In her seventh season, Bloomington Edge Dancer Alice steps up to the mike….

Alice now is the in-game host for both the Bloomington Edge and Central Illinois Drive hoops team

…or maybe more accurately, Alice steps upstairs with a mike. The Bloomington Edge Dance Team’s Alice is in her seventh season with the squad that performs at the Indoor Football League games, but 2012 has hardly been just another season for her. Since Alice was featured in UltimateCheerleaders last season, there have been some notable additions to her roles on and off the field. Off the field Alice is all done with school and is working at one of the local prominent health systems.

But Alice’s pro dance world is increasing its scope also. When the new owners puchased the former Bloomington Extreme, not only did they change the name to Edge, a Premier Basketball League team, the Central Illinois Drive, was added to the Bloomington sports scene. Before their season started, the Drive approached Edge Dance Team Coordinator Stacy Terry to create a dance squad for their in-game entertainment. So for Alice, adding another dance team? No problem! When Stacy approached the football dance team about joining the basketball version, Alice recalled their answer, “Of course we said, ‘Yep! We’ll do it!’” Compared to the Edge games, the Drive basketball Dance Team, Alice says, “We do more, I would say, pom and jazz than usual.”

Alice on the sidelines of a Central Illinois Drive game

Plus, for both the Drive and Edge, Alice is the announcer during in-game promotions. Going from the sidelines, Alice grabs a microphone and hits the stairs, heading up to the arena to be in the spotlight as she engages with lucky fans. “It’s exciting, I like doing it!” Alice says. And always immensely friendly and thoughtful to the fans, Alice even makes fans a priority when assessing her new role. About being in-game announcer, Alice comments, “I love it, I get to know the fans. In basketball, we don’t go (onto the court) after the games and interact with the fans, like we do with football, and so we really don’t get to know them. Now I get to go up there and meet some of them, I enjoy it a lot.”

Alice is devoted to dance in general, and loves having the opportunity to continue to perform with two Bloomington-based teams, and she has no plans to give it up. Alice smiles, “I am going to be here until they don’t take me or I can’t do it.” Asked if fans recognize her after seven seasons greeting and performing before, during, and after games, Alice says she hears, “‘You’re still here?’ Yep, still here. Hopefully that is a good thing.”

Alice is ready as fans ready to enter the doors prior to an Edge game

Continue reading In her seventh season, Bloomington Edge Dancer Alice steps up to the mike….

Bloomington Edge Dancer Rachel lives, and gives, a life of music

Rachel dances on the basketball court for the Central Illinois Drive Dance Team


As a musical director at an elementary school, Rachel utilizes the “Orff Schulwerk” method, which combines music, movement, drama, and speech into lessons that are similar to a child’s world of play. Rachel not only teaches this unified view of arts and life, she lives life with an “Orff Schulwerk” approach! With a degree in voice, playing guitar and piano, and having lead roles in plays, Rachel has added dancing for the IFL Bloomington Edge and PBL Central Illinois Drive Dance Teams to complete her own life of music. Singing, dancing, acting, teaching, and being a wife and mom to a little boy seem like way enough, but luckily for Bloomington’s indoor football and basketball fans, Rachel also takes her talents to pro cheer/dance. Rachel shared with UltimateCheerleaders parts of her musical life’s journey, including how performing in a play staged next to a zoo can provide unexpected sensory experiences, and why you might want to give her a call if you are planning a wedding.

Rachel is an Illinois native, as she recalls, “I grew up out in the country about forty-five minutes from the Bloomington area, in a small town called Fairbury. We had livestock when I was a kid, so I spent a lot of time out playing in the barn and with the animals.”

The animals probably heard some singing along the way, as music surrounded much of Rachel’s young life, as she remembers, “My mom plays the piano for church and my aunt sings with a small women’s group, as well as plays the piano. My mom worked Saturdays when I was growing up, so we used to go down to my grandma’s. She had a piano, so I would get out my mom’s and aunt’s old piano books and give little concerts in my grandma’s living room. I guess I was a self-inspired musician. The piano always interested me, the same with singing. I didn’t really go any further with singing until I was in Junior High. Then I joined chorus and did solo & ensemble. I think that was when my interest went more towards singing.”

While she was growing up, Rachel’s family dealt with the challenges of a caring for a loved one that required extensive attention. “I had one other sibling, Megan, who was born with a rare genetic disorder,” Rachel explains. “She was pretty much an infant her entire life. She could never walk or talk or do much on her own. In a sense, I was an only child, not that I didn’t have a sibling, but I never was able to do the things that most siblings get to do because her of disability. My parents spent much of their time taking care of my sister. My parents both loved me and I think that much of my independence as an adult comes from that experience as a child. She passed away when I was in eighth grade.”

