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Wynning Teams Looking for Chicago Area Dancers

Wynne Lacey (Chicago’s Blackhawks and Sluaghter) informs us that there is a unique dance opportunity that her company is part of:

“Wynning Teams is teaming up with Intensi-T (www.intensit.tv), a Las Vegas-based show that performed at Planet Hollywood this past year. It is now coming to Chicago and we are looking for attractive, female dancers to perform for a new dance-music review. We are having auditions on March 4th from 3-7pm in Chicago. It will be a sexy, hip-hop style. The last hour will be dedicated to allowing people to showcase their choreography (most people know I prefer the dancers to help create the show because they are usually better than me!). Rehearsals (date and time to be determined with dancers’ schedules) would start right away for the show to be ready in late April. All performances will be paid starting at $250 and all costuming costs will be covered. Interested ladies can contact me ASAP!”

Wynne Lacey
wynne@wynningteams.com
630.881.3052

Satin Stitches Readies for the NFL Cheerleader Director’s Convention

Satin Stitches customer service representative Melissa Feidt (right) with model Emily get ready for a shoot with photographer Cheri Clabaugh to prepare for the NFL Cheerleader Director's Convention

This upcoming Tuesday, the NFL Cheerleader Director’s Convention will be at Cowboy Stadium, and the designers at Satin Stitches are ready to show their styles! The event’s highlight is a fashion show by the costume/uniform vendors, and Satin Stitches will be showing 25 new styles, modeled by Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!

And Satin Stitches Head Designer and President Deborah Nelson and her customer service representative Melissa Feidt (a former Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader) will be available for consultations on Monday afternoon/evening prior to the event (providing no snow storm issues in getting there on their Monday morning flight; come on weather, be nice, it is almost spring!).

Satin Stitches and President Deborah Nelson preps her model during the recent shoot

Eagles Cheerleader Alum Selected for Tour with Tyrese

Dancer Paige Annette, another MPS success story
Geraud Blanks
JS Online
February 24, 2012

Dancer Paige Annette has devoted a large portion of her life to dance. She’s spent countless hours honing her craft and learning steps and routines in order to be ready to perform at a moment’s notice. So when she got a call from her agent last month to audition for R&B star Tyrese’s upcoming tour, she was ready,

Nearly 100 women were invited to the LA auditions; Tyrese handpicking the dancers. The fact that Annette had been chosen to audition was a victory in itself, and when her agent informed her that she was invited back for a 2nd call, she was honored and determined.

“I was confident but also very nervous,” said Annette. “I knew what a big opportunity this would be and I also knew how amazing it was to be called back out of so many dancers.”

But nothing, not all of those years of sweat and agonizing hard work had prepared her for what would happen next.

“When he told me I did not believe him,” said Annette about her reaction after Tyrese announced his final decision. “He said congratulations ladies, you’ll be going on tour with me.”

Milwaukee’s Own

One of only two dancers chosen to accompany Tyrese on tour, Annette was fulfilling a lifelong dream that started in grade school but flourished at local performing arts school, Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA). An athletic child, Annette has always been into physical activity but there was something that drew her to dancing over everything else.

“My mom put me in dance when I was little, I had a lot of energy,” she said. “What she put me in stuck with me for the rest of my life. Even if I was involved in sports dancing always came first.”

Annette says she began dancing professionally her freshman year of High School as a part of Signature Contemporary Dance Company, where she was a principal dancer.

“After school I would rehearse with the company,” she recalls. There were shows out of town; you could say I got a small taste of the life of a touring dancer at this time.”

Annette credits the discipline she learned and intense training she received while a student at MHSA—aside from her mother and her own ambition—as the driving force in her success.

“High School of the Arts prepared me in many ways for my career,” she said. “In school, we had a different technique class every day, so even though you might prefer a specific style of dance, learning different styles trains you to become a versatile dancer.”

“If you’re lucky enough, you will find a mentor who will help you know what kind of dancer you want to be. I was definitely fortunate to have found a mentor in Sandra Jordan, who helped me to find my dance direction by my senior year.”

Only the beginning

After graduating from MHSA in 2002, Annette attended Columbia College of Chicago to further pursue her passion. She later transferred to University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she graduated from in 2006 with a BFA in Dance.

