Jessie’s Mom Has Got it Going On…

So I was perusing the news the other day, and came across as story about a local dance studio in Northern California, whose students will we performing halftime at a local university. The studio is Dance Academy USA,which is under the artistic direction of one Jane Carter.

Jane Carter…Jane Carter…Jane Carter…I know I know something about Jane Carter. But what is it?

DUDE! That’s Jessie’s mom!

And then it all came back to me. All about Jessie’s mom, and everything Jessie told me a few months ago, and how this is THE GREATEST mother/daughter story to hit Ultimate Cheerleaders EVER. Y’all know how I am always on the hunt for twins/sisters/mother-daughter combos for our “relatives” page. My only excuse for forgetting about this is I am easily distracted and somebody must’ve waved a shiny object in front of my face.

First let’s start with Jessie. Such a sweet girl, that Jessie. Nice in a completely non-annoying way. She looks all intimidating in this photo. Soooo not her personality.

Jessie danced for the Los Angeles Clippers for two seasons (2008-2010).

I think she was all of 18 when she made the team.

Then she was with the Charger Grls for a season (2010-11).

After a season off to focus on school, Jessie got itch to get out there again. She had a little over a year before graduating from college, and decided she wanted to experience dance team at the college level. So she auditioned for, and was selected to the world famous Song Girls from the University of Southern California. That’s something new. A college dance team with an NFL/NBA alum in the ranks.

She was on that team last year (2012-13). There’s no telling where she’ll turn up next, but I am convinced she’s not finished dancing. It’s in her blood.

Which brings me to Jessie’s mom, Jane. As I mentioned above, Jane is the Artistic Director of Dance Academy USA. In addition to Jessie, Jane, and her husband Jim have two other daughters; Jamie and Jodie. Jane, Jim, Jessie, Jamie, and Jodie. I’ve seen pictures of the five of them together, and they look like the photo that comes with the frame.

Jim, I am informed, is the only one who can’t dance. Not even a little.

I’m keeping my eye out for Jamie and Jodie.

But back to Jane. This was Jane back in the day:

Like her daughter, Jane, also danced for both the NBA and the NFL. However, it was not for the Clippers and the Chargers. Jane was a Northern California girl, so her experience centered around that area. She started off with the San Jose State Spectrum Dance team in 1983-84. (To this day, Spectrum alumni are consistently selected for the NFL, NBA, and AFL.) A year later, she became a Golden State Warrior Girl.

(Top right, y'all)

She performed with that team for two years before spending a year with the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush.

After that, she retired from her career as a pro sports entertainer and opened Dance Academy USA. A couple years later, little Jessie was born, and the rest is history.

These days Dance Academy USA keeps Jane plenty busy. It’s one of the largest. most successful studios in the region. They have 40 instructors, and over 1600 students. They teach hundreds of classes each week. Successful? You better believe it.

But back in the day, it was glam all the way. I have so many questions for Jane about what it was like back then, but if I sit down to figure them all out, this post will go on the shelf yet again. So for now, let’s enjoy the pics. Many thanks to Jessie for all the photos of her mommy :-)

Sidebar: if you know of any sisters, cousins, moms and daughters, to add to the list. Let me know at sasha (at)

2013-14 Golden State Warrior Girls

That was fast!

[Golden State Warrior Girls]

Local Women Named to Cheer for Golden State Warriors

by Glenn Wohltmann
San Ramon News Express

Two Danville women have made the cut to become Warrior Girls again.

Last year’s team Captain, Casey Grimes, a five-year veteran of the team, and two-year Warrior Girl Amira Mourad, are on the team again.

Two Livermore women also made the final list of those who’ll be cheering for the Golden State Warriors at the Oakland Colosseum for the 2013-14 season. Patrisha Yabes and Leah Medeiros, both two-year veterans, made the team.

Monte Vista grad Mourad has trained in several forms of dance and spent two years on the Phoenix Suns dance team. Last year, Mourad and six other dancers went to Wuhan, China to perform at a car show for one of the sponsors of the NBA.

Casey Grimes, the captain of the 2012-13 Warrior Girls, the cheer team for the Golden State Warriors, has made the cut and will be on the team again for the upcoming season.

Casey Grimes, the captain of the 2012-13 Warrior Girls, the cheer team for the Golden State Warriors, has made the cut and will be on the team again for the upcoming season.

Grimes, a 2008 graduate of Monte Vista High School, has been dancing since she was two years old. She was among was six Warrior Girls who went to Japan in 2010 to take part in the Final Four of the Japanese Professional Basketball League.

There, the young woman also put on dance clinics for local children and some adults as well as preforming at each of the four games.

Even though all four local women have been on the team, they all have to try out every year, according to Warriors Spokesman Massimo Degaudenzi.

