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.

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]

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]