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Community Fair Lawn Resident Makes the Devils Dancers Squad

By Rich Mardekian
Community News (Fair Lawn Edition)

Christie Artinger, 27, of Fair Lawn, is a new member of the Devils Dancers, the group of women who entertain fans at the Prudential Center in Newark during New Jersey Devils hockey games.

The 2003 Fair Lawn High School graduate spent last year as a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) and before that was a member of the New York Jets Flight Crew.

Artinger loved her experience in California but with her family and fiancé 3,000 miles away back home, she decided to return to New Jersey.

“I decided to do it for one year (cheer for the Chargers) and it was great,” she said. “I had many moments as a Chargers cheerleader. It was hard to give up. I love the team and the organization.”

Now that she is back in New Jersey, Artinger said she wanted a new experience and originally was thinking about becoming a Knicks City Dancer or Brooklyn Nets Dancer for the National Basketball Association (NBA), but training for a new job as a sales executive got in the way of the respective tryouts for those teams.

That conflict turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Artinger decided to tryout for the Devils Dancers and a chance to cheer for a team that plays in New Jersey.

In August after three rounds of dancing for the judges and interviews at the Prudential Center, she was selected for the 17-women squad.

“(The Devils Dancers) has the same structure as NFL cheerleading but the dancing is much more difficult and technical,” she said.

Artinger began her career as a cheerleader in 2009 for the New York Jets. She decided to try out after being laid off from her job as a marketing executive in New York City.

“I had to go back and find a way to make myself feel complete again,” Artinger said at the time of her decision to tryout for the Flight Crew.

She made the squad and the experience was one she called the best of her life. She cheered for the Jets for two seasons, including the first in MetLife Stadium.

Artinger then wanted to do something new and made the move to California to become a Charger Girl.

“I was looking to do something adventurous,” said Artinger of her decision to move to the West Coast. “It was a lifelong dream of mine, even as a child, to move to San Diego.”

When Artinger will debut for the Devils is on hold for now as the National Hockey League (NHL) is currently in a lockout that has so far seen a slew of games at the start of the season cancelled.

“It’s wait and see on the season,” said Artinger. “I am excited for the season, even if it will be less of a season.”

While the NHL players are locked out and can’t practice as a team, the same cannot be said for the Devils Dancers. The squad has been rehearsing in preparation for being able to entertain the fans if and when the owners and players come to an agreement and the 2012 hockey season finally begins.

In the meantime, Artinger is loving being a Devils Dancer.

“I look up to the girls on the team (Devils Dancers),” she added. “They push me to be a better dancer and teammate.”

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