Parramatta Eels Disband Cheerleaders on Eve of 2021 Season

Editor’s note:  More bad news for professional cheerleading.  The NRL has been eliminating professional cheerleading squads recently in the name of political correctness.  Unfortunately, NRL cheerleading has lost at least five squads and others have been rebranded to reflect current social norms.

From The Daily Telegraph
Phil Rothfield, Sports Editor-at-Large

More than 50 years of tradition has been scrapped with the Parramatta Eels the latest NRL club to ditch cheerleaders as part of their game day entertainment.

The Parramatta Eels have scrapped 50 years of tradition by dumping their NRL cheerleaders.

The club has based its ­decision on their “game-day entertainment priorities” in a move that has left the cheergirls shattered on the eve of the season.

Parramatta’s cheerleaders are among the longest serving in rugby league, starting back in the 1970s when they were known as the Cumberland Cowgirls.

“We’re all devastated,” says Monique Carroll, wife of Mark ‘Spudd’ Carroll, who is a dance teacher and choreographer who heads up the Eels’ cheerleaders.

Cheerleaders from the Parramatta Eels NRL side pictured after learning they will no longer be employed moving into season 2021. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

“We accept the decision and we understand that many have been affected by COVID and reduced budgets but it’s really upsetting for the girls.

“They were really invested in the club. The fans will be devastated too. We receive so much support.”

The Eels had a squad of 30 girls who have now lost their weekend work.

A Parramatta spokesman issued a statement on Saturday. “Upon review of our game day and fan engagement initiatives, the Eels have made the decision not to have a formalised Cheerleader program,” it said.

“The Club has made this decision based on its game day entertainment priorities and the uncertainty regarding on-field entertainment protocols in the current COVID environment.

“We want to thank all our cheerleader participants for their contribution to the Club.”

To improve pre-game entertainment and value for fans, the NRL is looking at reintroducing three grades of football on game days this season.

But the colour and spectacle cheerleaders provide has been a part of rugby league tradition since the mid-70s.

Five clubs have now ditched the girls in recent years — the Eels, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Titans and ­Raiders.

Hollywood star Russell Crowe caused a storm back in 2009 when he sacked the cheer leaders when he bought the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“The focus on game day should be a positive experience for the crowd,” Crowe said at the time.

“We feel they (cheerleaders) made a lot of people ­uncomfortable.  We’ve talked to a lot of people and everyone sees it as being progressive.”

The Cumberland Cowgirls were the original cheer squad for the Parramatta Eels

Report: Washington Pauses Cheerleader Program, Will Rebrand and Have New Director

From ProFootballTalk

Getty Images

The Washington Football Team has halted its cheerleading program and will rebrand the group under a new director, according to Darren Haynes and Nick Boykin of WUSA9.

The operation has been heavily scrutinized with a group of former cheerleaders filing a lawsuit against the team for unauthorized videos filmed by the team. Additionally, a 2013 photo shoot in Costa Rica allegedly had male sponsors of the team invited to attend as cheerleaders had their pictures taken in various levels of undress.

The Washington Football Team has dismissed director Jamilla Keene from her position running the unit.

The time is right to reimagine our entire gameday experience to reinvent it in a way that reflects our modern identity and aligns with what today’s fan seeks. Coach Rivera has done an incredible job on the field. We will elevate our off-the-field product to match,” team president Jason Wright said in a statement on Monday.

The team has hired Code and Theory to help with their rebranding efforts.

The NFL is nearing the completion of an investigation of sexual harassment allegations into the team that led to the dismissal of three member of the front office, Alex Santos, Richard Mann III and play-by-play voice Larry Michael last summer.

2014 NBA All Star Dancers

Whatever happened to the NBA All Star Dancers?  They used to be a featured part of the NBA All Star Game and for fans of professional cheerleading, it was something to look forward to in addition to seeing all the NBA stars on the court in the same place.  But lately, it seems like the NBA All Star Dancers have been relegated to the shadows.

Does the NBA or professional sports care about professional cheerleading anymore?  I hope so.

European Professional Cheerleaders

We don’t feature professional cheerleaders from abroad nearly enough and when we come across videos or images, we will share them with you.  So, let’s take a look at some European Professional Cheerleaders from the past few years, via a few YouTube videos.

I believe these are all Lithuania professional sports dance teams and they certainly do things in their own unique way.  Quite a refreshing take on professional cheerleading.

Learn From the Pros to Go Pro!

Editor’s note: Here’s a unique offer to help you with your professional cheerleading aspirations from our friends over at Sideline Prep.

Sideline Prep’s Winter 2021 Virtual Pro Cheer Workshop

Are you ready to dance?!

