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Laker Girl Audition Dates Announced

Now THIS is what I call planning in advance.
This year’s Laker Girl auditions are scheduled for Saturday, July 21. Click here for details.

55-Year-Old Grandmother Wants To Be A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

Tracy Kornet
February 28, 2012

CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – She’s got the drive, the figure, and the discipline of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. But does Sharon Simmons have what it takes to dance alongside some of the most visible women in the world? She’ll soon find out when the Carrollton resident auditions to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

She’s also a grandmother of two.

“I’m 55. And in May around the competition, I’ll be 56,” explained Sharon Simmons. “On stage, I blend right in with women in their 20, 30s and up.”

Simmons was asked if she believes there is a physical difference between her body and those of the 19-year-olds trying out? “Absolutely no difference,” she declared.

Sharon Simmons is an author and national fitness competitor who embraces what she calls “defining moments.” She had one last December, when she used the Cowboys cheerleader uniform as inspiration for a fitness costume.

“I thought that’s something I never tried. I always wanted to try out. I got real close in my early 20′s but got busy raising my daughter. And I thought, why not now?”

So she contacted her choreographer, who suggested a dance studio, who recommended seeking Audrea Cowen [née Ulmer] for help–a former Cowboys cheerleader -now- dance instructor at Plano’s K.J. Dance Studio.

The two work weekly on routines and fundamentals, both in group and private lessons.

Simmons says her strength is in the competition itself. “I don’t get overly nervous. I’ll be find talking to the judges. I’m used to being on stage.”

But will that be enough to earn a spot among these high-kicking icons? Cowen says dancing is an entirely different ballgame.

“The flexibility required to be a cheerleader is greater than what she needs for fitness competition,” Audrea Cowen explained.

Sharon admits at 55, memorizing the fast-paced routines is tough. But she’s giving it her best shot, whether she makes it or not.

“I love life. I’m having a blast. I’m having a ball.”

Simmons has ten more weeks to rehearse. Auditions to be a 2012 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader happen May 5 and 6.

Wedding Photos: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Alum Brooke Sorenson

If you were a frequent visitor to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders website during the 2010-11 NFL season, you probably read all of Brooke Sorenson’s blogs about her upcoming wedding. Well, Brooke married her Prince Charming Laynce Nix (an outfielder for the Phillies) last November. The two got hitched in Bahamas and the wedding party included a whole gang of current and former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Stephanie Heymann, Kandi Harris, Kelsi Reich, Jordan Chanley, Tobie Percival, Tia Williams, Michelle Keys, and Crystal and Trisha Trevino.

The wedding photographer has posted a few photos from Brooke’s big day on her website. Click here to check it out!

Game Changer

Twenty years before Linsanity, the Knicks City Dancers took Madison Square Garden by storm. I should know—my aunt invented them.

Your instinct at the end of the first quarter of a Knicks game might be to stand up and stretch your legs. But be warned: There’s a good chance you’ll be chided, with various degrees of politeness, to sit back down, because you’re blocking the view of 20 lithe, leggy Knicks City Dancers shaking what their mamas gave them. On some nights, particularly before Carmelo Anthony and then Jeremy Lin came to town, they could be the most entertaining thing on the court.

Last Friday night, after the buzzer signaled the end of the first quarter against the New Orleans Hornets, the dancers stormed the court. The Knicks were down 27-13, an unpromising start to what would be their first loss since Linsanity took hold earlier this month, and Madison Square Garden was packed with fans who had come to see the Harvard-educated point guard. But for just a few minutes, all eyes were focused on the dancers as they performed a routine from their early days, part of their 20th anniversary celebration.

“My Aunt Pam created the Knicks City Dancers,” I explained loudly, and unnecessarily, since all of my friends already know this. My standard game outfit resembles that of a headstrong, overgrown child: I sport a bedazzled Knicks hat adorned with playoff pins from 1993,‘94, and ‘96, sized to the largest notch, and an early ‘90s Larry Johnson Hornets jersey, which formerly hung to my knees but these days is best described as slim-fitting, from before Johnson was traded to the Knicks in 1996 and the Hornets relocated from Charlotte, N.C., to New Orleans. It’s a nod to my childhood fandom and the ‘90s Knicks, who, though I was only in single digits at the time, figure heavily into my early memories. That’s because my mom’s younger sister, Pamela Harris, joined the Knicks in 1991 as director of marketing. In addition to overseeing the development of the classic “Go NY Go” theme song—which asked fans the ever-important question, “Are you down with the orange and the blue?”—she spearheaded the creation of the Knicks City Dancers. In the process, my aunt facilitated one glorious, loosely interpreted “take your daughter to work day” during which I got to use the announcer’s microphone and even dribble on the court.

