Brother-sister team hopes taping of pilot episode at Sutra Lounge for new cheerleading competition show will be a breakout for all.
By Jeremiah Dobruck
Friday, July 3, 2009
At Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa tonight, Derick Alexander isn’t going to be working the door as a bouncer like he has many Fridays. Instead he’ll be directing cheerleaders, overseeing a fashion show and monitoring every piece of production while he’s filming the pilot for a reality TV show created by his sister Roxanne Alexander-Pringle.
“Pro Cheer Danz” is a potential competition reality show that focuses on seven cheerleaders graded for 13 weeks by their acting, dancing, modeling and cheering ability as producers search for a breakout star.
Alexander, a Costa Mesa resident, is producing and directing the pilot with the sponsorships of local businesses but mostly on his own cash, much of which was earned working the door at Sutra.
Tonight, the cheerleaders will strut down the runway at Sutra as Alexander films the high-fashion segment of the pilot, hosted by his sister.
“The whole idea is it’s a professional fashion show,” Alexander said of the show, which will feature pieces from Orange County designers and stores.
Alexander is shopping out the pilot, looking for a network to pick up the show so he can produce the entire series in what he calls “a can’t-miss situation.”
“I’m glad to do the show here because I feel like I have roots here now,” Alexander said, who followed a roundabout route to living and working in Costa Mesa.
Alexander’s career path might seem a little backward. He’s had small parts in major movies like “Castaway” and “Dreamgirls,” but seven years ago when he married his wife, Sheryll Alexander, he moved from Los Angeles to Costa Mesa and later began attending OCC.
“I decided I want to do a whole lot more in terms of acting, producing and directing, so that’s when I got the film school bug,” Alexander said.
After graduating from OCC, he moved on to Chapman University where he graduated from its film school.
“That’s a big deal for me because there was a point when I thought I would never finish college. I had started and stopped and dropped out of more colleges than I have fingers,” Alexander said.
All the time, he and his wife were supporting their two daughters with Sheryll Alexander’s freelance writing and Derick Alexander bouncing at Sutra so he could fund the career path he yearned for.
“Our challenge together has been to truly be artists together and make money at what we’re passionate about,” Sheryll Alexander said.
That challenge revved up in the spring. When Derick Alexander was graduating from Chapman, his sister approached him with the idea of a show looking for breakout cheerleading stars who could hold their own in modeling, acting and dancing.
“If someone were to watch the show, they’re going to see a variety of different talents,” Derick Alexander said.
Alexander has cut his teeth in both acting and directing, and Alexander-Pringle, with a background in professional cheerleading, including four years as a Raiderette, brings the dance and cheer experience to the production.
“I’ve had over 20 years of cheerleading and dance. It has been my passion all of my life,” Alexander-Pringle said. “Now that I’ve had my hurrah on the sidelines, I want to take it up to the next executive level.”
Alexander-Pringle, who lives in the Bay Area, said Orange County is a perfect place to film the pilot, noting there is an abundance of talent in fields like dance.
“They’re coming out of Orange County like crazy,” she said.
Alexander hopes he too can be a break-out talent from his newfound hometown.
“It’s important to me that the show do well, that I represent Chapman well, represent OCC well and represent Sutra well,” Alexander said.
The popular Sideline Distraction Magazine is always a huge hit at the Convention. The Magazine features articles written by Professional Cheerleaders and photographs of ‘Sideline Hotties’ from various teams and leagues.
Dancers take a look at the magazine during a short break.
Continue reading “P-R-O: Sideline Distraction Magazine“
The P-R-O Convention is all about the choreography, so “Let’s Dance!”
Lots of photos of the cheerleaders and dancers in action here.
The Philadelphia KiXX announced that the Liacouras Center will be the official location of the 2009-10 Philadelphia KiXX Dance Team auditions. The tryouts are scheduled for Thursday, July 16 at the Temple University venue, which is located at 1776 North Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA. Registration will begin at 5:30 pm ET.
Jillian Gonzales will return for her second season as the KiXX Dance Team Director. A six-year member and former co-captain of the Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team, Gonzales is setting the bar high for her sophomore year with the KiXX. “Not only are we looking for beautiful women with great dancing ability, we’re looking for girls with the total package. Our dancers serve as ambassadors of the KiXX, they are a major part of our public relations initiatives and I look forward to building this year’s squad,” said Gonzales of the July 16 auditions.
In addition to performing during all Philadelphia KiXX home games, the dancers will be featured in a 12-month calendar spread shot by Contrast Photography with styling done by Toppers Spa/Salon located in Rittenhouse Square of Center City, Philadelphia.
All positions of this year’s squad are available to interested dancers at least 18 years of age, as of September 1, 2009. Those interested in auditioning are encouraged to bring close-up and full-body photographs as well as their dance resume. Attire for the auditions is shorts or briefs and a crop top, tights optional.
By MVC Jessie, 3-year veteran
All aboard! Nikki and Jessie hopped on the train and headed to Devil’s Lake, ND, for Military Appreciation Day on June 20. This annual event offers the community an opportunity to join together in showing their appreciation for the military. Nikki and Jessie were both happy and proud to bring some Vikings cheer to Devil’s Lake and show their appreciation as well! They enjoyed the powerful speakers and meeting many men and women who serve our country, along with their spouses and children. They also had an opportunity to take a tour of the city of Devil’s Lake!
