Pro Bowl Cheerleader Photo of the Day: January 28th

Pro Bowl Buffalo Jill Katie instructs future cheerleaders during a Pro Bowl Cheerleader Clinic at Schofield Barracks on Thursday

Pro Bowl Buffalo Jill Katie instructs future cheerleaders during a Pro Bowl Cheerleader Clinic at Schofield Barracks on Thursday

Arizona Rattlers Sidewinders Finals This Saturday

The Arizona Rattlers have announced that the Sidewinders audition finals for the 2011 squad will be held at Casino Arizona on Saturday, January 29. The finals will take place from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Showstoppers Live Theatre in Casino Arizona and will be open to the public.

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All season ticket holders, fans, media and friends are encourage to attend and show their support. Approximately 18 of the best dancers will be selected to join the 2011 Sidewinders. Featured events include dance auditions and a bikini walk. Casino Arizona is located off the 101 Freeway. Exit at McKellips, turn right (east) then take a left at 92nd street.

For more information, please visit the Arizona Rattlers web site.

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NLL.Com Girl of the Week – Alexis

Second-year member of Colorado’s Wild Bunch Dance Team wins this week’s voting
NLL.com
1/26/2011

alexis_wild-bunch-2011NLL.com: Where did you go to school?
Alexis: I graduated from Grandview High School! Go Wolves! I studied Special Education at The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

NLL.com: Where do you currently reside?
Alexis: In Denver, the best city in the WORLD!

NLL.com: What dancing experience do you have? How did you get started?
Alexis: I started dancing when I was 13 years old at Dance Intensity! I was trained in Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Poms. Hip Hop is my favorite style of dance. I was also on the Poms squad in high school.

NLL.com: What do you do when you’re not cheering on the Mammoth at the Pepsi Center?
Alexis: I also Volunteer at the Johnson Adult Day Program, a program for individuals who have neurological changes and physical disabilities. It is so much fun! I get to dance and sing songs all day and be a goof ball with some amazing people!

NLL.com: How would you describe yourself? How do you think friends would describe you?
Alexis: I would describe myself as very outgoing and hardworking. My friends would probably describe me as very energetic and say that no matter where I am or if there is music or not I am always dancing!!

NLL.com: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Alexis: My biggest pet peeve would probably be rude people. I believe that having a kind heart and a genuine attitude is worth far more than a pretty face.

NLL.com: What is your favorite part of cheering on the Mammoth?
Alexis: The energy from the fans. We really do have the best fans in the league. Hearing them cheer the Wild Bunch and the team on really makes all the hard work preparing for the games worth it!

NLL.com: Who is your favorite Mammoth player? Any reason in particular?
Alexis: I would probably pick Mac Allen because he is in Law school, and a professional athlete. I think the fact that he is able to balance both is a really admirable accomplishment. It’s really awesome, we have such a well-rounded group of guys out there. However, Brian Langtry does come in a close second because of his “sick flow.”

NLL.com: What’s the best part of the NLL?
Alexis: The fan loyalty! NLL games are much different from other sports because the same fans show up every game to cheer us on. We get to know the fans, and they get to know us. It’s a much closer bond I feel than some of the other sports get. Sort of like a big, huge, loud rowdy family. I love it!

NLL.com: If you could say one thing to the fans in Colorado, what would it be?
Alexis: You are the absolute best! You are the reason I show up every single day! I appreciate every single fan that voted for me, and that comes to the games! I love you guys!! Go Mammoth!

NLL.com: Finish the sentence. The Wild Bunch is…
Alexis: Not as wild as you would think! We actually are all very professional at practice, and work very hard. We have a great group of 14 talented, beautiful, smart and loving girls! We all get along so well, and really help each other out. I am so proud of the girls I work with out on that field!

NLL.com: My perfect day is…
Alexis: With my family!

NLL.com: My role model is…
Alexis: My step-mom Kathy. She is the most amazing person in the world!

