The final spot on our 2014 Toronoto Argos Cheerleaders is up to the fans. Watch the three videos and then vote in the poll below to help us pick who gets the final blue rose!
Cast your vote here.
In a few days, the CFL Toronto Argonauts Alumni Cheerleaders will take the field for their annual “Pink” game half-time show, in honour of breast cancer awareness. Members of the 1996-2012 group have been rehearsing hard this past month, under the instruction of their Choreographer Rochelle Stultz, in preparation for their portion of the performance. Cheerleaders from over 4 decades will perform together with the current squad at half-time.
Says one Argos Alumni Cheerleader, Dawn Maracle (1999-2001 seasons):
“I am so excited and honoured to be a part of the Alumni pink game this year. It’s a poignant return for me, not just as an alumni cheerleader, but also as a cancer survivor. I look forward to returning to the field with a zest for life that is easily matched by my teammates, who share the same passions for dance, performance, fundraising for a good cause, and entertaining the crowd! On the 24th, I am looking forward to increasing the enjoyment of the fans while also raising lots of money for breast cancer research. A favourite memory as a cheerleader is being featured in the 2001 swimsuit calendar and raising money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. What a great experience!”
Dawn is among numerous teammates who have had cancer touch their lives in various ways, through family, friends, colleagues or teammates. The Argos take on the Winnipeg Bluebombers at 730 pm on October 24th at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Contact members of the Alumni teams or visit www.argonauts.ca for ticket details. NFL and CFL Alumni Cheerleader Elizabeth Morgan will keep us posted from on the field as these talented ladies return to cheer for the cause!
The CFL Toronto Argonauts Alumni Cheerleaders began rehearsing this week for their October 24th “Pink” game performance at halftime at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. 100+ Cheerleaders from five decades will put on an exciting show reflecting each of their eras of movement styles and music.
Pictured here is the 1996-2012 group of Alumni in rehearsal, choreographed by Rochelle Stultz.
“The PINK performance is very special and I am very encouraged to see the Argonauts participate and help raise funds and awareness for women’s cancers. I am proud to be among hundreds of women who are taking part” says Argos Alumni Cheerleader Karen Alexander, who has participated in this halftime show for 3 years now. For each of these young ladies, the special time to reconnect with friends from their Double Blue days along with the opportunity to dance on-field for a worthy cause, represents an important annual commitment.
The Argos won the 100th Grey Cup (Canada’s Superbowl), which they also hosted in Toronto, last November. The pressure is on to top last year’s big “Pink” game performance for the reigning Grey Cup Champions. Elizabeth Morgan (Alumni CFL & NFL) will update us as the October 24th performance draws near. For tickets to the game, please visit: www.argonauts.ca
Toronto Rock Cheerleader Alicia shows off her special baking talent
As the two national sports of Canada, people in the hockey and lacrosse communities tend to feed off one another. This was especially true when friends of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban contacted Toronto Rock cheerleader Alicia to order a personalized cake celebrating the Toronto native winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman this past season.
After Alicia’s baking talents were recently featured in a Toronto sports blog here, NLL.com caught up with the 23-year-old from Etobicoke, Ontario to talk cake, cheerleading and the Rock. Be sure to check out the photo gallery to see some of her work.
When did you decide to start baking cakes?
I’ve always loved baking. When I was younger, I would bake to clear my head – my family, friends and coworkers loved it! In 2010, I did my first specialty cake for my cheerleading team’s end of the year party. It was a cake of the Rogers Centre (where I cheered on the Toronto Argonauts as a CFL cheerleader), complete with three levels of stands, fans, players and cheerleaders with pompoms! It was then I decided that I could pursue this as a career, not just a pastime. (At the time I was an English major at university studying to be a teacher). I made the switch to a Baking program and graduated this past spring. It was the scariest decision I’ve ever made but I couldn’t be happier and have never looked back. When work is something you love, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. I’m very fortunate that I get to call this my career.
How did the Norris Trophy cake for P.K. Subban come about?
A friend of mine was going to an event with some coworkers one night and I tagged along. I networked a bit, and a few weeks later, I got a phone call. Apparently a couple of the guys I had been talking to were friends of Subban and wanted to order a cake to celebrate PK winning the Norris Trophy! This was my first high-profile cake so I was a bit nervous, but very excited for the opportunity. I had to pay so much attention to detail because not only was I recreating a highly recognizable uniform, but also Subban himself! Seeing Subban tweet a picture of the cake (here) later that night felt unreal!
What’s your favorite cake that you’ve made?
