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Video: MVC Swimsuit Teaser

Vikings.com: Next week vikings.com will have an exclusive behind-the-scenes look via photos and video at the making of the 2013-14 MVC Swimsuit Calendar so make sure to check back in advance of the calendar release in early July. Click here to watch the video!

Photo of the Day – June 24

Krista of the New York Jets Flight Crew stunting with the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders at the P-R-O Convention

Goodbye P-R-O, See You Next Year!

Great weekend with the hottest dancers and choreographers in pro sports! Thanks for letting us be a part of it

P-R-O Convention Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to Houston Texans Cheerleader Kayla who on Sunday at the PRO Convention celebrated her 21st birthday complete with sash.

[Kayla at HoustonTexans.com]

Washington Redskins Cheerleaders New Looks

The Redskins Cheerleaders unveiled a pair of new uniforms on Saturday at the P-R-O Convention.

Maigan – In the morning they debute the new game day practice uniform.


Megan and Rachel – Then after lunch another new look.

Front and back

Tenth Anniversary Sideline Distraction Cover Girls

Congratulations to Natalie, Sarah and Nancy of the New York Jets Flight Crew!

Get Audition Ready With Game Day Pros!

ATTENTION LADIES: Ever want to be a performer on the sidelines of your favorite Sports Team?  Well come find out what it’s all about!  Get audition ready with Alumni Pro-Team Dancers Marlina Moreno and Katrina Jo with Game Day Pros!

Registration begins June 23rd!

Game Day Pros was founded with a mission to mentor aspiring NFL, NBA and Arena performers.  There is much more to becoming a professional cheerleader and dancer for the sporting industry than meets the eye, so equipping you with ALL the tools for audition success is our primary goal.  Providing exclusive-inside information about what it really takes to make it on the sidelines is what sets GDP apart.

So whether you’re looking to brush up on your sideline moves, find the perfect audition outfit, or maybe just see if becoming a part of a team is for you…GDP promises to keep it authentic and help make the most out of your audition experience.

Twitter: @GameDayPros

Charlotte KnightinGals Rocking An AllPro3 Dance

“[KnightinGals on Facebook]

Photo of the Day – June 21

Washington Redskins Cheerleader Susan at the 2012 P-R-O Convention

Ex-NBA Dancer Ditches Fashion Startup And Instead Launches An Online Education Startup

By Megan Rose Dickey

Kim Taylor danced for the Milwaukee Bucks Energee!

Kim Taylor danced for the Milwaukee Bucks Energee!

Kim Taylor, one of the stars from Randi Zuckerberg’s “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley” reality TV show on Bravo, is launching a new startup.But it’s not Shonova, the fashion startup she began working on last year.

During meetings with potential investors, sometimes their eyes would start to glaze over, Taylor told Business Insider. Taylor took that as a sign that Shonova probably wasn’t going to work.

So just a few weeks ago, Taylor scrapped the idea, just a week before the planned launch for Shonova.

Taylor had been working on Shonova since last year, after she quit her job as head of sales at Ampush Media.

“There were a few tears,” Taylor said. “It was sad, but necessary.”

It was necessary partly because education has always been one of Taylor’s passions. She also has a background in working with universities that offer online degrees. In fact, she came up with the idea for her education startup Ranku back in 2009.

Once Taylor decided to close Shonova’s doors, she did a week of soul searching. During that time, she also met with a handful of people working in the education space, and ended up connecting with top-notch accelerator TechStars.

TechStars and Kaplan recently teamed up to launch an education accelerator, but the application deadline had long passed at that point.

Luckily for Taylor, TechStars and Kaplan said they would make an exception for her if she could get a team together. It also helped that Taylor had great references.

Within two weeks, Taylor convinced her childhood friend and former ice hockey teammate to quit her wildly lucrative job as the senior director of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to join Ranku as a co-founder. Taylor also brought on board an engineer and user interface designer, and convinced her brother to help out, too.

With a team in tact, she received her term sheet. As part of the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, TechStars invests $20,000 in each company.