Read the rest here.

Ali Dee Needs Your Help to Produce Her First CD!

Former Sea Gal and Sonics Dancer Ali Dee makes her case:

Hi its me, Ali Dee, a singer/songwriter from Texas and CMT’s Texas Women 🙂 I am ready to share my new music with the world!!! Only one little teensy weensy problem… I need your help to raise to moola to make it happen!! Record labels can spend upwards of $80,000-$500,000 smackers to get their artists albums made, I am asking for a tiny portion of that because I have folks that believe in me and are willing to knock off some change here and there to make it happen. I’ve got some of the best people lined up to make incredible music, I just want to be able to pay them what they deserve to help me make my dreams come true…

HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have the best fans in the entire universe and if you look to your right you will see lots of cool REWARDS I have set up to give away in order to collect the dollars to make this thing a go. Browse, pick, and then donate whatever you can and know you are a part of helping this gal get to where she wants to be, the top of the charts!!

A few quick notes: We only have 30 short days to meet our goal of $15,000 so PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!!! NONE of the funding goes through unless we raise the entire $15,000. If each of my facebook (16,000+) fans donate a small amount we can do this in no time! Any money raised over the $15,000 will go directly to the cost of printing/touring/marketing the record.

So DEE TEAM: Dig into your pocketbooks (or man purses) and LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ali Dee

[Ali Dee on Kickstarter]

Shock and Awe: The Anaheim Bolts Dance Team

Orange County, California is known as a hotbed of athletic talent.  The region produces some of the world’s best professional athletes from baseball, basketball, football, softball to water polo.  But what you might not know is that Orange County is a hotbed of dance talent as well.  The area has a number of dance studios that feed local colleges and universities, which in turn serve as feeder programs to professional cheerleading and dance teams.  And one of the newest professional squads is the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team.

The Anaheim Bolts are a professional soccer team that plays in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL).  In their first year of operation, the Anaheim Bolts wisely chose to field a dance team, mining the talent rich area to fill out their roster of beautiful and talented dancers.  I was fortunate enough to attend last Sunday’s season ending game to photograph the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team.

Let me say, that my first impression of this team was amazing.  These girls are very beautiful…as is customary with professional cheerleaders…but I got a chance to talk to most of the girls and they’re really nice as well.  That is to say that they are not only good looking, but women of substance as well.  Well rounded and well spoken, these girls are excellent representatives of the organization because they are not only great dancers, but a vital component in reaching out to the community and marketing the team.

Continue reading Shock and Awe: The Anaheim Bolts Dance Team

Dancers light up field as Sparks

Point Park Globe
February 21, 2012

Three Point Park University dance majors have earned a spot on the official dance team of Pittsburgh’s new arena football team, the Pittsburgh Power. As members of “The Sparks,” the girls will show off their moves at Pittsburgh Power home games, as well as at various promotional events in the area.

“It was a new thing coming out in Pittsburgh, and I wanted to be part of something new,” sophomore dance major Sam Elliot, a veteran Spark and co-captain going into her second season with the team, said about getting involved. “It involved dance, of course, which is my passion. After doing it, I learned it was so much fun. The fans are crazy.”

Sophomore dance major and veteran Spark Meghan Manning agreed. Last year, she learned about the team tryouts from her high school science teacher.

“The [minimum] age is 18, and I had just turned 18, so I felt like I had to try out,” she said.”After I auditioned, there was a second day of auditions, and I told my friends about it. When we made it, we decided to give it a try, and it was really fun.”

Rudy Hazen, a freshman dance major and Sparks rookie, was inspired to try out after attending a Pittsburgh Power game during her senior year of high school.

“I went to a game and it was so fun,” she said. “It’s a way to get a performance opportunity.”

Meghan, Rudy, and Sam

The girls earned their spot on the team through multiple auditions. “There was a preliminary where we had to learn a hip hop combination and a jazz combination, then we had a regular audition where they made cuts,” Hazen said. “If you got through the preliminaries, then you had to do the finals.”

