This Laker Girl is a reel artist

By Phil Friedman, Correspondent
The Daily Breeze
02/19/2009

As you look out on the court at Staples Center Friday night, you will see Laker Girl Stefanie. She embodies what Laker Girls director Lisa Estrada and the Laker Girls are all about. Beautiful young ladies, who put in endless hours on their routines to entertain throngs of Laker fans.

The Laker Girls are dedicated to making a difference in their communities, participating in everything from events encouraging youngsters to read to Christmas fishing trips for homeless children. The Laker Girls are smart, beautiful, hard-working and civic-minded ladies.

It’s hard to believe when you watch Stefanie perform her routines or help a child to read that deep down she is also a hard-core angler.

Stefanie grew up in Alaska, where fishing is second nature.

“Everyone, men and women, fish and hunt in Alaska,” Stefanie said.

Her father, Lewis, loved fishing more than anything and the fact he could do it with his daughter made these angling excursions even more special. Lewis had a plane that transported them to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of our 49th state.

Stefanie was 6 months old when her father took her on her first fishing trip. With that first trip with her father, she was hooked. Fishing became the activity the two could do together. Sometimes they would make a day of it and other times the adventure would last several days camping out in the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness.

“My dad would fish all night long,” she said. “It’s as if he just couldn’t get enough.”

Stefanie even had a favorite spot.

“I don’t even remember exactly where it was but it was like an enchanted garden with clear water with beautiful boulders,” she said. “I just loved being there, and my dad knew it.

“If I didn’t feel like going fishing, all my dad would have to say is, `I’ll take you to your favorite spot.’ The next thing I knew, we were in the plane.”

She has compiled a great list catches that include numerous king salmon to 30 pounds, halibut to 70 pounds, a 30-pound lingcod, trout, even a shark.

“I just love to be on the water,” she said. “There is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than a day on the water,” the Laker Girl said.

But for the 23-year-old beauty , the best thing about fishing is the time she spent with her father.

“It (fishing) gave us something to do together,” she said. “Fishing made us and has kept us close through today and beyond.”

Although Stefanie says her heart is still in Alaska, it’s only there for the summer.

“It’s just too cold for me now,” she said. “My dad said I was made for Southern California.”

Fish talk: “Sportfishing Saturday” with Philip Friedman airs at 9 a.m. on KLAC (570 AM) and will have Bart Hall and Mike Lum as guests from the Fred Hall Fishing, Tackle and Boat Show this week. They will be discussing all the great sights and sounds of what many call the greatest fishing show on earth, set to open March 4 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Matt Simmons also will be part of the show to talk about a memorial fishing trip for his father, SWAT officer Randall Simmons. The trip is scheduled for Feb.28 out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach.

SI coverage suits Pistons dancer just fine

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News
February 24, 2009

What’s it like to be in the glamorous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition? Ask Rochester’s own Chelsey Buhler.

Buhler is a member of the Pistons’ dance team Automotion and is featured along with nine other NBA dancers inside the pages of the popular publication, currently on newsstands. This is the first time SI has featured NBA dancers in its swimsuit edition. In the past, the magazine has featured NFL cheerleaders.

“I am really happy and honored,” says 21-year-old Buhler.

Rebecca Girard, Automotion’s dance team director, chose Buhler because of her commitment to the organization. And while being genetically gifted helped, Girard says Buhler is more than a pretty face. “She is just an amazing ambassador for us. She is well-spoken, a business woman who has gone on countless appearances for us, and helps to give us the voice that we need.”

When not helping the 19-member dance team hype-up Pistons fans in the stands, Buhler attends Oakland University, where she is a junior majoring in communications. She also works as a dance teacher and works as an administrative assistant at her father’s company.

“Right now, I just focus on each moment, going to school and getting good grades,” says Buhler.

She says family and friends are proud of her but it was a little odd for at least one person. “My dad wasn’t too happy at first, but he got over it and he was the first one to go out and find the issue,” says Buhler.

Since news has spread that she is not only in Sports Illustrated and on the publication’s Web site, sportsillustrated.cnn .com, people are giving her more than the second and third looks that she is probably used to.

“People are coming up to me at Pistons games,” she says. “I have had 800 friend requests on Facebook.”

Wings Angels Promote Heart Healthy Month

Friday the 13th was unlucky for the Wings as they lost a defensive struggle to the visiting Boston Blazers 8-4.

