wynne Lacey (right) at her first book book signing, with her friend and fellow author Nicole Knepper

UltimateCheerleaders: Wynne, what prompted you to write your book?

Wynne: I have been writing and researching for many years. But to actually publish a book and get it out in the public, it took a couple years of me as a certified life coach and seeing how this process was positively impacting other women. It took me a while (and a good editor) to finally take the leap to share with others in a way that wasn’t one-on-one but through writing.

-Who would you say the target readership is?

Any female who currently is, aspires to be, or is retired from industries (like professional cheerleading and pageants) where their outward appearance is a major factor in determining their success.

-Your book’s cover art contains a key, butterfly, amidst other graphics; tell me about the artwork’s inspiration, meaning, and your role in its design.

My sister (Fairel Rank of Fairel Anne Designs) designed this graphic and it contains my three favorite symbols. I believe the KEY to unlocking our potential is to embrace our feminine traits (FLEUR DE LIS) that honor cooperation over competition and will also show us the way out of our self-imposed cocoons into becoming the rest of her story – the BUTTERFLY!

-Do you think the current generation of young women has new, unique challenges as they try to advance in their own journey to its optimum goals?

I think we actually have unique ADVANTAGES right now instead of the challenges of the past. At this point in time women have more power over their lives than they ever had. I believe that if we started to follow our own feminine design, one of cooperation, nurturing and support and stopped following the old masculine rules of getting ahead, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.

-Is there a young woman that is memorable to you who took the concepts that you teach that allowed her to achieve the next level of success?

Katie Knepler is a great example! She is leading a small team at North Park College who just won their dance competition because Katie doesn’t give up on ANYBODY! She embraces her heart-space and uses it to help others advance.

-What was your writing process? What did you learn about yourself as you put your thoughts in writing, and do you have any advice for new writers?

I did two things at once – journaling about my own experiences and researching other works to help find answers to what I was asking about in my own life. I have been writing for many years….and it is true therapy! I would have a hard time giving advice about writing since mine was so personal. I think I would want people to understand that this book of 100 pages was 1000 pages at one time and I pared it down to make it enjoyable to read. Someone once told me that “people don’t have to know everything I know, just what would be useful to them.”

-Describe what a life coach does and what types of people that it would be beneficial to have a life coach?

The best way to describe a Life Coach in my opinion is to compare them to a therapist. A therapist takes a person from dysfunctional to functional. A Life Coach takes you from functional to optimal. Everyone could benefit from a Life Coach the same way as a sports coach…having someone who knows what you can do, wants you to constantly strive for your best and doesn’t let you fall short of your goals. If the whole world strived for greatness in their personal life, we would be at a very different and higher level of collective consciousness.

-Where were you born and where did you grow up? What is the derivation of a very appropriate first name, Wynne?

Born in Wheaton/Winfield area and grew up in Naperville, Illinois. That is my full name – Wynne. And it’s funny – every team that I directed a pro team for (White Sox, Slaughter, Rush, Hawks) won their championship while I was there! I am a good luck charm!

-Who were particularly influential in unofficially ”life coaching” you as you grew up?

As I grew up I didn’t have any “life coaching” mentors that really guided my life. I think that is why I longed so much for the support as an adult and want to be a “personal cheerleader” for others.

-Tell me about your dance journey…when did you start dance and the “steps” (as it were) that you took prior to trying out for the NBA?

I didn’t remotely consider dancing until I was in high school. I didn’t make my volleyball team. My brother told me that to be popular I should do cheerleading or poms…so I did! I became captain of the Naperville Central Arrowettes. After a brief try at college Rugby, I went back to dancing as an Illinette at the University of Illinois. Then after graduate school I tried out for the Luvabulls and didn’t make it. I went up to Milwaukee to dance for Energee! and loved it. The commute was tough so I went back to audition for the Luvabulls and stayed there as a captain for three of the four years. Dancing for me has been a way to use my athletic ability and create friendships…not the traditional creative outlet so many dancers find through dancing.

-What are your favorite memories of your time dancing in the NBA?

For sure I have some hilarious memories of being on an NBA dance team. The best memories were creating inside jokes among some of my closest team mates that you would not remotely find funny because you had to be there to experience our weird senses of humor! I think traveling to Amsterdam for the Holland Basketball Tournament created the most sleep-deprived humor that we still joke about to this day.

Continue reading The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Former Luvabull, Zumba Instructor Spreads Fitness Contagion

By Cynthia Wolf
The Barrington Courier-Review

To the strains of OneRepublic’s “Good Life,” and amid shouts of “Here we go!” “Reach!” and “Switch!” several women danced and turned, arms up, then out, on the Lake Barrington Fieldhouse gym floor.

Zumba instructor Deanna Murphy said “Good Life” is among her favorite songs for closing out a class. It’s life-affirming, and this, after all, is at the core of Murphy’s fitness philosophy. It’s a philosophy the former Chicago Luvabull seems to spread like some sort of happy virus.

“It’s a fun workout, a workout where you don’t feel like you’re working out,” said Sonja Colosia, who, at 62, is the eldest regular attendee at Murphy’s 8 a.m. class. “It’s the whole feeling of a celebration of life. [Murphy] is always positive, always bursting with energy, and that kind of flows out to all of us.”

A gymnast back in her high school years at Schaumburg, Murphy has been a lifelong fitness enthusiast, although she endured a period when her health took an ugly turn.

