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Shelly Son: Aware from an early age

Shelly Son doesn’t need a month to remind her about breast cancer awareness. The longest-tenured member of the Sea Gals lives with it every day.
By Clare Farnsworth
Oct 25, 2011

Shelly Son doesn’t need a month to remind her about breast cancer awareness. The longest-tenured member of the Sea Gals lives with it every day.

That’s because her mother died of breast cancer when Son was 8 years old. It came as a shock, obviously, but also has served as inspiration during her life after she lost her mother.

“When I was little, I held a really big grudge. I didn’t really understand it,” Son said. “As I got older, I got really bitter. But I came to terms with it.

“People who live lives that haven’t been challenged don’t have a well-rounded picture of what life is really like. Unfortunately, I had to learn to live with hardships at an early age. And I think it helped me a lot because I was more open to things that happen. I know that life is going to take its twists and turns, but I was able to be OK.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the Seahawks will play their final pink-trimmed game of this pink-themed month on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field. To mark the occasion, Son was asked to share her story:

“People ask me, if I could change the past, and have my mother still be alive today, would I?

“I remember… I was playing with her wigs that she had purchased to cover her balding scalp from chemo. She had told me repeatedly not to wear them! Shaking her head, my mother called me over to her hospital bed and embraced me harder than she had ever done before. As usual, I tried to wiggle out of her hug. She told me she loved me more than anything, kissed me on the forehead and instructed me to go downstairs to the cafeteria to get a pudding pop.

“While downstairs enjoying my frozen treat, she died. That was the last time I ever saw her alive. I was 8 years old when she died of breast cancer.

“I was angry at the world for a very long time. I couldn’t understand why I had to be the person to live these cards that were dealt! Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. That I don’t ask the question, why me? That I don’t wonder what my life would have been like if she was around today.

“Soon after, I realized that I wasn’t living the life that she would have wanted. Would she be proud of me? She taught me the most valuable lesson with her death, and that was to believe in yourself and that you have to work hard to make your life possible. Life was going to throw out curve balls and I had to grow and move forward. Most importantly, I realized that throughout every event in my life, she was there, in my heart. That as long as I was alive, she would never be dead. I pushed myself and worked harder than I had ever to make her proud of the woman I am today.

“People ask me, if I could change the past, and have my mother still be alive today, would I? I thought long and hard, and as much as I love, honor and miss my mother, I would have to say “she is always with me, and even though breast cancer took her away, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Her passing has made me stronger.”

The memory of her mother’s death is punctuated with tears. But Son realizes her story might be able to bring comfort to others.

“I just hope that this can help people who maybe are struggling with how to deal with this,” she said. “You never really get over it, but you definitely grow from it.”

The way Son has dealt with it, and grown from it, definitely would make her mother proud.

Comcast SportsNet to air “The Making of the Luvabulls”

“The Making of the Luvabulls” to premiere Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m.; CSNChicago.com to provide additional “web-exclusive” content, including extended video clips

Chicago Bulls
October 26, 2011

[Video preview]

Chicago, IL (October 26, 2011) – Beginning Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet will debut a landmark, four-part, behind-the scenes documentary entitled The Making of the Luvabulls, chronicling the personal dreams, joy and heartbreak taken by over 200 Chicago area women vying for just 25 spots on one of the NBA’s most prestigious dance teams.

With over 30 hours of exclusive footage shot over the course of four weeks, The Making of the Luvabulls (narrated by Comcast SportsNet’s Pat Boyle and produced by Sarah Lauch & Ryan McGuffey) will take viewers through the entire, never-before-seen process on exactly what it takes to make this team. From the initial mid-August tryouts featuring 200+ hopefuls (which was immediately cut down to 47 in one day) — to the grueling minicamp process that followed — to the moment the official 25-girl roster was announced, Comcast SportsNet showcases the amazing athletic skills, along with the raw emotions of these determined women every step of the way.

Additional highlights from the four-part series include extensive interviews/bio features with numerous women on the 2011-12 Luvabulls dance team including former Miss Illinois Ashley Bond, Luvabulls Director Cathy Core, choreographer Kim Tyler, along with many other women who participated in the process — including those who made the final cut — and those who didn’t. Viewers can also look forward to several “Day in the Life” segments, which follow the girls around for a day featuring candid interviews with their co-workers, roommates, friends and husbands/boyfriends. Plus — Comcast SportsNet will also showcase an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the chaotic, yet ultimately sexy Luvabulls poster photo shoot.

