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KCD Auditions – It’s down to 30!


After another tough round of auditions, there are only 30 girls left in the running for the 2009-10 Knicks City Dancers. There are only 16 spots to be filled, so now it gets really tough for the candidates and the judges!

There’s a lot of new stuff from Round 2 on the Knicks wibsite. Click here to see who made the finals, to watch them work with guest choreographer Shane Sparks, and see lots of tumbling and dancing.

P-R-O: Roll Call

Apparently my P-R-O: Goodbye post was a little cryptic for some new readers, so let me explain.

This past weekend cheerleaders and dancers from football, basketball, hockey, soccer, rugby, you name it, came to Atlanta to learn the best choreography for the upcoming season.

Everything from high-stepping county routines and high-energy jazz performances to rousing patriotic spectacles and holiday-themed routines were taught by the top choreographers and directors from professional sports.

This was the 6th annual P-R-O Convention and the third I have been fortunate to attend. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing photos and a little bit about some of the dancers who were in attendance.

I’d like to start by acknowledging everyone who was part of this great weekend.

Now you may recognize this photo of Brandii McCoy (Director of the NBA Charlotte Lady Cats and ECHL Charlotte Checkmates) from last year’s convention. Brandii is now delightfully pregnant. Yea! But she threatened me with severe bodily harm, if I posted any photos of her from the weekend. So this will have to do.

See who else was there in the P-R-O Gallery. (Apologies if I missed anyone)

Eagles Cheerleaders Heading to the Middle East


Cheerleaders Heading To Iraq
June 25, 2009

On July 1, 2009, six Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders will depart for Iraq and Kuwait as part of a 12-day goodwill military tour. This marks the second consecutive year that Eagles Cheerleaders will travel to the Middle East to visit US military servicemen and women. The tour is designed to entertain and boost the morale of the soldiers, many of whom are serving lengthy tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait.

The cheerleaders will be performing variety shows at the bases in addition to meet-and-greets and autograph sessions. The cheerleaders will truly get a sense of the soldiers’ sacrifice as they fly in Black Hawk helicopters, sleep in the barracks and endure the severe climate.

Amanda Bedford, a fourth-year member of the squad, will be one of the six current cheerleaders making the trip.

“I’m going to Iraq and Kuwait not only to boost the morale of our brave soldiers and show my support, but also for more personal reasons,” she said. “I have friends and family currently serving our country in the military, as well as family members who have given their lives to protect our freedom. This tour is my small contribution to those who have sacrificed so much for us.”

Joining Bedford will be Krystle Campbell of Media, PA, Tiffany Monroe of Absecon, NJ, Janelle Stangl of Bethlehem, PA, Alexandra Stephan of Shamong, NJ, and Priscilla Williams of Pennsauken, NJ.

The new cheerleaders embarking on the 2009 tour are looking forward to the visit in part because of the experiences that the cheerleaders had during last year’s tour. Rachel Washburn, who was part of the 2008 tour said, “It was a life-changing experience. It was an opportunity for me to express my appreciation and thank them in person for the sacrifices they are making to protect us and people throughout the world. They are so courageous!”

In addition to traveling to Iraq and Kuwait, the Eagles Cheerleaders have also traveled previously to Bosnia and Kosovo for goodwill military tours. The Eagles Cheerleaders are very active in making appearances at military bases and veterans hospitals in PA, NJ, and DE. Most recently, they appeared at the Walk for the Wounded in Delaware County, a fundraiser for injured soldiers, and at a welcome home celebration at Sovereign Bank Arena for 1,600 members of the Army National Guard that just returned home from Iraq.

“These outstanding NFL cheerleaders will have a tremendous impact on the military personnel serving our country. All of the participants have expressed their passion for our troops overseas and are looking forward to a successful tour and once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says David Chavez, President of Pro Sports MVP.

Scenes from Celtics Dancer Auditions

Celtics.com was live at the auditions in Waltham Saturday, where hundreds of girls showed up for a chance at taking the court next season as a Celtics Dancer. Click here to view the photos on the Celtics website.


Celtics Dancer Auditions: Video and Photos


WALTHAM (FOX25, myfoxboston) – Close to 100 women strutted their stuff in hopes of becoming a member of the Boston Celtics Dancers. Check out video and photos of their auditions. (Click here for lots of photos)

Houston Dynamo Girl Daisy

MLS Houston Dynamo Girl Daisy writes:

I just turned 30 in April and was a former NBA dancer with the Houston Rockets (2002-03) I have 2 boys: Dylan, 5, and Brandon, 21 months. I was very excited to return to Pro Dancing after a 6 year break and be apart of the Houston Dynamo Girls MLS. I teach dance and am a choreographer but most importantly I am a mother of 2 little boys!


