Winnipeg Blue Lightning Auditions

We are looking for an all new 2009 Labatt Blue Lightning Dance Team!

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Do you think you have what it takes to be a member of one the most talented dance/cheer teams in the CFL?

Information Night: Friday, April 24th, 7-9pm
Day 1: Saturday, April 25, 2009 Noon – 4pm
Registration Begins at 11 am.
Day 2: Monday, April 27, 2009 6pm – 9pm
Day 3: Wednesday, April, 29 Interviews (TBD by candidate)
$20 Non-refundable Registration Fee
Click here for a registration form.

Information Night: Friday, April 24th at 7-9pm
The information night is an opportunity to inform potential candidates on the expectations, rules, responsibilities, obligations and compensation for each Blue Lightning member. There will also be time allotted for a question and answer period.

Audition schedule:

Day 1: Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 12 noon – 4pm.

Registration will begin at 11am. Located in the Sun Center at 1465 Maroons Rd. This time line may be subject to change. It is recommended that all participants stay until the day comes to a close.
– Participants will be lead through a group routine and will be expected to perform the routine in- front of a panel of judges in large and small groups.
– There will be cuts at the end of day 1.
– Attire is expected to be athletic/dance apparel and must be mid-drift bearing. Bra tops are required, shorts or pants are acceptable. The Blue Lightning Uniform may or may not include mid drift bearing tops so it is essential all candidates feel comfortable performing in this type of apparel.
– Makeup and hair should be styled as if you were performing on game day on the field.

[Winnipeg Blue Lightning Auditions]

Double the Dance Squad Fun in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne experienced some of its basketball past and its basketball present during a game in February at the Wayne County War Memorial Coliseum. Fort Wayne is home for one the NBA-D League franchises, the Mad Ants. Now, frankly, I had no idea why Fort Wayne would be known for ants and what would make them so mad.

Is Fort Wayne known for tidy picnics? Turns out, Fort Wayne (both the city and the actual fort) is named for General Anthony Wayne, who was known as “Mad Anthony.” I guess he was known for having a bit of a temper. See, sports can entertain AND inform. So, the team is named for him, in a fun, kinda, sorta way, as the “Mad Ants.” So the Mad Ants are Fort Wayne’s basketball present, and we hope are the future, because they seem like a really cool organization.

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Each NBA-D teams is affiliated with one or more NBA teams, and that’s where Fort Wayne’s basketball “past” comes in. One of the teams that the Mad Ants are affiliated with is the Detroit Pistons. However, they weren’t always the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons began life as the Fort Wayne Pistons, from 1941 until they moved to Detroit in 1957. The Pistons had a colorful history in Fort Wayne of enthusiastic fans, winning teams, and rumors of point shaving and throwing games.

One of the great things about many of the NBA-D franchises is that they often host “affiliate nights,” when the entertainment squads of their parent NBA franchises come for a visit. The Mad Ants had the Bucks entertainment groups, including the Energee, visiting in January; the Pistons night, including the Automotion dance squad, was in February; and Pacers affiliate night with their mascots is in March. So the Pistons affiliate night was a great opportunity to see the home town dance squad, the Madame Ants, and the visiting Automotion.

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The Madame Ants are lead by dance team coach Sheenah Johnson, who IS dance in Fort Wayne. Sheenah is a former Indiana Pacemate, the coach of the squads at Snider High School and Indiana Tech at the college level, and is one of the co-owners of a family owned innovative dance studio. But, in the tradition of great player-coaches like Bill Russell, she is not just coach, she is dancer-coach, out there performing with her Madame Ants squad.

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On this night, fans entering the arena were greeted by the Madame Ants, who were handing out free stuff to fans, like Mad Ants towels and other stuff to wave and bother free throw shooters. There was live music also, to which the talented Madame Ants couldn’t help but move to the beat as they greeted fans.

As the starting line-ups were introduced, the lights went down, and the Madame Ants were joined by the Automotion, and the spot lights hit both squads. The Automotion is an impressive group, and I would think, certainly the best of the best dancers in Detroit. I cannot think of another city with all of the “Big 4” sports that only has one dance squad, other than the Automotion being THE dance squad in Detroit. Director Rebecca Girrard has put together a wonderful squad of talented, personable, friendly, outgoing, and classy dancers, who represent their team and city brilliantly.

At my first NBA-D game, I soon learned it was not a laid back affair. Sitting behind the scorer’s table, we all jumped when the Mad Ant’s coach slammed his fist on the table in reaction to a referee’s call. A little of the Mad Anthony’s demeanor was in the house.

It was double the fun, double the talent, double the beauty, having both the Automotion and Madame Ants performing on the court. The Automotion really put on a show, not only performing their routines, but serving as competitors against fans during game breaks. Pairs of dancers participated in both a piggyback race and a race where they had carry basketballs between their mid-sections and race sideways. At halftime, the Automotion signed autographs on the concourse to the pleasure and appreciation of the Fort Wayne locals.

My Center Court Standout of the game for the Madame Ants was Carly, who not only is a fun and excellent performer on the court, but was grooving to the live music in the concourse before the game, showing her dancer’s soul. But the entire Madame Ants squad is great, and it was a pleasure to get to see them.

Selecting the Center Court Standout of the game for the Automotion was equally tough, so I have to go with co-Standouts. Three year vet Megan shines on the court and was full of smiles as she participated in the races against fans. Also, one is immediately struck by Rene, a tall beautiful dancer, who also is a native of Indiana. Rene was “back home again in Indiana,” and, along with her squad and the Madame Ants, made it a true celebration of great dance squads.

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Jersey Girl on Broadway

Roxbury native opens in revival of West Side Story

By Bill Nutt
The Daily Record

Tonight, when Amy Ryerson makes her Broadway debut in “West Side Story,” she can almost thank her New Jersey roots for landing her the part.

