Bears To Add New Sideline Entertainment for 2009 Season

Brad Biggs
Staff Reporter
Chicago Sun-Times

After weeks of rumors and speculation, it’s finally going to happen. The Chicago Bears confirmed today that they are adding cheerleaders to their organization’s entertainment package. The Chicago Bears Cheerleaders will perform at all home games and represent the team off the field and in the community.

This isn’t the first time Bears have had a cheerleading team. From 1977 to 1985, the cheerleaders, then called the “Honey Bears,” danced on the sidelines.

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Soon after the ‘85 Bears shuffled their way to victory in Super Bowl XX, the team’s ownership terminated the cheerleaders, claiming the Honey Bears didn’t fit the Bears’ tough image.

Ironically, it was also the football team’s last appearance at The Big Game.

Many Chicago Bears fans claim the team lingers under a Honey Bear Curse. According to legend, the Bears never will get back to the Super Bowl unless they bring the Honey Bears cheerleaders out of hibernation.

Over the years, a few meetings have been held about bringing back the Chicago Bears Cheerleaders. But it wasn’t until recently that higher ups in the Bears organization, looking to improve the peripheral entertainment on game days, approved the decision.

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The Bears may or may not put a winning team on the field next season, but they will have a dance team at Soldier Field. The too-cute “Honey Bears” moniker has been cast aside in favor of the straightforward “Chicago Bears Cheerleaders.”

Kristen Lena, Director of the Cheerleaders, was recruited just before the end of the regular season. She is tasked with assembling a top-notch dance team that will rival the likes of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Lena ’s worked in the dance team and choreography business for almost 15 years with various teams in the NBA and NFL, and she’s excited about the opportunity to bring the Honey Bears back to life. She will also consult closely with Cathy Core, creator of the original Honey Bears in the 70s and 80s. (Core is currently Director of the Chicago Bulls Luvabulls Dancers.)

The Chicago Bears are one of the few remaining teams in the NFL to field a dance team, and while the move will certainly raise eyebrows, Lena is confident that the team will quickly be one of the most enjoyable aspects of attending a Bears game at the new Soldier Field.

“I’m familiar with the tradition of the Bears, and I’m just honored to be a part of that.” said Lena . “In this day and age, entertainment is the key to a successful game presentation, and the Cheerleaders can be an integral part of that. I think the fans will wonder why we didn’t bring the Cheerleaders back sooner.”

Auditions will begin in May. Competition for about 30 spots will be fierce, and for those who are selected, the rehearsal and appearance schedule will be demanding.

The hard work will begin immediately after the team is announced. The cheerleaders will attend a preseason training camp to prepare the team with basic dance routines, as well as set the high expectations required of all team members. Regular rehearsals will follow, leading up to preseason in August and continuing through the season.

Given her impressive background in the business, Lena knows what she’s looking for in a dancer, and it’s more than a pretty face.

“I like to see people with fire, energy, that spark in their eye, the passion. That comes through very easy. You can spot that a mile away. They need to project the confidence, attitude and professionalism we’re looking for, strong, talented women who carry themselves well,” said Lena .

We know what the fans are looking for: the end of the Honey Bear Curse and a trip to Super Bowl XLIV.

(By the way, I guess I should mention that this whole story is made up. It is April Fools Day after all.)

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