NLL.com: One day, I hope to be…
Alexis: An international volunteer!

NLL.com: You may be surprised to know that I…
Alexis: Wear glasses 98% of the time. When I am not dancing the “specs” are on my face!

Eagles Cheerleaders at the Playoff Pep Rally

Courtesy of Reader Mike, some photos of the Eagles Cheerleaders (and possible our last look at the 2010-11 squad) back on January 6th, when the Eagles held a playoff pep rally at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Philadelphia as part of the run up the the Packer-Eagles game.

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Continue reading Eagles Cheerleaders at the Playoff Pep Rally

Twenty-Five Years Ago, the Chicago Honey Bears Rode Off Into the Super Bowl Sunset: Part III: Super Bowl Honey Bear Tena Casassa-O’Keefe, First Person

Tena (left) with her Honey Bears squad mates

Tena (left) with her Honey Bears squad mates

It was twenty-five years ago yesterday that the Chicago Bears won their first and only Super Bowl, and their cheerleaders, the Honey Bears, walked off the field for the last time. We have been so fortunate to learn about the experiences of two Honey Bear captains, in Part I, Renee Halverson, and in Part II, Maribeth Duffy-Bolger.

Today, in Part III, Honey Bear Tena Casassa-O’Keefe shares her experiences. Tena was on her second year on the Honey Bears during their final season when the Bears won it all. I so enjoy Tena’s telling of her Honey Bear time. So here it is, “I, Tena,” first person:

As a kid, we moved from the city to the suburbs, but I still considered myself a city girl. My parents had been die hard Bears fans from the old Bobby Douglass quarterback days! Even when I was little, I could remember the family screaming and cheering at the television during games.

I was a pompom girl in high school, LOVED to dance, but never really had any professional training. When I was in college at Northern Illinois University, I enrolled in the Miss Illinois/USA pageant. I remember calling my mom the first day of the four day competition and telling her how out of my league I was! These girls all had professional dance/acting/modeling backgrounds and I was this “708er” (based on the area code) as they used to call the suburban girls. While I was there, a couple of the girls were talking about trying out for the Honey Bears, and was I interested? REALLY?! Of course I was!

Again, what an overwhelming experience. It was the spring before the 1983 season. They held tryouts at the old McCormick Place Hotel. What they told us the first day was that of the 32 spots, 16 were held for “veteran/returning” dancers. I don’t know how many were there trying out, but I heard estimates of over 1,800 girls! It would be a series of cuts over I believe two different tryouts. I do remember looking at the veterans, and having a moment of “hero worship.” They were so glamorous! I was 21 at the time, but felt like an awkward 13 year old. I kept making cut after cut, and they were down to, I think, the last 100 girls, including the veterans. Sadly, as they made the last announcement, I was NOT on the final list.

Devastated, I spent the weekend not talking to anyone. Even though family and friends told me I had made it so far on my first try, it was not a comfort. I really was a true Bears fan and was really looking forward to being at Soldier Field. I went to work Monday morning, still in a fog. Sitting at my desk, I was contemplating how in the world I was going to tell everyone that I hadn’t made the squad, when the phone rang. “Hello, Tena? This is Cathy Core from the Chicago Honey Bears.” I was thinking to myself, did you call to rub it in again about how I didn’t make it? “I was calling to tell you one of my veterans is pregnant.” Again, it didn’t register right away, was she asking me to help plan a baby shower? “Your name was next on the list, and I wanted to know if you were still interested in being a Honey Bear?” UMMM, REALLY? I tried to keep calm on the phone, but after we hung up, I was hooting and hollering around the office! A second chance! At the time, I hadn’t realized what a true lesson in life that it really was: never give up and NEVER surrender! (laughs) I couldn’t wait to tell my mom, she sat on the floor in the hallway with me at McCormick Place that day, and she was the biggest Bear fan I knew at the time. I knew it would make my parents proud.