Paige was an Eagles Cheerleader from 2005 to 2007

While in Philadelphia, Annette was a Cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles. “What an amazing job, this is one of my favorite places dance has taken me,” she said.

Now a resident of Las Vegas, Annette has lived in Sin City for four years working as a full time dancer, making the trek to LA whenever there is an audition or an opportunity to be had. But her last audition was a month ago, these days she’s busy catching flights and getting ready for the next gig.

Annette’s first stop as a part of Tyrese’s show was on February 10, in Dallas. She says she rehearsed with the singer/film actor for four or five days before taking the stage for their first performance.

Annette will accompany Tyrese for spot dates in Houston, Memphis, New York and Las Vegas before picking up yet-to-be-confirmed tour dates throughout March and April.

“One of my dreams has been to dance in a show like this,” says Annette. “I’m excited beyond belief about this opportunity to work with Tyrese, I know that this is only the beginning, but this has truly been an amazing experience”

MPS gets it right

It was only a few years ago that the MHSA was rumored to be in desperate need of funding in order to keep its doors open. A debt of nearly $1 million threatened to make MHSA yet another casualty of our school systems fiscal reality. Luckily, this was one situation where the community decided enough was enough.

The destruction of an institution that graduates highly motivated, skilled young men and women—the kind of young men and women that win Grammy awards or tour with Tyrese—was unacceptable. Parents and alumni coalesced around a common goal of raising awareness about the plight of MHSA and School administrators worked with the state to rework MHSA’s budget, which is higher than the typical public school due to its arts programs.

While the school was saved, there are still many Milwaukeeans they have yet to realize truly how phenomenal this institutuion is. It is without a doubt a shining example of the potential of Milwaukee’s public school system.

Photo Gallery: Rockets Power Dancers

Click here to check out highlights from the RPD season so far.

Magic Dancers Wallpapers

The Magic have posted big beautiful wallpapers for each of the Magic Dancers. Check them out here.

Dancing Through Life

By Ellen Newkirk
The Record

Students struggle with managing sports, clubs, jobs and a social life, all on top of a full class load, but 2011 CSB graduate Tiana Woitas knows the balancing act doesn’t stop at graduation.

A social work major originally from Mankato, Minn., Woitas works as a full-time program specialist with the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. However, her dream job was to be a part-time member of the Timberwolves dance team.

A dream many years in the making

“I’ve been dancing since I was in fifth grade,” Woitas said.

She danced competitively for eight years and was a member of the St. Ben’s Platinum Dance Team during her junior and senior years at CSB.

“I was actually scouted by the coach my senior year at St. Ben’s,” Woitas said as she got involved with the Timberwolves.

At first, Woitas turned down the opportunity because she knew it was something that just wouldn’t fit into her schedule as a student. But after talking to a friend who had been a Timberwolves dancer for two years, she decided to attend some prep classes to get a feel for the team.

“A big part of the reason I would choose to be on this team is I have to like the coach,” Woitas said.

After participating in a few classes, Woitas felt the team would be a good fit. She auditioned in August and was selected as a member of the 2011-2012 Timberwolves dance team.

“One of my favorite things about being a Timberwolves dancer is I am one of 12 girls who gets to experience this,” Woitas said. “I see that as a true blessing.”

Dancing through life’s balancing act

Woitas’s two jobs keep her constantly on the move. Her day starts early as she heads from her Minnetonka home to her job with the Girl Scouts by 9 a.m. At 4:30 p.m., she is off to practice or the Target Center for a game by 5 p.m.

“My work schedule is very flexible. It really accommodates the Timberwolves,” Woitas said.

On game nights, the team starts practice by marking their dances on the court and performing a few run-throughs, all while dodging players and loose basketballs.

“You are literally feet away from professional basketball players,” Woitas said.

The dancers greet and take picture with fans before joining the team on the court for the national anthem, introductions and the first dance performance of the night. After a quick costume change, Woitas and her team are back on the court for their first quarter dance.

“We learn a new routine for each game,” Woitas said. “Any time there is a timeout, it’s our time to go out on the floor.”