Wings Angels
Meanwhile the Angels donned t-shirts to promote Heart Healthy Month

Wings Angels
In the tunnel before the game

Wings Angels
The Angels signature move

Wings Angels
Captain Stephanie takes the field at the end of the 1st quarter.

Wings Angels
At halftime fans lined up for Angels autogrpahs

Wings Angels
Stopping by to visit was former Angel Amy, who last danced for the team in 2007.

Wings Angels
Marie and Mad Dog

The rest of the photos here.

[Philadelphia Wings Angels]

Axe Maidens Double-Decker Bus Pub Crawl

On February 22bd fans and members of the Axe Maidens boarded a big red double-decker bus for their first Pub Crawl around Jacksonville. Riding on the bus was a lot of fun even though it was windy in the upper deck, and made for some funny pictures. Axe Maidens, Erinn, Amy and Keana took advantage of the scenery along the St Johns River to take some beautiful photos.

Axe Maidens

Axe Maidens

Axe Maidens

Along the way there was raffles with prizes that included a hat owned by Russell Crowe, Jacksonville Axemen season tickets and the opportunity to be a guest judge at the Axe Maidens auditions. In addition, everyone on the bus was given a special Axe Maidens Pub Crawl t-shirt thanks to our sponsors Vivid Images USA Inc. (Screen printing, embroidered apparel & hats)

Axe Maidens

Axe Maidens

Axe Maidens

[Axe Maidens on MySpace]

Wedding Bells in the Future for Emily Kuchar

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Emily Kuchar and Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke are engaged.

Emily

From MLB.com

For 7 1/2 years, since high school at Apopka (Fla.) High, Greinke has been in a relationship with Emily Kuchar. She’s a bright, energetic former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, a dancer and a model, and Miss Daytona Beach USA 2008. Emily even has her own
Web site.

And now, at last, Zack and Emily are going to be married.

When?

“Sometime this offseason,” he said. “She tried to make it Oct. 10. I told her, ‘That’s probably not going to work out, Emily. You know how much trouble I could get in if you do that? Please push it back.'”

Clearly, in the world of Zack, that part of the calendar is marked “Playoffs.”

PCB Exclusive: An Interview With Stacie Gazonas, Owner of Zonas Designs

Stacie Gazonas has cheered for the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers and performed in the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl. In a Professional Cheerleader Blog exclusive, Stacie discusses her experiences as an NFL cheerleader and answers the question, “is there life after cheerleading?”

Early Dance Background

Stacie Gazonas grew up in Lenexa, Kansas about 20 minutes outside of Kansas City. She started taking dance classes at the young age of 3 and began designing leotards for her dance studio at age 13. After being crowned Miss Dance Heart America, Stacie went on to dance on a cruise ship at the age of 19, performing in Las Vegas style productions. She accepted a dance scholarship to the University of Arizona, but quickly realized that she didn’t need a degree in dance to perform in front of a live audience, and changed her major to fashion design, her second love.

Stacie

While in college, a friend suggested that she tryout for the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders, a squad that she made at the ripe old age of 18. It was the start of a long and distinguished career in professional cheerleading. Stacie has said that being a professional cheerleader has really shaped who she is today and has blessed her with the ability to combine her passion for dance and fashion design into a lifelong career.

PCB: Why did you become an NFL cheerleader?

SG: I became an NFL cheerleader because I really missed dancing when I was in college and my passion was always in performing, not necessarily in taking ballet classes. My dream came true when I stepped onto the field at Arrowhead stadium for the first time as a Chiefs cheerleader and performed before 80,000 people. I had chills up and down my spine.

My favorite part about cheerleading was the friendships I made on the squad and dancing in front of such a huge crowd. I loved every minute of it! It was all very glamorous too. At the age of 18, not a lot of women are able to have their hair and make up done for them or have a total makeover to really polish their look. The Chiefs cheerleaders always set a standard of being a classy cheerleading team and not to portray themselves like the many stereotypes of professional cheerleaders.

PCB: For many girls, tryouts can be daunting. Please tell us about your tryout experiences and what it was like to make the Charger Girls

SG: It was crazy! There were approximately 400 girls at tryouts and I believe there was a handful that had cheered for other NFL teams. I was so nervous and anxious…the waiting process almost killed me. In my case, I was in a different position than a lot of girls because I knew what it was like to be on an NFL team, so I knew exactly what I was going for and what I had to lose if I didn’t make it. I knew how my life was going to change if I made the squad and I missed it (professional cheerleading) so much I couldn’t wait to be on a team again.