Tena during her second season

Tena during her second season

Continue reading Twenty-Five Years Ago, the Chicago Honey Bears Rode Off Into the Super Bowl Sunset: Part III: Super Bowl Honey Bear Tena Casassa-O’Keefe, First Person

Video: Ben-Gals in Iraq

Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleaders Andrea, Brooke Lindsey H., Elizabeth, Lindsay, Sarah G, Sarah J, Teresha, and Tiffany are on the road, visiting the men and women stationed in Iraq. Here’s a video of one of the dances from their variety show.

Sad News: Former Eagles Cheerleader Succumbs to Cancer

janis-hill2By Claudia Vargas

January 25, 2011

Janis Hill, 52, of Woolwich Township, a former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader and a breast cancer survivor and advocate, died Thursday, Jan. 20, at Pennsylvania Hospital following surgery to remove two brain tumors.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Mrs. Hill became involved with the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Described by Komen Philadelphia chapter executive director Elaine Grobman as compassionate, kind, and bright, Mrs. Hill volunteered her time to various Komen for the Cure events, including the survivors march.

One of her most significant contributions was a recent video montage uploaded on YouTube of 136 former Eagles cheerleaders performing together at Central High School in Philadelphia.



Janis with the Philadelphia Eagles Liberty Belles, front and center

Julia’s Pro Bowl Adventure

It looks like Julia from the Tennessee Titans is having a blast during the week leading up to Pro Bowl. Making friends, having good times, that’s what it’s all about, amigos!

Julia with her PBC banner


Nicole (Falcons), Brittany (Cowboys), Taryn (Cardinals), and Julia


Julia with Tiffany from the Bucs

2011 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders at the Squad Photo Shoot

2011 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders (click to enlarge)

2011 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders (click to enlarge)



Dangit – why didn’t I go with him?? GRRRRR ~ sasha

Atlanta Pro Dance Series Starts in February

Are you a current, former or prospective professional dancerAtlanta Pro Dance series or cheerleader?

Does your team need hot choreography? Would you like to meet others in the industry or focus on upcoming audition? Then get ready for the 2011 Atlanta Pro Dance Series including Audition Workshops and the May 2011 Pro Dance Convention!

WHY CHOOSE GOING PRO ENTERTAINMENT?

** Learn choreography from elite pro cheer alumni
** Get tips on fitness, nutrition, makeup, attire and more
** Receive feedback to improve your success in pro cheerleading and dance
** Network face to face with others in the industry
** Receive sponsor discounts such as attire, hair styling and fitness training

PRO CHEER PREP WORKSHOPS:

Nicole Duncan** Session One: Friday, February 11, 2011, 6:30-9:30pm
** Session Two: Friday, March 11, 2011, 6:30-9:30pm

** Location: Rockdale Gymnastics,
1774 Old Covington Rd Ne, Conyers, GA 30013

** Description: Preparatory workshops are perfect for the future pro dancer or returning pro dancer looking to feel more confident during auditions. Attend one session or two sessions, concentrating on different choreography and tips at each class.
** Cost: $45.00 for one, $79.00 for two. Receive 15% off if you register before Feb. 2!

** Presenters:

  • Nicole Duncan, 5-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, NFL Cheerleader Challenge Competitor, Fitness model for Oxygen Fitness Magazine
  • Sandra FieldsSandra Fields, 6-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, WNBA Dancer – Atlanta, 2010 USA Science Cheerleader, National fitness competitor
  • Kelly Stewart Barker, 6-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, Pro Bowl Cheerleader, Director of the Atlanta Chiefs Cheerleaders, Regional Sales Representative of Angela King Designs and Go Wild! Wear
  • Hair and Makeup, to be announced
  • And More!


