Check Out The Latest Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Gossip Folks: Interview with Michelle Vaughn

Brittany and Mhkeeba interview Michelle Vaughn, one of the hottest choreographers for several NBA dance teams and NFL cheerleading squads!  The ladies learn all about her background as a professional dancer in Los Angeles performing with exciting artists like Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida, and her perspective on changes in the pro dance industry from influence of social media.  Michelle also shares how she balances her career as a master teacher at pro dance training programs and dance conventions all over the U.S. and internationally at the pro, college and high school level!

During this week’s Cheer Chat, Mhkeeba and Brittany discuss the trend of branded video content on the various social media sites of pro cheerleading teams and wonder if this concern with re-branding the team image is getting a little bit overplayed.  The ladies also discuss economic justice and pay equity for female athletes in sports as it pertains to professional dancers and cheerleaders.  The ladies have fun getting to know Michelle with the Drop It Like It’s Hot segment!

To listen to the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast, please click here.

Check out the Latest Pro Cheerleading Podcast

Change Clothes: Interview with Laurel Cancilla, Owner of The Stretch and Sparkle Store

Meet the amazing woman behind all of the glitzy and glamorous uniforms for the Seattle Sea Gals and Seahawks Dancers, Laurel Cancilla! Brittany and Mhkeeba interview Laurel to learn about her long tenure designing and creating the most beautiful handmade uniforms and audition attire. The ladies also get her perspective on some of the newer fashion trends in pro cheerleading uniforms. Laurel shares a shocking Locker Talk story that the ladies would have never guessed in a million years!

During Cheer Chat, Mhkeeba and Brittany discuss the announcement of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performing in the Super Bowl halftime show in Miami and the Arizona Sidewinders earning Best Dance Team Award by the Indoor Football League. In not so good news, the ladies discuss the decision by the professional club basketball team in Germany, Alba Berlin, to eliminate their pro cheerleading team, the Alba Dancers, with the explanation that the all female squad “is no longer appropriate to our time.” Mhkeeba and Brittany share their thoughts on how the trends they have been seeing in the U.S. to eliminate all female pro cheerleading and dance teams is making its way across the globe.

To listen to this episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast, click here.

USA Today Photos from Week 3

It used to be that NFL.com and other media site would post galleries of cheerleader images from throughout the season, but it seems like this is a thing of the past.  Somehow professional cheerleading is no longer in vogue or politically correct and that’s a shame.

Well at least USA Today still posts an ongoing gallery of NFL Cheerleader images and that is a good thing because most of their images are shot by AP photographers and they are the best.  So click here to view the USA Today website.

Here are some of the best images from Week 3 of the NFL regular season.

Pro Cheerleading Podcast – She’s Got Legs: Interview with Jacie Scott, Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader & Radio City Rockettes Dancer

Mhkeeba and Brittany interview the amazingly talented and multi-faceted Jacie Scott, former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and Radio City Rockettes Dancer, writer, and founder of her very own foundation, Declare Hope! Listen in as Jacie shares her extensive dance background that took her from the Dallas Cowboys sidelines to the world famous stage of the New York Radio City Music Hall.

Jacie inspires the ladies with her positive perspective and fearless decisions to pursue all of her passions instead of feeling forced to choose just one. During this week’s Cheer Chat, Brittany and Mhkeeba give an update on the status of the newly formed coed NBA dance teams. Jacie gives the ladies a funny Locker Talk story of a show group solo performance gone wrong.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast.

 

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Bounce Back: Interview with Derric Whitfield

In this week’s episode, Brittany and Mhkeeba interview the infamous Derric Whitfield, Sr. Director of Dance Teams for the Washington Wizards!  Both ladies learned and performed his killer routines that he taught at the two biggest dance conventions in pro cheerleading and have been huge fans ever since.  Listen in to hear all about his background as a college and pro dancer, pro cheerleading industry choreographer, and highly respected leader of all of the entertainment teams for the Washington Wizards.  Derric ends the interview with Drop It Like It’s Hot so everyone can get the chance to get to know him better! 

