Eagles seek new cheerleaders

By Peter Mucha, Staff Writer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Feb. 17, 2009

[Last] weekend’s combine isn’t the only talent search gearing up in the NFL.

During the next nine weeks, the Eagles will host a series of events to restock their cheerleading squad.

Every year, about 15 rookies earn spots, along with about two dozen returning vets.

“We have a really busy couple of months planned,” said Barbara Zaun, director of cheerleading.

And that’s not including late April’s NFL draft party, the yearly May calendar shoot, or the July visit by six cheerleaders to Iraq to entertain troops.

Regular Eagles fans should know that only two of these events are open to the public, the draft party and the April 21 cheerleader audition finals.

This year, the finale will be at a smaller venue, the Prince Music Theater in Center City. So the tickets – $22.50 each – are likely to disappear quickly when they go on sale later this month, Zaun said.

Here are the dates that rah-rah wannabes, who must be 18 and a high school graduate, will want to know:

Pre-Audition Workshop, Feb. 25. Optional event at Lincoln Financial Field. Experts, including team choreographer Suzy Zucker, will advise about dancing, hair and makeup, and health and fitness. Includes mock tryout, plus question-and-answer session with current cheerleaders. No judging. Cost is $45.

Open Call Tryouts, March 28. Lincoln Financial Field. Required for would-be rookies. Hundreds of women learn a dance routine, then take turns performing in groups of five before two panels of judges.

Audition Semifinals, March 30 and April 1: About 130 invitees, including squad members seeking to return, will be given a dance routine to learn at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia. The following day, they’ll perform in groups of three, and talk with judges about themselves.

Audition Finals, April 21: Sixty finalists will compete in a variety of categories, including dance, fitness and beauty at Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St.

Next week’s workshop will be limited to 250 contestants, who will automatically be registered for the open-call auditions, Zaun said.

The workshop helps women who might be worried about their confidence, and can improve prospects’ chances, Zaun said. They get how-to tips on everything from fitness (“to firm up your abs, exactly”) to beauty (“to help them understand the glamorous aspect of being an Eagles cheerleader”) to proper nutrition.

Improve your diet, she said, and “your body’s going to look much better in just a month’s time.”

For sign-up information, go to www.philadelphiaeagles.com and click “Cheerleaders.”

Once the squad is set, following the finals, members quickly prepare for the new squad’s debut at the annual draft day party.

Then comes the calendar shoot.

“We are looking for a tropical destination again, and most likely it would early to mid May,” Zaun said.

The cheerleaders, who are paid an hourly rate, make $400 to $1,000 a month and usually hold other jobs.

Pats Cheerleader’s Pro Bowl Journal

Patriots.com
2/24/09

New England Patriots cheerleader Alyssa was the 2009 Patriots Pro Bowl cheerleader. Read her journal from the 2009 Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.

View Pro Bowl Photos >>

Hey Pats Fans!

I can’t believe we’re closing on a year since I last posted; what a whirlwind it’s been! I bet you think we are off vacationing since our beloved team did not make the playoffs (despite an incredible year), but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In addition to preparing for the auditions for next season, many of us have been traveling around the world to visit fans near and far.

I was personally blessed with the opportunity to represent the Pats Cheerleaders at the 2009 Pro Bowl at the beginning of this month. Pat Patriot, our team mascot, was also chosen to participate!

While this might sound like a vacation, there was actually so much to do in preparation. Immediately after arriving in beautiful Honolulu, 26 girls from across the league and approximately 10 mascots, met and began practices and promotions with the goal of performing as a team! It was clear that everyone “did their homework”, and we pulled it off quite well (if I say so myself).

For those of you that haven’t been to Hawaii, let me just say it is truly a paradise. This was my first trip there and I absolutely cannot wait to go back. Pat Patriot has actually been to the Pro Bowl four times, so he’s an old pro!! As this was also the last year that the ProBowl will take place in Hawaii, the people of Honolulu rolled out the red carpet for each of us. I hope to bring a little of this “Aloha Spirit” back to chilly Boston!

The week was jam packed with events, from visits to the Children’s Hospital and Schofield Barracks, to the Pro Bowl Block Party on Kalakaua Avenue at Waikiki Beach. One of my favorite events was Ohana (family) day, at Aloha stadium.

The Saturday before the big game families are invited to the stadium to watch the AFC and NFC teams practice, and there are tons of fun events for everyone. We got to perform, sign autographs for fans, and I even got to catch a pass from Kurt Warner! So cool!

Before I could blink it seemed like our trip had ended, but I knew I had so much more to look forward to. Though it was sad to part with my 25 new friends I was also excited to get home to see my teammates. I slept the entire flight home and arrived just early enough to attend our regular weekly practice! After catching up with everyone and running through some routines it was time for me to head home to…. REPACK?!?!

