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2019 P-R-O Convention All Star: Charlotte CheckMate Holly

It seems to me that the Charlotte CheckMates are, in some sense, a feeder program to the Charlotte Honey Bees.  I have noticed over the years that several CheckMates ultimately end up on the Charlote Honey Bees and that shouldn’t be surprising since they are both coached by Brandii McCoy.  And let me say that I am a big fan of what she has done with both squads.  The CheckMates and Honey Bees are among my favorite squads to photograph at P-R-O…for obvious reason.

Our next 2019 P-R-O Convention All Star is a member of the Charlotte CheckMates and another one of those “Carolina girls” that stood out at the convention…introducing Charlotte CheckMate Holly, our newest 2019 P-R-O Convention All Star.












Our parade of P-R-O Convention All Stars is nearing and end, but we still have a few more dancers to feature, so check tomorrow to see who is next.

2019 P-R-O Convention All Star: Charlotte CheckMates Dancer Lena

This year, I was able to shoot a couple of squads that I did not have the opportunity to do so in the past.  And one of those squads was the Charlotte CheckMates, the dance team of the AHL Charlotte Checkers.  Our next 2019 P-R-O Convention All Star is one of those CheckMates…introducing Lena.











We still have a few more cheerleaders to feature and tomorrow, we will announce our next 2019 P-R-O Convention All Star, so see you then.

2019 P-R-O Convention All Star: Charlotte CheckMate Jessica

Seems like Charlotte, North Carolina may be the epicenter for the hottest cheerleaders in professional sports.  With the TopCats, Honey Bees, and the CheckMates, all of which sent representatives to the 2019 P-R-O convention, the region was well represented with attractive and skilled dancers.  And our next 2019 P-R-O Convention All Star was a dancer who really stood out at the weekend event and enjoyed photographing her…introducing Charlotte CheckMate Jessica.















Jessica was amazing to photograph and she was one of a number of wonderful dancers at the 2019 P-R-O Convention. So, who will be our next All Star? Check back tomorrow to see who is next!

2018 P-R-O Convention All Star: Charlotte CheckMate Jennifer

There were many dance teams in attendance at the P-R-O Convention and I try to photograph as many dancers from as many teams as I can, given the limited amount of down time.  And this year, I was able to get some quality time with one of the Charlotte CheckMates…introducing Jennifer, a 2018 P-R-O Convention All Star.










There are only a handful left, so check back tomorrow to see who is our next P-R-O Convention All Star. For more cheerleader articles, please visit my personal blog: thehottestdanceteam.wordpress.com.

San Diego Gulls hold audition for ice girls

2015 GG tryouts

There were 25 hopefuls at San Diego Ice Arena vying to be part of AHL team’s inaugural season
By Kirk Kenney

August 15, 2015

With temperatures in the 90s around the county, the San Diego Ice Arena was a pretty cool place to be on Saturday afternoon.

And, what do you know, it just happened to coincide with the San Diego Gulls’ audition for ice girls.

There are a number of tasks to tackle as the Gulls ramp up for their inaugural season in the American Hockey League.

Identifying ice girls was on Saturday’s agenda, and 25 hopefuls gathered on the ice in Mira Mesa, each vying for one of the eight to 12 spots to be filled.

So what are the Gulls looking for in ice girls?

“We’re looking for the bubbly personality and ones that are passionate about hockey as well,” said Lacey O’Connor, who is Gulls marketing and social media producer.

O’Connor said it’s important that they are good ambassadors for the team.

“They do a lot with the fans and a lot of community events as well, so we just want people who are interested in being the face of the brand,” she said.

Ice girls will be a significant presence at home games, engaging with fans on ice and around the arena.

Part of their on-ice responsibilities include ice maintenance, so the audition included two cone drills — one to show skating ability and another to demonstrate ice-shoveling dexterity.

Most of those who attended the audition were college-age women. Before the on-ice portion of the audition, each was asked to introduce herself and provide a fun fact.

One woman said she had worked on Carnival Cruises, where, during a magic show, she was turned into a white tiger (she was in human form again for the audition). One was a bio chemistry major. One was an endurance skater from France. One said her last name means “family of wolves.” And on and on.

There were several San Diego natives, while others’ origins were Maine, Minnesota and points in between.

There was a wide range of skating skills, from those with wobbly ankles on the verge of losing their balance — one woman fell on her backside while trying to shovel, hurting her pride more than anything else — to those who had been skating for more than a decade. Several had hockey and/or figure skating backgrounds.

Kelsey Hannah displayed the best skating skills. In fact, it looked like she was tempted to knock a Gulls official into the boards as she finished the cone drill.

“I started skating when I was 5 years old at the rink in UTC,” said Hannah, who grew up playing hockey on boys teams. She went away to boarding school in Indiana and played in a girls league before coming back home.

“Now I’m in men’s beer leagues again where I started,” she said.

Hannah grew up in Clairemont and attended Cal State San Marcos. She works now for a mediation firm. Asked what interested here about being an ice girl, Hannah said: “Why wouldn’t I want to do this? Ice skating. I love ice hockey. When I go to games and see the girls getting the crowd excited, it just looks so fun.”

Panda Wilson, a Granite Hills graduate who teaches figuring skating at the Kroc Center, grew up watching a earlier incarnation of the Gulls.

“I’ve been a figure skater forever and when we had the Gulls before I did halftime entertainment,” Wilson said. “I’ve been a fan of the Gulls for a long time. I saw a flyer about the audition yesterday, and my mom was like, ‘You have to do it.’ So here I am.”

Wilson was among those who have the bubbly personality the Gulls are looking for. And she has the ultimate ice-breaker — her first name.