The three-month program officially started this week, but Taylor and her team are already moving full force ahead.

Ranku’s official launch date is June 25. The idea behind Ranku is to help non-profit colleges and universities with online degree programs compete against for-profit universities. At the same time, it will serve as a resource for people seeking more information about online degree programs.

If you do a Google search for “online degree programs,” you’re going to see a lot of results from for-profit schools like DeVry, the University of Phoenix, and Everest University.

But there a ton of top-notch schools with full-degree online programs that may not wind up on your radar if you stick to a Google search.

On Ranku, each school has its own profile page full of features of the college, program offerings, professors, student testimonials, and related schools. Eventually, users will be able to see information regarding actual job outcomes of graduates.

Ranku is also partnering with universities. Already, it has top-notch universities like the University of Southern Califorina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University on board as clients.

There are now numerous startups today tackling the education space, like massive online open course (MOOC) startups like Coursera and Udacity.

“I was very adamant that we weren’t doing a MOOC,” Taylor says.

Taylor sees MOOCs as important in the education space, but says she finds the degree market much more interesting.

Sure, there are jobs that don’t require degrees. But a recent report revealed that even with an increase in the number of college graduates, the premium in wages for them continues to rise.

Ultimately, Taylor sees a lot of value in college degrees.

[Kim Taylor on Twitter]

New York Islanders Ice Girl Auditions Are August 17

Do you have what it takes to be a New York Islanders Ice Girl? If you think you have the charisma, out-going personality and skating skills to be part of the Ice Girls team, join us for auditions on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. Auditions will take place at Islanders Iceworks, located at 175 Underhill Blvd. in Syosset. Skaters are advised to arrive by 12:30 p.m. to check-in and fill out any necessary paperwork.Anyone who is interested in auditioning must pre-register prior to Friday, Aug. 16 by e-mailing Erin Willey atErin.Willey@NewYorkIslanders.com. For more information, e-mail the address above or call (516-501-6874). Walk-ins will not be permitted to audition.All skaters who plan to audition must be at least 18 years of age as of September 15, 2013. For attire, please wear a crop-top half shirt and form-fitting athletic clothing. Please bring a headshot, résumé and figure skates and also arrive with your hair and makeup done.

Who: Figure skaters, minimum of 18 years old as of September 15, 2013

What: 2013-14 New York Islanders Ice Girl Auditions

When: August 17, 2013, 1 p.m. (Arrive by 12:30 p.m. for Check-In)

Where: Islanders Iceworks, 175 Underhill Blvd., Syosset, NY 11791

What to bring: Headshot, résumé and figure skates

What to wear: Crop-top half shirt and form fitting athletic clothing. Please arrive with hair & makeup done

Questions: Erin Willey, Game Operations Manager (Erin.Willey@NewYorkIslanders.com)

If you’re thinking about auditioning, but not sure what’s involved, come out to Islanders Iceworks on Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m. You’ll find out more information about the skating requirements, as well as interview process that is involved with the auditions on August 17. For more information contact Erin Willey.

Fromer Pats Cheerleader Strives To Earn Hero Win

By Alexandra Caulway
Telegram & Gazette

Athena Lazo, center, listens to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a segment of “The Hero.” The show airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays on TNT

Athena Lazo went from Shepherd Hill Regional High School to the Patriots football stadium, and now she has landed herself a spot on TNT’s new series “The Hero.”

Hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the reality show tests strength, courage and integrity through a series of challenges and temptations meant to throw the competitors and find a true hero based on America’s votes.

Lazo is a Southbridge native and moved several times throughout the Worcester area as she grew up. A former NFL cheerleader, she currently works as community relations director for a fitness center. Originally, Lazo wanted to be on “The Hero” to give the lesser-known side of cheerleading a spokesperson; she wanted to talk about the social aspects, expectations and eating disorders many of the girls struggle with. But her motivation shifted when her 26-year-old brother suffered a stroke. He was diagnosed with a brainstem tumor at the age of 4 and is paralyzed on the left side and almost completely deaf.