I love all of the cakes I’ve made because to me they’re my personal works of art, so it’s hard to choose just one! With each cake I gain more experience, so I always feel like my most recent cake is the best yet. My most recent cake is a three-tier cake covered in buttercream rosettes and stars, with a ribbon with a cross on the middle tier. I usually make specialty cakes, so doing a classic cake like this was a fun and welcomed change. My favourite cakes though are the ones that challenge me. I think this is why I love the Norris Trophy cake so much.
Are most of the parts of your cakes edible?
My cakes are usually 100% edible, with the exception of stabilizing dowels on tiered cakes.
Do you watch any of the popular reality TV shows about cake?
When I was younger I used to watch a lot of Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes but my favourite show was always The Food Network Challenge – Cake Edition! Recently I’ve started watching Sweet Genius and Sugar Dome. I’d love to compete on one (or all) of those shows someday!
What’s the best part about being a Rock cheerleader? How long have you been on the team?
Being a Rock cheerleader has been such a great experience so far. The fans are a great part of the job. I love being able to share my energy and passion for lacrosse and the Rock with them. They’re so excited to watch the game and as a cheerleader I feed off their excitement! They’re also the best fans in Toronto and in the league, hands down. I’d say the best part though is being able to call the Rock my family. It’s a very tight-knit group, and we’ve really shown each other that we can and always will come together when a member needs us. I’ve been a professional cheerleader since 2010, and started with the Rock in 2012. Though it’s only been one season so far, I feel like I’ve known the members of the Rock community for years!
Who’s your favorite Rock player?
Probably Garrett Billings. He was our team’s top scorer last season! And of course “my captain, your captain, our captain…Colin Doyle!”
What’s it like to take the floor at the Air Canada Centre in front of 10,000+ Rock fans?
It’s an exhilarating experience! We usually perform three times a game at every home game, yet I still get nervous every time I run out on field! Our fans are amazing and I couldn’t imagine cheering on a better team.
We’ve heard that other Rock cheer members also have some special talents. What can you tell us about your teammates?
Keli is musically inclined and plays the clarinet on the Canadian Armed Forces. Jenny B. is a co-founder of the charity Dancers for Cancer. Trisha is currently in Nicaragua becoming a yoga instructor. Brittany was a performer at The International Festival in Dubai. I’m lucky to cheerlead with a group of diverse and extremely talented young women on the Rock, I wish I could tell you about all of them!
Have you ever brought a cake in to share with your teammates?
One of our home games fell on the birthday of Paola, the head coach of the Rock cheerleaders. She usually brings a cupcake or cake pop to practice for any of our birthdays, so we decided I would make her a special birthday cake and bring it to the game as a surprise. It was a Tiffany’s box with a bracelet on it. Making it was fun but the biggest challenge was sneaking it into the Air Canada Centre and down into our changeroom without her seeing it! It felt like Mission Impossible – we had girls watching doors, girls looking out, and girls coordinating on cell phones throughout the stadium! It took a handful of cheerleaders and diversions, but we managed to pull it off!
What other hobbies do you have?
I love being active – whether it’s taking dance classes, doing yoga, or biking. I also love watching The Walking Dead and zombie movies!
In addition to sampling some of your work, how influential have your family and friends been regarding your career?
I’d just like to thank my family and friends for being so supportive and encouraging throughout this experience for me. They made my career transition seem not so scary and believed in me when it was hard for me to believe in myself.
Can fans contact you about special cake orders?
Yes, they can follow me @cupcakerussell on both Instagram and Twitter or contact me via email at email@example.com.
[Alicia on Twitter]
2012 Argo Alumni, on the field, just after the performance
On October 24th, 100+ Alumni Cheerleaders of the CFL Toronto Argonauts Football Club will take the field for a spectacular halftime show! Rehearsals begin next month for this special performance.
Alongside members of the 2013 Argos Cheerleaders, and alongside the Argos Sunshine Girls squad (the cheerleaders from past years up to 1995), the recent Alumni (from 1996 through to 2012 seasons) are preparing a special routine for their portion of the show. Choreographer Rochelle Stultz is designing an exciting routine reflective of these team years on the squad. The recent Argos Alumni Cheerleaders are celebrating 3 years participating in this special performance, which is also done as part of the Argos’ ‘Pink’ game for Breast Cancer Awareness. It is a great showing of team spirit for a good cause.
The CFL Toronto Argonauts are the 100th Grey Cup Champions and the longest running professional football club in North America. The Argos Cheerleader Alumni were also involved in festivities last November, when Canada’s 100th Grey Cup was hosted right at home, in Toronto.