Continue reading Houston Dynamo Girl Daisy

Raiderettes: Bigger Than Life

File this under “WICKED COOL”

So, a few days ago I heard about the Oakland Raiders partnering with AirAsia to help raise the Raiders’ profile in Asia, and grow the airline’s worldwide market. I admit, I didn’t pay attention to the details. Blah blah blah… sponsorship. Blah blah blah…airplane. Blah blah blah…unprecedented creative endeavor. Yadda yadda yadda.

And then I saw this:


Yes, that’s an airplane. And yes, those are Raiderettes on the side. Sweet!

There are a few players and the Raiders label on the other side, of course. There’s even an eye patch on the nose of the plane. All of this is reallyl nifty. And I think it really says something about the Raiders and their pride in the Raiderettes.

Stop for a moment and think: what if it was YOUR face up there? I guess you’d try to get a couple more hours of sleep the night before the uniform photo shoot if you thought your image could eventually wind up on the side of an A340 Airbus!

FYI, that’s Angel, April, and Mandy from last year’s team. Angel and Mandy are still on the team this year. I believe April is retired.

Click here to read about it on Raiders.com
Click here to view photos on Posterous.com

Knicks City Dancer Audition Videos

Ever wonder what goes on at KCD auditions? Wonder no more! Here’s a chance to see for yourself.

On the Road with Beyonce

Local dancers share stage with superstar. For the two, tour has become a ‘personal growth experience.’

By Nedra Rhone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It’s hard not to notice Saidah Fishenden and Kimberly Gipson. The defined biceps, streamlined physiques and the way they seem to float rather than walk —- even in four-inch heels —- have a way of attracting attention.

This year, the two Atlanta dancers are getting some of the best attention possible. All the world is a stage for Fishenden and Gipson, who perform several nights a week as backup dancers on Beyonce’s “I AM…” global tour, which kicked off its U.S. leg last week and hits Philips Arena on Wednesday.

The journey from Atlanta to Zagreb, Croatia (where the tour opened in April) began with auditions late last year, not long after Gipson, a New Jersey native, moved to Atlanta. After three years as a Sixers dancer in Philadelphia and gigs at every casino in Atlantic City, Gipson hoped to find more opportunity in the South.

kimsixersKimberly at the Sixers Dancers Auditions in 2006
Continue reading On the Road with Beyonce

Knicks City Dancer Auditions are Underway!


Knicks City Dancers Auditions:
June 28, 2009
The Monitor

Hundreds of dancers showed up to make their best moves at Madison Square Garden today, but only a few dozen were chosen to move on to the next round. Meet the women who made the cut – those who will hit the ground dancing again tomorrow, the next step on the road to becoming a Knicks City Dancer.

The dancers return to The Garden [today] for round two, so stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes audition photos and video of the dancers in action, plus hit Facebook for KCD coach Danielle’s updates from the floor.

Click here for MORE:
Meet the Semifinalists
Day One Highs and Lows
Toes to Nose: The Highest Kicks
How’d They Do That?!
Look, Up in the Sky: It’s Dancers in the Air!
Line Up With the KCD Hopefuls
KCD Audition Photos ’08: Round One | Round Two

Fitness Universe 2009 Results


Good friend of the blog and former Atlanta Hawks Dancer Desiree Nathanson sends us this photo from Fitness Universe 2009. Desiree is on the left and placed 13th in Fitness, moving her way up from 24th last year! In the center is former Cincinnati Ben-Gal Brooke Griffin who is the new Miss Fitness Universe 2009! On the right is another good friend of the blog, Amy Campbell, who cheered for the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals. Amy won Miss Fitness Classic!

Congrats to all the ladies!

P-R-O: Goodbye


I skedaddled out of the hotel on Sunday to catch my flight, so I missed the chance to say good-bye to most of the convention attendees.

Thanks to everyone: the organizers, instructors, sponsors, cheerleaders and dancers for a wonderful weekend.

Lots of photos coming over the next couple of weeks (that’s right, weeks!).


Scenes from the Clippers Spirit Audition Prep Class

2009-spirit-prep-class_32There was a great turnout for yesterday’s Clippers Spirit audition prep class! It was a terrific opportunity for aspiring dance team candidates to meet the Director, Audrea Harris, Assistant Director Cheryl Aure-Azurin, and a few Spirit alumni: Jessie, Brittany, Nicole, Melissa, and Brilane. (Click here for photos.)

Most of the afternoon was spent learning and performing a new combination choreographed by Cheryl. First, The Spirit girls (who had only learned the dance an hour beforehand) performed for the class, and then Cheryl started breaking down the counts. I swear, I hear that “Boom Boom Pow” song every day, and I had no idea the tempo was so fast.

