Decades of Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders

The Buffalo News has posted a photo gallery of the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders from The News’ archives and the Buffalo Jills Alumni.   Here are a sampling of photos from more than 50 years of Bills cheerleaders.

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To view The Buffalo News gallery, click here.

Photo of the Day – August 12

 

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A Buffalo Jill

Former NFL Cheerleader to Teach Youth Dance

From LakeshoreAdvance.com

As a former cheerleader with one NFL team (Buffalo Bills) and two CFL squads (Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats), dance instructor Elizabeth Morgan works hard to inspire her pupils of any age to follow their dreams.

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Morgan has created a recreational dance program in Grand Bend in an 8-week introduction to movement for children ages 4-teens. Classes will focus on the basics of ballet, jazz and acrobatic dance. Some hip hop may be incorporated into the older class.

Morgan has danced since she was three as well as studied classical music, fitness and drama-in-education. She is a graduate of Western University, a certified teacher with the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association and a member of the International Dance Council which is an official UNESCO world dance organization.

“Last November I lectured, as the sole Canadian delegate, at their world congress held in Russia, as well as voted on behalf of Canada on IDC world dance events for 2015,” she told the Lakeshore Advance.

She was a professional cheerleader with the NFL Buffalo Bills, CFL Toronto Argonauts and CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats for many years. She was selected as a Captain on each of those teams and was a Pro Bowl Finalist one year. “I still do guest choreography for the CFL and other pro and university teams, as well as coordinate my fellow alumni for the “Argos Alumni Cheerleaders’ Annual Halftime Show for Women’s Cancers” in Toronto every October. I am a competition judge and also teach guest workshops across North America.”

Currently, Morgan owns and operates Expressions Dance Arts Inc. This is their 22nd season in business.

She dropped into the Grand Bend Fitness Centre one day in December to check out their space. “They have a lovely expansive studio room with mirrors that is perfect for all sizes of dancers young or adult. I met a very friendly front desk staffer who recommended that I contact the Fitness Centre owners about getting a new dance program going at their facility. A few months later, voila! We are planning our first session,” she said adding this will be a trial session, “which means there is added benefit in that I can develop of the dance programs to meet the interests and skill levels of the children and youth in the community. This is a partnership between Expressions Dance Arts and the Grand Bend Fitness Centre. Our shared goal is to provide an inspiring new arts and fitness outlet for the community.”

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Students will learn basic terminology, steps and combinations in these forms. The emphasis will be on fitness, fun, creative expression and building self-confidence and teamwork skills. Boys and girls, beginners as well as those with prior movement experience are all welcome.

Following the completion of this spring session, we plan to host summer classes. We will then begin a fall session. We are open to adding additional levels and genres as needed, as time goes on, to meet the growing demand for classes in Grand Bend.

Fitness and Personal Artistic Expression are extremely important to the development of healthy young minds, bodies and therefore to the future development of communities. Dance and cheer in particular teach not only physical fitness, but these disciplines also utilize math, memory work, teamwork, problem solving, socialization and creative skills. These are elements that will benefit any young person well beyond their lesson years and far outside the boundaries of the studio classroom.

Photo of the Day – January 22

A Buffalo Jill

Toronto Argos Pink Game

This is a guest post from out good friend Elizabeth Morgan an alumnae of the CFL Toronto Argonauts, CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats and NFL Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders.

 

On October 18 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, fans were treated to an exciting halftime show performed by the CFL Toronto Argos Cheerleader Alumni. The event was part of the Argos’ annual PINK game to raise money and awareness for women’s cancers. This year’s cause specifically was Ovarian cancer. Touches of teal were sported by the ladies, among the PINK and of course, the Argos’ traditional double blue colours.

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Elizabeth on the field

Close to 100 ladies, who cheered for the Argos from the 1970’s up to 2013, performed a five-minute routine that featured retro, rock, hip hop and pop music. After just a few pre-event rehearsals and a quick run-through all together before the game, the talented ladies of the double blue took to the field at half-time to thunderous applause. They danced while video images of the Argos cheerleaders from many decades graced the Jumbotron.

The groups who performed include the ‘Double Blue Thunder’ Argos Alumni Cheerleaders (1996-2013) and the Argos Sunshine Girls (1970’s-1996).

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Group shot of our 1996-2013 gang, at our second rehearsal

Women’s cancers have touched the lives of each of these alumni, either directly or through family members/friends battling the disease. Thus, this performance was an important demonstration of support and of teamwork to further research, treatment and support.