But music provided Rachel an outlet for performance and creativity, and the life lessons to learn from mistakes, for instance in her first public singing performance. “In seventh grade I performed ‘Baby Mine’ from ‘Dumbo’ at Solo & Ensemble. I messed up the words and ended up getting a second place. I was really mad at myself for doing that. I don’t think I ever messed up any words after that.”

Rachel’s singing continued as she participated in various groups during high school in addition to her church choir. Rachel studied at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and sang with the University Singers, University Choir, and Women’s Glee Club, prior to graduating with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education.

Rachel’s musical talents also include playing piano and guitar, and applying her singing talents to the stage. “I took piano lessons starting in second or third grade,” explains Rachel. “I am an adequate piano player, but I guess my real passion is for singing. I did five musicals when I was in school: ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,’ a dancer in ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ Marty in ‘Grease,’ Sprintze in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ and my senior year, I was the Evil Step Mother in ‘Cinderella.’ I never really had any major rolls until I was an adult.”

“After college I was Peter Pan in ‘Peter Pan,’ Maria in ‘West Side Story,’ and Mrs. MacAfee in ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’” Rachel continues. “The funny part about that is first I did ‘West Side Story’ in 2007, and my leading man was a senior in high school, and I was 24 at the time. The worst part of it was that his dad was the director. It was kind of awkward kissing him. The weird part of it is that when I did ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ the dad was my ‘husband,’ playing Mr. MacAfee.”

So Rachel, when playing Peter Pan, did you get to soar over the stage? “Ha,” laughs Rachel. “No, I actually wore ‘wheelies,’ the tennis shoes that have the wheels in the back of them. The theatre is basically a garage on a big cement platform, so there are very limited special effects. It was outdoors and by the zoo. It was very hot during our performances, and if the wind was just right, you got a great whiff of the animals at the zoo.”

Continue reading Bloomington Edge Dancer Rachel lives, and gives, a life of music

Wilmington Sea Dolls Dance and Cheer Team Open Tryouts

saedollsThe Wilmington Sea Dolls, the dance and cheer team of the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, are pleased to announce open audition interview/tryouts for the upcoming 2010-2011 season to be held on Saturday, September 11th at 3:00 pm at A Leap Above Dance Studio which is located at 5015 Wrightsville Avenue in Wilmington, NC. Stacey Bell, Choreographer for the Wilmington Sea Dolls will be coordinating the try outs.

“The Wilmington Sea Dolls are looking for dancers who are dynamic, well spoken, and talented to represent our organization.” says Bell. “If you have the drive and dedication that it takes to be a professional dancer, we encourage you to tryout to be a Wilmington Sea Dolls team member”.

The audition requirements are as follows:

* Must be 18 years of age or older

* Dress in two-piece aerobic/workout outfit (jog bra and bike shorts) or a two-piece leotard

* Only dance or athletic shoes with non-marking bottoms allowed

* Provide a head and shoulder photo

* Bring completed application (application is available on our website, www.wilmingtonseadolls.com)

* $10 Audition Fee – check, cash or money order accepted

Lady Greenhawks Auditions set for September 11th in DC

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Maryland Green Hawks Dance Team

(Still getting caught up from when my computer was broken)

So the last weekend of February I traveled down to Rockville, Maryland to see the PBL’s Maryland Green Hawks Dance Team. (The Green Hawks are the first “Green” professional sports team.) The game was played at Georgetown Prep, which looks more like a college, and probably costs as much (or even more!).

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Green Hawks Dance Team

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C0-Director Bea Codjoe, Choreographer Audra Weaver and  c0-Director Jane Said.  You may remember Bea and Jane as the Directors of last season’s AIFA DC Body Armor. Sadly the team folded, but Bea and Jane are really excited to be working with the Green Hawks. You may remember Audra as the Director of the AIFA Baltimore Lady Mariners. Audra says she’s happy that she can concentrate on choreography and no longer has to worry about directing.  Bea works for a DC non-profit, sort of like a “community kitchen,” while Jane works on the helpdesk for the Department of Labor.

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Shawni has her Bachelors and Masters from the University of Maryland. She’s a mom and works in Law Enforcement. She danced at the University of Maryland and has coached high school and all-star cheerleading squads.

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Rachel is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

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Jess is an Ivy Leaguer with a BA from Princeton and an MA from Johns Hopkins and works for the Voice of America.

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Charity is a personal trainer.

[Green Hawks Dance Team Gallery]


[Maryland Green Hawks Dance Team]

Busted Computer, Busy Weekend

Yes, posting from me has been light. Still no computer, but here’s a peek of what’s coming once I get things fixed:

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The Eagles Cheerleaders at King of Prussia Mall promoting healthy hearts.

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The Reading Express Smokin’ Hot Steam Team unveiling at the Berkshire Mall.

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The Maryland Green Hawks Dance Team thrilling the fans at a home game in Rockville.

