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Pro cheer siren’s call to be a Spurs Silver Dancer draws Anncell to a whole new world in San Antonio

Spurs Silver Dancer Anncell is in her rookie season in San Antonio

There is the short version of Spurs Silver Dancer Anncell’s move from Los Angeles to San Antonio. Last year in LA, Anncell decided at the beginning of the week to try out in San Antonio for the Silver Dancers, and by Friday, Anncell was jetting to San Antonio, and by Tuesday she was a Silver Dancer. But the reality of Anncell’s back story is that this weeklong whirlwind only happened because of Anncell’s lifelong commitment, drive, and devotion to pro cheer, with hard work and determination to always improve every aspect of her skills. Her positive spirit opens up horizons that most others would not glimpse, much less pursue. Anncell shared with UltimateCheerleaders her path from aspiring pro dancer to ChivaGirl to Laker Girl to Silver Dancer, with a path that included auditions that ranged from disappointing to those with exhilarating conclusions. But like her NBA moves, no matter what, Anncell is in perpetual motion, and with an ever-present smile. And we just love love love any pro dancer who lists UltimateCheerleaders as their favorite website on their bio. You will see why everyone who encounters Anncell soon adds her to their own personal list of “Favorites.”

Anncell was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived there until she moved to San Antonio last year. When asked if from birth, she was ‘born to perform,’ Anncell laughs, “I’m not sure if I was ‘born to perform,’ but if you ask my family or friends I’m sure they would beg to differ. Let’s just say I’m very energetic.”

And from day one, Anncell’s relationship to her parents has been truly special. “I cannot even begin to say how truly AMAZING my parents are,” Anncell explains. “They have been so supportive in each and every area of my life and are my biggest cheerleaders. Although I thought they were too strict when I was younger, I now appreciate them and all the opportunities they’ve afforded me. I’m so thankful for their unconditional love, guidance, and support.”

After a season with the Laker Girls, Anncell now dances for the Spurs

“My favorite feature about my mom is her wisdom,” Anncell continues. “No matter what’s going on in my life, I know I can count on her to give me sound advice. My dad is very corny and goofy but that’s definitely what I love most about him.” So what traits from her amazing parents does the amazing Anncell attribute to them? “As far as my personality is concerned, I’m a mix of my mom’s sass and wisdom and my dad’s generosity and sense of humor,” Anncell answers.

Dancing was not always ‘love at first tap’ for Anncell. “My love for dance did not start in the typical way,” Anncell explains. “When my mom was growing up, she really wanted to be a dancer but her family couldn’t afford it. When she was a senior in high school, she finally was able to be a cheerleader, and went on to cheer in college and even joined a dance company. Because of her love for dance, she put me in dance classes at a very early age. To be completely honest I HATED it. I would cry on the way to Saturday morning dance classes because all I wanted to do was stay at home and watch cartoons, or go to the mall with my friends. I even went to a performing arts high school, so I had to dance at school, too. I really didn’t apply myself and didn’t realize at the time how much I loved dance because I was too focused on the fact that I didn’t want to do it.”

But once she could choose not to dance, Anncell made a surprising choice. “When I turned eighteen and started college, I had my way,” Anncell remembers. “I no longer had to dance. By the end of my first semester I felt like something was missing in my life, so I signed up for tap class as an elective. Taking the tap class is when it hit me. I knew what was missing. I missed the feeling of performing and expressing myself through movement! I missed it so much I ended up joining the cheerleading squad.”

Anncell’s rundown of her previous dance and cheer experience includes, “I attended Lula Washington Dance Theatre when I was younger and was blessed to be a part of YDE, Youth Dance Ensemble. We performed throughout Los Angeles County and it was an awesome experience. I was in the music academy magnet at Hamilton High School, and a cheerleader my senior year. I was a cheerleader for two years while attending California State University Dominguez Hills.”

Certainly the LA girl must have a favorite movie dance scene that she wishes she could have leaped over the studio gates and jumped right into the filming. “I don’t really have a favorite dance scene in a movie that I would like to insert myself into but I would LOVE to dance on an episode of ‘Glee’ or ‘Smash,’ answers Anncell. “My dream job would be to dance back-up for Katy Perry; she’s AMAZING!”

With her degree in Communications, Anncell’s other dream job is to be a sports broadcaster. “I grew up around baseball and football, and fell in love with basketball in middle school,” Anncell explains. “My dad is a huge Raiders and Dodgers fan. I love sports because you can’t just be good at a sport to play on a professional level. You have to have a passion for it. I admire the passion that professional athletes have, because I feel the same way about dance. When someone is passionate they stand out and you can see it with every move they make.”

So if Anncell found herself broadcasting games for the NBA, what catch phrases could become her signatures for big dunks and three point shots? “For dunks I would yell what I always yell, ‘That just happened,’ or ‘You just got served,’” as Anncell ponders further. “Hmm, three pointers, maybe, ‘Then there was three,’ or ‘There’s that.’”