Ryerson, a 2004 graduate of Roxbury High School, will play Mugsy, one of the Jet girls in a much-anticipated revival of the classic musical based on “Romeo and Juliet.” She is also the understudy for Graziella, the girl friend of Jet gang leader Riff.

When Ryerson auditioned for the show this past October, Arthur Laurents (the 90-year-old theater legend who wrote the book for the 1957 show and who is directing “West Side Story” for the first time) praised Ryerson for her tough demeanor.

“Yeah, I’m tough, I’m from New Jersey,” Ryerson replied.

“That cracked him up,” Ryerson recalled. “I think it might have helped me (get the role). They wanted people who were tough, who had that attitude.”

Ryerson’s Broadway debut is the culmination of years of training and work. Though only 23, she has appeared off-Broadway, done commercials, and performed as a Knicks City Dancer for the basketball team. A versatile dancer, she is skilled in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyric and other styles.

“Amy always tried to take everything in,” said Janine Cone of Byram, former co-director of the Dance Academy of North Jersey in Jefferson. For more than 12 years, Cone taught Ryerson and served as her mentor.

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“Amy was one of the most dedicated, disciplined dancers I ever had,” said Cone, who taught dance for more than 25 years. “There are kids who compete in dance, but also do soccer, field hockey or other sports. It’s hard to find a kid who is dedicated to one thing. That’s Amy.”

“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a dancer,” said Amy Ryerson. “I never questioned it. It was something I needed to do.”

She began dancing “almost from the moment she could move,” said Carolyn Ryerson.

At age three, Amy was taking dance lessons. By age 7, she had begun entering dance competitions, and as a teenager she was going to New York City for auditions and workshops.

Carolyn Ryerson said she and her husband, Wayne, have always supported Amy in her dance; however, they tried to avoid being the stereotypical stage parents. “We tried to keep her grounded,” said Carolyn Ryerson. “We told her there would always be someone better than her.”

Nonetheless, the Ryersons had to pay attention when judges at competitions encouraged their daughter to dance professionally. “They kept saying that she was the real deal,” said Carolyn Ryerson.

Argos Cheerleaders Finals This Saturday

The competition was stiff last Saturday at the 2009 Argos Cheerleaders preliminary auditions as over 120 women competed for a spot on Toronto’s most established and revered cheerleading squad. The judges narrowed the field and now 64 women are moving on to the final auditions presented by Vata Brasil this Saturday, March 21. The Argos want our fans to have their say so come on down, cheer for your favourites, and let the judges know which ladies you want to see on the 2009 team.

Be the first to preview the 2009 Argos Cheerleaders as the final 33 will be named. VIP and celebrity judges including Rudy Blair from 680 News, Devo Brown from Flow 93.5 and Richie Favalaro from CHUM FM will evaluate the ladies on appearance, dance skills, showmanship and personality as they perform a dance routine, freestyle some of their own moves and answer a question from the judges.

Here are the details for the final auditions:

DATE: Saturday, March 21, 2009

LOCATION: Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts

36 Greenfield Avenue

Toronto, Ontario

(Yonge St., north of Sheppard Ave.)

DOORS: 11:00 a.m.

ADMISSION: $10 at the door

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For over 30 years, the Argos Cheerleaders have cheered on the boys in blue at every home game. They lead the cheers of more than 30,000 Argo fans at Rogers Centre, as the Double Blue fight to represent the East in the Grey Cup. The Argos Cheerleaders also support some meaningful community events, lead the Jr. Argos Cheerleaders and act as role models for many young fans.

2009 Patriots Cheerleading Squad Selected

In mid-February, almost 300 hopefuls began the audition process for a coveted spot on the 2009 Patriots Cheerleading squad. Almost a month later, the process has been completed and the new 29 member squad has been selected.

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Auditions for the 2009 Patriots Cheerleading Squad began in mid-February. First, an optional workshop was offered as a means of better preparing candidates for the audition process. A week later, Preliminary Auditions took place, and almost 300 hopefuls attended with the hopes of earning a coveted spot on the 2009 squad.

After a twelve-hour day, the field was narrowed down to 65 semi-finalists. Each candidate visited Gillette Stadium for a half hour personal interview with Cheerleader Director, Tracy Sormanti. A practice was held mid-week and Final Auditions took place on March 7.

After performing two choreographed routines that were taught at preliminaries, a free style dance round, a series of high kicks and splits, an optional tumbling pass, a swimsuit modeling segment, a written quiz on football and Patriots facts and a meet and greet with the judges, the pool was narrowed down to 34 finalists. Over the next week and a half, the finalists attended three intensive rehearsals at which they learned new choreography, ran the ramps at Gillette Stadium, did calisthenics and participated in public speaking training sessions. On March 17, the 2009 Patriots Cheerleading Squad was announced. The group will begin training immediately, and all will travel to Aruba on April 24 to shoot their annual swimsuit calendar.

2009 Roster:
Jessica Aiello
Asia Barnes
Britni Baron
Lindsey Barrows
Carrie Binette
Katie Birckbichler
Brittany Bonchuk
Sara Caldeira
Ashley d’Entremont
Kelsey Fournier
Lindsay Greene
Jennifer Grossi
Stacy Hopkins
Stephanie Johnson
Rebecca Kennedy
Jessica Lemieux
Crissy Lynn
Jillian O’Neil
Randi Pittman
Amanda Riddle
Adele Scala
Sandra Smyly
Kirsten Thresher
Alyssa Tosoni
Leah Vandale
Kayla Vernaglia
Julie Warner
Julia Williamson
Dinna Yap

[Patriots Cheerleaders Auditions Photos]