The family was inundated with medical bills after the stroke, and Lazo knew she needed to do this for them. “I got an email for an open casting call,” she said. “The audition was in Boston and it was the same day as my grandpa’s birthday. I decided last-minute to stay home with my family and sent in my résumé and a blurb about why I wanted to be on the show.” She has always enjoyed performing, even when faced with rejection. “Perseverance and hard work are what make a hero,” she said.

In 2008, she tried out for a spot on the NFL cheerleading squad and got turned down. But that didn’t dissuade her from trying again. “Three-hundred eighty-three girls walked in and eight earned a spot,” she said of the auditions. “It’s not easy. Everyone thinks it’s all glamorous and all smiles, but it was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through.” She was on the team for three years and left with a retirement ring.

The entire experience on “The Hero” has been overwhelming for Lazo. “So far, things have been crazy. I gained 500 Twitter followers overnight,” she said with a laugh. As for working with “The Rock,” Lazo found him to be down-to-earth and honest. “You always see him with that enticing smile,” she said, “and it actually never leaves his face.”

On Episode 2, which aired last week, the contestants were taken to Colon City, Panama. “The challenge in Colon was the craziest,” Lazo remembered. “We ran for over two hours. I was teamed with Hero Rachel, and thank goodness she spoke Spanish!” Their task was simple, but not easy: find the location of a photo handed to you by Johnson, who arrived by helicopter. “You didn’t know where you were supposed to go,” explained Lazo. “Our location ended up being hidden in a 15-story building. It was kind of really scary — they just dropped us in the middle of the city with dirty streets and wild dogs everywhere.”

Throughout the challenges, Johnson pops up with random “temptations,” or large sums of money the contestants have the option to take. “You have to decide if you want to be there for your team or for yourself,” Lazo said. “It was hard because we were competing against each other, but we had to work as teams.”

For her, the most difficult part of being on the show was being open-minded and trying to let other people see that she was a good person. “You start living the second you stop caring what other people think,” Lazo said. “I’m here for my brother.”

[Athena on Facebook]

Photo of the Day – June 20

Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Jen

Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders go to Michigan for Calendar Shoot

From WTSP.com

The Indianapolis Colts don’t typically get a whole lot of attention in West Michigan, but that’s changing this week as 26 of the team’s cheerleaders invade the lakeshore.

The cheerleaders are shooting their 2014 swimsuit calendar in the Saugatuck-Douglas area, as part of a deal with the local visitors bureau.

“We just happened to be driving down the road in Indy and found a billboard on the side of the road that had beach, sun, sunset, sand, everything we were looking for and I thought maybe we should go up to Michigan to shoot our calendar,” says Kelly Tilley, manager of the Colts Cheerleaders.

The Saugatuck-Douglas Visitors Bureau says Indianapolis has been a key tourism market for the lakeshore.

“We’ve just had a flood, an increase of visitors from Indianapolis coming here, and from Indiana in general,” says Felicia Fairchild, executive director of the Saugatuck-Douglas Visitors Bureau. “There’s such great visitors here, we want to make sure more of them know about us.”

Some Colts fans may be wondering why their team’s cheerleaders came out to a neighboring state to do the photo shoot. Tourism officials say it starts with a nice beach and it doesn’t hurt to get a free place to stay.

The Beachway Resort gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

“I’m giving them the rooms, free lodging for about 40 rooms so that is a big benefit for them,” says Kathy Wilson, owner of the Beachway Resort.

“You can’t go wrong with a pretty girl on a beach, so it’s an easy sell for us,” says Tilley.

It’s the first time the Colts cheerleaders have taken the photo shoot out of state.

“I want them to look at the cheerleaders, but then I want them to look at the scenery and say ‘hey, that would be a great place to visit,'” says Fairchild.

The Colts Cheerleaders’ calendar will be released in early August, before the first preseason game.

Calgary Stampeders Outriders

The Calgary Stampeders Outriders got off to a very wet start at a pre-season game against the BC Lions this past Friday.

[Calgary Stampeders Outriders]