Nikki and Jessie met many members of the North Dakota Patriot Guard. This group of riders has one thing in common besides motorcycles, and that is their unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security. This group of motorcyclists made a powerful impact on the event as they came riding in together in honor of the military. Once the day came to a close, the girls hopped back on the train for their 8-hour ride back home.
That, as a dozen members of the 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders team are now well aware, is a traditional cry of greeting or enthusiasm by a U.S. Marine. Apparently, it can also mean, ‘Job well done!’
Meagan Pravden, whose father, grandfather and uncles have all served in the U.S. military, was recently treated to a rousing chorus of ‘Oorahs!’ at Camp Kinser in Okinawa, Japan, as were her fellow Buccaneer Cheerleaders. The cheerleaders, part of a traveling troupe participating in an Armed Forces Entertainment overseas tour, had just concluded a variety show performance for a large group of Marines, and there was little doubt it had gone well.
“They received our show very well,” gushed Pravden, one of only two rookie cheerleaders on the tour. “They say, ‘Oorah!’ and we absolutely love performing for them. The Marines are the best! Then again, we’re performing for sailors [Thursday] and that’s unexplored territory for me. I’ve never performed for sailors before. We’re excited to see how they receive the show, but all of our performances have gone over very well so far.”
Pravden and her fellow traveling cheerleaders — Tomoko Kojima, Tiffany Jimenez, Sahara Sears, Tramane Shuler, Jeni Summers, Courtney Russ, Holly Sellers, Sara Tetzler, Aubrey Gainey, Jaime Hanna and Cheerleading Manager Sandy Charboneau — have been out of the States since Thursday, June 18. They flew first to Japan then hopped to Guam on Tuesday. Tampa Bay players Michael Clayton and Will Allen also made the trip, though their itinerary has been slightly different.
The Buccaneers Cheerleaders put on two shows in Okinawa and filled almost every intervening hour with meet-and-greets and other appearances with members of the military. Clayton and Allen stayed in Okinawa one extra day in order to host a football clinic for service members at Camp Shields. For the cheerleaders, a third show at Anderson Air Base in Guam on Thursday will conclude the exhausting but highly rewarding trip; they will arrive back in Tampa on Friday night.
Charboneau and groups of Buccaneer Cheerleaders have participated in many such tours in the past, but each trip remains an eye-opening experience for the travelers, especially those taking part in it for the first time.
“What I’ve heard from most of the girls and how I feel myself is that it’s probably the best part of our jobs,” said Charboneau. “We get to meet people that we never, ever would have had the opportunity to meet. Seeing the impact it has on the people in the military when we just show up and tell them that we appreciate them, it means a lot. It really does.”
Pravden definitely agreed.
“It’s so much more than I expected,” she said. “I’d never traveled internationally before, and to meet all these troops, all the emotional rewards that we get back, it’s such an experience. I’m just so grateful to have this opportunity my first year on the team.”
Like Pravden, most of the cheerleaders on the tour have family members who have served or are currently serving in the military. A chance to say thank you to the men and women protecting our nation was a large part of their motivation to sign up for the trip. That seemed particularly poignant when the tour took the group relatively close to areas of current concern, such as Korea.
Knowing the danger these troops are willing to face, the cheerleaders wanted nothing more than to foster happier thoughts in the men and women they entertained and interacted with.
“Luckily, when we come and hang out with the troops we bring a sort of ‘lightness’ with us, just taking their minds off what they’re doing day to day,” said Sears, a four-year veteran of the squad who has taken part in previous overseas tours. “We’re trying to help them have some fun for a few hours. Emotionally it’s been just as touching as it always is. Each tour that we go on, we meet so many people and we hear so many stories that touch our lives in every single way, and this tour’s no different.
“It’s good for them to reflect and get their minds off being away from home. We meet tons of people from Florida and the Tampa Bay area, and even a lot of people who aren’t from the Tampa Bay area who are Bucs fans. That’s really cool to see, considering we’re thousands and thousands of miles away from home.”
Every tour is packed with appearances, travel and preparations. There’s a little time for sightseeing here and there, a little time for sleep. The schedule can be brutal on the face of it; the cheerleaders arrived in Guam at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, got to their hotel three hours later and were soon back on the meet-and-greet tour.
Still, the travelers uniformly agree that they don’t really feel the exhaustion until they get back to Tampa.
“The schedule is intense and it is hectic, but the thing is that we’re doing are once-in-a-lifetime things,” said Sears. “We’ve visited some troops while they’re practicing getting into their jets and we’ve visited other troops while they were working in the fire station. It’s stuff that you’ve really never had the chance to do before, so our energy level stays high because we’re running on excitement and adrenaline. The short hours of sleep are totally worth what we’re getting to experience every single day.”
Pravden says the adrenaline pumps double-time for the first-timers on the tour.
“I’ve never done this before so every experience is a new one,” she said. “Every meet-and-greet, you never know what you’re going to get, who you’re going to shake hands with, who you’re going to talk to and the experiences you’re going to hear. It’s just been non-stop and I’ve loved it.”
This was the first time that representatives from the San Antonio Spurs made the trip to P-R-O. Silver Dancers Director Raquel Garcia brought along her two captains, Tina and Monica.