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Raiderette Auditions & Audition Prep Class Set

The 2011 Raiderette auditions and prep class are set for April.

The audition prep class to prepare candidates for the upcoming Raiderette auditions will be offered in Oakland on Saturday, April 2, 2011 with check-in beginning at 8:00 AM.

The dance and audition prep class will be held at the Ira Jinkins Recreational Center in Oakland from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. The cost for the class is $40.00 if pre-registered by March 24, 2011 or $45.00 for walk-in registration (cash only).

The Oakland Raiders are searching for enthusiastic and talented candidates to serve as Raiderettes for the 2011 season. Preliminary auditions will be held on April 10, 2011 at the Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel. Check-in will begin at 8:00 AM., with interviews immediately following.

There is no dance audition at the preliminary auditions. Suggested attire includes daytime dresses, skirts or shorts, with appropriate hairstyle and makeup. Finalists will be announced at the end of the event.

Rehearsals for the dance routine will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 and Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 7:00-9:00 PM. The final audition will be held on April 17, 2011. Auditions and rehearsals are closed to the general public.

Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old by the date of the preliminary audition; available to attend all home games;rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9:30 PM (beginning in late April); rehearsals Saturday mornings from 7:30-10:30 AM; special public relations, charity and performance events; and a full day mini-camp on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

Candidates may not cheer for both the Raiders and another professional or college team. Pre-registration is strongly advised for participation in the audition process. The advance fee to register is $20.00 and the deadline is March 31, 2011. Walk-ins are welcome on April 10, 2011 and the fee is $25.00 (cash only).

For more information log on to www.raiders.com/raiderettes.

2011 St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Finalists

Congratulation to the 50 finalists for the Rams Cheerleaders.

See photos from auditions here.

Watch highlights here.

And cast your vote for who you think should make the squad here.

Sacramento Mountain Lions Dance Team Finals Will be Open to the Public

The Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League will hold their final cheerleading auditions at Dream Ultra Lounge (908 15th St., Sacramento, Ca. 95814) on Friday, April 1.

The auditions will begin at 6 p.m. while the doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. KHTK radio personalities Don Geronimo and Carmichael Dave will serve as the evening’s MC’s for the event.

Fifty-three women will be competing for the 32 spots on the Lady Lions 2011 cheerleading squad. This group of ladies qualified for the finals by being among the top performers at one of two preliminary auditions. Nineteen veterans from last year’s team received a pass through the preliminary round, but will have to compete with the rest of the finalists to keep their spots at these final auditions.

You can visit www.facebook.com/SacramentoMountainLions for a picture and short bio of all 53 potential Lady Lions.

The squad of 32 will be picked on April 1 following the auditions.

“I am so impressed with the quality of girls that are in the finals – it’s going to be a really tough audition,” said Mountain Lions Cheer and Dance Team Director Lindsay Shoemaker. “Any of them can make it. We have about 10 girls hovering around the final three spots – taking into account their preliminary audition and interview scores.”

The Lady Lions will perform at all four Mountain Lion home games this fall and will serve as ambassadors for the organization throughout the season.

“The preliminaries were closed but the finals are open to the public and we are looking for audience participation in helping us choose the team,” Shoemaker said. “So come on out and cheer on your favorites.”

Scenes from Eagles Cheerleader Auditions

MyPHL17: Over 400 aspiring cheerleaders auditioned in front of judges for a spot on the Eagles squad on Saturday, March 26. The ladies who advanced will return next week for a semi-final round, and then for a final audition on April 20 at the Suzanne Roberts theatre.

[Round 1 Photos]
[Round 2 Photos]

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader Natalie

Five-year veteran Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader Natalie interned at CNN, scored a lobbying position in DC, moved back to Atlanta where she works for the Georgia State Senate and is getting married in one month.

WSBTV did a story on Natalie and you can watch the video here.

[Natalie at AtlantaFalcons.com]

Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders Open Call Auditions

A very long Saturday on the Club Level at Lincoln Financial Field where close to 350 hopefuls turned out to audition for the 2011-12 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. Candidates were taught a routine by Choreographer Suzy Zucker and had two chances to perform before a panel of 10 judges.





Erica and Racheal

Erica and Racheal

Lauren and Megan

Lauren and Megan

Stephanie (former Wings Angels Captain)

Stephanie (former Wings Angels Captain)

Stephanie (former Ravens Cheerleader)

Stephanie (former Ravens Cheerleader)

Jessica and Jackie

Jessica and Jackie

Good luck to all the ladies who made it to the semi-finals!