“We wanted to provide our viewers with an honest look at what it truly takes to become a member of the Luvabulls, not just from a physical standpoint, but also from a mental one as well,” said Charlie Schumacher, Senior News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “We captured so many euphoric moments, but also numerous moments of heartbreak. Most importantly, ‘The Making of the Luvabulls’ showcases so many hard-working, determined women trying their best to make their dream come true.”

Viewers are also urged to visit a special “Making of the Luvabulls” page set up on Comcast SportsNet’s newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com: CSNChicago.com/luvabulls, which currently showcases the teaser trailer for the series, along with behind-the-scenes commentary from producers Lauch & McGuffey. This page will also include a Luvabulls photo slide show and web-exclusive video excerpts from the series that will not be shown on Comcast SportsNet. Fans can also visit the official Luvabulls page at Bulls.com/luvabulls.

Note the following episode-by-episode details and quotes for The Making of the Luvabulls, premiering Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. only on Comcast SportsNet (schedule subject to change):

Episode 1: Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m.

(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. & Sun, Nov. 6 at 9:30 p.m.)

Summary: The first episode takes a look back at the history of the Luvabulls, along with profiles of Director Cathy Core and choreographer Kim Tyler. Highlights include the initial tryouts featuring over 200 girls, with only 47 of them being asked to come back to the intense next phase of “minicamp.”

Episode 2: Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.
(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. & Sun, Nov. 13 at 9:30 p.m.)

Summary: Minicamp begins. Viewers will witness the physical/mental stress of a grueling choreography session that not only has to be learned quickly, but accurately. Additional highlights also take a break from camp with “Day in the Life” features with Ashley, Kafi and Jackie.

Episode 3: Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m.
(Additional replays: Fri, Nov. 18 at 3:00 p.m., Sun, Nov. 20 at 2:00 p.m. & Thu, Nov. 24 at 8:00 p.m.)

Summary: As minicamp concludes following countless hours of intense choreography routines, the final 2011-12 Luvabulls team is selected. The emotional highs and lows from this episode are not to be missed.

Episode 4: Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m.
(Additional replays: Thu, Nov. 24 at 8:30 p.m. & Mon, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m.)

Summary: We go behind-the-scenes for the orchestrated chaos that is the always-popular Luvabulls poster shoot, plus – now that the team is set, viewers will be treated to some additional practice footage that clearly indicates the pressure is now on for this year’s team to succeed.

Quotes from “The Making of the Luvabulls”

“This is show business… they should come in knowing what they are getting in to. You see those veterans when they come in for their audition… I mean, you can’t touch them.”
– Luvabulls Director Cathy Core on girls showing up to auditions

“It is a very difficult process and anybody that kind of makes it through that training process, kudos to you because I felt like it is one of the hardest things mentally, physically, that you will ever go through in life being challenged on both ends and have that balance to make it through to the other side.”
– Luvabulls choreographer Kim Tyler on auditions/minicamp

“We look for a lot more than just a pretty face and a good dancer. We look for the whole package. Somebody who can speak in front of crowds and interact with CEOs and the community and really be a great representation for us and for the Bulls.”
– Bulls Sr. Director of Game Operations Jeff Wohlschlaeger on what the team looks for in a Luvabull

“There are no guarantees. Every girl needs to try their hardest. You are just like a rookie. You have to learn the choreography, you have to stay on top of everything, you have to look like a Luvabull. As a leader, you have to be a leader.”
– Erika, nine-year Luvabulls veteran

“I love this city. I love sports. I love the Bulls. It all ties together. It is just truly amazing and I feel blessed that I got chosen that first year.”
– Ashley, five-year Luvabulls veteran

NFL Week #7 – Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

Sun Life stadium was invaded on Sunday as thousands of Florida Gator fans arrived to root on Tim Tebow following his promotion to starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Despite non-stop cheer dancing under the blazing sun by the Miami Cheerleaders, the Dolphins did manage to lose a sixth consecutive game. At least they gave me an overtime period to shutter a few extra photos.







Kelli's Line

Kelli's Line

Natalie D.

Natalie D.