Be sure to visit the next link, where I will tell you all about our 2009 South America Armed Forces Entertainment Tour!!

Cheers,
Alyssa

Tips for hopeful 2009 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader contestants

Get Your Eagle On!
Tips for hopeful 2009 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader contestants

By Alyssa D’Egidio
NBCPhiladelphia.com
Feb 25, 2009

BCPhiladelphia.com intern, Alyssa D’Egidio, cheered for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 06′ and 07′ season. She will be providing tips for contestants on how to nail this year’s audition.

It has been almost three years since I had my first audition for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Squad. Although a few years ago, memories of my first audition are still fresh in my mind as I think about stepping into the crowded room at Lincoln Financial Field.

For anyone who is planning to audition, this is the most intimidating part. Sprawled across the upper level of the stadium awaits nearly 500 girls who are primping, stretching and practicing dance moves while waiting to learn the routine. Seeing this will most likely raise your blood pressure but it is important to stay calm and rely on all the preparation you’ve put in prior to the open call.

As far as preparation goes, the most important thing to concentrate on is physical fitness and dance ability. At the open call audition contestants will be put into groups and walk into a room with a long table of judges. At this point, the judges are focusing on two main things: fitness and dance ability.

Focus: Fitness

With just a few weeks left until the March 28th auditions, it is important to start sculpting and toning your body. The judges are looking for toned stomachs, arms and legs. One thing they are not looking for is stick thin women. It is important to look healthy but fit.

Stephen Williamson, a trainer and owner of Body Blast at Weston Fitness has a few helpful tips for perfecting physiques in a short period of time.

“I think women trying out for the team are going to want to look aesthetically pleasing. The girls need to be able to move which is why an integration of strength training, plyometrics and cardio will be best for these women,” Stephen said.

Let’s break down what each of these consist of and how many times a week they should be done:

Strength Training is important for being able to push your own body weight. Exercises to do include lunges, leg presses and calf extensions. For toned arms and back muscles, push ups are great.

Cardio is also good for keeping your lungs in good condition. “Cheerleaders don’t need to run marathons therefore a combination of sprints and jogging at a pace will keep their lungs in good shape for their dance routines,” Stephen said.

Lastly, plyometric training is used for speed and agility. This training helps the neuromuscular system for quick steps and foot moves. This is great for dancing and picking up choreography quickly.

Stephen suggests doing a combination of these three. “A full body routine twice a week which is made up of half strength training and half plyometrics should do the trick,” Stephen said. “Cardio should be done two or three times a week for 20-30 minutes.”

Diet is also an important part of a cheerleader’s life, so sticking to a high fiber diet will help keep the pounds off. “Taking in a diet of 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent fat will energize the body and keep it slim,” Stephen said.

Focus: Dance

Once your physique is at its peek, the next goal is to get your dance moves down. At the audition, a short choreography routine will be taught, which contestants have about 20 minutes to learn and an hour to perfect. Obviously contestants can’t practice the dance until the day of the audition, but there are some ways to help make this part a lot easier.

Many college campus gyms offer dance classes from hip-hop to ballet. College students who are auditioning should try to go to at least three dance classes a week prior to the auditions. I did before I auditioned and it really helped me pick up the choreography much quicker. Try taking a hip hop or jazz class which is more the choreography style of the Eagles Cheerleading Squad.

Not a college student? Well, many dance classes are offered in the city and surrounding areas.

Society Hill Dance Academy and Koresh School of Dance in center city offer hip-hop classes for $15 to $20. Classes focus on cardio, movement training and choreography.

The Dancers Studio on Passyunk Avenue offers an hour long Wednesday night jazz/hip-hop class at 6:30 pm. A four-week session costs $15 and will give contestants four paid classes to work on their dance techniques. Call 215-271-6277 for more information.

If you are not sure what kind of dancing the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders do, then it would be helpful to watch last year’s Final Audition Webcast on the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders web site. Before I auditioned, I watched the previous year’s webcast which helped me get a feel for the style of dance the squad does.

KC dancers – are you ready to go pro?

Fluid Dance Convention is coming to Kansas City, featuring former Nuggets dancer and director Sarah Schachterle and Jabbawockeez choreographer Ken Jiminez.