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The KiXX Dance Team at the Liacouras Center for the Blast-KiXX game.

Maryland Greenhawks Dance Team

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The Maryland Greenhawks have posted bios and photos of their dance team. You can check them out here.

Lady GreenHawks

The Maryland Green Hawks are proud to announce its Dance Team the Lady GreenHawks. The team is led by Program Directors, Bea Codjoe and Jane Johnson. Both directors have directed teams such as the Montgomery County Ramettes, and recently directed The DC Armor professional indoor football dance team, The Body Armor.

Dancing and cheerleading have continued to be a passion for both Bea and Jane, and after hearing about the opportunity to work with the GreenHawks, they couldn’t not say no. We are excited to be a part of such a strong standing organization that does so much in the community! The team Choreographer is Audra Weaver who has an extensive dance background. Audra spent time as a Cheerleader for the MISL Baltimore Blast  before becoming the director of the AIFA Baltimore Mariners Dance Team.

We support the mission of the Green Hawks organization, and we plan on becoming the 1st go Green Dance team. We are working with uniform distributors on producing an organic uniform, and we will also be using recycled pom poms.

The Lady GreenHawks are the official dance team of the DC Metropolitan area’s only Premier Basketball League team, The Maryland GreenHawks. Auditions for the GreenHawks were held in mid- November and the team has selected 14 talented and professional dancers that reside in the DC Metropolitan area. All of the women on this team have what it takes to represent the DC Metropolitan area in a professional manner.

This group women range in ages 20 to 39 years old. Their careers are in a variety of professions, including business, human resources, medicine and teaching. The Lady GreenHawks dancers will join the GreenHawks organization in community events, parades and festivals in and around the DC Metropolitan area. We also plan to serve as role models to young women in the DC Metropolitan area and we hope to provide camps and other events for young dancers to participate in throughout the summer!

[Maryland Lady GreenHawks]

Lady Greenhawk Dance Team Auditions

The Lady Greenhawks are back!

greenhawksAfter taking a season of while the basketball teams played in China, the Greenhawks are back and ready for another season. The Lady Greenhawks Dance Team is the official dance team of the Maryland GreenHawks Basketball team. The Maryland GreenHawks are the only professional basketball team of the Premier Basketball League based in Rockville, Maryland. As the former Maryland Nighthawks they were part of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and a founding member of the PBL. The team began play in the fall of 2004.
Do you have what is takes to be a Lady Greenhawk Dancer?? Auditions are being held later this month.

Date: Saturday, November 14th, 2009.
Time: Registration ? 11:30am. Audition: 12:00pm-5:00pm
$25 registration fee at audition – Cash Only
Location: Results Gym. 1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW.
Metro accessible from Farragut North (Red Line).

REQUIREMENTS
Must have a full/part time Job or attend college full/part time
18 Years of Age by August 1st 2009 (NO EXCEPTIONS)
Reliable Transportation
Must attend all practices (Saturdays and Sundays), games, community and charitable appearances.

WILL I NEED TO CHOREOGRAPH MY OWN DANCE?

Yes. You will be required to make up your own dance with your own 1 minute song choice (Please have edited music).

WHAT DO I WEAR?
Dance shorts to show your legs (required for uniforms)
Midriff-baring top (Dance or Athletic Bra-Top)
Dance or Athletic Shoes
Select attire that is eye catching and unique

HOW SHOULD I WEAR MY HAIR AND MAKE-UP?
Have your hair and make-up performance ready; please make sure to have your make-up to accent your natural beauty. Your hair should be fixed to the style it is currently in and not to hide your face.

After every participant performs we will have a 30 minute lunch break.

You will then learn a 1 minute dance routine choreographed by a dance instructor and perform in groups in front of the judges.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Your 1 minute choreographed music on a CD
$25 Registration Fee (Cash Only)
Water
Snacks

Is being a Lady GreenHawk Dancer a FULL-TIME JOB??

NO. Being A Lady GreenHawk dancer is time consuming and requires a commitment for a full season. Lady GreenHawks dancers do have full time jobs or attend college and this is a volunteer position.

For more information on the Lady Greenhawks Dance team, please email the director at: greenhawks.dance@gmail.com or see our website at: www.gogreenhawks.com

The Manchester Millrats Seeks a New Dance Team Coordinator

millratsThe Manchester Millrats organization is seeking a new dance team coordinator.

“KeriAnn Lynch did a great job for us the previous two seasons, and we were fortunate to have her help in coordinating the dance team as well as our home game entertainment,” stated Millrats GM Ian McCarthy.

The ideal candidate would have experience on a professional dance team, be organized and enthusiastic, and be a go-getter. Duties would include conducting the dance team tryouts, recruiting, booking entertainment for the home games, and developing & maintaining corporate sponsorships related to the dance team. Interested candidates should send their resumes to millrats@gmail.com.

[Manchester Millrats]