For now, Anncell is living out her pro cheer dream. “I knew I wanted to be a professional cheerleader, the first time I saw the Laker Girls perform at a game,” LA native Anncell recalls. “I was so in awe of their talent and beauty. It was one of those moments where everything around you disappears and the girls on the court are the only thing that matters. I know it’s corny, but it’s true.”

And now as an NBA dancer herself, Anncell gets to see interactions with young ones from another vantage point. “The most rewarding part of this job for me is seeing the look in young girls’ eyes when they see me in uniform,” reflects Anncell. “It brings tears to my eyes because I was that girl. I wanted it so badly! I think about that every time I step on the court to dance. It motivates me and keeps me humble. I’m truly blessed to live my dream.”

But the path to the dream required focus and determination, and proceeded from Anncell being one of Major League Soccer’s ChivaGirls to the Laker Girls. “The first audition I ever attended was Laker Girls in 2004, one month after I graduated high school,” Anncell explains. “I was cut the first round. Needless to say it took three more tries before I finally made the team! I attribute all of my success to ChivaGirls (Director) Aimee (Edmundson) who really gave me all the tools and knowledge I needed to make Laker Girls. It really was just the ‘Perfect Storm.’ In the world of professional cheerleading you never know.”

“The first time I decided to try out for ChivaGirls I saw the audition information on Ultimate Cheerleaders.com, and thought it would be fun,” says Anncell about her first pro cheer experience. “My best friend knew a girl that was on the team and told me she really loved it, so I decided to give it a try. Prior to trying out for ChivaGirls, I had already tried out for Laker Girls and Clippers Spirit and did not do well. I wanted to try out for a team that would help me gain experience and confidence. I didn’t make ChivaGirls the first time I tried out, but it motivated me to get better and keep trying. Two years later I came back determined to have fun and give it my all. I made the team! Once a ChivaGirl always a ChivaGirl!”

And her ChivaGirl experience provided the next steps for Anncell to break through to the NBA. “On my fourth try, I finally make Laker Girls!” Anncell exclaims, “YAY, dream come true! It was one of the hardest, craziest, coolest, best experiences of my LIFE. I cannot even put into words what being a member of that iconic squad meant to me.”

So, how does the LA woman who cheered for two LA teams end up dancing for another championship franchise in San Antonio? Well, it gets back to family. Anncell has an older sister, brother-in-law, and two “adorable” nephews in Texas. She was planning to move there for NEXT season, but a change in her life propelled things one year sooner. “Originally my plan was to move to Texas and tryout for Spurs Silver Dancers so I could be closer to my sister and my nephews,” explains Anncell. “Well my plan was put into action sooner than I anticipated. On a Friday, I was on a plane to San Antonio. By Tuesday, I was a Silver Dancer. I flew home on Thursday, and two weeks later I was officially a Texas girl! Crazy right?!”

But being a lifelong LA resident, going through LA try-outs multiple times, what was it like to be in a new city and trying out for a brand new squad, in cheer-mania Texas? “Being in a new city and trying out for a new team was terrifying, exciting, crazy!” Anncell exclaims. “I still can’t believe I really did it. I was probably more nervous than any other team tryouts because I had no clue what to expect. At least in Los Angeles, I knew the format of tryouts and the style. Silver Dancers were a ‘Whole New World.’

“To prepare for Silver Dancer tryouts, I researched,” Anncell details. “I watched every video online I could find. I visited the Spurs website. I reached out to my former directors to get their advice. And I learned as much as I could about the organization and the city of San Antonio.”

And once Anncell was a “Texas girl,” she found again the joy, fun, and sense of family that she thrives upon. “My favorite thing so far about Silver Dancers was our annual ‘Junior Silver Dancer’ clinic,” Anncell recalls. “Hundreds of girls signed up to come to a workshop that we taught with our director. It was truly AMAZING. Every little girl I talked to was so excited to share their story with me. They were adorable and it really melted my heart.”

“Off the court, I love the friendships I’ve made through Silver Dancers. I already know that when the time comes my LA friends will have to welcome some new Texas additions to my bridal party,” smiles Anncell.

“The thing I love the most about the Spurs organization is that it really is a family,” Anncell continues. “We spend a lot of time together. Just like a family, we have our ups and downs, but in the end, we all love and care for each other. I’ve had a few times where I’m really homesick and by the time practice or a game is over, I’ve forgotten all about it, because I realize I am home. For now this is my home. This is my family. This is where I belong.”

And looking back at Anncell’s ChivaGirl biography, her favorite quote came from a notable Spur, Mr. Tim Duncan himself, who said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” “I can’t believe you dug up that quote,” Anncell says. “That was two years ago when I had no idea that I would actually be cheering Tim Duncan and the Spurs on from the sidelines. I chose that quote because before trying out for ChivaGirls, I hadn’t taken a dance class in eight years; am I dating myself here? Once I made the team, I really had to work HARD to be the very best that I could be. I practiced hard, and when I thought I was done, I practiced even harder. I knew that I made the team for a reason and that I had to give it my all. For me that quote meant, my dream was finally coming true. And yes, maybe I was good enough to make the team, but I needed to get better because I wasn’t at my best. ‘Live Hard, Dream big, Laugh loud, Love forever.’”