1st Quarter

1st Quarter



[Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders]

[Dolphins Cheerleaders Gallery]

Lady Cats Calendar On Sale Now!

The 2011-12 Lady Cats Swimsuit Calendar presented by Vemma is on sale now! The behind-the-scenes TV show will debut on November 3 at 9 pm on FOX Sports Carolinas. Make sure to head out to Mez from 6-7:30 pm and Whisky River from 8:30-11 pm that evening for the official Lady Cats calendar release events.

[Buy the Lady Cats Calendar]

[Lady Cats Gallery]

SI.com: NFL Cheerleaders (Week 7)

This week’s gallery includes dance teams from the Bucs, Titans, Vikings, Cowboys, Cardinals, Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Raiders, and Saints. Click here to check it out.

NFL.com gallery: Week 7

This week NFL.com features teams from the Bucs, Jets, Panthers, Titans, Cardinals, Raiders, Dolphins, Cowboys, and Jaguars. Click here to go there now.

2011-12 Gold Rush

Individual profiles have been posted for the San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders. Click here to learn more about the ladies on the team!

Tyesha, Rachel P., and Lyndsey

Note: The photo is linked incorrectly for the veterans shown below. Click on the thumbnail to see the full size version of this year’s photo:












Rachel M.

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader to Direct Omaha Beef Prime Dancers

The Omaha Beef announce Carmen Butler, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Dallas Mavericks Dancer, and Dance Team Manager and Choreographer for the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls, as the new Director for the Omaha Beef Prime Dancers.

Carmen, a Nebraska native, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education Degree. In addition to her dancing career, Butler has worked as a special education teacher in Nebraska, Texas, and Maryland.

Butler began her professional dance career in 2000 with the Omaha Beef, where she danced for five years, earning the leadership role of co-captain. In 2005, she realized her dream of becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. “I always wanted to become a Cowboys Cheerleader. They represent the gold standard of pro sports entertainment, the very best. I am looking forward to bringing that same level of professionalism and prestige to the Omaha Beef Prime Dancers,” Butler said. During her three years as a Cowboys Cheerleader, she was selected as a group leader, named veteran of the year, and facilitated cheerleading camps and other community events. From 2008-2009, Butler was a dancer for the Dallas Mavericks where she was selected best in appearances. During the 2010-2011 NBA season, Carmen was the Dance Team Manager and Choreographer for the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls and the junior dance team, The Raindrops.

Butler states, “It’s a great honor to be back with the Omaha Beef where my professional dance career began. I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to develop the Prime Dancers’ profile within games and in the Omaha community. I am looking forward to working with this talented group of women.” Josh Roehr, General Manager for the Omaha Beef stated, “We are lucky to have Carmen on board with us. She brings a great deal of experience and professionalism and we are excited to have her.”

Butler will oversee the 2012 Prime Dancers audition process. Open auditions will be held at 24 Hour Fitness (2718 N. 118th Circle), beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 19th. The final round, including interviews, will be held on Sunday, November 20th, at 11:30 a.m.

According to Butler, “we are looking for talented, poised, charismatic, professional woman who are committed to entertaining our fans and representing the Omaha Beef through the community. I encourage any women with a passion and energy for entertaining to come try out. Don’t prejudge yourself. You never know what we might be looking for and you might be a perfect fit!”

New Orleans VooDoo Doll Tryouts Set For Saturday, November 19

The New Orleans VooDoo Dolls will hold tryouts for the 2012 VooDoo Doll Dance Team on Saturday, November 19 at Mardi Gras World. The tryout preliminary audition begins promptly at 10 a.m.

“We had a very talented team last season that was regarded as one of best in the AFL, and I’m looking to build on that this year. New Orleans is hosting ArenaBowl this year, and we look to showcase New Orleans’ best and most-beautiful dancers to the nation,” said Tamica Lee-Smith, VooDoo Doll Director.

The registration fee is $40, and all those participating are asked to bring a lunch or a snack, along with water or sports drink.

All performers must wear a black, solid two-piece outfit (trunks or shorts only, no skirts or pants), flesh colored tights and dance shoes. All performers will be evaluated on dance technique, and their ability to perform a dance routine taught that day.