The final round was held at Mullen’s Bar in the North Side, and the girls performed in front of a panel of judges.

According to Manning, the auditions were “less scary than last year, because I have done it before. They were a lot of fun. I thought there was more talent this year, since more people knew about it.”

The team entertains the fans during Power games by dancing on both the sidelines and midfield. Their sideline routines, called “numbers and letters,” are performed with poms during each quarter of the game. Then, in between the quarters, the girls run out to midfield and perform a full dance routine, called a “quarter break.”

According to Elliot, the Power fans are what make the experience fun.

“It’s a lot different than regular football because it’s indoors and the fans are closer to you and they can interact more,” she said.

With a fairly large span of ages and backgrounds, the team members make time to get to know each other and bond.

“We just became a new team, so half of us are veterans and half of us are rookies,”Elliot said. “But we are definitely trying to make the team dynamic a lot closer than it was last year, because a lot of us didn’t know each other last year, with the different schools.”

The team has dinners together and, recently, took a bowling trip together.

“Since practice has started, we’re bonding more,” Hazen said.

As with any team, the Sparks have certain rules and standards guiding behavior.

“We have to be presentable at all times, even when we’re not in costume,” Hazen said.

The girls also are told to watch what they post online and to be friendly to everyone, even outside of the Power games. Elliot explained that the rules are in place “because people do recognize us and watch us and see us, and we don’t need a bad reputation.”

The Point Park girls light up the field at the first Pittsburgh Power home game of the season on March 23 at 8 p.m.

Important Announcement!

Technology strikes again!

It has come to our attention that there is a problem with our email accounts James[at]procheerleaderblog.com and sasha[at]procheerleaderblog.com. We are receiving some, but not all of the emails being sent to those addresses.

This has most likely been going on for a few weeks, and we’re just now putting two and two together. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to which emails get through to us and which ones don’t. So if you’ve emailed us in the past few weeks and received no response, it’s probably because your email fell down the rabbit hole and we never received it. 🙁

We are getting ahold of Yahoo Business to troubleshoot the issue. However, in the meantime, if you need to reach either of us about something that is time-sensitive, please leave a comment for any post on this site. We have to approve all comments before they become public, so we will definitely see it. (And please note if it is a public comment, or a private question/comment for our eyes only.)

We are very sorry for any inconvenience/misscommunications this may have caused (as well as feelings of intense anger from being blown off by us!) We’re working to fix it ASAP.

Scenes from Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader Auditions

Click here to check out some photos from this year’s auditions!

SI.com: Celtics Dancers

Check out my homegirl Tiffany and the rest of the Celtics crew on SportsIllustrated.com. Click here!

Werk it Tiff!

Former Ravens Cheerleader at the Oscars

Stacy Keibler with George Clooney at last night’s Oscars. Keibler was Ravens Cheerleader in 1997.

Sea Gals visit the Marines

KING5.com (February 21, 2012): Seattle Seahawks Sea Gal cheerleaders, Seattle Seahawk Roy Lewis and comedian Bryan Ricci visit Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and sailors aboard USS Makin Island.

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and sailors get a visit from the Seattle Seahawks Sea Gal cheerleaders, comedian Bryan Ricci, and Seattle Seahawk Roy Lewis aboard USS Makin Island Feb. 13.

Helicopter mechanic and Kingston, Wash., native Cpl. Jack E. Dowers has lunch with Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders Stephanie, left, and Courtney during the Sea Gals’ visit aboard USS Makin Island here Feb. 13.

Seattle Seahawks Sea Gal cheerleaders, comedian Bryan Ricci, and Seattle Seahawk Roy Lewis arrive in a CH-53E Super Stallion to visit Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and sailors aboard USS Makin Island Feb. 13.

Seattle Seahawks cheerleader Heidi autographs a picture for 33-year-old optics technician Sgt. Felix A. Cervantes during the Sea Gals’ visit aboard USS Makin Island here Feb. 13. Cervantes, a Crown Point, Ind., native, serves with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Harvard grad Jeremy Lin shares NBA with Harvard grad cheerleader

By Kalyn McMackin
The Daily Caller
February 27, 2012

It’s not often that two Harvard graduates share an NBA court together. But when Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks visited the Washington Wizards on Feb. 8, another product of the Ivy League school — the Wizard Girls’ Joanna Zimmerman — was cheering from the sidelines.

