Nets Dancer a ‘Jac’ of All Trades

by Ben Couch
NJNETS.COM

Jaclyn, NJ Nets You might know her as the “Jac of All Nets,” or the coach of the NETSational Senior Dancers, or a model in the Capezio catalog, or “that girl” in several commercials or … well, you get the point. However you’re familiar with Nets Dancer Jaclyn, it’s safe to say she’s exploring the opportunities afforded her.

The Pomona, N.Y. native, now in her fourth year with the team, is a Rutgers graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism. Jaclyn recently took time out of her crowded schedule – 16-hour workdays! – for an exclusive interview with NJNets.com.

NJNets.com: You’re entering your fourth year with the Nets Dancers. How’d you get started with the team?

Jaclyn: I was on a Broadway tour, right after I graduated from Rutgers, and I broke my foot on the tour. They sent me home, and after many months of rehab, I heard that Petra Pope was coming over from the Knicks, and she was starting a new team with the Nets. I thought it something I would be interested in, and when I looked it up online, I saw the audition was the next day. So I just showed up, and I’ve been here ever since.

NJNets.com:
That’ll do it, ha. Two follow-up questions. First: How’d you break your foot?

Jaclyn: I was on the national tour of the Broadway show Contact, which is all swing dancing, and I was dancing with my partner, who – I don’t want to say he dropped me, but he kind of did. I was in 3-inch heels and when my foot hit the ground, I heard it pop. I finished the show on a broken foot. But once I saw the X-Ray and I saw the purple, I knew it was time to go home.

NJNets.com: And what about Petra coming to the Nets made you want to audition?

Jaclyn: Going to Rutgers, I lived with a couple of the Knicks City Dancers, so I knew about her, I knew her background starting the Laker Girls and coming here to New York. I knew that she would run a great team and a program I’d be proud to be a part of, so I figured I’d give it a try.

NJNets.com:
What made you come back after that first year?

Jaclyn: There’s nothing like it. as a dancer, to be able have a steady gig dancing is very rare. I loved all the ladies I danced with, they became best friends of mine and it just doesn’t feel like a job. No matter how many hours we put in, or how many injuries we have, it’s just always fun. There’s no reason to give it up until the time is right.

Jaclyn, NJ Nets NJNets.com: In four years, have you made any memorable mistakes?

Jaclyn: Mistakes … let me think. I think everybody’s probably had a mistake now and then. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything absolutely awful. Thank God – knock on wood – I’ve never tripped on my face and fell. Watch – I’ll do that at the next game. Hopefully not.

I would say costume malfunctions are always an issue, that kind of thing. I know I had an issue in my second season with a pair of shorts being too short, and I got in trouble for that, but ironically that picture ended up on the Web site for the dancer contest the NBA has every year. It got us to the second round, so I can’t complain now.

NJNets.com: What’s been your hardest routine?

Jaclyn: We do so many different styles of dance, that’s probably the hardest part, is transitioning. We’ll do something very Broadway-ish; we did a Lion King number last year where we were barefoot. It was very modern and we had a choreographer from the Broadway show come in and teach it. Then we do Fosse-style numbers and we do really serious hip-hop dances. We’re all over the place: salsa, swing – you name it, we do it. That’s what makes it fun. It’s why we like to do what we do; it never makes it boring.

NJNets.com: Do you have a stylistic preference?

Jaclyn: You know, I don’t. I enjoy partner dancing, I think it’s fun and appreciate that we get to do it here as well. But I love hip-hop and jazz; I was trained in jazz my whole life. Whatever we do, I’m loving it. I guarantee you that.

NJNets.com: How’d you get involved with Contact?

Jaclyn: I auditioned when I graduated from college. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, a lifelong dream of mine was always to be on Broadway, and I figured, “Let’s give it a shot, see what happens.” And they hired me.

Check out parts two and three of Jaclyn’s interview.

[New Jersey Nets Dancers]

Eagles Cheerleader Around Town

Reader Mike sends some photos of the Eagles Cheerleaders from last Saturday, quite possibly the last photos of the 2008-09 squad we will have.

Eagles CheerleadersEagles Cheerleaders
Alexandra and Kristin at the Travel Expo Event at the Linc.

Eagles Cheerleaders
Dana and Marisa at the Vorhees Town Center

Eagles CheerleadersEagles Cheerleaders
Marisa and Dana

Open Call Auditions for the 2009-10 Eagles Cheerleaders are Saturday, March 28th. Full details here.

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

Dancer Bowl-Off and Watch Party

Dance Team beauties from the Sixers Dancers and Wings Angels will go head-to-head in the first ever “Dancer Beauty Bowl-Off” during a double viewing party at Pinsetter Bar and Bowl in Pennsauken, NJ on Friday, February 27 beginning at 7 p.m. The winner of the bowl-off will donate tickets for a future Philadelphia 76ers or Wings game to local women’s charities in the Philadelphia region.

Sixers Dancers Bowl OffSixers Dancers Bowl Off

Fans will be able to meet all the dancers while watching the 76ers at the New York Knicks (7:30 p.m. on CN8) and the Philadelphia Wings at the Edmonton Rush (9:30 p.m. on NLL Network) – all on the big screens at Pinsetter Bar and Bowl. One lucky group of fans will also be selected to play the winning dance team in a bowling match on Friday night.

The Sixers Dancers and Wings Angels have received renowned local and national attention for their respective Dance Team Calendars for 2009. Calendars will be on sale for fans to purchase and get autographed by their favorite dancer. Admission to the event is free.

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