While Grimes was captain for the 2012-13 season, Degaudenzi said it’s too soon to tell if she’ll be selected again.

Third year Warrior Girl Amira Mourad will be on the cheer team for the Golden State Warriors, again for the upcoming season.

Third year Warrior Girl Amira Mourad will be on the cheer team for the Golden State Warriors, again for the upcoming season.

“The Warriors dance team director, Sabrina Ellison, decides which girls are the captains of the team,” he said. “She announces this in September during Warrior Girls training camp.”

The Warrior Girls hold practices at ClubSport in San Ramon.

Going for Warrior Girl Glory

By Evan Borders

Hundreds of women in colorful attire came to Oakland over the weekend looking for a coveted spot on The Warrior Girls squad, the official dance team of the Golden State Warriors.

These preliminary auditions for the 2013-14 team were held on Saturday, July 20th at the Warriors Practice Facility in downtown Oakland. The audition process will take place over several days, with finalists selected from the preliminary auditions attending an interview, boot camp and final auditions on July 26th at the Warriors Practice Facility.

Judges at the auditions were on the lookout for technical, talented dancers and performers with a positive, energetic personalities.

For more information and to see the ladies for yourself, check out our video and slideshow.

[WG Gallery]

[WG Audition Video]

Warrior Girls Alumni Night

The Warrior Girls, the official dance team of the Golden State Warriors, hosted their first-ever alumni night during the team’s game against the Utah Jazz on Sunday night. Eighty former Warrior Girls, including members of the original 1985 dance team, joined the 18 current dancers for a pre-game gathering and special halftime routine. This choreographed routine featured alumni from each individual era performing to their music from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s, with all 98 Warrior Girls joining together to conclude the performance. (Photo Credits: Jack Arent/NBA Entertainment)

Eighty Warrior Girls alumni, including seven members of the original Warrior Girls dance team in 1985, celebrated the dance team’s 28 season with the Warriors Girls Alumni Weekend and halftime performance

At halftime, all 98 current and former Warrior Girls assembled on court to dance to Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud”

After an original performance from the current Warrior Girls, dance team alumni since 2000 took the court to dance to Beyonce’s Crazy in Love, followed by WG’s from the 1990’s dancing to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This and the original Warrior Girls dancing to Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T.

As a finale, all 98 Warrior Girls united to perform Beyonce’s Run The World

[Golden State Warrior Girls]

Golden State Warrior Girls at Bollywood Night

On Monday, March 11 The Warrior Girls dance team participated in the Golden State Warriors’ 3rd annual Bollywood Night presented by Adobe. The Warrior Girls dressed in traditional Indian attire and performed a Bollywood-style dance in the first quarter as the Warriors faced the New York Knicks.

Each color that the Warrior Girls wore Monday night has a significant meaning in Indian culture.

· The color red represents beauty, purity, love and fertility
· Blue is the national color of sport
· Green signifies hope, virtue and new beginnings
· Gold is a symbol of wealth, good health and power

This is the second time this season the Warrior Girls have celebrated the cultural diversity in the Bay Area through both their dance routine and attire. On February 12 against the Houston Rockets, the Warrior Girls wore traditional Chinese dress to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the team’s Asian Heritage Night festivities, presented by Cache Creek.

[Golden State Warrior Girls] 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

2013 Warrior Girls Swimsuit Calendar Release Party

The Golden State Warrior Girls unveiled their 2013 Swimsuit Calendar at the Warriors-Timberwolves game on November 24.

[Warrior Girls Calendar Release Party Gallery]

[Golden State Warrior Girls]

[Warrior Girls Swimsuit Calendar]

Gangnam Style – Gangnam State Warriors Edition

This one gets MAJOR points for accuracy, ha!

2012-13 Golden State Warrior Girls

Congratulations 2012-13 Golden State Warrior Girls!

The Warriors have announced their new dance team. Click here to watch the video and see who made the cut!

Scenes from Warrior Girl Auditions

The Golden State Warriors have added boot camp photos to their 2012-13 Auditions album. Click here to check them out on

(Finals took place yesterday so hopefully they will announce the team soon.)

Local dancers compete for coveted spots on Warrior Girls team

Amira and Casey

Two Danville residents move on to final auditions on Thursday
by Jessica Lipsky
San Ramon Express News
July 25, 2012

For many aspiring jazz, ballet or hip-hop dancers, garnering a spot on a NBA dance team can be a dream come true. This dream may become a reality for 18 women with skills, style and pizzazz enough to join the Warrior Girls.

Nearly 150 dancers arrived at Club Sport in San Ramon on Saturday, July 21 for the first round of auditions for the Golden State Warriors dance team. The weeklong audition process includes two days of boot camp and a final round of tryouts on Thursday, July 26.

“There are nine to 10 returning veterans and each year they have to fight for their spot. You always want to have the best talent each year, much like the players,” said Dance Team Director Sabrina Ellison.

