Jessica Barsch is in her second year as a Bucs Cheerleader.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of covering the 3rd annual Pro and Pro Alumni Cheer and Dance convention presented at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tampa. The show was the presentation of Cheer Girl Entertainment, an impressive company providing a variety of services to the cheerleading/dance community. CGE director Carla C. Thomas-Johnson, a former team captain for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders, has compiled quite a glowing resume working in the choreography industry.
Ongoing activities included classes for both the Junior and Pro levels and culminated in a precision showcase performance at day’s end. This joint is jumpin—it’s really jumpin!!!!
The instructors for the Pro side, Boot Camp Dance, included the following:
Dancer/Model (professional makeup artist) April Ross is a former NBA dancer for the Orlando Magic. April is impressively edgy in style and choreography technique.
Candice Robinson is a former NFL (Bucs), AFL (Storm), ABA, NIFL alumnus and is currently the Director of the XFC-MMA Cage Dolls entertainment team.
Amanda Beauchaine’s resume includes AFL, NIFL stints and she will be receiving her political science degree this year from USF where she performed step dance for 4 years.
Hope Donnelly is a former NBA, NFL and AFL alumnus as well as previous director for the Tampa Lightning Hockey Girls. Hope is presently the cheerleader/dance coach at the University of Tampa.
Pro Bowl cheerleader Tiffany Jimenez has mesmerized my camera lens for the last 5 years as an energetic side line Buccaneer. Her cuteness has actually blinded me to just how multi-talented this young lady is. She’s branching out as a game day host, dancer, spokesperson and high school cheerleading coach. Keep an eye on her.
Although my only job was to take a few pictures I got tired just through osmosis being in a “Boot Camp” environment. Ha Ha. Carla and her assistants Kristin and Kim were very hospitable, enjoyed the day, hope I get invited back.
Our spotlight this week goes to cheerleader Holly Sellers for inspiring the fans to yell “DEFENSE” as the Bucs held on to defeat the birds from Atlanta.
Holly, a recent graduate from USF, is a elementary education teacher in Tampa Bay. Her radio is usually blasting with country music (HeeHaw). Her swimsuit photos have landed her on the cheerleader calendar cover a few times.
Fifth year Holly, a line captain, takes her role model status seriously and actively works with her group in a community initiative for “A Kids Place” located in Brandon, FL.
In what I hope will become a regular feature, the Buccaneers Cheerleader spotlight for NFL Week#1 is reserved for 2nd-year veteran Nikki Fraser.
Like all members of TBBC, Nikki is active in community support and this year she is working with two fine Tampa Bay organizations; “A Kids Place” and “Hope Children’s Home”. Outside of her cheerleading commitment Nikki spends time on nursing studies, modeling and as a dance instructor.
Tampa fans heartbroken over Tiffany’s retirement have reason to smile. She’ll be an in-game announcer at Raymond James Stadium this fall.
Central Florida is a sports paradise for viewing college and professional sports. With the NHL, NBA and NFL asleep I finally got the time to go see the AFL Arena game. Tampa Bay Storm football is action packed entertainment and the family value is unmatched.
The Storm Dancers are part of the very fan friendly atmosphere. Besides leading cheers on the field they also greet patrons on the outside plaza before games and join the players mingling with fans for autograph/photo sessions during post game. Since 2003 the squad has been led by Ms. Kindra Strocher-Ebanks, Director/Choreographer. Kindra was also a Storm Dancer for three years and has developed an informal “underground railroad” for recruiting University of South Florida alumni—–current members Tiffany, Cori, Samantha and Sasha all danced on the Sundolls team at USF. Kindra also was manager twice of the All Star team at the ArenaBowl.
Friday’s (July 1st) game theme was “salute to military” and members of the armed services were introduced throughout the night. A real feel good evening. During the week Savenah, Trista, Jessica and Rachel courageously volunteered for a shooting simulation and repel exercises at the USF ROTC buildings. Sasha, Charlyne and Vanessa participated in a skydiving outing with SOCOM at MacDill Air Force base. The girls also routinely visit the local VA Hospital and interact with the wounded soldiers. The dancer’s red box collections for the night went to the Treats for Troops organization for mailing care packages to deployed forces. Just recently these young ladies also assisted at the Derrick Brooks Charity Foundation. Mr. Brooks is the new President of the Storm and has very supportive of the Dance Team and it’s value to the organization.
Five-year veterans Sasha, who will represent the Storm at the ArenaBowl and Charlyne, are team captains. Ericka is a performer at Busch Gardens and will be singing the national anthem at this year’s final game.
If you’re in the Tampa Bay area come out to a Storm game—–tell the Dancers Jackson sent you.