Murphy is a breast cancer survivor. With no family history of the disease, and just having undergone her first mammogram at age 36, Murphy was blindsided by the diagnosis. Her youngest was just 2, and, she said, she went through all of the emotional trauma of wondering whether she would survive and how her family would endure.

“But you know, I was lucky,” the North Barrington resident said. “I had a mastectomy. No chemo. Just medication.”

Murphy took tamoxifen for three years, soaked in the tremendous support of her family and friends, and emerged with a renewed penchant for all things wellness.

“I feel like it was a blessing,” she said. “So many of us go through life not getting it — just going through the motions.”

In 2010, Murphy decided to become a certified Zumba instructor.

“It seemed like a natural extension,” she said. “I love music and obviously, being a former Luvabull, I love dance.”

Now 47, Murphy was 21 when she tried out with a friend for the Chicago Luvabulls dance team back in 1987. She tried out on a whim, she said, “back when big hair was big and there was lots of aerosol hair spray in the air.”

She made the squad in 1987, and enjoyed it so much she auditioned again and was a Luvabull for the 1988-89 season as well.

Dance team members made only $25 a game, although opportunities existed for more lucrative paid appearances at various charity events, trade shows and the like. Anyway, Murphy said, the memories are priceless, and she is excited about reliving those moments a bit during a big reunion performance during halftime at the Dec. 10 Bulls game at the United Center.

“Being there every game when the lights came down and that music played, I still get chills,” she said. “It was definitely an experience I will never forget.”

It would be difficult to forget game-night rehearsals, sharing the warm-up floor at the Chicago Stadium with the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and John Paxson.

“They were always very nice, very respectful,” she said. “It was just a great time … for two years it was like, ‘Wow, I’m a part of this. Pinch me.’”

It will be fun to reconnect with some of her former squad mates during the reunion show this month, Murphy said.

“I can’t wait,” she said, adding that her husband and daughters also are excited about the big night.

Meanwhile, Murphy shares her joie de vivre with participants in her Zumba and Piloxing (a fusion of pilates and boxing) classes as well as a senior exercise class she teaches with Christine Seberg of Lake Barrington.

An instructor at both the Lake Barrington Fieldhouse and the South Barrington Club, Murphy also teaches Zumba to members of the Premier Poms Experience and offers her expertise at least a few times a year during Barrington School District 220 physical education classes.

“Everyone likes to dance,” Murphy said of the Latin-inspired dance music workout that is Zumba. “There are four different basic moves — salsa, side salsa, reggaeton and cumbia.”

Some of Murphy’s students are aware of her Luvabulls history. Others aren’t. But they all can attest to the contagious power of her passion for fitness.

“I love it,” said Diane Mosteig, a Lake Barrington 69-year-old who participates in the senior exercise class. “You feel younger. She energizes us.”

Scenes from the Luvabulls photo shoot

Click here for more hair and makeup tips from Benny the Bull.

Congratulations 2013-14 Luvabulls

Click here to see photos from auditions and the team’s debut performance!

Esposito Named AFL Dream Team Director

Chicago Rush Dance Coach and Choreographer Gloria Esposito has been named the 2013 NET10 Wireless Dream Team Director and Choreographer, the League office announced today.

The “NET10 Wireless Dream Team” is composed of one dancer from each AFL team who will perform at ArenaBowl XXVI in Orlando. The Dream Team will also make a variety of event appearances during ArenaBowl Championship Week.

Esposito served as the 2012 NET10 Dream Team Director and Choreographer for ArenaBowl XXV in New Orleans as well.

“I felt that we were really prepared last year and the total experience was super exciting and the girls did a really great job,” Esposito said. “I think that this year we can do that as well.”

Esposito began dancing with the Chicago Rush in their inaugural season in 2001. She was named Captain of the squad in 2002 and spent 2004-2006 as the Head Captain. In 2007, Esposito was promoted to Assistant Director and in 2009, she became the team’s Coach and Choreographer. She also spent four seasons (1999-2003) with the Chicago Luvabulls, the Chicago Bulls dance team.

Esposito also has experience as a Dream Team dancer, having been selected to the squad during her time as a dancer for the Rush. The opportunity has been a contributing factor to her knowledge and success as a director.

“I’ve danced on the Dream Team so I kind of knew what to expect but at the same time I knew going into it that it was going to be a whole new adventure as a director,” Esposito said. “I think it’s important to allow the girls to form a bond through this experience because even though we are not on the same team, we are still a part of the same AFL family.”

As both a director and former dancer, Esposito recognizes the important role the Dream Team provides to the ArenaBowl experience.

“What would a football game be without cheerleaders and dancers on the sidelines?” Esposito said. “I think it’s a part of sports in American culture to have them there and I think they provide an added boost to the overall game day experience.”

ArenaBowl XXVI is set to be played at the Amway Center in Orlando on Saturday, August 17. The game will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 1 p.m. ET.

SI.com: NBA

Sports Illustrated has posted a collection of NBA dance team photos from the last week. The gallery includes teams from the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and Dallas Mavericks. Click here to check it out!

NBA Dance Team Action!

CBS Miami has a couple of new galleries of NBA dance teams in action last week. I’m super excited to see a few of mah girlz featured. Click here for photos from January 11th. Click here for photos from January 18th.

Rookie Laker Girl Mekyala


Rookie Silver Dancer Anncell


Shannon (veteran) and Ashley (rookie) from the Clippers Spirit