[Open Call Gallery]

Former Eagles Cheerleader, Wendy Roberts, Tumbled into Gymnastics

by Casey Phillips

When she opened the Gymnastics Center of Chattanooga, Wendy Roberts said, she knew almost nothing about the sport.

In high school, Roberts, 46, competed as an amateur giant slalom skier and later spent eight years as a professional cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles. When GCC opened its doors in October 2004, however, her knowledge of floor routines, tumbling and uneven bars was minimal.

“What I knew about gymnastics could fit in a thimble,” Roberts said, laughing.

In the last six years, GCC has gone on to train hundreds of gymnasts, including many who have qualified for regional and national competitions. With about 550 children on her current roster, including about 70 on her competitive team, Roberts said her knowledge base has increased substantially.

Wendy Roberts, a former NFL cheerleader, is the owner of Gymnastics Center of Chattanooga which hosts a variety of classes including a class called Tiny Tigers. She is also the owner of Ooltewah Athletics Center.

Wendy Roberts, a former NFL cheerleader, is the owner of Gymnastics Center of Chattanooga which hosts a variety of classes including a class called Tiny Tigers. She is also the owner of Ooltewah Athletics Center.

Q: What do you get out of running the gym?

A: This is something you do because your heart is in it, not because you’re expecting great financial rewards. The rewards [are] what we offer to the community. When we have little kids crying because they don’t want to leave, you can’t put a price on that. With our team program, it’s the spirit of excellence. Our kids compete very well because they are happy … to be there.

Q: What are your plans for the gym?

A: We’re 12,500 square feet, [and] we’re hoping to expand soon. With our numbers right now, we’re starting to get crowded, which is a great problem to have. We’re in the stages of developing the team and taking them further. We would love to have elite gymnastics. There are many gyms our size that have one or two elites. We’d like to get up there with the big dogs.

Q: What is the glue that holds the gym together?

A: Probably our coaches. You can have the most fabulous building with state-of-the-art equipment and talented athletes, but if you don’t have a fabulous head coach and fabulous training, that’s going to go out the window.

The other thing is where your heart is at. When we opened up, there were other gyms in Chattanooga, and it’s like when you go to Orlando, Fla. You can go to Universal Studios and have a fabulous time, but if you want that something a little extra special, you go to Disney World. When we opened, I said, “We’ve got Universal Studios. Let’s be Disney. Let’s be that place where kids are happy.”

Q: How did you end up with the Philadelphia Eagles?

A: Back when I tried out, there was the United States Football League — the short-lived summer league — and Philadelphia had a summer team. At that time, they’d already had tryouts, but the Philadelphia Eagles [were having] tryouts. I thought I would go … and see what they were all about.

What started out as “Let’s see how it goes” turned into me cheering for Philadelphia for eight years. I was co-captain my third year and the last three or four years.

Q: What did you take away from that experience?

A: You really have to develop confidence. You never know who you’re going to be dealing with, so you have to learn how to handle yourself in public, what to say and not to say.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of running the gym?

AI enjoy so much seeing what the gym offers to the community, especially to athletes. Also, the charitable work we do.

Q: The most discouraging?

A: Not even Disney can make everyone happy. Wanting to make everyone happy and not being able to can be very frustrating. The other thing is when these kids and parents come in with Olympic dreams, and the child can’t even do a really good cartwheel. That’s not always easy to have those conversations with parents.

Q: What are the benefits of taking part in gymnastics?

A: It develops the body in ways other sports can’t. Pound for pound, our girls are so much more mature than 90 percent of kids their age. It’s amazing what they can do. When they come off the floor, their arms and legs are so well muscularly defined, and it’s not from pumping weight for hours or steroids. It’s because of what gymnastics does for the body.

Q: When is the ideal time to start gymnastics?

A: I don’t know that there’s a perfect starting point. Obviously, if you want to be competitive, the younger the better, but the best time to start gymnastics is when you have the heart to do it.

Q: What do you hope your athletes take away from studying at your gym?

A: Discipline, confidence and all around being a good person. We hope they leave as good people, who are well-rounded.

April is the Purr-fect Time in Carolina to Audition for the NFL’s TopCats

Richelle Grant, Coordinator & Choreographer of the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats, informs us that audition time is quickly approaching.  Important events are coming up soon!!  First is the Audition Clinic on April 9th (click here for a link with information) :

Get ready for TopCats auditions by attending the TopCats Audition Clinic. Meet the TopCats staff and learn about the Pride of the Carolinas. Not only will you learn dynamic dance moves from one of the NFL’s leading choreographers, you will also be the first to receive the 2011 auditions music. New this year, hair, make-up and fitness experts will share their insider tips. Don’t miss this opportunity.