PCB: How competitive was the audition process and what do you think led to your selection?

SG: The audition was very competitive. Some of these girls try out year after year and know the exact process. I made sure that I looked like a Charger Girl with my hair, make-up, fitness, and attire. I wanted the judges to look at me and say, “she looks like a Charger Girl”. I definitely think my dance ability helped me stand out, along with having the “NFL look”. I get nervous during interviews, so that was the area I felt weakest going into tryouts. As funny as it sounds, I would have rather done a solo in front of ten judges than have an interview.

PCB: As with many challenges in life, it is often preparation that is the key to success. How did you prepare for tryouts?

SG: I am not much of a “go to the gym girl”, so I told myself if I go everyday for a month then I can’t be too disappointed with how I looked at tryouts. I made sure my hair was long so I could flip it around and I had the perfect outfit to make a statement. Preparation and knowing what the judges are looking for is the key to any tryout or job interview. It also shows how much you care and want it!

PCB: I think it’s fair to say that most people don’t realize how involved it is to be a professional cheerleader. What can a person expect if they make the squad?

SG: We practiced Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm and on Saturdays. You also have, maybe, one or two promotions a week along with other events and junior Charger Girl programs. We do a lot of appearances throughout the San Diego area and even some international appearances. It is a lot of work, but it is so much fun to be able to get out into the community and meet the fans.

PCB: How many routines do you learn in a week?

SG: At the beginning of the season you learn the majority of your material, so it can be a lot at first. Then as the season starts you add a routine here and there. You always need to practice and make sure you stay on top of your routines!

PCB: What’s your game day schedule like?

SG: It’s crazy! Arrive at 7:30 am, have meetings, a full practice on the field, time to get ready, promotions in the parking lot and even a pregame routine on occasion…and that is all before the game even starts. It is such a long day, but I can’t tell you how excited I was to wake up and get Big Sunday started! Probably my favorite day of the week!

PCB: Life is complicated, particularly when balancing work, school and the obligations of being a professional cheerleader. Is it difficult to maintain all these responsibilities, be a cheerleader and maintain an active social life?

SG: It is definitely a balancing act when it comes to handling work, school, family, and cheerleading. A lot of the times, these organizations want women that have great careers or own their own companies, but then they expect you to be at an event in the middle of the day or take off work to go do a promo. You really have to be flexible and find a way to make it all work.

A lot of times you go…go…go…and the season flashes by because you were so busy. I would always tell the rookies to make sure to take in every moment because it is over so quickly and you never know if you will be back on the team the following year. I will say…it is all worth it!

PCB: I am sure that many of our readers have seen the CMT television series on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and are familiar with their emphasis on being physically fit and trim. Are there concerns regarding weight or body image in professional cheerleading?

SG: I definitely think you can have a healthy lifestyle as a professional cheerleader. You just need to balance it out. I do think sometimes women put a lot of pressure on themselves and get into bad situations or gain weight after tryouts. Everyone needs to work hard to stay fit and make sure and do it in a healthy way or it will come back to haunt them later. I make sure I work extra hard in practice because I do enjoy eating out and having French fries, calamari and pasta. I know those kind of foods would definitely catch up with me if I didn’t burn those extra calories.

PCB: Have you had any embarrassing moments you’d like to share with our readers?

SG: I have never had a wardrobe malfunction or fell on the field, but my last year on the team, every time we came to a stop after a transition, Alicia, now a Raiderette, would run into the back of me. And it would always crack me up when she tried to cover it up by acting as if she had to tell me something…lol…sorry Alicia!

PCB: So, what’s the best thing about being an NFL cheerleader?

SG: The friendships, hands down. I have made a handful of lifelong friends on this team and I am blessed everyday to have them in my life!

PCB: I’ve been attending Charger games for many years and from a fan’s perspective, I think the two most anticipated games of the season are the Halloween game and the Christmas game. It’s those sexy costumes and the blue velvet Christmas uniforms that the fans love. I am sure you have some interesting thoughts on the topic.


SG:
I loved dressing up for the Halloween game. It’s so much fun to show the crowd a different side of you. The Christmas game is always fun. The fans love the uniforms; however, the girls aren’t so fond of them. Maybe it’s because the uniforms are older than some of the girls.



PCB: Are there any special considerations when performing in these two outfits?

SG: You definitely have to make sure the Halloween costume you choose will stay on. We do not change choreography for this game, so making it work is the key. As for the Christmas uniforms, the girls usually eat a little more than usual before the game since our midriff is covered for once!

