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Edmonton Oilers to Get Cheerleaders

By Pamela Roth
Edmonton Sun

They won’t be waving around pom-poms or tossing each other up in the air, but the Edmonton Oilers are getting set to entertain fans in a new way with the first Canadian cheerleading team in the NHL.

The Oilers recently announced they will be hosting auditions for a cheer team at the end of the month. The cheerleaders will make their big debut during a home game later this year.

According to Patrick LaForge, Oilers President and CEO, there are 23 teams in the NHL that already have cheer teams entertaining fans in the stands when the puck isn’t in motion.

Oilers want to start a cheer squad like the Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad.

Oilers want to start a cheer squad like the Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad.

After attending several American NHL games that had cheerleaders in the stands, LaForge said the Oilers wanted to create a cheer team of their own to enhance the entertainment.

“They are not football cheerleaders with pom-poms and things like that. They kind of orchestrate when to get up, dance and get excited,” said LaForge, who also received requests from fans to have a cheer team. “I think fans will be intrigued. They will add spice to the evening.”

Since there are no sidelines for a cheerleader to perform at a hockey game, LaForge said the dancers will be located in the concourse areas and select locations in the upper bowl.

The cheerleaders will perform during all home games, travel locally and participate in community events. They will also sign autographs and pose for pictures at the games.

An Edmonton Oilers Cheer Team Calendar will also be launched during the holiday season.

In order to become a cheerleader, the Oilers state on their website there are no height and weight requirements, but they are looking for “athletic girls in good physical condition.”

Cheer, dance and gymnastic experience is also helpful, but not required.

Some Canadian teams already have ice girls who wear tight pants and a revealing top to push shovels and clean up the snow created by players during the game.

LaForge said the cheer team will be much different than the ice girls and will provide not only a unique experience for the fans, but also for the girls themselves.

“I think being a cheer person to the Oilers will be special,” he said. “If the girls stay with us, they will be known as celebrities and they will be appreciated.”

An information session will be held Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Telus Field.

Preliminary auditions will take place Oct. 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the World Health Club Gateway location and continue Oct. 30.

For more information visit www.edmontonoilers.com/cheer.

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