While you must be at least 21 years old to audition for the TopCats, anyone 18 or older may participate in the TopCats Audition Clinic. This provides a great opportunity to learn more about the Carolina Panthers cheerleading program and get a head start on auditioning in the future by gaining valuable dance and cheerleading skills from the TopCats.

Then, on the 16th of April, the try-outs to become a TopCat and a chance live the NFL Experience begin! (click here for info):

  • Experience the thrill of performing in front of more than 73,000 fans at Bank of America Stadium.
  • Serve as ambassadors of a first-class organization at charitable and corporate events.
  • Donate time and talent to the community through charitable projects.
  • Develop great friendships.
  • Learn dynamic dance routines.
  • Show your Panther pride and HAVE FUN!

Returning Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

Do you see your favorite WRC in this photo?

Do you see your favorite WRC in this photo?

Thanks to Redskins Pro Bowl Cheerleader Chelsea for this photo of all the returning Redskins Cheerleaders at auditions this past Sunday.  They haven’t made the 2011-12 squad yet. Finals are this Sunday.

Family stays in step with dance tradition

Anita Creamer
Sacramento Bee
March 28, 201

Like grandmother, like granddaughter.

Wearing a pretty black dress and silver derby, 73-year-old Norma Makela will prance onto the basketball court April 11 at halftime of the Sacramento Kings home game as part of a 34-person senior jazz dance troupe from Sun City Lincoln Hills.

Observing from the sidelines, one member of the Sacramento Kings Dance Team plans to watch Makela with particular interest: her granddaughter.

“I can’t wait to see her perform at the game,” said Michelle Makela, 19, a Sierra College student who joined the Kings dancers this season. “I think it’ll be so incredible and so fun. It’s wonderful to see how hard my grandma is working.”

Her grandmother, as it turns out, was tap dancing in shows and parades in Redwood City long before Michelle came along. But not until her husband, Carl, died at 66 in 2002 did Norma Makela return to dance lessons.

She didn’t really expect to perform. She just wanted to stay healthy and active.

“The exercise is good for the body and the brain,” said Makela, who retired from Hewlett Packard in 2000. “We have ladies in their 80s dancing, too. They bring us a lot of inspiration.

“Even though you’re in the senior age group, you can still have quality of life.”

Numerous studies through the years have supported her contention that moderate cardiovascular exercise – whether walking, biking or dancing – amounts to a fountain of youth for older adults, helping reduce their likelihood of developing hypertension, stroke, heart problems and Alzheimer’s disease.

To put it another way, a sedentary lifestyle kills.

With a schedule of rehearsals and dance classes six days a week, no one could accuse Norma Makela of being sedentary.

“I’m crazy busy,” she said. “And it’s hard. When you perform, you’re supposed to hold your hand just so, but you’ve got arthritis. Or you’re supposed to bend down, but your knees are bad.

“It’s a challenge. As you get older, the body doesn’t move the way it used to.”

But she loves her newfound life as a dancer so much that she’s appearing in a Sun City Lincoln Hills talent show early in April before the Kings performance.

Her dance teacher, Alyson Meador, has taught seniors for the past decade. But she was also one of Michelle Makela’s early tap-dancing coaches.

“Michelle is a little fighter, and so is her grandmother,” said Meador. “Norma works at things. She doesn’t give up. She’s family-oriented, and she takes care of people. She doesn’t mope through life. She stays active.”

For recent widows, Meador says, dance classes can provide a particular release.

“You can’t be thinking about a million other things in dance class,” she said. “You have to concentrate on this. For a woman processing the loss of her husband, it’s a good distraction. And they like the adrenaline of learning.”

And sometimes, the adrenaline of performing.

When Makela modestly says she hopes not to embarrass herself when her troupe dances at the Kings game, her granddaughter rushes to defend her. Makela, after all, has attended more of Michelle’s dance performances than either of them can remember.

“She’s very good,” said Michelle Makela. “It’s nice for me to go to her performances now and see my grandma on stage. She has a nice smile and a nice dance presence.”

And a nice granddaughter.

2011-2012 XFC Cage Dolls Auditions

Based in Tampa, the XFC Cage Dolls are the official dance team for Xtreme Fighting Championships (an MMA company). In their fourth year of existence, the Dolls perform in the hexagon cage throughout the fights. The diverse team includes members who have worked with the teams in the NFL, AFL, and even WWE. This is their first major casting.

[XFC Cage Dolls]

P-R-O 2010: The Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders

So, I’m finally getting around to processing my photos from the Pro Bowl and I realize, I still have shots from the P-R-O Convention last June to post!



Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions get underway this weekend.

[Cardinals Cheerleaders Gallery]

[Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders]

Ravens Cut Down to 60 Cheerleaders

The first public unveiling of the Ravens’ cheerleaders was nerve-wracking.
by Mike Duffy
March 26th, 2011

The Ravens came into Saturday’s “Making the Cut” event with just about 80 cheerleaders looking to join the team for the 2011 season, but only 60 would get past the judges.

At the end of the event, which was raucous to put it lightly, 60 stood tall, and the Ravens came out with the newest cheer team for the upcoming season.

“You know what, for me to say I’m impressed by the whole group of people means a lot,” said Ravens Cheerleader Director Tina Galdieri. “Even the ones that didn’t make our squad, I know that they worked hard. I was very proud, and I was proud of this organization.”

As the only team in the NFL with a coed squad, the Ravens kept 40 women and 20 men for their stunt unit.

The night – held at the Sheraton City Center-Baltimore – was more than sold out, with over 600 fans supporting the Ravens’ cheerleaders.

Some of those fans were family of the contestants and some were just supporters of the Ravens.

Regardless, the intensity of performing in front of a capacity crowd was palpable.

“I was the first dancer called, and I was so nervous,” said Ashley, a rookie trying out for her first time. “I just didn’t want to get cut. It was amazing. I’ve been doing the dance until I was blue in the face, so I felt like I just didn’t want to mess up.”

The ladies had to perform in a kick line to show their flexibility, complete a dance skill move and execute their choreographed dance to music.

The men demonstrated their skills in stunting by lifting the ladies effortlessly.

The quality of competitors impressed the judges, which included former Ravens wideout Qadry Ismail and 98 Rock’s Mickey Cucciella.

“It’s definitely a competition,” Ismail noted. “These people really train hard to represent the Baltimore Ravens as a cheer squad. We’re looking at people who are going to be in the stadium, and if it’s a third down or a critical situation where you need the crowd to get into it, you’re got to have the right kind of cheerleader to bring the energy.

“I’m taking this seriously, and I’m sure there’s a lot of girls and guys out there who are expecting me to take it that way.”

The Ravens’ cheerleaders are known for their philanthropic efforts, attending nearly 150 appearances during the year in addition to their gameday duties.

So, to have the final squad intact at this point in March is a boon to Galdieri.

“Organizing 60 people is a tough task,” she said. “We’ve got practices, training camp of our own and getting uniforms.

“We’re hitting the streets in May.”

Living a Dream: Local Resident Chosen To Be Atlanta Falcons’ Cheerleader

By Drew Brent
River Valley Leader
March 25, 2011

Every kid has a dream of being on the big stage. Whether it’s to be a movie star, quarterback, or music artist, every child grows up hoping one day to be in the spotlight. For one River Valley resident, that dream will now be a reality. Naiz Bolin, a student at Arkansas Tech, will be an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader next year.

“I was so shocked,” said Bolin. “It was almost like an out of body experience. I feel so blessed to have made the team my first year to try out.”

Bolin was a member of the Arkansas Tech dance team and cheer squad at Arkansas Tech. She says her experience was a definite help in her selection. “I would say it has helped. I’m horrible with technique and that’s one thing being on the Golden Girls has helped me with.” Bolin also said that this job was a part of a long history of dance for her. “I started taking dance when I was three and began cheering on a squad in 7th grade and have continued both in college and now professionally. It’s my passion,” she said.

Bolin’s duties far exceed just cheering at football games. “Obviously cheering for the Falcons and crowd leadership is our primary purpose, but we are also ambassadors for the team and city of Atlanta. We have our calendar shoot in just a couple of weeks, some have the privilege of going overseas to visit troops, we also make frequent appearances for different organizations,” she said.

Bolin, who is from Hamburg originally, says the transition from small town Arkansas to Atlanta will be a big change, but one she’s looking forward to. ” Atlanta is 8.5 hours from Hamburg so it’s within a driving day’s reach to get there. Hopefully it won’t be that bad, but it’s definitely going to be a culture shock moving from small town Hamburg, Arkansas to Atlanta but I’m so ready.”

A Beach Girl That Loves Dancing on the Ice: Panthers Ice Dancer Jacqueline Is One of Florida’s Coolest Pro Cheerleaders

Jacqueline of the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers, getting a visit from Stanley C. Panther during the March 19th game against the Islanders

Palm trees, sunshine, and 80 degrees on one side of a door; cold temperatures, ice, and flying pucks on the other. Such contrasts are evident at the BankAtlantic Center for Florida Panthers games. Arriving fans passed by swaying palms on their way to the March 19th Panthers-Islanders game, only to enter doors into a chilled arena with a frozen surface ready for NHL action. But interesting contrasts didn’t end there. Take Jacqueline of the Panthers Ice Dancers. Jacqueline has some interesting contrasts in her own life.