During Cheer Chat, Mhkeeba and Brittany discuss an article from The Dallas Morning News by Sharon Grigsby attacking the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as outdated and overly sexualized along with the ultimate clap back article from Paige Skinner in the Dallas Observer pointing out its absurdity.

Click here to listen to this episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast.

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Game Time: The Game Day Experience

Game Time: The Game Day Experience

Join Mhkeeba and Brittany as they experiment recording Cheer Chat using Instagram Live to give listeners an inside look at how they record the Pro Cheerleading Podcast!  During Cheer Chat the ladies discuss some new uniforms that debuted during Week 1 of the NFL regular season for a few teams that are changing the look of the traditional glamorous NFL uniforms.  They also discuss some developments in a lawsuit brought by a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders against the team that resulted in a significant raise for the cheerleaders and a few inspirational stories that celebrate women on and off the playing field.  In this week’s episode, Brittany and Mhkeeba walk you through the entire game day experience while reminiscing on some of their most memorable moments on the sidelines. They wrap up the episode with Locker Talk about a little post-game mischief from lingering in the locker room too long after the game!

Click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Time Magazine: NBA Teams Are Slowly Eliminating All-Female Dance Squads. Dancers Say That’s Sexist.

From Time Magazine

NBA Teams Are Slowly Eliminating All-Female Dance Squads. Dancers Say That’s Sexist.

By Paige Skinner

July 29, 2019

On May 15, an executive with the Sacramento Kings told 48 female contract employees on a conference call that the team would be “evolving” their dance squad, and the women’s contracts would end June 30.

The 48 women made up the official Kings Dancers, the elderly dance team The Classics, and the dance team for the G-League affiliate, the Stockton Kings. The Breakers, a break-dancing team made up of seven male dancers, were not on the call, nor were the co-ed entertainment teams: The Dunking Ushers, Drumline, 91Sticks, and the Sacramento Kings Street Team.

According to two women who were on the call, the executive told them that the Kings were moving in a “more inclusive” direction and would eliminate the three all-female teams, replacing the Kings Dancer and The Classics with a co-ed hip-hop team called the 916 Crew, and replacing the Stockton Kings dancers with a co-ed multi-discipline street team called 209 Hype. The women were encouraged to try out, but were not guaranteed a spot on the new teams—the same process required of them each season. One member of The Classics joked during the call, “I think I can hip, but I don’t think I can hop.”

Kellie Jackson and Mariah Palmiter, both Kings Dancers since 2016, were on the 30-minute call. Palmiter asked if the April hiring of the new Kings head coach, Luke Walton, had anything to do with eliminating the all-female dance teams. Just a few weeks earlier, former Spectrum SportsNet reporter Kelli Tennant had filed a civil lawsuit against Walton accusing him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2014. Walton has categorically denied the allegations.

Palmiter found the timing suspicious, wondering if the organization was worried about showcasing young female dancers while dealing with the accusations against Walton. But she says when she asked this question, she was told, “We’d like to keep this a productive call.”

A Kings spokesperson told TIME: “[The decision to evolve the dance teams] was discussed internally for months and was finalized before the end of season.”

In the past 14 months, eight of the 30 NBA teams have replaced their all-female dance teams with co-ed groups. It’s a trend that some dancers say reflects a fraught societal response to the #MeToo movement: If there’s any chance you could be accused of sexism, just distance yourself from women. Others wonder if franchises are eliminating all-female squads because of prior pushes for better pay and working conditions. NBA teams insist they are merely diversifying their entertainment squads, but dancers, many of whom have trained and aspired to be on these teams for years, say the decision to replace all-female teams is itself sexist, reducing the number of good career opportunities for women.

NBA dancers have been part of the league for more than 30 years, and while their positions are typically part-time, many dancers say they spend more than 20 hours per week learning, practicing, and performing the dances at games. They also represent the team publicly, volunteering in the community and appearing at events to dance or sign autographs.

Palmiter says the decision feels like “a slap in the face.”