“I was supposed to be a boy,” Wilson explained. “When my parents found out I was a girl, they didn’t have a name ready. I was a really big baby and all my relatives described me as a bear cub. My parents were thinking Amanda, then thought ‘Oh, Panda!’ ”

Pandas have proven pretty popular in San Diego, so you have to like her chances.

O’Connor expects a final decision to be made within a week on the ice girls squad.

The Gulls plan to announce the 2015-16 schedule in late-August. The home opener is October 10.

Utica Comettes

The Utica Comets of the American Hockey League are proud to announce the final roster for Sitrin Comettes Dance Team.

The Sitrin Comettes are a 13 member high-energy dance team that will entertain fans at Comets home games throughout the 2014-15 season. The Comettes will also be very active in the community by appearing and performing at events throughout Mohawk Valley.

Tryouts for the Comettes dance team took place on Friday, Aug. 22 at Tony’s AUDelicious Deli & Sports Bar. Over 35 girls from the Mohawk Valley attended tryouts. The Comets and Sitrin would like to thank everyone that tried out for the team, as well as the celebrity judges. The final decision was not an easy one.

The Comets and Sitrin are proud to announce that the following 13 girls made the Comettes final roster:

Alex L.
Amanda F.
Laura E.
Morgan M.
Courtney G.
Rhianna A.
Samantha R.
Savannah R.
Stephanie A.
Taylor K.
Therese B.
Victoria S.

[Utica Comettes]

Photo of the Day – September 5

Alexandra, last season with Allen Americans’ Ice Angels, and in the current season of DCC’s “Making the Team”

Manchester Monarchs Max Pack & Promo Squad Open Auditions are September 6

[Max Pack & Promo Squad on Facebook]

Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monster Hockey Girls

The Monster Hockey Girls are the Dance Team for the Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monsters of the AHL. The are under the Direction of Katie Gibbons, a former Cleveland Cavaliers Girl and Orlando Magic Dancer, who was brought in two years ago to create an exciting new dance team for the organization.

[Monster Hockey Girls Website]

[Monster Hockey Girls on Facebook]

Audition for the Manchester (NH) Monarchs Promo Squad This Sunday

The Manchester Monarchs Hockey Organization, the AHL affiliate of the LA Kings, is proud to announce the creation of the NEW Manchester Monarchs Promo Squad! We are currently looking for a group of energetic, talented, outgoing, charismatic, and personable women to be a part of the Manchester Monarchs Promo Squad.

The New Promo Squad will be in attendance at the Manchester Monarchs home games and will be heavily involved in game day promotions and activities while interacting directly with and motivating fans and creating the ultimate fan experience. Mirroring the likes of the LA Kings Ice Crew, the Promo Squad will be assisting in on-ice and off-ice promotions and will have the opportunity to represent the Manchester Monarchs organization throughout the community and become ambassadors for the Monarchs organization.

Auditions for the NEW Promo Squad will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at the Executive Health and Sports Center in Manchester, NH. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Michelle Gagnon joins the Manchester Monarchs as the Director of the New Manchester Monarchs Promo Squad. No stranger to the entertainment world, she has studied dance with schools such as Dance Visions Network in Manchester, NH and has attended classes at the Boston Ballet School. Michelle has been teaching dance for over 15 years around New England.

Michelle is a former New England Patriots Cheerleader, where she was also a member of the Patriots Cheerleaders Show Troupe, traveling to and performing at military bases across the country. While a member of the Cheerleaders, she had the honor of performing at Super Bowl XXXVI, helping the Patriots to their first Super Bowl win. In addition, Michelle is a former Captain and Director of the Manchester Wolves Arena Football Dance Team. For the past 3 years, Michelle has been the head coach and choreographer for the competitive Southern New Hampshire University Dance Team.

Outside of dance, Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and a member of the National Business Honor Society. Michelle currently works as the Northeast Style Pro for Angela King Designs, Inc. and Go Wild! Wear providing custom costumes and uniforms for dancers and professional dance and cheer teams throughout the Northeast United States. She is also a consultant with Going Pro Entertainment, providing consulting and training for those who wish to pursue college or professional cheerleading and/or dancing. Michelle also teaches dance at Dance Etc. in Billerica, MA.

If you are interested, or know someone who is interested in auditioning for the NEW Manchester Monarchs Promo Squad, please contact the Promo Squad Director, Michelle Gagnon at MichelleGagnon12@outlook.com for more information. Please also visit us at www.ManchesterMonarchs.com for audition information and paperwork.

[Monarchs Promo Squad on Facebook]


Meet Your 2013-14 Charlotte CheckMates

After a week of tryouts and boot camp sessions at Gold’s Gym Elite EpiCentre, the Checkers have chosen 17 members for the 2013-14 CheckMates team.

The CheckMates are a vital part of the Checkers’ community outreach programs and game experience and are a diverse group that includes college students, teachers and other working professionals. Keep an eye for the team throughout the Charlotte community and at Time Warner Cable Arena all season long.

See photos of the new team here.

Choose The Checkmates

Auditions for the 2013-14 CheckMates squad are in full swing and we need you to help pick this year’s team!

Choose up to 10 girls below to form your ideal team and your picks will be given to the judges at final auditions on Thursday evening. In addition to fan voting, prospective CheckMates will be judged on dance ability, showmanship and an interview. Voting ends Thursday, August 22, at 5 p.m. and the 2013-14 CheckMates will be announced later that evening.

[Choose the Checkmates]

Photo of the Day – August 8

A Charlotte Checkmate

A Sneak Peek of Day 1 P-R-O Convention

Goodbye P-R-O, See You Next Year!

Great weekend with the hottest dancers and choreographers in pro sports! Thanks for letting us be a part of it