Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew Auditions

 

The Chicago Blackhawks are holding open auditions for the 2019-20 Ice Crew!

The Ice Crew represents the Blackhawks at all home games and at various community events during the season.

Audition schedule:

1st Round – Auditions: Mon., July 15, 6-9 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena (1801 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago)

2nd Round – Interviews and Skating Clinic: To be conducted during the evenings of Tue., July 16 and Wed., July 17 at the United Center.

Final Audition: Fri., July 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena (1801 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago)*

*Selected 2019-20 team members must be available post-audition for team meetings during the evening of Mon., July 22 and the weekend of Fri., July 26 through Sun., July 28.

If you would like to audition for the 2019-20 Ice Crew, the form below must be completed. After your audition form is submitted, you will receive further information about the audition process.

For inquiries and questions concerning auditions for the Ice Crew, please contact Jill Karsten at jill@wynningteams.com or by phone at 630-730-8258.

Click here to register for auditions.

Fox Sports Midwest: 2017-2018 NHL Ice Girls

Fox Sports Midwest has posted a gallery of 2017-2018 Ice Girls.  Click here to view their gallery.

2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew

For the new season the Blackhawks Ice Crew switched to a more conservative uniform.

hawhs

[Blackhawks Ice Crew]

The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Wynne Lacey, long associated with professional cheerleading both as a director and NBA dancer herself, has now written a book geared towards women who have been, currently are, or aspire to be in industries like pro cheer, where outer appearance is a major factor in determining success. As an author, Wynne explains her simple Life Formula designed to help any woman understand what it really means to be the’ Total Package.’ Wynne’s book is entitled An Enlightened Cheerleader: Volume 1: A Journey to Self-Mastery.

Wynne danced in the NBA with both Chicago (four years) and Milwaukee (one year). Wynne also danced/captained for the AFL’s Chicago Rush dancers before becoming a professional director of her own teams. Wynne’s most visible directorship is with the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew (2003 to present), in addition to directing the Chicago Soul FC Dancers and Promotional Outreach Team, Chicago Slaughter Indoor Football Dancers, the Adrenaline Rush Dancers, and Chicago White Sox Pride Crew. Also, in 2011, Wynne completed her professional Life Coach training.

Pro dancer, choreographer, captain, and dance coach Katie Knepler says about Wynne’s An Enlightened Cheerleader:

“Those who know me well know that I am not one to promote a book, because they rarely appeal or engage me so. But this, my new bedside bible, is now a stable foundation for the life I wish for myself. Wynne Lacey, for those who know her, has spent many a year in the public eye and has observed females in the professional world. Her reflections noted in this book are life changing. Being one who has been in the spotlight as a pro dancer, this book opens your eyes to what lies beneath all the glitz and glamour. What I never took into account was myself, and what my inner self was and truly meant. Even through years of working with Wynne and hearing some of her values and wishes for her teams and women alike, her words really drive it home in this book. I, after reading this, have the drive to find the pure joy in my inner self. I want people to know me for my soul and beauty in the inside, not just the outer beauty that pro dancers are known to hold and maintain. I want to thrive, not just survive. This book is a guiding light… Not just for women in the spotlight, but for all women! It’s an honor to know this wonderful woman, as she has been a role model, sister, coach, and wonderful friend in my life that truly anyone’s life would be enriched to be in her presence. Her book itself is the inner cheerleader that will give support to that woman out there that is buried beneath all the false beliefs of beauty and lack of identity and confidence. Every woman should read this book.”

Wynne shared with UltimateCheerleaders her goals in writing An Enlightened Cheerleader, her writing process, and what we can gain from a life coach:

Wynne Lacey (right) at her first book book signing, with her friend and fellow author Nicole Knepper

UltimateCheerleaders: Wynne, what prompted you to write your book?

Wynne: I have been writing and researching for many years. But to actually publish a book and get it out in the public, it took a couple years of me as a certified life coach and seeing how this process was positively impacting other women. It took me a while (and a good editor) to finally take the leap to share with others in a way that wasn’t one-on-one but through writing.

-Who would you say the target readership is?

Any female who currently is, aspires to be, or is retired from industries (like professional cheerleading and pageants) where their outward appearance is a major factor in determining their success.