Going Pro Entertainment will feature a special one-day program for college and professional dance audition prep, with special guests Mandy Pruett, the University of Kansas Dance Team Coach; Gretchen Bretz, the former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and Kansas City Brigade Girls Coach; and choreography by Jenni Hanson from the local Best Dance Crew Nu Swagger. Take advantage of several partner discounts for skin care, fitness, photography, dance training, attire and more.
Fluid Dance Convention – Going Pro Agenda
Westin Crown Center Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri
Saturday, March 7, 2009 8am-5pm

$99.00 for one day, $160.00 for full weekend
Register at www.fluiddance.com
Download the official flyer at www.goingproentertainment.com/events

Gilbert woman finds fame in swimsuit issue

by Katherine Greene
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 24, 2009

Fame hit Gilbert’s Kayla Oberg when she least expected it.

The “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model was at the grocery store with no make-up on, wet hair and glasses. She was putting the contents of her cart on the conveyor belt to check out when the older man in front of her asked when the new “Sports Illustrated” was coming out.

Oberg panicked.

“I was like, ‘Please, don’t look this way!'” she said.

She turned her face away and forgot to take all of the items out of her cart.

“I’ve never stolen anything in my entire life and here I was about to jack a Valentine’s Day card,” she said, giggling. “I was so nervous.”

Oberg, a Phoenix Suns dancer, is one of ten NBA dancers featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. It hit newsstands Feb. 11.

Oberg said she got a wave of text messages the day before that, when the photos went online.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” she said.

The Time Inc.-owned magazine chose Oberg after seeing photos of her published on the NBA Web site, she said. Last year, the magazine featured 10 NFL cheerleaders.

The shyness Oberg experienced in the grocery store isn’t normal for her, she said. Four years of work as a NBA dancer helped her get comfortable in front of the Sports Illustrated cameras during the 13-hour shoot, even in her skivvies.

“When you dance for the Suns you have to have 100 percent confidence. Otherwise, you couldn’t get out there,” she said.

The toughest part of the photo shoot wasn’t getting in front of the cameras, she said; it was waiting to see the photos afterward.

The magazine’s representative showed Oberg only one photo two days before the photos went online.

“I’m actually more nervous that it’s out, knowing everyone can see it,” she said.

Oberg was born in Mesa and grew up in Gilbert, attending Gilbert High School and enrolling in Arizona State University for a short time. Her husband of 10 months owns the Stax Burger Bistro in Scottsdale.

Her husband and father were a little wary of Oberg having the photos taken, but they’ve both been supportive, she said.

“They’re just so proud of me,” she said.

Oberg has wanted to be a performer almost all her life. The passion started when she was 4, in a dance class taught by Amy Mickelson, golfer Phil’s wife.

Amy Mickelson was a dancer for the Suns at the time, Oberg said, and it inspired her to perform. As soon as Oberg was old enough to audition, she did – and made it. The first year she was part of the team, the Mickelsons attended a game.

“I was so excited,” she said. “I don’t even think she recognized me.”

Oberg has made the team every year since.

She doesn’t see much of a future for herself in modeling, Oberg said. Her 5’2″ frame limits where she can apply. Most modeling agencies ask that you not send in photos unless you’re 5’9″, she said.

And her addiction to the food at her husband’s restaurant has her a little worried about the future of her figure, she said. To stay in shape, she walks her two puppies every other day. But she also has dance practice twice a week and performances during games that help her stay slim.

If any modeling jobs come her way, she’d jump at the chance, she said.

And she hopes to have kids in the next few years, she said.

Meanwhile, she’ll stick with dancing.

Click here to see her Sports Illustrated video.

This Laker Girl is a reel artist

By Phil Friedman, Correspondent
The Daily Breeze
02/19/2009

As you look out on the court at Staples Center Friday night, you will see Laker Girl Stefanie. She embodies what Laker Girls director Lisa Estrada and the Laker Girls are all about. Beautiful young ladies, who put in endless hours on their routines to entertain throngs of Laker fans.

The Laker Girls are dedicated to making a difference in their communities, participating in everything from events encouraging youngsters to read to Christmas fishing trips for homeless children. The Laker Girls are smart, beautiful, hard-working and civic-minded ladies.

It’s hard to believe when you watch Stefanie perform her routines or help a child to read that deep down she is also a hard-core angler.

Stefanie grew up in Alaska, where fishing is second nature.

“Everyone, men and women, fish and hunt in Alaska,” Stefanie said.

Her father, Lewis, loved fishing more than anything and the fact he could do it with his daughter made these angling excursions even more special. Lewis had a plane that transported them to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of our 49th state.

Stefanie was 6 months old when her father took her on her first fishing trip. With that first trip with her father, she was hooked. Fishing became the activity the two could do together. Sometimes they would make a day of it and other times the adventure would last several days camping out in the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness.

“My dad would fish all night long,” she said. “It’s as if he just couldn’t get enough.”

Stefanie even had a favorite spot.