CFL and NFL Alumni Cheerleader, Elizabeth Morgan, will be sending us updates from the Alumni squad as they near Game Day.
Check out the bios and wallpapers for this year’s team!
Argos Cheerleaders Rachel, Amanda, Stefani, and Kevi
The Toronto Argonauts chose their 2013 cheer team yesterday. Click here to check out photos from finals.
That’s a photo from last Sunday’s Grey Cup, the championship game for the Canadian Football League. Every Grey Cup features cheerleaders from all the CFL teams. They perform at events leading up to the game and the game itself. How awesome would it be if the NFL brought in all their cheerleading squads for the Super Bowl?
Calgary Stampeders Outriders
Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team
Hamilton Ti-Cats Cheerleaders
Montreal Alouttes Cheerleaders
Saskatchewan Rider Cheer Team
Toronto Argos Cheerleaders
Winnipeg Blue Bomber Cheer Team
November 19, 2012
The Toronto Argonauts will battle the Calgary Stampeders for the 100th Grey Cup on the field at the Rogers Centre on Sunday. On the the sidelines, it will be the Blue Thunder vs. the Outriders.
The cheerleading crews for both squads will be out in full force supporting their teams — and providing a distraction between plays — during the big game.
Who would win your vote to secure the Grey Cup if it were up to these ladies? The underdog, come-from-behind Blue Thunder or the red-hot Outriders? Does it matter? Let us know!
TorStar News Service:
Anna Leibenko and her three friends planned their European summer vacation months in advance. Two of the women had travel insurance. Leibenko did not.
The month-long trip started off well. The former Toronto Argonaut Cheerleader celebrated her 24th birthday in Florence at the end of July, toured around Greece, and then hit up Yacht Week in Croatia. Yacht Week is billed as an adventure in which people from all over the world rent yachts, and the regatta takes a week to explore the caves, lagoons and islands of the Adriatic Sea. The Yacht Week website promises a memorable time — partying, night swimming, socializing.
As the sun was beginning to rise on the Adriatic Sea last Friday, Leibenko slipped on a catamaran, turning her summer vacation into a costly tragedy.
It was 6 a.m. and she was with a group of new friends. Everyone started jumping off the boat — a 3-metre drop into the water. Before she had a chance to jump, she slipped and fell, hitting her head on the stairs and landing in the water, her friend Karina Vottchal said from Croatia.
“They were screaming out for help because she was unconscious, and they started to pass on the word they needed a doctor,” says Vottchal, who was asleep three boats away. “There was a doctor from Brazil, ten boats down — she ran out in her pyjamas and saved Anna’s life.”
Leibenko was transported to hospital by a helicopter. She stopped breathing in the hospital and was put on life support, Vottchal said.
Now, Leibenko is in a coma in Split, Croatia, with mounting bills. According to a translated hospital record, she fractured various facial bones and has contusions on her brain and lungs, as well as “shortage of breath.” Her mother flew over to be by her side. Every day, her friends and mom wait until 2 p.m., when they are allowed to visit her for one hour in the ICU.
The foreign affairs department would not release personal details, but in an emailed statement said, “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of a Canadian Citizen who was injured in Croatia. Canadian consular officials in Croatia and in Canada are providing consular assistance to the family as required.”
As soon as her condition is stable, Leibenko will need to be flown to Toronto by air ambulance. Because she had no travel insurance, Leibenko’s friends have started a campaign to raise the tens of thousands of dollars that will be needed for her Croatian medical bills and the medical evacuation.
On Tuesday afternoon, her brother Artem Leibenko, 26, had already raised $23,000 by sharing a website with a Paypal link on Facebook.
“Everybody loves being around her; she’s a fighter, who always tries to help people,” he said. “At the end of day, we just gotta start helping my sister. The longer she stays, the bigger the hospital bill.”
The Leibenko family came to Canada from Russia when Anna was 9. She studied corporate and media production at Seneca College. In 2010, she was a Cheerleader for the Toronto Argonauts.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. We’re doing everything we can to promote that Anna’s family needs a helping hand,” said a Toronto Argonauts spokesman.
Lisa Wermelin, a product manager with Yacht Week, said the incident happened on an “external boat” but was not able to clarify further details before press time because she was busy helping the family.
“Our priority is to be with Anna and her friends and family,” she said. “We’re doing everything we can to help her. It’s tricky when you’re in Croatia, with the language barrier.”
Frank Fotia, the chief operating officer with CAA’s national office, says no Canadian should ever leave the country without travel insurance because of the grave potential consequences. For a few hundred dollars, Fotia says, travelers can be covered for everything, including air ambulance.