“We were always fighting our own organization to get the credit, attention, and respect that we deserved,” she says, “and in hindsight they were already pushing us out of the door.”

Read the rest of the article at Time.com.

Listen to the Latest Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Mean Gurl: How To Deal With Mean Girls On The Squad

Mean Gurl: How To Deal With Mean Girls On The Squad

Brittany and Mhkeeba take on the difficult, but very real, topic of mean girls on pro cheerleading teams. The ladies know all too well that it’s not always peaches and cream in terms of squad dynamics. They explore what defines mean girl behavior and how it shows up in the pro cheerleading world based on their own experiences and those of their listeners who wrote in questions and topics for the episode. The ladies discuss why mean girls even exist in the first place and conclude with some sound advice for dancers, squad leaders and even directors on how to deal with mean girls on the squad. This week’s Cheer Chat includes the latest update on NBA auditions and discuss a cool appearance by the Jacksonville Jaguars Roar cheerleaders performing with Sonny Kiss, a pro wrestler from All Elite Wrestling. Survey results have been steadily pouring in so Mhkeeba and Brittany share some of the highlights from the feedback from their listeners. During Locker Talk, the ladies bravely share their own mean girl confessions and give advice on how everyone can strive to do better to eliminate mean girl behavior in their lives.

Click here to listen to the lastest episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast.

Pro Cheerleading Podcast: An Interview with Lisa Zaragoza, Coach of Portland Trail Blazers Rip City Crew All Male Dance Team

Like A Boy: Interview with Lisa Zaragoza, Coach of Portland Trail Blazers Rip City Crew All Male Dance Team

Brittany and Mhkeeba interview Lisa Zaragoza, the Coach of the all male Rip City Crew for the Portland Trail Blazers and get the inside scoop on what it’s like working with professional male dancers.

Lisa shares her dance background and how she became one of the hottest choreographers for NBA, college and high school teams. The ladies learn about her experience as a BlazerDancer for the Portland Trail Blazers for five seasons and a member of the 2014 NBA All-Star Dance Team. Lisa explains how she balances it all and also finds time to be the Coach of her alma mater, Oregon Cheer!

During Cheer Chat, Mhkeeba and Brittany give an update on NBA auditions and squad selections. They also discuss the number of NBA teams that have formed all male hip hop crews. The ladies get to know Lisa better during Drop It Like It’s Hot!

Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleader Podcast.

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast

The Climb: The Journey of Rookie Year

Alright, you made it through auditions and became a pro cheerleader, now what?!? Join Brittany and Mhkeeba as they discuss the journey of rookie year that often times can be very difficult to navigate. The ladies begin with the typical squad business that happens when you first make the team – photo shoots, long practices to learn dance routines, boot camp, and promo appearances. They also discuss the biggest mistakes and lessons learned from their rookie year on the squad. Cheer Chat includes an NBA auditions update and discussion of some NFL cheerleading teams bio photo shoots, calendar magazines and squad mini camp. During this week’s Locker Talk, Mhkeeba and Brittany share some scoop on mistakes they made rookie year.

To listen to the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast, click here.

Check out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast

I Wanna Be Your Lover: Love & Relationships as a Pro Cheerleader

Between managing a full-time job, school, time with friends and family, dance practices and games, when is there time for love?? Mhkeeba and Brittany invite their BFF of the show, Lindsay Rosenberg, to return for a deep dive into love and relationships. The ladies cover everything from insecurity, jealousy, first dates, marriage and your most important relationship – the one you have with yourself. Listen closely as the ladies share the truth behind the poms and discuss how difficult it can be to manage relationships while pursuing the dream of becoming a pro cheerleader. Cheer Chat includes a very important update and last call to action to elevate the voices of pro dancers about what is happening to female dance teams in the NBA. The ladies also discuss the P-R-O and Pro Action Dance professional dance conventions held every summer in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Lindsay turned the tables on Brittany and Mhkeeba for Drop It Like It’s Hot to get to know them better!

Click here to listen to the latest episode.