The Toronto Argos played the Montreal Alouettes at this home game. While the Argos lost this particular game, it was still a resounding victory for the ladies and the PINK cause!

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Group shot of all the ladies on the field right after we performed the halftime show.

Besides the game performance itself, this experience represented a special opportunity to reconnect with former teammates, share memories and enjoy time together with our Alumni sisters. Following the game we danced the night away in downtown Toronto! I was honoured to participate in this game with my fellow Alumni for the fourth year in a row and we are already looking forward to next year!

 

‘Bring Back the Jills’ T-shirts now a thing

WGRZ.com
October 9, 2014

BUFFALO, NY – If you’ve been on Twitter and Facebook lately you may have been seeing a lot of the hashtag “Bring Back the Jills.”

A former Buffalo Jill is rallying to bring back the NFL cheerleading team with a new T-shirt campaign and she’s using that hashtag to help do it.

Gabrielle Farah has created these shirts to bring awareness not only for the fans who are feeling the loss of the Jills on game day but to show that the Jills are missing being out on the field as well.

“It’s pretty much to get our name out there,” she told 2 On Your Side. “People are missing us on the field. We were such a big voice in Buffalo.

We had such a strong leadership role for women in our community.”>

She hopes that under the new ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula that the Jills will be back someday soon.

The shirts come in red and blue with the phrase “Bring Back the Jills” on each side.

There is also a limited edition grey shirt as well.

The proceeds from the shirts will go toward fundraising for their comeback, and a portion will be donated to Hunter’s Hope.

Bills cheerleaders replaced by drumline

With no Jills to lead cheers, the job of drumming up fan excitement falls to the Stampede:
There will be no cheerleading squad doing the ‘Shout’ dance at the Ralph on Sunday. Instead, Bills fans will follow the beat of a 20-member percussion group, the Stampede

By Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich
Buffalo News
September 12, 2014

Something will be missing from the Bills home opener on Sunday.

But there also will be something new.

The Jills are gone.

Welcome the Stampede Drum Line, 20 percussionists who are about to become part of game days this season at The Ralph.

The 35-woman cheerleading squad was suspended earlier this year, after five former Jills pressed suit in April against two management companies and the Bills organization for back wages.

Unlike the Jills, who had been on the sidelines since Daryle Lamonica was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1967, the Stampede drummers will be stationed in the grandstand, where seven rows of seats that have been removed to accommodate them and their instruments.

“Everybody loves rhythm, and that’s what we are,” said Jack Gaylord Jr., the Stampede manager. “Our members are professional drummers with snare drums, bass drums, tenor drums.”

And if you think beating the drum is an easy task, not so. Gaylord is the longtime promoter of Drums Along the Waterfront, an annual showcase for top-rated drum corps from around the country.

“They will be wearing microphones, performing on cue from game-day operations high above the stadium,” Gaylord said. “Everything must be coordinated with the scoreboard, the music and commercials.”

Tailgating fans will experience the beat of the Stampede in stadium parking lots as half the drum line – 10 percussionists – visits lots on the stadium side of Abbott Road.

The other half will appear in the redesigned concourse behind the Bills Store between Gates 4 and 5 to welcome fans into the stadium.

The Stampede also will welcome the players on the field, lining the tunnel much as the Jills previously had done.

The drummers’ uniforms consist of Bills game jerseys that carry the name “Stampede” and the numbers of Wall of Fame players, worn with knee-length shorts. As the season progresses, the drummers will turn to sweatpants.

The decision to hire the Stampede was made after the drum line performed to rave reviews during the last game of the 2013 season, said Marc Honan, chief marketing officer for the Bills.

“The reviews from the performance were even beyond our expectations,” Honan said. “Right now, we’ve contracted them for game days in the 2014 season.”

The Stampede members will be paid for their performances, Gaylord said.

When asked if Stampede would be compensated by the Bills, Honan declined to comment.

The Bills are not the only National Football League team to offer drum line entertainment.

The 27-member PurrCussion drum line for the Carolina Panthers shares the field with the Topcats cheerleaders.

The New York Jets drum line, the Aviators, wear khaki jumpsuits when they perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder was established in 2004 and invites guest rock drummers to join performances. This season’s guest drummer lineup includes Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, Alan White of YES and Matt Cameron from Soundgarden.