These include Jacqueline’s passion for both arts and science, specifically dance and biology, both big parts of her life. Also, Jacqueline’s heritage is half Venezuelan and half Bolivian. Not only are there obvious differences between Venezuela (hot, equatorial, miles of coastline and beaches, not so spicy food, and baseball loving) and Bolivia (land locked, mountainous with “three mile high” La Paz, cooler, a bit spicier food, and fans of soccer), but if each country had a collective personality, Venezuela would be outgoing, energetic, and pageant loving, whereas Bolivia would be more laid back, relaxed, and focused on natural beauty.

Upon meeting Jacqueline, one begins to notice that she has taken the best parts of all of these interesting dimensions. As she greeted fans outside the BankAtlantic Center, she was outgoing and friendly, but with a charming graciousness and easy smile that that sums up all the best traits of all of her family lines.

Jacqueline and Courtney greet fans prior to the game outside of the BankAtlantic Center

Cheering and dancing for the Miami-area Panthers, who play their home games in Sunrise, Florida, Jacqueline was born and raised in Miami. Dance has been a big aspect of her artistic side since a young age. Jacqueline relates, “I started dancing when I was five years old. I started out dancing ballet and jazz at a dance studio in Miami Lakes. It was then that my love and passion for dancing began. I was on the dance team throughout middle and high school. I love everything about it, from the long hard practices and training to the crazy chaos that goes on backstage on performance days. There’s something about being on stage and performing that makes me so happy.” And this is obvious once the music starts, and Jacqueline transforms as her dancing side energetically takes over.

But there is a scientific side to Jacqueline also, as she is a full-time student majoring in biology, with a goal of becoming a pharmacist. As part of her preparation, she works part-time at a pharmacy. Again, her enthusiasm about this side of her life also triggers a passionate response, as Jacqueline describes, “I love my job as a pharmacy technician. I enjoy being able to helping others feel better. I have worked in the pharmacy for almost four years, and I learn something new every day I work. What excites me about being a pharmacist is the knowledge in knowing how effective medication can be, how it works, and much more. When the pharmacist recommends or counsels a patient, I always listen and try to learn and catch up on what they say to the patient.”

How can we spread enthusiasm about science to young kids? Jacqueline replies, “I think science should be approached to kids in a fun and positive way. Kids see it as such a difficult challenging subject, and it sure is, but it can also be very interesting!”

Jacqueline, along with Catherine and Courtney, amidst the palms and sun outside the arena

As far as her ancestry, Jacqueline says, “My background being Venezuelan-Bolivian is quite a contrast; my friends call me a mutt!” So with these national contrasts, let’s see where Jacqueline leans. Does she prefer beaches or mountains? Jacqueline says, “I am a beach girl.” Spicy food or something milder? “I enjoy spicy food but have to be in the mood for it,” replies Jacqueline. Baseball or soccer? Jacqueline says, “I love watching all sports, especially HOCKEY!”

Jacqueline values her connection to both sides of her family, saying, “I have a really big family on both sides. I enjoy the warmness of being around family and the culture when I go visit. In Bolivia, my family owns property in the country called ‘El Beni,’ and we all take a family trip every three years to the farm, and go horseback riding, fishing, and hunting. It is so different from here, and it is so good sometimes to get away from the daily routine and spend time outdoors, bonding with family. Venezuela has beautiful beaches and great food! My family from Venezuela lives in Caracas, but I enjoy going to the beautiful beach in Maracaibo.”

Jacqueline walks down the aisles to get the crowd going

This is Jacqueline’s second season as a Panthers Ice Dancer. Jacqueline’s Ice Dancer journey started when, “A friend of mine went to a Panthers game and saw the Ice Dancers, and suggested I audition. I will never forget the day of final auditions when they announced my name. I was so happy I cried!”

Besides work and school, practice and personal workouts also are part of the schedule, as Jacqueline explains, “We usually have dance or ice practice two to three times a week. My workout regimen consists of doing thirty minutes of cardio on the treadmill or the elliptical, and also thirty minutes of circuit weight training. I also enjoy taking spinning and hot yoga classes!”

Jacqueline (left) and the Ice Dancers hit the ice for their performance during the second break

Continue reading A Beach Girl That Loves Dancing on the Ice: Panthers Ice Dancer Jacqueline Is One of Florida’s Coolest Pro Cheerleaders