If so, we hope you join us for our Winter 2021 Virtual Pro Cheer Workshop!

Every January Sideline Prep hosts its annual Pro & Semi Pro Cheer/Dance Workshop. 2020 marked year #7 for us… hitting an all time high of 150 dancers in attendance, in person.

Unfortunately, this years Annual Workshop will not be in person, but you know we won’t let that stop us! We’re going VIRTUAL!

This past Summer, we hosted our very first Summer Pro Cheer Virtual Workshop and it was a HUGE success!

The demand for virtual learning in the pro cheer/dance industry is constantly on the rise given the dramatic decrease of in person dance classes.

Best part… Since this workshop is virtual, we have expanded beyond the DC, Maryland and Virginia walls and invited amazingly talented directors, coaches and choreographers across the United States to participate!

Plus… All routines taught will be similar in nature to those used during the audition process and/or game day!

Everyone is invited…Potential, Current, Former Pro & Semi Pro Dancers and Cheerleaders…or ANYONE who just wants to dance and have fun!

Sideline Prep’s 2021 Virtual Pro & Semi Pro Cheer & Dance Workshop is : February 20th & 21st

Saturday, Feb. 20th Line Up:

– Stretch | Flexibility | Snippits | Kicks

– NBA – Derric Whitfield, Sr. Director & Choreographer of Dance Teams for the Washington Wizard Dancers

– NFL – Jamilla Keene, First Ladies of Football Choreographer, Pro Bowl Cheerleader & Captain

– MASL – Elizabeth Guaraldo, Baltimore Blasts Cheerleaders Director

– NFL – Cassia Gass, Assistant Director & Choreographer for the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders

– Fuel your Mind, Body & Soul with Jeanette Chandler, Sideline Prep Nutrition and Fitness Coach, Former Washington Football Team, First Ladies of Football Cheerleader & Fit with Jeanette, Owner

Sunday, Feb. 21st Line Up:

– Stretch | Snippits | Technique | Turns

– NBA – Brandii McCoy, Director for the Charlotte Hornets Honey Bees & Charlotte Checkers CheckMates and All-Pro3 P-R-O Convention Instructor

– NFL & NBA Mashup – Oscar Hernandez, Choreographer for the NFL & NBA and Pro Action Dance Choreographer

– NFL – Latrice Hill & Hanah Bennett Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders

– MASL – Amber Clanton, Director & Choreographer for the Mesquite Outlaws Dance Team and Former MASL, CIF Dancer & Captain

– NFL – Angie Baker & Davis, Director for the NFL Arizona Cardinals & Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl Cheerleader, Captain & 4-year Veteran

– NFL – Melissa Pera, Assistant for the NFL Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders

We hope you decide to join us!!

For more details and to register, go to

Can’t make it live? Your ticket ensures that you get video replay of the class(es) your purchase 🙂

Cardinals Superfan Nominee Kristi Brown to be Inducted in Hall of Fame

In partnership with the Ford Hall of Fans, Arizona Cardinals superfan Kristi Brown will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after winning the contest Friday.

by Mason Kern

After submitting her fan video to the Ford Hall of Fans competition “on a whim,” Arizona Cardinals diehard Kristi Brown was chosen as a finalist from a pool of around 27,000 entrants.

But her journey did not end there.

The former Cardinals cheerleader was the only woman included in the top 6 and then advanced to the top 3. Included within that stretch was a surprise visit from former Cardinals defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, who nominated her for the competition.

“Having an opportunity to come there and meet and let her know she’s been selected, it was fantastic knocking on her door and no one should beat Kristi,” Williams told AllCardinals. “When you were a former cheerleader, and you’re doing the things that you do in the community — (being) one of the healthcare professionals during this COVID(-19) — I certainly nominate her. And it was an amazing time going to her home and letting her know that.”

As a result of her inclusion in the final three, which also featured Las Vegas Raiders fan Wayne Mabry and Cleveland Browns fan Ray Prisby, Brown will be in attendance at Super Bowl LV Sunday in Tampa, Florida, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Friday, the Ford Hall of Fans winner was named. Brown, Mabry and Prisby each will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in partnership with the Ford Hall of Fans as a member of the Class of 2021. Brown received the news from Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker, himself.

They will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during 2021 Enshrinement Weekend in Canton, Ohio.

“To be chosen as the representative for Arizona, I just feel so honored and I feel so grateful,” Brown told AllCardinals. I’m so thankful for the Red Sea that has continued to support this.”

It is an especially impressive feat considering no Cardinals fan had made it to this point in the competition in its three-year history. Add in the fact that Brown was going up against fans from historic bases such as the Raiders and Browns and the odds were stacked against her.