Zimmerman graduated from Harvard in 2010 and first met Lin, whose performances have caught worldwide attention and dazzled NBA fans, on campus. They once lived in the same housing complex, and the two became good friends.

“He is driven and humble, with an unparalleled work ethic,” Zimmerman told The Daily Caller. “He is the kind of person you root for and want to see do well. I’m really excited for him, that he’s finally able to display his talents.”

Zimmerman’s own talents have allowed her the best of both worlds. When she’s not dancing at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, she’s a full-time teacher at an elementary school in the nation’s capital.

The social anthropology major also completed a minor in economics, leaving Massachusetts with not only a degree but 18 years of experience in different dance genres. A coveted spot on the Wizard Girls roster gave her the creative outlet she was looking for.

“I was looking for a way to pursue a high level of dancing … [and] juggle having a full time job, so I thought that this was a nice opportunity for me to be able to do both,” said Zimmerman.

Derric Whitfield, the Wizard Girls dance team manager and choreographer, told TheDC that Wizard Girls need more than just skills and beauty to make the team.

Finding overall “well-rounded” women for the team, he said, “lets you know that they’re responsible women, that they’re reliable, that they’re good to work with. It shows character.”

Zimmerman was a member of the Harvard Crimson Dance Team, the in-house cheer squad for basketball games.

“I was a cheerleader and cheered for eight years and always loved watching basketball, loved cheering for basketball,” Zimmerman said, adding that she was always “looking for a way to pursue a high level of dancing.”

At the same time, though, her teaching job proves that there’s more to life than dancing. “I do have other types of more professional aspirations, so I think balancing the two is good for me for right now,” she explained.

Being a professional cheerleader has its perks, but the profession also comes with its own peculiar stereotypes.
One organization, called “Science Cheerleaders,” brings current and former professional cheerleaders together to “playfully challenge” the idea that women like Zimmerman are all blonde, bubbly, and brain dead. The organization highlights America’s brainiest pom-pom shakers, including chemical engineers, computer whizzes, biologists and more — all with professional cheerleading jobs.

“It’s the only opportunity to bridge really these two different worlds,” said Science Cheerleaders founder Darlene Cavalier, a former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader. “I think the women really enjoy doing this, and when alumni come out and support [them] I think everyone feels like they’re making an impact.”

Zimmerman is not a member, but she is familiar with the program. And while her professional future is as unclear as any recent college graduate’s, she sees herself dancing with the Wizard Girls while her teaching career develops.

“Growing up in Detroit and being a product of the Detroit public school system, I’ve seen a lot of things wrong,” Zimmerman said.

“Where I work now is a fabulous school, very well run. So I’m learning a lot about how schools should be run, and I would love to pursue [a] policy-making type avenue later on.”

Need an outfit for auditions? Check out The Line Up’s new styles for 2012!

Ta DA! They’re here! The Line Up’s new fashions for 2012!This is something I look forward to every year – seeing the new stuff, and predicting which items will be the hot outfit for the year’s auditions. Click here to see what they’ve come up with for 2012! (They’ve also got loads more photos of the new designs, and other good stuff on their blog [click here] and on Facebook [click here].)

Every year, I try to predict the big seller. I’m usually wrong, but it’s fun guessing. This time around, I’m betting it’ll be one of these:

I think this is going to be The One.

Personally, this is my favorite top. I like a ruffle here and there. Experience tells me however, that the anti-ruffle crowd majorly outnumbers those of us who are pro-ruffle.

Cute, right? But if you’ve got audition plans this year, and none of these outfits float your boat, do not worry. Believe me when I say there are PLENTY of other options on The Line Up’s website.

Every year, The Line Up has a couple of styles that catch on like wildfire, and I see them everywhere during audition season. When I first came across TLU, I figured this would be a problem. If everyone else and her mother gets her outfit from TLU, doesn’t that make it more likely that you’re going to show up at any given audition wearing the exact same outfit as someone else? As it turns out, that’s not the case at all.