“I don’t even remember exactly where it was but it was like an enchanted garden with clear water with beautiful boulders,” she said. “I just loved being there, and my dad knew it.

“If I didn’t feel like going fishing, all my dad would have to say is, `I’ll take you to your favorite spot.’ The next thing I knew, we were in the plane.”

She has compiled a great list catches that include numerous king salmon to 30 pounds, halibut to 70 pounds, a 30-pound lingcod, trout, even a shark.

“I just love to be on the water,” she said. “There is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than a day on the water,” the Laker Girl said.

But for the 23-year-old beauty , the best thing about fishing is the time she spent with her father.

“It (fishing) gave us something to do together,” she said. “Fishing made us and has kept us close through today and beyond.”

Although Stefanie says her heart is still in Alaska, it’s only there for the summer.

“It’s just too cold for me now,” she said. “My dad said I was made for Southern California.”

Fish talk: “Sportfishing Saturday” with Philip Friedman airs at 9 a.m. on KLAC (570 AM) and will have Bart Hall and Mike Lum as guests from the Fred Hall Fishing, Tackle and Boat Show this week. They will be discussing all the great sights and sounds of what many call the greatest fishing show on earth, set to open March 4 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Matt Simmons also will be part of the show to talk about a memorial fishing trip for his father, SWAT officer Randall Simmons. The trip is scheduled for Feb.28 out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach.

SI coverage suits Pistons dancer just fine

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News
February 24, 2009

What’s it like to be in the glamorous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition? Ask Rochester’s own Chelsey Buhler.

Buhler is a member of the Pistons’ dance team Automotion and is featured along with nine other NBA dancers inside the pages of the popular publication, currently on newsstands. This is the first time SI has featured NBA dancers in its swimsuit edition. In the past, the magazine has featured NFL cheerleaders.

“I am really happy and honored,” says 21-year-old Buhler.

Rebecca Girard, Automotion’s dance team director, chose Buhler because of her commitment to the organization. And while being genetically gifted helped, Girard says Buhler is more than a pretty face. “She is just an amazing ambassador for us. She is well-spoken, a business woman who has gone on countless appearances for us, and helps to give us the voice that we need.”

When not helping the 19-member dance team hype-up Pistons fans in the stands, Buhler attends Oakland University, where she is a junior majoring in communications. She also works as a dance teacher and works as an administrative assistant at her father’s company.

“Right now, I just focus on each moment, going to school and getting good grades,” says Buhler.

She says family and friends are proud of her but it was a little odd for at least one person. “My dad wasn’t too happy at first, but he got over it and he was the first one to go out and find the issue,” says Buhler.

Since news has spread that she is not only in Sports Illustrated and on the publication’s Web site, sportsillustrated.cnn .com, people are giving her more than the second and third looks that she is probably used to.

“People are coming up to me at Pistons games,” she says. “I have had 800 friend requests on Facebook.”

Harmony Hunt in Muscle and Fitness Magazine

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Harmony Hunt, veteran member of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team (and all around cool chick) is featured in the newest edition of Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Woo! Go Harmony!

You need to go out right now and buy a copy of the magazine. It’s the April 2009 mag with Bruce Lee on the cover. April, not March. I emphasize this because the store I went to only had March and there is a decided lack ‘o Harmony in that edition. (I know this because I spent a good 15 minutes flipping through the magazine trying to find the article, all the time thinking “If Harmony is messing with me, I will not hesitate to let the air out of all four of her tires.”)

Harmony, I apologize. Your tires are perfectly safe.
(From me, anyway.)

Right, so anyway, go get the mag, and read up on our girl. In the meantime, check out a few bonus photos on the M&F website.

(You won’t believe me, but that is what the girl actually looks like in real life. Crazy, ain’t it?)

Congratulations 2009 ChivaGirls!

After rigorous auditions last week, Chivas USA has selected the 2009 ChivaGirls. I was there and will give you the whole scoop on what went down. But in the meantime, here are the ChivaGirls! (Also, make sure to check out the video above, and tons of photos from the audition.)


Row 1: Alheli, Amy, Ariel, Ashley, and Dalila
Row 2: Emi, Jebbell, Kelley, and Laura
Row 3: Mandi, Marie, Megan, and Monique
Row 3: Nicole, Sandra, Serena, and Tiffany

Charger Girl Prep Class

Aspiring San Diego Charger Girls can get the inside scoop on tryouts by attending the team’s pre-audition workshop on March 15.

Chargers.com: This three-hour session will include a dance clinic, mock audition, audition tips, Q&A with the Charger Girls and information packet. You will meet the director and the 2008 Charger Girls who will provide you with insight on what it takes to become a San Diego Charger Girl!

The deadline for registration is Thursday, March 12. Click here for details.