PCB: Some might say that they are too sexy and revealing. Your thoughts?

SG: All of the Halloween costumes are approved, so we never wear anything more revealing than our official uniform. We always try to stay family friendly and keep it sexy, but classy.

PCB: While in San Diego, you were a Line Captain for two years. For those of us that don’t know, what are the responsibilities of a Line Captain and how do they differ from that of being a cheerleader?

SG: A line captain is someone who is there for their whole team. They have to know the material inside and out and pay attention to the details in meetings, so they can answer any question at any time. It is a big responsibility and a little more weight on your shoulders, but I love helping out people, so it felt pretty natural for me to step into that position.

PCB: Now, turning to life after cheerleading. You have started your own fashion design company. Please tell us a little about your business and why you started Zonas Designs.

SG: I started my own company, Zonas Designs, officially in November of 2007. I did not originally plan to start one, but after producing uniforms and outfits for friends, demand for my designs grew. I had reached a point that I needed photos of my past uniforms posted somewhere for people to view and have a forum where they could contact me with their requests, so I created a website. Once the website was done, it only was natural to form a company.

Zonas Designs offers three different categories of clothing: dance/cheer attire, jersey attire for women, and swimsuits. Everything we produce is custom made to your specifications. We will help you choose a style, color, detail and then make it to your measurements. Each piece is a unique creation.

PCB: I read that you recently designed new uniforms for the Clippers Spirit. How did that come about and what was the process in custom designing a uniform for the Clippers Spirit?

SG: This season I had the honor of designing a hot outfit for the Clippers Spirit dance team. A lot of times, team directors will see my creations on girls that are auditioning and contact me about my designs and what I can do for them. And that was what happened in this case. A great friend of mine, Harmony, auditioned for her 4th year on the Clippers Spirit dance team wearing one of my designs. That outfit was amazing…it was made from a jersey, but totally reconstructed to get all the great details in the form of a small, sexy top. And that was the inspiration for the Clipper Spirit uniform.

Team directors will email me with their ideas and then I will create 4-6 design sketches. We will tweak the design until they are 100% satisfied with the concept. Then Zonas Designs will produce a sample for approval before proceeding with the final order.

PCB: I seem to recall that you designed some of the swimwear worn by the Charger Girls in their past swimsuit calendar.

SG: The swimwear that I make for calendars, such as the Charger Girls, Redskins, and Chiefs, are a little more detailed and unique than my line of ready to wear swimwear I sell to the public. I specifically design suits that represent the team’s overall image and make it sexy and flattering to get that perfect shot for the calendar.

PCB: Some swimwear is not meant to be worn while swimming and are more for lounging poolside. Are your designs functional as well? Can a girl wear them while swimming in the surf or jet skiing?

SG: My ready to wear swimwear line is definitely functional and has tie sides, neck and back to get the perfect fit and to ensure that you won’t lose anything while jet skiing! As for the calendar shoots, a lot of time the suits have strings or hardware that may not stay in place…so I always find out what my client wants before constructing and designing their suit.

PCB: Your Jersey line seems to be quite popular, certainly among the fans that saw you model one of them during the 2007 Halloween game against the Texans. How popular are these jersey with your customers.

SG: This is probably my #1 selling outfit, yet each is customized for the team, amount of detail and stones wanted. I believe I have made at least one for every team in the NFL!

PCB: Are they individually customized designs or can people purchase them ready to wear?

SG: The jerseys are all customized. Customers send me the jersey they would like to use, that way they get the color, player name and team that they want before customization begins. Then we cut it to specifications and add all the details that make it special and unique.

PCB: Personally, I think these jerseys would be hot sellers, but I can’t seem to find one anywhere. Where can people buy one?

SG: You just order it online at my website, ZonasDesigns.com. Jerseys can be completed in just one week due to our great turn around time. We just need the jersey and your measurements in order to get started.

PCB: Have you considered selling them at online at
the NFL Team stores or popular retail outlets?

SG: Yes, that’s definitely a future plan of mine. There are licensing issues and other legal aspects that I do not have in place yet…but I know they would sell out in a second!

PCB: I’ve seen photos of some veteran Charger Girls wearing your dance wear at tryouts. What makes your dance wear designs unique?

SG: I think I have a huge advantage when it comes to designing audition wear. As a former NFL cheerleader, I was in these girl’s shoes many times and know exactly what they want and what the judges want to see. I make sure the fit is flattering, comfortable and will compliment each girl’s skin color.