“My experience has been young people who perceive themselves to be invincible just don’t think about it,” he said. “I have an 18-year-old and a 24-year-old myself, and insurance is not on their mind. They’re thinking about a trip,” he said.
Vlada Namestnikova, a friend of Leibenko, just got back from a similar vacation in Europe.
“We all decline insurance, thinking that nothing is going to happen to us,” she said.
An account is being set up at TD Bank in trust for Anna Leibenko. For updates on account information, or to donate online through Paypal, visit: help-anna-leibenko.org.
All profits from a fundraiser starting at 9 p.m. Thursday at the TIME nightclub, 81 Peter St., will go to the Anna Leibenko fund. A $20 donation is requested at the door.
Football season has already begun for our neighbors to the North. It’s time to check in with the ladies of the Canadian Football League. Click here to read up on the 2012 Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders.
March 17, 2012
Watch the video
TORONTO – They came. They saw. They did a little dancing.
That was the story Saturday when fierce competition met the Rennaissance Hotel and close to 100 hopefuls attempted to become Toronto Argonauts cheerleaders for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
An intensive two-day process, the tryouts are a demanding blend of physical workouts and personal interviews that seek to discover who will work best on the team of 30.
“We’re looking for a combination of three things: great performers, great physique and an outgoing personality,” says Jorie, who is beginning her third season as head coach of the squad. “We’re always trying to build upon the success of last year but it’s especially exciting this year for the Grey Cup.”
Toronto will host the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup. Cheerleaders are expected to participate in over 20 events throughout the city every year, but that number will increase this season in light of the momentous occasion.
It’s a commitment that exerts plenty of pressure on the girls, many of whom are also developing their careers in fields as diverse as marketing, engineering and chiropractic. Despite having gone through it before, some of of the girls from last year may not make the cut.
“We had a great team last season but you get nervous for the returning girls,” says Co-Captain Jessica, entering her fifth year on the squad. “There is new part of the process this year with the fitness test that focuses on core strength and your ability to maintain composure.”
Soon after the successful candidates are chosen, the team will head to Boot Camp. There they will develop their fitness and bond as a team. It’s all in the interest of entertaining the fans.
“I know what I want to see,” says Rudy Blair, avid Argos fan and judge for the past nine years. “Women who enjoy life, who enjoy what they are doing. Some of them just have that ‘it’ factor and others just will not make the cut.”
The Toronto Argonauts are looking for 30 women to comprise the 2012 Argos Cheerleaders, presented by the Toronto Sun, and be part of the 139th season of Argonauts football as well as the 100th Grey Cup Festival and Game to be hosted right here in Toronto!
Jorie Brown, Head Coach of the Argos Cheerleaders, commented, “As a member of one of the most entertaining cheerleading teams in professional sport, you’ll feel the rush of running into a stadium filled with tens of thousands of screaming Double Blue fans, the exhilaration from the routines you get to perform with your teammates, and fulfillment from all of the great community work we participate in year round. This year will be one of the most exciting seasons to join the Argos Cheerleaders because the 100th Grey Cup Festival and Game will be right here, in our very own city! I want to encourage all ladies from different dance and cheer backgrounds to audition and be part of something very special in 2012.”
As a member of the Argos Cheerleaders, you’ll perform at every home game and select away games, as part of Toronto’s most exciting and established cheerleading team. On the field, you will capture the attention of thousands of fans at Rogers Centre. In the stands, you will meet the city’s most dedicated sports fans. This is your opportunity to represent your city, support some meaningful charity events and act as a role model for many young girls.
Toronto will also host the 100th Grey Cup Festival and Game which gives members of this year’s squad an opportunity to be a part of history. You’ll represent the Double Blue on a national stage during Canada’s largest annual event over ten energy-packed festival days in November, culminating in front of thousands of CFL fans at the big game, and millions more on television, at Rogers Centre!
If you are female, 19 years and over, reliable, physically fit with dance, cheer or gymnastics experience and a positive attitude – we want you to try out! The Argos Cheerleaders have been an integral part of the Argo game day experience for over 30 years and now is your turn to come out and become one of the 30 members of the team. Those who audition will be evaluated on appearance, dance skills, showmanship and personality.
[Complete Audition Information]
New headshots have been posted for the Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders. Click here to check ‘em out. (No profiles or uniform shots yet, but the CFL season starts this month, so I expect updates will be posted sooner rather than later.)
Argos Cheerleaders Kristin, Alyssa, and Nadia