I probably look at more pro team audition photos than anyone else on the planet, and as popular as The Line Up’s outfits are, I’ve rarely seen exact duplicates at the same audition. Because you can mix and match tops and bottoms, choose your own fabric and colors, and customize the crystals for every outfit, you don’t see much duplication. In fact, now that I think about it, the only times I’ve seen the exact same outfit on two different girls at the same audition, were when (1) they both bought the outfit exactly as it appears on the Line Up’s website or (2) they bought the outfit in the team’s colors. So there’s a tip for you. Customize!

This is what I’m talking about. The photo of the outfit on the website is pink. So everyone bought it in pink, and see what happened.

Here are some of the other popular choices from 2011 (Although, just between you and me, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of these are knockoffs. Ahem. The sincerest form of flattery, and all that.)

809 had the right idea. What are the chances that anyone else would come up with that combination of colors? Heck, I don’t even know what color that is. What is that? Brown? Olive green?

These three X-front styles were insanely popular last year:

I expect they’ll do really well this year, too.

Now I’ve shown you where to find the good stuff. So get out of here pick out your outfit. And for pete’s sake, be creative!

Classes Offer Bucs Cheerleading Hopefuls a Head Start

Auditions for the 2012 edition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ elite and world-renowned cheerleading squad begin on Saturday, March 17, and they will be as competitive as ever. Fortunately, for those who wish to get a leg up on the competition before the tryouts begin, there will be plenty of opportunities to prepare.

Those opportunities, in fact, are beginning immediately.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders will hold preliminary/open call auditions to begin the selection process for the 2012 squad in mid-March, followed by an extended callback phase. However, the auditions will be proceeded by a series of pre-audition and technique classes, the first of which will take place on Tuesday evening. Dance classes and Valentine’s Day have long been a good pairing for the romantic husband trying to surprise his wife; this year, it could work to the advantage of Buccaneer Cheerleader hopefuls as well.

And for those who are busy on this particular night, there are plenty of other opportunities to prepare for the tryouts. The pre-audition/technique classes will be conducted on Tuesday and Thursday of every week between now and March 15, at various locations in Westchase, South Tampa, New Tampa and Brandon.

Click here for more information on the pre-audition classes for the Buccaneers Cheerleader tryouts, including dates, times and locations, and a pre-registration form.

The classes are designed to help cheerleading candidates prepare for the audition process. Class attendees will be given an overview of dance techniques and NFL-style choreography so they will have a better idea of what to expect when auditions begin. Since class space is limited, pre-registration is strongly recommended. Walk-up registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Prospective tryout participants may attend as many pre-audition classes as they wish.

The Buccaneers will also conduct a one-time only, non-mandatory Audition Seminar on Wednesday, March 7, at team headquarters from 6:30-8:00 p.m. This seminar will include need-to-know tips about the audition process, on such specific topics as audition attire, interview tips and hair and make-up suggestions. Attendees will be given an information packet and will have an opportunity ask questions with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleading department and alumni of past squads.

Those interested in the Audition Seminar may register on-line on the same page mentioned above. For more information on the audition process as a whole, including dates and times for callbacks, training camp and the final audition, please click here. A link at the top of this page can also take you to a list of frequently asked questions.

The pre-audition classes and audition seminar are meant to help talented potential Buccaneers Cheerleaders feel and perform their best when the auditions arrive. Each class will feature different choreography and each provides an outstanding opportunity for an attendee to get a head start on the upcoming tryouts.

“It’s definitely a chance to be as prepared as possible for when auditions begin,” said Cathy Boyd, the Buccaneers’ Cheerleading & Mascot Manager. “I think it could become a real advantage for some of the participants. Those who attend will get a better understand and feel for our style of performance and learn some specifics of the choreography they’ll be asked to follow. Generally, I just think it will make the process less mysterious for the auditioners when the tryouts roll around, and it will be particularly helpful for those without a significant dance background.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, long considered one of the best cheerleading squads in the NFL, have been entertaining fans at Buccaneer games for more than three decades. In addition to being an important part of the game-day experience for fans, the Cheerleaders are also valued team representatives in the community. Buccaneers Cheerleaders make hundreds of appearances at charitable events throughout the year and even travel the globe to bring cheer to members of the U.S. military stationed overseas.

Become a member of this elite group of performers and team ambassadors is a tremendous achievement. Those who will attempt to do just that in 2012 have every opportunity to be prepared for the upcoming tryouts.