PRO DANCE CONVENTION:

** Saturday, May 7, 2011, 9:00am-4:00pm
** Location: TBD, Atlanta, Georgia

** Description: Get moving all day with pro style choreography, presentations and networking! Scheduled in coordination with the Fluid Dance Convention, the pro dance agenda is geared toward the adult dancer involved in the professional cheerleading and dance industry. Learn hot choreography for your team or audition. Meet others in the industry. Learn about audition opportunities. Receive giveaways from sponsors. You may also choose to attend the second day of the Fluid Dance Convention and learn from an exciting roster of choreographers.
** Cost: $85.00 Saturday only, $136.00 Weekend – Early bird rates include 15% off and are available until March 25. (Regular $100 / $160) Pre-register now with no down payment!

** Presenters:

  • Sarah SchachterleSarah Schachterle, NBA Director for the Nuggets, NBA Dancer, Choreographer for RockStarz, America’s Best Dance Crew, Universal Dance Association, college and pro teams across the U.S.
  • Nicole Duncan, 5-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, NFL Cheerleader Challenge Competitor, Fitness model for Oxygen Fitness Magazine
  • Sandra Fields, 6-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, WNBA Dancer – Atlanta, 2010 USA Science Cheerleader, National fitness competitor
  • Kelly Stewart Barker, 6-year NFL Cheerleader – Atlanta, Pro Bowl Cheerleader, Director of the Atlanta Chiefs Cheerleaders, Regional Sales Representative of Angela King Designs and Go Wild! Wear
  • Hair and Makeup, to be announced
  • And More!

[Complete Event Information]

Twenty-Five Years Ago TODAY, the Chicago Honey Bears Rode Off Into the Super Bowl Sunset: Part II: an Interview with Super Bowl Honey Bear Maribeth Duffy-Bolger

Maribeth (right) in the Honey Bears poster from the Super Bowl season

Maribeth (right) in the Honey Bears poster from the Super Bowl season

It was twenty-five years ago today, and Sergeant Pepper did not tell the band to play. He told Bears fans to cry for joy because the Bears would win their first Super Bowl, but also to weep for the last game for the Bears cheerleaders, the Honey Bears. On 26th of January, 1986, after Super Bowl XX, the Bears walked off the field, carrying Coaches Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan on their shoulders, in celebration of their 46-10 win in New Orleans. But, walking behind the Bears off the SuperDome turf were the Honey Bears, leaving the field for the last time. The Bears had announced months prior that this would be the last season of Honey Bears, their ninth season of providing sidelines entertainment at Soldier Field.

In Part I, we learned about the experiences from pre-Super Bowl Honey Bear Captain, Renee Halverson. In Part II, to continue to celebrate Honey Bear memories, we are also thrilled to have the opportunity to interview one of the Honey Bear captains on the sidelines in New Orleans during that sole Bear Super Bowl victory. Maribeth Duffy-Bolger was in her third season as a Honey Bear in 1985-86, and one of four captains. Maribeth shares memories of the emotional highs and lows that occurred during Honey Bear try-outs, the time that Bears fans actually booed their beloved Honey Bears, how being at the Super Bowl doesn’t always mean you will actually SEE the game, and why it is good during a Sunday night lively Super Bowl celebration to have a Saturday Night Live alum around.

Maribeth is originally from the Chicago area, specifically Woodridge, and attended Downers Grove North High School. She spent three years during high school on a state champion drill team, which was a key for her future success with the Honey Bears. “That is where my high kicks, my splits, and my dancing came in,” recalls Maribeth, “We were so good, and we used to practice between four to six hours a day.” Maribeth went on to be a cheerleader at Benedictine University, a small Catholic university located in Lisle, a suburb of Chicago.

Maribeth first thought about trying out for the Honey Bears when she heard about try-outs on the radio one afternoon. Maribeth remembers, “I heard they were having tryouts and I thought, WHY NOT?! I never thought in a million years that I would ever make it. I didn’t even tell anybody except my mom and dad that I was trying out.”