Two Danville residents and veteran Warrior Girls showed up with spirit on Saturday, making it to the final round of auditions. Casey and Amira, both 21, will continue to fulfill their childhood dreams should they make the team for their respective fifth and second seasons.

“I saw their style and I loved it…that they were so confident and just looked so together on the court. It was such a team,” Casey, a San Ramon Valley High grad, said of her desire to join the Warrior Girls. “You looked at them and just saw beauty and talent and they were just so exciting to watch. Their energy and the way they moved together was so great to watch.”

A Warrior Girl since she was 18, Casey has been dancing most of her life. She danced with the Danville Ballet Company and studied at the Contra Costa Ballet Company before focusing more on jazz, funk and hip-hop techniques. In addition to learning the Warrior Girl style — which she describes as fun and energetic, often combining new moves with older songs — Casey said the past few years on the team have been crucial in her life.

“As a woman, I grew up on this team…. I learned dedication, professionalism, how to represent yourself in the best way, how to network, so many crucial tools to not only become an adult, but a business woman as well,” she said.

During the season break and summer vacation from studying dietetics at San Francisco State, Casey said she has done a lot of physical and mental training. In addition to taking dance classes, she works out four to five days a week and watches her diet.

“I try not to think about not making (the team). I try to just focus and say ‘this is the year you have to prove yourself. You have to fight harder…have to give it your all, do the best you possibly can,'” she said. “When a dancer wants to be there and really truly wants to perform and loves what she does, you can see it on her face. You can see how much I love to dance.”

With one year on the team, Monte Vista grad Amira said she was excited to audition and see who else would try out. Having training in several forms of dance and two years on the Phoenix Suns dance team, Amira exudes passion on the court.

“I get to do what I love as one of my jobs, it’s great. I’m performing in front of thousands of people on a weekly basis and I’m absolutely doing what I love,” she said.

Although last year’s audition process was radically different due to the NBA lockout, Amira said her experience and commitment to the team’s various community service projects will work to her advantage.

“It shows my commitment level…but also I have a very strong technical background as a dancer and (Sabrina is) going for more jazz this year and more technique, so I hope it’ll give me a little more advantage,” Amira said, adding, “Being on various NBA teams on the past never hurts.”

In addition to talent, time management and the ability to remember up to 80 routines each year, Warrior Girls must be dedicated to the community and the Warriors brand. Dancers routinely visit food banks and hospitals, and recently helped clean up the Alameda water line.

“We’re not only dancers, but brand ambassadors as well. You have to learn how to represent your self in a certain light and bring that authenticity and respect of the organization to that,” Casey said.

Part of the audition process includes an interview portion to ensure that dancers are polished and will get along well, Ellison said. Dancers should be approachable with a positive attitude because they are put in front of everyone from fans to media personnel, she added.

“You have to be able to converse with people, it’s not just standing out on the court and looking pretty and waving our poms,” Amira said. “We’re out in the community…It makes you a better, well-rounded woman. And Sabrina really emphasizes being professional and always looking your best; it grooms us to be the professionals we want to be.”

Warrior Girls are encouraged to keep that business-minded attitude on various trips around the world, including Italy, Japan and China. In June, Amira and six other dancers went to Wuhan, China to perform at a car show for one of the sponsors of the NBA. The women performed for seven days, but also had the opportunity to sightsee and relax.

Similarly, Casey visited Shanghai and performed at another auto show. Casey said it was the best trip she had taken and enjoyed the time she spent exploring the city and culture with other dancers.

“We bonded a lot on the trip. Being able to perform in front of people who are from a different culture was amazing too because they really, truly appreciate what we do because there isn’t as much of it where they live as in America,” she said.

While dancing for the Warrior Girls does come with perks, it is a grueling schedule that has the team together nearly seven days a week. The Girls usually practice three days a week but can practice every day if there is a game. Casey said the team will usually arrive at the arena by 4 p.m. on game day, dance twice, and stay until 11 p.m. In addition, the team will participate in over 100 events each year.

As a result, the team members are extremely close. Both Amira and Casey said the Warrior Girls are like a family — one that they see more often than their blood relations. If they earn spots on the team for the 2012-13 season, both said they are most looking forward to seeing old friends again and making new ones.

“I have met girls every year and I have met some of the best friends I will ever have in my life. They go from being acquaintances to family; there about 10 girls that I know will be at my wedding and will be there when my kids are born,” Casey said.

In the meantime, Casey, Amira and 34 other finalists — who made it through two rounds of dance as well as interviews this weekend — will participate in a final audition on Thursday. This year’s team will be announced on July 27.

Scenes from Warrior Girl auditions

The Golden State Warriors site has posted a few photos from this year’s auditions (which, as far as I know, are still underway). Click here to have a look-see.