A Beach Girl That Loves Dancing on the Ice: Panthers Ice Dancer Jacqueline Is One of Florida’s Coolest Pro Cheerleaders

Jacqueline of the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers, getting a visit from Stanley C. Panther during the March 19th game against the Islanders

Palm trees, sunshine, and 80 degrees on one side of a door; cold temperatures, ice, and flying pucks on the other. Such contrasts are evident at the BankAtlantic Center for Florida Panthers games. Arriving fans passed by swaying palms on their way to the March 19th Panthers-Islanders game, only to enter doors into a chilled arena with a frozen surface ready for NHL action. But interesting contrasts didn’t end there. Take Jacqueline of the Panthers Ice Dancers. Jacqueline has some interesting contrasts in her own life.

These include Jacqueline’s passion for both arts and science, specifically dance and biology, both big parts of her life. Also, Jacqueline’s heritage is half Venezuelan and half Bolivian. Not only are there obvious differences between Venezuela (hot, equatorial, miles of coastline and beaches, not so spicy food, and baseball loving) and Bolivia (land locked, mountainous with “three mile high” La Paz, cooler, a bit spicier food, and fans of soccer), but if each country had a collective personality, Venezuela would be outgoing, energetic, and pageant loving, whereas Bolivia would be more laid back, relaxed, and focused on natural beauty.

Upon meeting Jacqueline, one begins to notice that she has taken the best parts of all of these interesting dimensions. As she greeted fans outside the BankAtlantic Center, she was outgoing and friendly, but with a charming graciousness and easy smile that that sums up all the best traits of all of her family lines.

Jacqueline and Courtney greet fans prior to the game outside of the BankAtlantic Center

Cheering and dancing for the Miami-area Panthers, who play their home games in Sunrise, Florida, Jacqueline was born and raised in Miami. Dance has been a big aspect of her artistic side since a young age. Jacqueline relates, “I started dancing when I was five years old. I started out dancing ballet and jazz at a dance studio in Miami Lakes. It was then that my love and passion for dancing began. I was on the dance team throughout middle and high school. I love everything about it, from the long hard practices and training to the crazy chaos that goes on backstage on performance days. There’s something about being on stage and performing that makes me so happy.” And this is obvious once the music starts, and Jacqueline transforms as her dancing side energetically takes over.

But there is a scientific side to Jacqueline also, as she is a full-time student majoring in biology, with a goal of becoming a pharmacist. As part of her preparation, she works part-time at a pharmacy. Again, her enthusiasm about this side of her life also triggers a passionate response, as Jacqueline describes, “I love my job as a pharmacy technician. I enjoy being able to helping others feel better. I have worked in the pharmacy for almost four years, and I learn something new every day I work. What excites me about being a pharmacist is the knowledge in knowing how effective medication can be, how it works, and much more. When the pharmacist recommends or counsels a patient, I always listen and try to learn and catch up on what they say to the patient.”

How can we spread enthusiasm about science to young kids? Jacqueline replies, “I think science should be approached to kids in a fun and positive way. Kids see it as such a difficult challenging subject, and it sure is, but it can also be very interesting!”

Jacqueline, along with Catherine and Courtney, amidst the palms and sun outside the arena

As far as her ancestry, Jacqueline says, “My background being Venezuelan-Bolivian is quite a contrast; my friends call me a mutt!” So with these national contrasts, let’s see where Jacqueline leans. Does she prefer beaches or mountains? Jacqueline says, “I am a beach girl.” Spicy food or something milder? “I enjoy spicy food but have to be in the mood for it,” replies Jacqueline. Baseball or soccer? Jacqueline says, “I love watching all sports, especially HOCKEY!”

Jacqueline values her connection to both sides of her family, saying, “I have a really big family on both sides. I enjoy the warmness of being around family and the culture when I go visit. In Bolivia, my family owns property in the country called ‘El Beni,’ and we all take a family trip every three years to the farm, and go horseback riding, fishing, and hunting. It is so different from here, and it is so good sometimes to get away from the daily routine and spend time outdoors, bonding with family. Venezuela has beautiful beaches and great food! My family from Venezuela lives in Caracas, but I enjoy going to the beautiful beach in Maracaibo.”

Jacqueline walks down the aisles to get the crowd going

This is Jacqueline’s second season as a Panthers Ice Dancer. Jacqueline’s Ice Dancer journey started when, “A friend of mine went to a Panthers game and saw the Ice Dancers, and suggested I audition. I will never forget the day of final auditions when they announced my name. I was so happy I cried!”

Besides work and school, practice and personal workouts also are part of the schedule, as Jacqueline explains, “We usually have dance or ice practice two to three times a week. My workout regimen consists of doing thirty minutes of cardio on the treadmill or the elliptical, and also thirty minutes of circuit weight training. I also enjoy taking spinning and hot yoga classes!”

Jacqueline (left) and the Ice Dancers hit the ice for their performance during the second break

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Panthers Ice Dancer Update!

Heads-up, the NHL Florida Panthers have updated their Ice Dancers page with bios, wallpapers, and tons of photos. It’s good stuff. Go check it out.

Florida Panthers Update

Heads up! FloridaPanthers.com has been updated with new individual photos of the Ice Dancers. No bios, but they do have uniform shots, swim calendar shots, and an individual wallpaper for each member of the team. Go there now.