PCB: Many of our readers are young women who aspire to become professional cheerleaders. How important is it to wear the right dance wear when auditioning?

SG: If you feel great about what you are wearing and feel confident, it will definitely show on the outside and show through your audition. You want an outfit that will accentuate your strong body parts and a color that compliments your skin tone. Choosing the wrong color can definitely affect the whole mood the judges get from your audition. Zonas Designs works closely with our customers to recommend a style and color that will compliment their figure to maximize their chances of making their dance dreams come true.

PCB: Does more stylish and sexy dance wear really get the judges attention?

SG: Definitely…I know a lot of times the judges will refer to a girl as the “yellow top girl” or whatever particular color that girl was wearing. After seeing 400 girls, it is hard for them to remember names or numbers, but it’s much easier for them to remember individual girls by describing the outfits they wore.

PCB: Is it important to stand out in a good wa
y and does the right outfit make that happen?

SG: Most definitely. That is the number one way to catch a judge’s attention before they even see you dance or speak. First impressions always stick!

PCB: In closing, what does the future hold for you? Is there truly life after cheerleading?

SG: I am so happy with everything I have accomplished. I still have a lot I want to do in life and sometimes I think that I will cheer one more time…for whom, I am not sure. But I still have that itch and passion. The great thing about my job is that I am in contact with dancers and girls on teams, so I am still a part of that world. Even though I am not performing in the spotlight, my outfits definitely are!

PCB: And what advice do you have for those readers who want to become a professional cheerleader or business owner.

SG: I think you should follow your dreams. Sometimes I wake up and think how did I get here and then I realize something my Dad had instilled in me when I was young. He said to always believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything you want to in life.

Fly Khicks

Short look at Fly Khicks (former Miami Heat Dancers) from our good friend Aubrey Aquino. They’ve made it to the final three on this season’s America’s Best Dance Crew.

Aubrey has also been busy at the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game. See what else she’s been up to at AubreyAquino.com.

Harmony Hunt in Muscle and Fitness Magazine

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Harmony Hunt, veteran member of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team (and all around cool chick) is featured in the newest edition of Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Woo! Go Harmony!

You need to go out right now and buy a copy of the magazine. It’s the April 2009 mag with Bruce Lee on the cover. April, not March. I emphasize this because the store I went to only had March and there is a decided lack ‘o Harmony in that edition. (I know this because I spent a good 15 minutes flipping through the magazine trying to find the article, all the time thinking “If Harmony is messing with me, I will not hesitate to let the air out of all four of her tires.”)

Harmony, I apologize. Your tires are perfectly safe.
(From me, anyway.)

Right, so anyway, go get the mag, and read up on our girl. In the meantime, check out a few bonus photos on the M&F website.

(You won’t believe me, but that is what the girl actually looks like in real life. Crazy, ain’t it?)

Congratulations 2009 ChivaGirls!

After rigorous auditions last week, Chivas USA has selected the 2009 ChivaGirls. I was there and will give you the whole scoop on what went down. But in the meantime, here are the ChivaGirls! (Also, make sure to check out the video above, and tons of photos from the audition.)


Row 1: Alheli, Amy, Ariel, Ashley, and Dalila
Row 2: Emi, Jebbell, Kelley, and Laura
Row 3: Mandi, Marie, Megan, and Monique
Row 3: Nicole, Sandra, Serena, and Tiffany

Charger Girl Prep Class

Aspiring San Diego Charger Girls can get the inside scoop on tryouts by attending the team’s pre-audition workshop on March 15.

Chargers.com: This three-hour session will include a dance clinic, mock audition, audition tips, Q&A with the Charger Girls and information packet. You will meet the director and the 2008 Charger Girls who will provide you with insight on what it takes to become a San Diego Charger Girl!

The deadline for registration is Thursday, March 12. Click here for details.

Local Woman Enjoying Time with New Orleans Hornets Honeybees

By Thad Angelloz
The Daily Comet

You wouldn’t think cheerleading would bring an already close family closer.

But according to Krista Neal, that’s exactly what happened after she was chosen to become a New Orleans Hornets Honeybee in July of 2007.

Neal, who has four sisters and one brother, said her family loves to watch her perform at games.

“My mom has always supported me, but because of work my dad missed a lot of my recitals and dances when I was younger,” Neal said. “Since I’ve become a Honeybee he’s had more opportunities to see me dance. My brother and sisters also like to see me dance. It’s a blast for me to have my own fan club.”