“Tryouts were a very long process,” Maribeth relates, “First, they sent you an application, like a job application. You had to fill that out and send your picture in, with all your dance experience. Weeks later, I got a notice in the mail that I could try out, and I guess they received 5,000 applications. So that was the first sort of ‘cut,’ if you will. They gave you a time to show up, and you were interviewed and then you danced; you had to do splits and kicks and all that kind of stuff. In my group, they picked two out of eight. Then you came back two weeks later, and kind of the same thing. You tried out in a group at a certain time. I think that went on for about a month. You just kept going back, and getting interviewed, and dancing, and all kinds of stuff. They kept cutting people from there.”

According to Maribeth, “The very last day is a very long day, because there are about 100 people left, and then they bring in the squad from the year before, and then you had to try out against them as well. So there’s just a process of elimination the entire day. They just kept saying that they were going to have another elimination, so they would send us out into the hallway, and then they would call out a number, and if they called your number, you either stayed out in the hall or came back in. Finally, later in the afternoon, my coach (Cathy Core) said, ‘Okay, we need the following girls to come back in, because we are still not sure if we are going to choose you.’ They included me, and I went in there, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to dance my heart out!’ She put on the music and we all danced and danced and danced. After that, then Cathy said, ‘I’ve made my decision, THIS is the new squad.’ Of course, all of us started screaming. It was amazing!”

New to the process, Maribeth did not realize that a veteran’s earlier reaction symbolized the mix of high and low emotions on such a competitive day. “Right before I was going through first tryouts, I called a girl from my hometown who was on the squad, and I said, ‘Hey, I am going to try out for Honey Bears, can you give me some pointers?’” Maribeth relates. “She said, ‘Oh yeah!’ and she told me everything I needed to know for every single tryout.” While Maribeth received the elating news of being chosen for her first squad, the veteran did not make the cut that same year. “I felt so bad because she made it to the very last minute, and then, remember when Cathy called us in, and said she was not really sure. When Cathy said, ‘Can you do the dance, so I can make my final decision?,’ they did not call her, and I just remember her starting to cry. I thought, ‘I wonder why she is crying?’ but she probably knew that she did not make it. I felt so bad because I felt like I took her spot, after she gave me all these pointers. They only picked about 15 new girls, they cut half the squad every year, and they only picked 15-16 new ones, so there are 15 of out 5,000 applications. It is not a very high amount.”

Maribeth's first squad goes on location for a group photo

Maribeth's first squad goes on location for a group photo

Continue reading Twenty-Five Years Ago TODAY, the Chicago Honey Bears Rode Off Into the Super Bowl Sunset: Part II: an Interview with Super Bowl Honey Bear Maribeth Duffy-Bolger

SI.com: Atlanta Thrashers Blue Crew

Sports Illustrated has a new set of photos of the Thrashers Blue Crew clearing the ice on game day. Click here to go there now.

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Islanders’ Ice Girls Help Out at Mineola Food Drive

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Ken Ryan
Mineola Patch
January 24, 2011

Food drives are common occurrences during holiday seasons, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, hunger on Long Island knows no off-season.

Alan Smith, manager of Roni Deutch Tax Center at 134 E. Jericho Turnpike in Mineola, understands this better than most people do. He is a member of the speaker’s bureau for the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) in Hempstead and his mission is to raise awareness of this issue.

The INN operates a growing network that includes 1,500 volunteers managing 19 soup kitchens. Together they serve more than 320,000 meals annually, according to the organization.

The INN, founded by volunteers in 1983, addresses the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing shelter, long-term housing and supportive services in what Smith says is a “dignified and respectful manner.” Smith said the INN has a “don’t ask” policy when it comes to feeding the hungry.

“If you’re someone who has the guts to go there, you probably need a meal,” Smith said. “A lot of the people probably [who come for food] have jobs but don’t make a lot of money.” Instead, studies show, they make sacrifices like paying for utility bills and rent while cutting back on food.

TheRoni Deutch Tax Center collected non-perishable food items and clothes Saturday as part of its commitment to fight hunger and homelessness on Long Island.