The Bills also won’t be the only NFL team without cheerleaders. Six other teams do not have cheerleading squads: the Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The absence of the cheerleaders disappoints many former Jills.

Omarlla Roulhac was a member of Jills for 13 seasons, from 2000 to 2013 – longer than any other Jill. When she retired at the end of the 2013 season, she was preparing to get married.

This year, Roulhac and her husband, Cordell Roulhac, have season tickets and already have attended two home preseason games. It was the first time the newly retired cheerleader watched a game from the stands.

“When the first game came and there were no cheerleaders, I just felt empty,” she said. “It wasn’t that full game-day experience. There were no cheerleaders doing the ‘Shout’ dance. It was very sad.”

Since the inception of the Buffalo Jills, more than 600 women have at one time another raised pompoms on the sidelines. Prior to the creation of the Jills – from 1960 to 1967 – cheerleaders from Buffalo State College led cheers for many of the games.

The absence of the Jills affects more than the squad and fans who attend home games. There will be no Jills calendar. No Junior Jills program, either. Junior Jills, who range in age from 5 to 17, are taught how to cheer and to dance by professional cheerleaders with the goal of performing on the field in the annual Kids Day preseason game.

“We’ve cheered together and know what it’s like to be on the field and have 80,000 people screaming,” Roulhac said. “We’re at each other’s weddings and in each other’s weddings. We hang out all the time.”

Recently, Jills alumni met for brunch, and talk among the women drifted toward the future, and whether the new owner will bring the cheerleaders back.

“We just kind of hope that things will settle themselves out so that there will be Jills again,” Roulhac said.

Meanwhile, the Stampede’s manager is keeping an upbeat attitude.

“As far as the Jills go, at the game last year we were right there with the Jills down in the tunnel area,” Gaylord said. “The Jills were doing their thing and we were doing ours. We can coexist peacefully on the field.”

A look back at the Jills

Decades of Bills cheerleaders
Buffalo News

This season marks the first since 1967 that the Buffalo Jills won’t entertain Bills fans during games. From The News’ archives, here are a sampling of photos from more than 50 years of Bills cheerleaders.

Play the slideshow

Buffalo Jills Suspend Operations

A few folks have written in to give us a heads up about this story. Needless to say we’re quite aware of it. We’re not going to get into the all of the allegations. If you are interested in reading them, Google is your friend.

Photo of the Day – April 2


Nicole at Jets Flight Crew Semi-Finals on Sunday. Nicole is a former member of the Buffalo Jills and she is going to Finals!

Photo of the Day – February 18


A Buffalo Jill

Emily is the Pro Bowl Buffalo Jill

From Phil’s excellent Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog:

At Buffalo Jills practice tonight, a vote was held to select the squad’s representative to the 2014 Pro Bowl. In January, 4th year vet Emily will be trading the snow and cold of Western NY for the sand, palm trees, and warmth of Hawaii. Who she’ll be rooting on is hard to say as the Pro Bowl has a new format this season. No longer and AFC-NFC matchup, the teams will be chosen like in a schoolyard, with the top 2 vote-getters named as captains. Regardless, it’s unlikely that Emily will be alone over there with several Bills having strong seasons. However, they have to wait more than a month to find out while Emily can start making plans now. Lisa and Christina will be helping her out with what to expect but I’m sure Omarlla will be one of many former Jills Pro Bowlers also more than happy to help Emily out as well.
An honor well-deserved for this 1st year captain!

[Emily at Buffalo Jills.com]

SI.com: NFL Cheerleaders, Week 2

Click here for the latest gallery from Sports Illustrated. This one includes teams from the Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Chiefs, Patriots, Ravens, Eagles, Bucs, and Cardinals.

And speaking of the AZC, looks like they’ve revamped their Cardinal Red uniforms for 2013. That’s the new one on the left and last year’s version on the right.

More Familiar Faces In New Places

(Thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions)

Redskins Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Cover Model Heather is a former Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader



Colleen of the Gotham City Cheerleaders is a former member of the New York Jets Flight Crew

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Continue reading More Familiar Faces In New Places

2013-14 Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders

I’m not sure how late I am on this news. I’ve been checking the Jills website, and realized a couple of days ago that they had updated roster. I’m not sure when they did it, but the page looks very similar to the way it looked last year, so I didn’t notice. Forgive me Jills, if I’m horribly late to the game. As for the rest of you click here to get to know the 2013 Jills!

Lisa, Kayla, and Olivia