She also loves that she has been able to reconnect with people she hasn’t seen in years on Facebook after they see her at games.

“You never know who you are performing for every day,” Woitas said.

Returning to “roots of success”

While at St. Ben’s, Woitas worked as a Team Aerobics instructor and is excited to return to CSB on Monday, Feb. 20, to work with current instructors, as well as teach one of her favorite classes, Hip Hop Cardio.

Woitas is currently working on a new routine for the class and encourages all students to attend at 5 p.m. in Alumnae Hall %u2014 no dance experience is necessary.

“I don’t want people to be intimidated,” Woitas said. “These classes are for everyone, and we appreciate anyone who can come out and give it a try.”

Woitas attributes much of her success to lessons learned both inside and outside the classrooms at CSB/SJU. After having no post-college plans at graduation, she realized she underestimated just how far she could go when everything fell into place only a few months later.

“St. Ben’s was the roots of my success,” she said. “One of the most important things I learned throughout my experiences at St. Ben’s is how to reflect. Being able to recognize how outside surroundings and circumstances affect you internally is absolutely essential in regards to being able to maintain balance.”

[Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers]

Nets Dancers, Team Hype and The Nets Kids

A trip to Prudential Center is always more than just a trip to see a basketball game. Last month I traveled to Newark to see the entertainers who take center court when the players take a break:

Nets Dancers with Nets Entertainment Manager Kimberlee Garris

Nets Dancers with Nets Entertainment Manager Kimberlee Garris

Team Hype with Mini-Sly

Team Hype with Mini-Sly

Nets Kids

Nets Kids

Pre-game Circle in the tunnel

Pre-game Circle in the tunnel

Nets Dancers 4th Quarter Performance

Nets Dancers 4th Quarter Performance

These kids can dance

These kids can dance

The Nets Dancers make a strong (and successful) case for Deron Williams on the All-Star Team

The Nets Dancers make a strong (and successful) case for Deron Williams on the All-Star Team

Team Hype Flies

Team Hype Flies

Nets Dancers are all business

Nets Dancers are all business

They maybe great dancers, but kids are still kids.

They maybe great dancers, but kids are still kids.

[Nets Entertainment Gallery]

[Nets Dancers]

[Team Hype]

[Nets Kids]

TopCats shine during postseason

By Bryan Strickland
Carolina Panthers
Feb 17, 2012

The sun already had set in Charlotte by the time the Pro Bowl kicked off last month, but on the sidelines at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, the scene was reminiscent of a sunny southern afternoon for TopCats cheerleader Laura R.

A week later, as the sun set in Indianapolis near kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI, seven representatives of the TopCats were leading a Super Bowl Sunday celebration near Tokyo – a couple of hours after the sun had risen Monday morning.

The TopCats traveled far and wide in recent weeks to represent the Panthers, passing through time zones nearly as often as Carolina’s offense reached the end zone this past season.

Travel can be taxing, but the participants said they’d travel to the ends of the earth to spread good will to football fans everywhere on behalf of the Panthers.

“It was weird seeing football at eight in the morning, but our bodies still thought it was later in the day, so it wasn’t that bad,” said Myra, who represented the TopCats at a Super Bowl party for about 700 residents of Camp Zama, a U.S. army base in Japan. “Every time we started feeling tired, we’d go to the next event and meet new people, and we instantly were not tired anymore.”

Six TopCats – Myra, Candis, Cynthia, Katie B., Marissa and Stacey – were selected to join TopCats choreographer and coordinator Richelle Grant for the trip on the strength of essays they submitted for consideration.

The week before the Super Bowl, Laura R. was the Panthers’ representative on the Pro Bowl cheerleading squad based on a vote by her fellow TopCats.

“Being chosen in that way made the experience even more meaningful,” said Laura, who learned of her selection during a ceremony prior to the Dec. 11 home game against the Atlanta Falcons. “My initial response was disbelief when it was announced on the field. I think I literally stood there for 15 seconds before I truly realized what had occurred. It was a flood of emotions. I was just overwhelmed.”

Both transcontinental trips presented their share of logistical challenges, but it all proved worthwhile.