KristaStrangely enough, the 20-year-old Honeybee never thought of herself as an NBA cheerleader when she graduated from Hahnville High School.

Despite dancing since the age of 5 and attending American All-Stars dance camp in high school, Neal didn’t give cheerleading much thought as she prepared to enter her freshman year at Nicholls State University.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be doing this right now,” she said.

But after hearing about a Honeybee audition through the Internet, Neal decided to give it a shot.

Surprisingly, Neal soon became a finalist after making her way through two cuts and a thorough interview.

She estimates more than 100 women attended the tryouts.

The dance team ended up keeping 21 women.

“My first plan was to try and be a Saintsation,” Neal said. “After I found out I had missed the tryouts I decided to go to the Honeybee tryouts. I’m a big basketball fan so I thought it would be a good fit for me.”

Former Honeybee and current manager and dance team choreographer, Ashley Deaton, said she knew Neal was right for the job the moment she met her.

“Krista may look like the girl next door off the court, but she really turns it on when she performs,” Deaton said. “You can tell she loves it and that she’s having the time of her life. Because of that you can’t take your eyes off her. She’s the kind of girl we need on the court. This was obvious to us at auditions, so we had to select her for our team.”

Neal doesn’t believe there’s any down side to being a Honeybee.

Her favorite things about being a representative of an NBA franchise are getting to meet different people and having the chance to be a role model for younger girls.

“I know they (young girls) look up to me,” Neal said. “I always think about that in everything that I do.”

After holding down an outside job, dancing and attending Nicholls last year, Neal decided to take a semester off this spring to manage her schedule better.

“It got to be where it was too much,” the elementary education major said. “I’m going to go back to school this summer, but with the way things were for me I thought I needed to drop something for now.”

Although she calls Luling home, Neal’s originally from Houma and still has family members who live in Terrebonne Parish.

Her love of dancing and her so-called “Honeybee family” has made her strongly consider a future beyond the Honeybees.

“I could see myself starting up a dance studio or something,” Neal said. “I really enjoy dancing, and getting the chance to share that with others would be nice.”

Neal credits the New Orleans Hornets organization for making her feel at ease whenever she steps on the court to perform.

“They (team’s administration) genuinely care about us,” Neal said. “They don’t ever put us in an uncomfortable situation and this opportunity has allowed me to do a lot of things out in the community.”

[New Orleans Honeybees]

Christian Naven, Head Coach Sixers Dancers

It’s been a exciting half year for Christian Naven.

Sixers Dancers

At end of last June, she to came from Illinois to Philadelphia to be the new Sixers Dancers Head Coach. She barely had time to catch her breath before auditions started. Two rounds of cuts and a final audition at Chickie’s Pete’s produced a squad of 10 veterans and 6 rookies, a team of great dancers that will connect with the fans.

But Christian was busy with a lot more than selecting her new squad. Lining up sponsorships, new uniforms, preparations for the new Sixers Dancers Calendar (which has been a huge success) were all tasks that she normally would have been working on when the basketball season ended in the spring. Add on twice-weekly three-hour rehearsals on top her already compressed schedule and you can see why Christian might need to catch up on her sleep.

But she’s no stranger to multitasking. Back when she was a student at Illinois State University, she was the coach of the dance team, The Redline Express. While she was running the squad she had to come up with new composition and routines for her classes (she was a dance major) and at the same time she needed to create new choreography for for classes she taught at a local dance studio.br /br /Christian stayed at ISU has been coaching The Redline Express for the past 7 years. In that time she’s had dancers go to the NBA and NFL as well as perform in music videos and at local concerts.

And she has lots of big plans. For game night she says, “The Dancer’s routines will be sharp and innovative. My goal is to continue to see that they perform with charisma in front of the most loyal fans in the league.” While she describes her style as “Hot Jazz” a fusion of Hip Hop and Technical Jazz, the Dancers will be performing all styles of dance this season. Christian says she wants the fans at the Wachovia Center to be constantly thinking, “What will the Sixers Dancers be doing next?”

And so once Christian gets some free time, what does she plan to do? Actually she’s going to dance some more. She has always wanted to learn Salsa and Ballroom Dance and she’s looking forward to taking advantage of some of the great dance studios that Philadelphia has to offer. Aside from dance Christian love watching movies and reading. A self-described bookwork she lists Push Comes to Shove, the autobiography of Twyla Tharp, as her favorite book.

[Philadelphia Sixers Dancers]