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Doctor Doctor: Interview with Dr. Brittany Krake, Former NBA Dancer & Naturopathic Doctor

This episode is full of good news for female athletes and dancers about ways to care for their bodies and feel more empowered about their overall health!! Brittany and Mhkeeba interview Dr. Brittany Krake, a Naturopathic Doctor and former NBA Dancer for the Portland BlazersDancers. Learn about how Dr. Krake completed medical school while dancing in the NBA and built her naturopathic medical practice to empower people to make informed decisions about their own health. Dr. Krake’s background as a professional dancer gives her a unique understanding of the specific health risks and physical demands placed on pro cheerleaders and dancers.

During Cheer Chat, Mhkeeba and Brittany discuss their self-care regimens (or lack thereof) during their time cheering in the NFL. They also discuss the Philadelphia Sixers’ decision to change the Sixers Dancers female dance team to a coed hip hop dance team. The ladies also recap Mhkeeba’s appearance on the Open Mike morning sports radio show hosted by Mike Bianchi from the Orlando Sentinel in response to his blog post about the Orlando Magic Dancers, Dr. Krake shares the funniest story involving hair extensions for this week’s Locker Talk and plays along for Drop It Like It’s Hot!

Click here to listen to this espisode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast.

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Work: Being a Pro Cheerleader in the Workplace

Work: Being a Pro Cheerleader in the Workplace

Escape the mid-week slump and tune in to Mhkeeba and Brittany, two former Seattle Sea Gals, as they discuss how they balanced their lives as pro cheerleaders with their careers – from the white lies they told to escape work to participate in promo appearances to not being taken seriously in their 9 to 5 roles. Whether balancing a few part-time jobs or tackling the corporate world, all pro cheerleaders and dancers need to have solid income to support their dreams of dancing. This episode explores how pro cheerleaders tackle difficult workplace issues such as sexual harassment and issues with difficult managers.

Cheer Chat is a very unfortunate announcement of yet another team removing their female dance team to be replaced with a coed hip hop crew – the Orlando Magic. The day before this episode launched the Philadelphia Sixers also announced the elimination of the all female Sixers Dancers to be replaced by a coed hip hop team, which brings the grand total to six NBA teams including the San Antonio Spurs! During Locker Talk the ladies reminisce on some of the craziest things they have had to do at work in order to arrive at dance practice, a game or an appearance all glammed up!

Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleader Podcast.  Please support their efforts by listening to their podcast and be sure to check out their prior episodes for a unique take on professional cheerleading.

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast

Listen in as former Seattle Sea Gals Brittany and Mhkeeba interview Lindsay Rosenberg about her illustrious career as a former NBA Dancer that led to so many wonderful opportunities.  Don’t let Lindsay’s title fool you as she has worn so many exceptionally cool hats in the pro cheerleading industry.  She shares her unique approach to photographing dancers in the NBA and NFL, the importance of head shots, and advice she gives when shooting with her clients.  Lindsay gives the absolute coolest Locker Talk story about a Pro Bowl halftime show performance by Rachel Platten.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of this wonderful podcast.  Let’s help support their efforts to highlight the latest developments in the professional cheerleading world.

Pro Cheerleading Podcast – Protesting the Elimination of NBA Dance Teams

For all you fans of professional cheerleading, check out the latest episode of the Pro Cheerleading Podcast.  Brittany and Mhkeeba, two former Seattle Sea Gals, review the latest developments in the professional cheerleading world and this week they discuss the disappointing news that the Sacramento Kings Dancers and the Dallas Maverick Dancers have eliminated their pro dance teams in exchange for a hip-hop focused co-ed dance and entertainment crew. 

They have a unique perspective on the subject matter and discuss the reasons why these changes were implemented.  The latter portion of their podcast includes an in depth interview with four members of the Sacramento Kings Dancers, who discuss the circumstances surrounding the demise of their squad.

This is certainly a must listen to podcast for all of us who enjoy and support professional cheerleading.

Click here to listen to their current podcast episode.