In exchange for donating five non-perishable food items, customers received a 25 percent discount off their 2010 tax preparation fees. For every non-perishable can of food, the tax center takes off $10 on the bill, up to $50 (five cans).

“This is ongoing through the tax season,” Smith said. “We’re very community minded here.” The offer extends to unemployed workers who will receive a 50 percent discount off the price of their 2010 federal and state returns.

All food donations will go to benefit the INN.

The New York Islanders organization took part in the food drive by sending two members of the Islanders Ice girls’ team to Mineola to collect food and greet passersby. The Ice girls at the event were first-year member Victoria and third-year member Danielle. As per the organization’s policy, they do not give out their last names.

The 11-member New York Islanders Ice girls’ team, the first of its kind in the National Hockey League, takes part in many community efforts during the season. Each Ice girl goes to four events of her choosing.

“I chose this one because I thought it would be cool,” Danielle, who identified that she was a student at Adelphi University and a competitive skater and coach, said.

Victoria, a rookie on the team, had competed in Europe the previous 3 years. Her plans include attending C.W. Post. She is happy to be an Ice girl, which requires speed and precision skating. “I love it so much,” Victoria said, calling it, “My dream came true.”

Smith praised the Islanders organization for their service to the community. “The Islanders bend over backwards for their corporate sponsors,” he said.

The Allen Wranglers call in The L.A.W.

The Allen Wranglers, professional indoor football team, has announced its new dance team, The L.A.W., Ladies of the Allen Wranglers.



Top row: Chelsea, Soundrea, Brittany, Naomi, Brooke, and Briana
Bottom row: Samantha, Raven, Brehn, Catherine, and Grace.
Not pictured:Kristen

The team will be headed up by Dance Team Director Kamwin Bryant. Bryant is from Antlers, OK. She has 5 National Championships in competitive cheer and dance. Bryant was a competitive gymnast for over 11 years. She has cheered for Eastern Oklahoma State College, University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma.

Bryant has danced for the AFL Oklahoma City YardDawgz and is currently a NHL Dallas Stars Ice Girl. She has coached gymnastics, cheer and dance and choreographed state cheer and dance routines.

“I am so excited to be working with such a great organization as the Wranglers and I am ready to introduce The L.A.W. Dance Team to Allen during the Wranglers inaugural season,” said Bryant.

Bryant will be joined by Assistant Director Christina Swanson. Originally from Bossier City, La, Swanson has been dancing since she was three. She is a trained in multiple dance styles. She was captain of her college danceline at Northwestern State University. She won the title of Miss High for the state of Louisiana. She also placed in the top ten and won a talent award at Miss Louisiana. She has choreographed for junior highs, high schools, college teams, competitive studio teams and solos. Swanson also started a dance program at her local boys and girls club while in college. While Swanson was the director of a studio she took several of the teams to national dance competitions. She is currently a Dallas Stars Ice Girl.

The L.A.W. Dancers
Naomi – Dallas, TX
Soundrea – North Richland Hills, TX
Raven – Allen, TX
Brooke – OKC, OK
Grace – Richardson, TX
Samantha – Irving, TX
Briana – McKinney, TX
Chelsea – Plano, TX
Kristen – Port Neches, TX
Catherine – McKinney, TX
Brittany – Flower Mound, TX
Brehn – Plano, TX

The L.A.W. Dancers will perform at Allen Wranglers home games at the Allen Event Center, in The Village at Allen. The Wranglers inaugural season begins Feb. 28, season tickets are on sale now and single game tickets will go on sale Feb. 7. For more information call 972-912-3111 or visit www.AllenWranglers.com.



Brooke and Briana


Grace


Raven


Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz

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Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz is Motivational Enthusiast, Social Media Expert and Artist.

She’s also been documenting her experiences during her rookie season.

We already showed you part one. Here are the latest videos.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

[Meg Liz on Facebook]

[Meg Liz on Facebook, Again]

[MegLiz.com]

[Florida Panthers Ice Dancers]