In the end, the Ford Hall of Fans inducted their seventh, eighth and ninth members to a hall that is expected to continue to grow and promote the relationship between the game and its fans.

“Anytime you have an opportunity where the fans get an opportunity to be celebrated, that’s what excites me,” Williams said. “And to have an Arizona Cardinals fan, a former cheerleader, be in the top three representing the Arizona Cardinals, I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Lindsey Of The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders

ENFIELD, CT — Tim Jensen, Reprinted, Patch.

While the buzz around New England pertains mainly to the return of longtime Patriots standouts Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to another Super Bowl — albeit in the red, bay orange and pewter colors of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the town of Enfield can boast of having one of its own ready to perform in front of more than 100 million viewers on Feb. 7.

Lindsey Goldaper, a 2009 graduate of Fermi High School, is a member of the Buccaneers cheerleading squad. The team was not in Green Bay for the Bucs’ 31-26 victory in the NFC championship game Sunday, but will most certainly be in Raymond James Stadium for the historic Super Bowl LV matchup against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The game marks the first time in its 55-year history a team will play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Brady, winner of six Super Bowls and a four-time Most Valuable Player of the game, will appear in the title game for a record 10th time.

With the game in her hometown of Tampa, Goldaper will only have to go a few miles to be part of what is traditionally the biggest sporting event of the year. Needless to say, she is beyond thrilled about it.

“I’m a little overwhelmed with emotion,” she said in an exclusive interview with Patch just hours after the Bucs toppled the Green Bay Packers Sunday. “The whole city of Tampa has been preparing for months for the Super Bowl, and now that we’re in it, it’s even more exciting.”

Prior to this season, Goldaper said the top highlight of her professional career was in October 2019, when the cheerleaders accompanied the team to London for a game against the Carolina Panthers.

“Last year was a hard one to top, but this season does because of the Super Bowl,” she said.

Goldaper’s road to the big game began in Enfield, where ironically, she was not a member of the Fermi cheerleading team. Instead, she was a competitive dancer from the age of 3, training for 15 years at The Academy of Dance in neighboring East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, under the guidance of former Enfield resident JoAnn (Shepard) Jebb.

Over the years, Goldaper captured many regional titles, including Miss Headliners and Fire & Ice, as well as numerous judges’ awards where she was recognized for her technique and performance.

“I have known Lindsey since she was a very young child, and it has been a pleasure to watch her grow into such a wonderfully talented, hard-working and determined young woman,” Jebb told Patch. “Lindsey continuously sets her sights high and focuses in on achieving her goals. All of us at The Academy of Dance are so very proud of her many accomplishments.”

After graduating from Fermi, Goldaper earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa, where she majored in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Applied Dance. In her college days, she participated in three dance shows a year, choreographed four pieces in two years, received the Dancer of the Year award from the College of Arts and Letters, and was selected Choreographer of the Year and Outstanding New Dancer from the Dance Department.

She coaches the University of Tampa’s dance team and has led them to multiple finals placements in the Jazz Division II category at the National Dance Alliance Collegiate Nationals. She is a director, teacher and choreographer for students at the Dance Extreme Academy in Trinity, Florida.

In 2019, she made the Bucs’ cheerleading team, despite never having been a cheerleader before. In her short tenure, she has choreographed two routines for the squad.

“Our team is titled cheerleaders, but we’re more from dance backgrounds,” she explained. “The NFL cheerleading teams have been taking a turn toward dancers.”

Goldaper and her family have always been “big Patriots fans,” and she was thrilled when Brady and Gronkowski joined the Bucs prior to this season.

“My mom said, ‘[Brady’s] coming to Tampa,’ but I had my doubts until it actually became official,” Goldaper said. “I was overjoyed, being a Patriots fan my whole life, and then adding Gronk made it complete. The organization set a goal from the moment they signed Brady. We started out rough, but we persevered.”

The 2020 season was unlike any other due to the coronavirus pandemic, with virtually empty stadiums and other safety accommodations in place. However, Goldaper and her teammates were able to adjust.

“It was hard to adjust to having Zoom practices, and having to wear masks at practices and games, but it was all worth it – we’re going to the Super Bowl!” she said.

Watching the NFC championship game Sunday, Goldaper found herself “biting my nails until the last play. My boyfriend’s family are all Packers fans, so it was intense. They’re totally bummed, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. Being on the field, we have the best seats in the house!”

Lindsey (click to enlarge)

Lindsey (courtesy of

Lindsey (courtesy of

Anna Brittany Lindsey Ariana

Lindsey coaching junior cheers

Ariana, Lindsey, Kayla, Corinne, Brittany, Ashley and Julia. (click to enlarge)