-Your book’s cover art contains a key, butterfly, amidst other graphics; tell me about the artwork’s inspiration, meaning, and your role in its design.

My sister (Fairel Rank of Fairel Anne Designs) designed this graphic and it contains my three favorite symbols. I believe the KEY to unlocking our potential is to embrace our feminine traits (FLEUR DE LIS) that honor cooperation over competition and will also show us the way out of our self-imposed cocoons into becoming the rest of her story – the BUTTERFLY!

-Do you think the current generation of young women has new, unique challenges as they try to advance in their own journey to its optimum goals?

I think we actually have unique ADVANTAGES right now instead of the challenges of the past. At this point in time women have more power over their lives than they ever had. I believe that if we started to follow our own feminine design, one of cooperation, nurturing and support and stopped following the old masculine rules of getting ahead, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.

-Is there a young woman that is memorable to you who took the concepts that you teach that allowed her to achieve the next level of success?

Katie Knepler is a great example! She is leading a small team at North Park College who just won their dance competition because Katie doesn’t give up on ANYBODY! She embraces her heart-space and uses it to help others advance.

-What was your writing process? What did you learn about yourself as you put your thoughts in writing, and do you have any advice for new writers?

I did two things at once – journaling about my own experiences and researching other works to help find answers to what I was asking about in my own life. I have been writing for many years….and it is true therapy! I would have a hard time giving advice about writing since mine was so personal. I think I would want people to understand that this book of 100 pages was 1000 pages at one time and I pared it down to make it enjoyable to read. Someone once told me that “people don’t have to know everything I know, just what would be useful to them.”

-Describe what a life coach does and what types of people that it would be beneficial to have a life coach?

The best way to describe a Life Coach in my opinion is to compare them to a therapist. A therapist takes a person from dysfunctional to functional. A Life Coach takes you from functional to optimal. Everyone could benefit from a Life Coach the same way as a sports coach…having someone who knows what you can do, wants you to constantly strive for your best and doesn’t let you fall short of your goals. If the whole world strived for greatness in their personal life, we would be at a very different and higher level of collective consciousness.

-Where were you born and where did you grow up? What is the derivation of a very appropriate first name, Wynne?

Born in Wheaton/Winfield area and grew up in Naperville, Illinois. That is my full name – Wynne. And it’s funny – every team that I directed a pro team for (White Sox, Slaughter, Rush, Hawks) won their championship while I was there! I am a good luck charm!

-Who were particularly influential in unofficially ”life coaching” you as you grew up?

As I grew up I didn’t have any “life coaching” mentors that really guided my life. I think that is why I longed so much for the support as an adult and want to be a “personal cheerleader” for others.

-Tell me about your dance journey…when did you start dance and the “steps” (as it were) that you took prior to trying out for the NBA?

I didn’t remotely consider dancing until I was in high school. I didn’t make my volleyball team. My brother told me that to be popular I should do cheerleading or poms…so I did! I became captain of the Naperville Central Arrowettes. After a brief try at college Rugby, I went back to dancing as an Illinette at the University of Illinois. Then after graduate school I tried out for the Luvabulls and didn’t make it. I went up to Milwaukee to dance for Energee! and loved it. The commute was tough so I went back to audition for the Luvabulls and stayed there as a captain for three of the four years. Dancing for me has been a way to use my athletic ability and create friendships…not the traditional creative outlet so many dancers find through dancing.

-What are your favorite memories of your time dancing in the NBA?

For sure I have some hilarious memories of being on an NBA dance team. The best memories were creating inside jokes among some of my closest team mates that you would not remotely find funny because you had to be there to experience our weird senses of humor! I think traveling to Amsterdam for the Holland Basketball Tournament created the most sleep-deprived humor that we still joke about to this day.

Continue reading The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Ice Crew skater sharpened her blades in Q-C

Bill Wundram
Quad-City Times
July 2, 2013

Kelsey Biittner sat in front of me, looking like a pixie. She winked, then she glowed a wish.

“I wish I could go through it all over again.”