Cheryl taught an 8-ct or two, then the group would do it a few times with the counts, then they’d do it a couple of times with music, and then she’d teach the next 8-ct. The Spirit girls were spread out in the crowd to help demonstrate and answer questions.

After they’d learned the whole combination and done it a few times, Audrea and Cheryl had them perform it in groups of six. Afterward, Audrea said they’d done very well, but she wanted them to try it again and really perform it – smile, attack the moves, keep it sharp, and make it clean. All of the girls took that advice to heart , and the second round of performances was really fun to watch.

Lesson learned: You can’t underestimate the importance of “selling” your performance.

It was a fast couple of hours. After all of the dancing was over, some girls had to leave, but most stayed for a Q&A session. There were lots of questions about everything – the audition process, what to wear, game night, choreographers, professionalism, time commitment, and balancing life as a Spirit Dancer with your life as a student, employee, race car driver, poet, turkey farmer, or whatever else you have going on.

There were lots and lots of questions.

By the end of the day, all of the girls had a MUCH better idea of what to expect and how to prepare for auditions. Tryouts aren’t for another 4 weeks, so the girls have a good amount of time to work on anything that needs to be improved between now and then.

Speaking for myself, I can’t wait to see these girls bring it on audition day. See you July 25th, ladies!

2009-spirit-prep-class_52 2009-spirit-prep-class_5 2009-spirit-prep-class_59

Dolphins cheerleaders give campers more reasons to cheer

Campers put on impressive halftime performance
By Kevin Travis, Sports Editor
Washington Daily News
Sunday, June 28, 2009

PLYMOUTH — Boom goes the dynamite!

2009bowsercampThe cheerleaders at this year’s 2009 Charles Bowser NFL Youth Football/Cheerleading Camp certainly were explosive. Working in unison, the young cheerleaders put together a wonderful halftime routine during a flag football game that capped this weekend’s camp.

Miami Dolphins cheerleaders were on hand this weekend to interact with the girls.

Kim Leary, the camp’s cheerleading coach, was thrilled about the outcome.

“This has been a great experience,” Leary said. “The (Dolphins) cheerleaders have brought some excitement. They have taught them character-building, a healthy way to eat, the lifestyle of being a cheerleader, being smart and getting good grades, having fun and being disciplined.”

Amy M. and Kellie C., a pair of Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, were on hand to lend their support.

“This has been amazing,” said Kellie, a rookie on the Miami cheerleading squad. “The kids are so great. They’re eager to learn.

“They’re just full of life. We’re excited to be here and they’re excited to have us. It’s heart-warming to see them be excited to see us.”

Amy, a second-year cheerleader with the Dolphins, was glad she had the chance to mingle with and teach the campers.

“This means a lot for us to come out here,” Amy said. “Just to meet all these kids and to see how they’re doing in life is great.”

The campers were happy they had a chance to spend some time around professional cheerleaders.

“It’s nice because we don’t get opportunities like this all the time,” said Alexis Owens, 14. “It’s a good experience.”

Tiffany Palin, 13, enjoyed learning new routines from the Dolphins cheerleaders.

“It’s been good having them here,” Palin said. “They taught us some things we didn’t know.”

The campers returned the favor to the Dolphins cheerleaders.

“They taught us three dances and we’re hoping that we can bring them back to Miami and teach them to our girls,” Kellie said. “Learning the dances was the highlight, definitely.”

Campers were from Creswell High School, Creswell Elementary, Pines Elementary and Washington County Union. Participants ranged from first grade to tenth grade.

“It’s an exciting time to have all the schools come together and have a wonderful time,” said Leary, who thanked coaches Shirley Henson and LaTasha McNair for their help. “It’s all about learning to work together, and learning how to make friends.

“We’ve had a great time. I’m glad the girls had a chance to have this opportunity.”

There were certainly plenty of reasons to cheer.

Fomer Knicks City Dancer/Patriots Cheerleader Sarah Mitchell on Dance Your A** Off

courtneyknicksDance Your A** Off is a cross between The Biggest Loser meets So You Think You Can Dance.

The show features teams of overweight contestants will attempt to drop the extra pounds by dancing.

“Teams will get a new dance challenge each week that helps them sweat off those extra pounds,” Oxygen explained in a press release. “They will also learn how to incorporate healthy cuisine into their lifestyle. Each episode culminates with a weigh-in and dance-off.”

Sarah isn’t one of the contestants trying to drop a few pounds; she’s one of the professional dancers paired up with a contestant.

The show premieres Monday, June 29th at 10pm E/PT on Oxygen.

[Dance Your A** Off]