Anncell is new this season to San Antonio, and as one might expect, her favorite aspects of her new town boil down to her core values: family. “I love that San Antonio is very family oriented,” Anncell says. “I love that the weather has been AMAZING. I love the southern hospitality.”

And certainly she is now part a team that is THE prominent focal point in San Antonio. “Since the Spurs are the only major team in San Antonio, it is ALL about the Spurs,” Anncell explains. “Everywhere you go, there is something or someone representing the Spurs. Spurs fans are die-hard. I mean, there are games where the entire crowd is on their feet yelling, ‘Go Spurs Go,’ it’s intense. We haven’t even started playoffs yet and the atmosphere in the AT&T Center is already giving me chills!”

But are there little things, like certain foods from LA that Anncell wishes were on her new hometown’s store shelves? “I do wish they would build a Fresh & Easy grocery store here,” Anncell says. “But at least I have Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. I’ll take what I can get!”

Back in LA, Anncell is still remembered fondly, including by UltimateCheerleaders West Coast Correspondent Sasha, who knew Anncell from ChivaGirls days and beyond. “I think Anncell is fantastic,” Sasha shares. “You will never meet anyone like her. She’s smart, sassy, ridiculously funny, and a truly joyful dancer. She is one of those young women who makes it look easy and never complains, but I’ve seen how hard she works to achieve her dreams. I’ve seen her struggle. I’ve watched her get knocked down and get right back up again. You know what they say about life handing you lemons? Well Anncell doesn’t just make lemonade. She makes lemonade, lemon pie, lemon tarts, lemon pudding, and lemon cookies. And if life hands her artichokes, well, she’ll figure out what to do with those too. To me, she is a reminder that a positive attitude, faith, persistence, hard work, and willingness to learn will get you just about anywhere you want to go in life. I am truly grateful to have crossed paths with her.”

Anncell is a proud ambassador of the world of pro cheer, saying, “I LOVE the world of pro cheerleading. I have been a member of this ‘world’ since 2011 and there is nothing like it. I have met some of the most talented, intelligent, honest, beautiful, caring, hard-working women. I’ve grown more than I ever imagined and have met some of my best friends, Linette this means you! (laughs) A lot of people only see the glitz and glamour of the job, but it really is a JOB. Whether it’s keeping your appearance up or practicing until you’re perfect, there’s always something you can improve. I’m so inspired, honored, and blessed to have this job because it really is a life changing opportunity. I have gained so much confidence and truly believe there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it. I have become a ‘Chatty Cathy’ with complete strangers, and even have a new found love for fitness and healthy eating habits. None of this would have happened without this world. That’s why it means so much to me. Because it is me. I am a ‘Professional Cheerleader,’ and I’m proud of it!”

Well, we are proud to feature Anncell as she completes her rookie season with the Spurs Silver Dancers, and learn that she is a veteran of hard work and desire. And who knows, maybe this will be the season Anncell will help cheer the Spurs on to the ultimate prize and be able to “put a ring on it”; an NBA championship ring that is. But no matter what, Anncell will ride off into the off-season sunset with a smile and drive to see what adventures are ahead of her.

We so thank Anncell for her time and enthusiasm! We also we thank Raquel Garcia and Gretchen Luistro of the Spurs for all of their assistance and coordination, in addition to our own Sasha for her insights.

7 comments to Pro cheer siren’s call to be a Spurs Silver Dancer draws Anncell to a whole new world in San Antonio

  • I love the article and not just because I know this amazing young woman. But because she inspires me each and everyday. I am so proud to have read such a well written article and postive on top of everything else. Go Anncell!!!! woo hooo!!!!

  • Tamika

    Anncell is a true inspiration to young all over the world. I admire her strength, talent, and wisdom to teach young girls and older women what it is to follow there dreams. She not only makes lemonade, but she makes Cherry pies with her spirit and wonderful. Her drive and endurance to always want more, to do better, and want better. Is the reason why she is a role model and leader. Her passion for giving, caring and helping has always been what she continues to show. Great job Anncell

  • Wow!
    This is truly inspiring to all the girls out there and the little girls inside every woman. I want this young lady to continue to live her dreams. This article truly made me cry for more than one season. So if you are reading this PC, know that i am so appreciative of you and i want you to continue to share your gifts with the world. God bless.

  • Darrell

    Anncell is the best!! Very proud of you. Onwards and upwards!

  • Anncell, I am so very proud of you! You truly are amazing. I love your passion, hard work, and determination. It will pay off in ways you can’t imagine. We’ll just watch you soar!

  • Linda Tatum

    The quite reserved storm has cleared her path!
    Always follow your dreams Anncell!