She was a star on the ice. Millions saw her, but their eyes and minds were on the Chicago Blackhawks as they fought their way to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Kelsey, of Davenport, is among the select few young women chosen for the Blackhawks Ice Crew. Some mistakenly call them “Ice Girls.”

“We’re cheerleaders who don’t cheer,” says Kelsey, bubbly after the mayhem of screams and parades that come with winning the National Hockey League championship. “We scoop the ice kicked up by the skaters and work the crowds and skate and try to make everyone feel good.”

The crew looks pretty good, too, in their skimpy outfits that have long woolen socks to keep off the chill as they work the ice.

KELSEY IS A GOOD skater. In her senior year at Davenport Central, she was an “ice girl” for the Quad-City Mallards at the iWireless Center. She also has skated with the ice ballet at the annual Quad-City Arts Festival of Trees Holiday Pops. She’s taught skating, too. She does not blush to admit, “I’m better than average.” That was an assuring start for a spot with the Ice Crew.

It was on a whim that she applied for the Ice Crew. “I just finished four years of college at St. Ambrose — dean’s list — and wanted some fun before four tough years to become a dentist at Creighton University in Omaha,” she says.

“Two hundred tried out in Chicago for the Ice Crew; 16 of us were chosen. Days of skating trials and lots of oral tests to study our personalities,” she says, rolling her hazel brown eyes while we chat the afternoon away.

After she was chosen to be a member of the Ice Crew, the next step was to move from Davenport to Chicago during the season. No non-Chicagoans.

“The crew never had a member from Iowa. That gave them an excuse to nickname me ‘Iowa.’ We worked all the home games and some out-of-town. It’s been the thrill of my life. It will never happen to me again —dentists are never on an ice crew,” she says.

“I will never get over it,” she says, still full of pep.

The games, the parade and public appearances still give Kelsey the chills. “Everything left me exultant, seas of people. I even kissed the trophy.”

SHE WAS NOT in Boston when the Blackhawks blew the top off the place with two goals in 17 seconds to win the Cup. Her Ice Crew stayed home in Chicago, celebrating in a bar with, she estimates, “thousands of screaming people.”

Her parents, Tammy and Scott Biittner, saw their daughter only once on the ice in Chicago and her mom thought she was “just grand” and “out of the norm.” Kelsey acts embarrassed at the parental pride.

When she gets into dental school, the memories of the Stanley Cup won’t go away. By coincidence, the Yorkshire Terrier she has had for five years is named Stanley.

SI.com: NHL Ice Crews

This week, Sports Illustrated has photos from just about every team that has Ice Girls: the Ducks, Bruins, Flames, Storm, Blackhawks, Bluejackets, Stars, Oilers, Kings, Panthers, Predators, Islanders, Flyers, Penguins, and Lightning. Click here to go there now.

SI.com: Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew

Click here to check Sports Illustrated’s latest NHL ice crew gallery, featuring the ladies from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew

Individual profiles of the Blackhawks Ice Crew have been updated on the team’s website. Click here to check ’em out!

SI.com: Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew

The ladies from the Blackhawks are the latest addition to the Sports Illustrated NHL Ice Crew photo archives. Click here to go there now.

Personally, I think these are some of the cutest outfits in the league, but I doubt hefting those shovels is enough to keep them warm. Maybe next year they can work a little sweater into that ensemble.

NHL Ice Girls Gallery

NBC Sports has lots of photos of NHL Ice Girls on the ice this season. The gallery includes ice crews from the Blackhawks, Ducks, Flyers, Hurricanes, Islanders, Kings, Lightning, Oilers, Penguins, Predators, Stars, and Thrashers. (Mostly the Islanders Ice Girls and Thrashers Blue Crew.) Click here to check it out.

flyers-ice-gir

After Oilers’ backlash, cheerleaders defend their place in NHL

By Sean Leahy
Yahoo Sports
October 31, 2010

Earlier this month, the Edmonton Oilers announced that they would be the 24th NHL team and the first Canadian club to add a Cheer Team to their in-game entertainment at Rexall Place. “This is another example of the Oilers responding to the wishes of our valued customers,” said Oilers President and CEO Patrick LaForge.

Of course, this announcement was met with disdain as some fans, both male and female, voiced their displeasure at the decision. An online petition was set up in response and currently has just close to 1,400 e-signatures.