[Voo Doo Doll Registration]

Chicago Prep Classes Feature Full Pro Cheer Curriculum

Gloria Esposito and Wynne Lacey are ready for the try-out season for indoor football, are you?! Gloria lets us in on a great way to get prepared:

WORD UP!!!: Professional Indoor Football Cheerleader Auditions are just around the corner. Feeling a little rusty or in need of some tips from the pros? Check out our professional seminar in Chicago on October 30th from 10am to 3pm at HiFi Fitness. All required dance techniques and choreography will be covered by current directors Wynne Lacey, Gloria Esposito and Katie Knepler. Fitness professional Pierce Hutchings will provide his proven secrets for female physique excellence and fitness. Chrissy McClaughry will provide her newest hair/makeup techniques specific to auditioning. Follow this link (http://www.wynningteams.com/) to register under the “Sign Me Up” tab! Space is limited to 25 participants! PLEASE PRE-REGISTER!

Pacemate Update

The Pacemates site has been updated for the 2011-12 squad. Beaucoup thanks to Frank for discovering this! It’s not linked directly to the Indiana Pacers site yet, so you’ll have to click here to get there. (It may take a few tries to load the page.)


Titans Alumni Tailgate

A group of former Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders reunited on Sunday for the yesterday for the annual Alumni Tail Gate and game. Our favorite Alumna Sissy sent us a few photos. Thanks Sissy!

Members of the TTC Alumni. Check out Farrah in the front. She may be pregnant, but she can still do the splits!

TTC Alumni

Andi is the TTC Alumni President

Alumni Melissa

TTC Alumni Steve mans the BBQ. Gosh, it seems like forever ago that they had guys on the team.

TTC Alumni

The 2011-12 Titans Cheerleaders on the field

Pic Eight – TTC on the sidelines.

Bucs Cheerleaders Performing at Wembley Stadium

Pacemates Costume Contest; Voting Ends Sunday!

Yes, if they were trick or treating in your neighborhood, you would definitely leave your porch light on, and you’d put away the circus peanuts, and hand out the good stuff!

You can’t lock the the Indiana Pacemates out of getting into the late October spirit, so they are in the midst of the Costume Contest! And the Pacemates need your help deciding who has the best Halloween costume. Visit www.pacemateshalloween.com to submit your vote as well as check out photo and videos of every member of the Pacemates dressed up in their favorite costume. Voting ends Sunday, October 30, with the top three vote-getters announced on Halloween.

Each girl has selected a Central Indiana charity and whomever wins, the Pacers Foundation will donate $1,000 to their charity!

2012 Adrenaline Rush Dancer Auditions Set For November 27

The Chicago Rush is excited to announce that the audition process for the 2012 Adrenaline Rush Dance Team is set to begin on Sunday, November 27th. The Rush is looking for 16 multi-talented dancers to represent the team as members of the Adrenaline Rush Dance squad.

“We are extremely eager to begin our search for the 2012 Adrenaline Rush dancers,” said Dance Coordinator Gloria Esposito. “It is always exciting to see these women striving to achieve their dreams. There were so many talented women who auditioned last year, we are anxious to see what this year brings.”

There will be three rounds of auditions before the final squad is named. Dancers who wish to auditions for the 2012 team must be at least 18 years old by January 1, 2012.

Dancers are encouraged to attend the audition prep classes prior to the first round of auditions. The class will review technique and will provide the opportunity to learn a new routine as well as speak with the dance team’s personal trainer. Each class will cost $20 to attend. However, if the dancer attends both prep classes they will receive a $10 discount off the audition fee. The classes will be held on Tuesday, November 15th and Thursday, November 17th from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Applications for the prep class are due on Monday, November 14th and can be found at Arenarush.com.

The first round of auditions will take place on November 27th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. All choreography will be taught throughout the day of the audition. The audition fee is $50. Applications along with the audition fee, a completed waiver and release form and a recent photo are due by Friday, November 25th. The top 30 or 40 dancers will move on to participate in Mini Camp.

Mini Camp is mandatory and will be held on Tuesday, December 6th and Thursday, December 8th from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This camp will prepare dancers for the final round of auditions.

The final round of auditions will be held on Saturday, December 10th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location will be announced at a later date and will be open to the public.

For questions regarding the 2012 Adrenaline Rush Dancer auditions please call 855-RUSH-WIN or email dancers@arenarush.com.