“The last few weeks have been very busy, yet exciting,” Grant said. “Making sure each TopCat has the proper paperwork and tools she needs is key to any overseas trip, and we started rehearsing nearly two months prior to ensure everyone was performance-ready.

“Appearances like these are very important, because we have a small amount of time to meet so many people and interact with children whom we may never meet again, and we want that impression to be a lasting one.”

Photo Gallery

SUPER BOWL

TOKYO – At 6 a.m. on the Friday prior to the Super Bowl, the TopCats’ contingent bound for Japan departed Charlotte.

They finally arrived in Camp Zama around 5 p.m. on Saturday, the end of a 21-hour trek that featured a 14-hour flight from Dallas and a 14-hour shift in time zones.

“It actually wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be,” said Stacey, the TopCats’ representative at the Pro Bowl a year ago. “We chatted a lot and we watched some movies, then we chatted some more. We slept a little, then we chatted some more.”

The next day, the cheerleaders got the chance to explore the region before being the featured attraction at a Super Bowl celebration. They visited Meiji Jingu, a breathtaking Shinto shrine where they witnessed a couple of traditional Japanese weddings, and they checked out the unique fashion district of Harajuku.

“Just being around the Japanese people and seeing the culture and how they interact with each other was pretty neat,” Cynthia said.

The next morning, the main purpose of the trip found the cheerleaders spending time with Americans homesick for their native culture. Super Bowl Monday as it is in Japan featured a game party, postgame autograph session and cheerleading clinic for the children of Camp Zama.

“The Super Bowl is such a big part of American culture, so to be there and be able to bring that little piece of America to them was awesome,” said Cynthia, who was emotionally impacted by “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game and clinic and autograph session after the game.

“Sometimes you don’t realize how much you impact little girls’ lives. During the autograph session, girls would just come up and share their heart with you. Some would say, ‘I’ll never forget this day,’ and tell you how special you are. It was touching.”

Before heading home, each TopCat received her most prized souvenir from the adventure – a coin presented by U.S. Army Garrison Japan Commander Col. Eric Tilley, a native of Kannapolis, N.C.

“Everybody was so appreciative,” Stacey said. “Every single person we went up to talked about how special it was to have a piece of home on such a special day.

“It was a whirlwind – from seeing Tokyo to the Super Bowl party to being with the kids to being with these girls. And it was humbling, going halfway across the world.”

Photo Gallery: Dancers try out for Miami Marlins Energy Team

This year the Marlins announced that the all-male Manatees dance team and all-female Mermaids dance team will be replaced by a new co-ed team. Click here to check out photos from last month’s auditions for the inaugural Miami Marlins Energy Team.

Audition for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club will be holding auditions for the 2012 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders on Sunday, March 25 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Goodlife Fitness location inside of the Burlington Mall. The team is looking for 30 talented women who are interested in dancing and cheerleading, performing for an energetic crowd of 30,000 fans, taking part in community events, making new friends, and performing at the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto in November.

All women over the age of 19 who have dance, cheer, and gymnastics backgrounds are encouraged to register for the auditions. For a full list of details and to download the registration form, visit www.ticats.ca

Audition Date: Sunday, March 25
Registration: 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Location: Goodlife Fitness in Burlington Mall – 777 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario
Fee: $20

[Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders]

2012 KC Chiefs Cheerleaders Chosen

The KC Chiefs Cheerleaders got an early start on the 2012 and announced their new squad last week.

Watch a video featuring the new squad here.

SI.com: Heat Dancers

Click here to check out photos of the Miami Heat Dancers on SportsIllustrated.com

Power Dancers Gallery

Click here

SI.com: Mavs Dancers

Click here to check out the Dallas Mavericks Dancers on SportsIllustrated.com.

Allison Hopkins, PhD

Awhile ago I started a list of Professional Cheerleaders who were also Doctors. Here’s another addition:

A former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Dr Hopkins earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. She has been a mental health therapist for nearly 12 years and completed her PhD work in Human Services. She is writing a book on the self esteem in women as it specifically relates to body image.

More on Dr. Hopkins here.

Our list of Doctors: MDs, PhDs, PharmDs and more is here.