There seems to be no middle ground when discussing Ice Girls and cheerleaders inside your local arena. You’re either against them because you feel they distract from the action on the ice and have no place in hockey, or you’re for them because you believe they add something to your game experience after you’ve shelled out $40-50 for a ticket.

The debate over Ice Girls and Cheer Teams has involved only the voices of fans. We wanted to hear from the ladies in question, so last week we reached out to Maggie and Lauren, two members of the Carolina Hurricanes’ “Storm Squad,” to have them defend presence of cheerleaders inside NHL arenas.

“I think the biggest difference about our situation as opposed to the upcoming Oilers [cheer team] is our necessity to grab an interest in hockey in our community,” said Maggie. “We live in a southern state where football has reigned for years. The ‘Storm Squad’ became a marketing resource used by the organization to get the word out about hockey in the Carolinas.”

D067674005.JPG

Fans thinking they’re there just during games is one of the biggest misconceptions noted by both ladies, considering the amount of off-the-ice marketing done to help the Hurricanes.

“Hockey fans might only see what we do in the RBC Center during games, but we’re extremely active outside the arena, 12 months a year — making appearances at charity events, spending time with younger Canes fans, getting folks excited for the upcoming All-Star Game and even helping the team reach out to the corporate community,” said Lauren.

“Each member of the squad is required to do yearly volunteer events such as promoting Blood Drives, walks for different causes and school visits,” said Maggie. “Being that our job is in promotions and fan development, that’s exactly what we strive to do: build a bigger fan base and provide a more enjoyable experience for our current and future fans.”

As we noted earlier, Edmonton will become the 24th NHL team to feature cheerleaders, a sign that cheer teams won’t be going away and will continue to be a main point of your in-arena game experience. In Carolina, the “Storm Squad” has been around for a decade and over time they’ve made an impact on the fan base.

“I think you could ask just about any Caniac how they feel about the Storm Squad, and you’ll find that we often make a fan’s day, whether it’s through interaction on the concourse with fans of all ages, before the game family-friendly promotions, or slinging T-shirts into the crowd,” said Lauren.

The RBC Center is known as one of the loudest rinks in the league and according to Maggie, the presence of the “Storm Squad” has helped the team reach that achievement.

“Getting the crowd involved is important to motivate the Canes on the ice, and being the ‘Loudest House in the NHL’ we have tried our best to achieve just that.”

Public Eye: Jenna, Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew

jennaice

So, you’re just walking around town with a hockey stick in that outfit?

Definitely—at least today. I’m headed to a Blackhawks promo event for the playoffs. I’m one of the team’s ice girls. But, you know, this outfit is becoming more a part of my everyday wardrobe.

Did you learn to skate at a young age?

I was raised in Schiller Park, and the Franklin Park Ice Arena is nearby. I pretty much grew up at the rink. My dad and my brother play hockey, and I would watch their games and see girls out there. I said, “That’s what I want to do.” Then I was a poms girl at East Leyden High School.

I didn’t know the Blackhawks have cheerleaders.

People call the ice girls cheerleaders, but we’re not, exactly. We skate out and shovel slush off the rink during time-outs. Mouth guards and blood, too. The guys lose teeth out there a lot. They get mixed up in the slush pile and are thrown out. The fun stories are when you’re on the ice and you get spit on. [Laughs]

Yeah…fun times. Why do women swoon over the NHL’s toothless, bruised canucks?

They’re down-to-earth compared to a lot of other athletes.

So the lumberjack appeal?

Right. It’s that casual look. The grubby beards!

Do you have access to the players’ locker room?

[Laughs] No, absolutely not! We see them in the hallways, but we have our own separate locker rooms.

Is that your full-time gig?

It’s not. I’ve been doing it part-time for three seasons. It takes about two to four days out of the week. I also cohost a TV show on the side called JBTV. I’ve interviewed bands like Saves the Day, Switchfoot, the xx, Bowling for Soup.

Jerry [Bryant, the silver-haired, gnomish main host of JBTV] just wasn’t bringing the sexy anymore?

Oh, come on! He looks exactly the same as he always has!

[Blackhawks Ice Crew]