BlazerDancers Abroad

Ni Hao — BlazerDancers in China: Day 1
Portland Trailblazers

Our once in a lifetime journey started at 8:00 am at PDX. BlazerDancers Caitlin, Cristi, Taren, Eri, Mari and Mary Ellen and I began our trip to NBA Madness 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan and Hong Kong!

So much excitement in the air as none of us have ever been to China. This is the first International trip for all of the ladies as BlazerDancers. Our journey took us through San Francisco, directly to Tokyo and finally about 20 hours later to Taipei, Taiwan! Of course through customs and the challenge of finding our way to correct baggage claim area. Luckily we have Eri who understands some of the language and was able to guide us through the airport. Or first challenge – Caitlin’s luggage with all of her uniforms, shoes, accessories is missing! Our first event is in the morning and Caitlin has nothing to wear! Luckily each dancer packed one uniform and shoes in their carryon just in case of emergency! Thank goodness for that last minute idea. Always be prepared!

We were greeted at the exit by our fabulous escorts Doris and Zeno who will be with us for our stay here in Taiepei. The nicest two people we could be lucky to work with. The second we exit the airport we’re overwhelmed by the heat and humidity! It must have been 90 degrees but it felt like 110. Our Rockstar Energy Drink Sweats were perfectly comfortable for the long journey here but it was time for a quick little adjustment to survive the temperature. As we traveled for an hour by bus to the fabulous Shangri-La hotel in Taipei, we were see the city by night. It never sleeps. It’s like New York City. What stood out most…..the Vespas1 They’re everywhere. We were later told there are 22 million people here…..and……22 million Vespas! One of our hosts says he has three of his own. Just imagine New ork City cab drivers on Vespas, weaving in and out of traffic and serious speed. Everyone rides them, adults, kids and familes, yes we saw three people on one Vespa! We’re hoping to rent some for a tour of the city while we’re here.

Once checked in at the Shangri-Lal we had a late dinner at one of the many bar/restaraunts here at the hotel on the 38 floor. We were able to see the beautiful city of Taipei by night and for the first time, the tallest buidling in the world, Taipei 101. Amazing! Can’t wait to see it up close.

Time to nestle in and try to get some sleep. NBA MAdness 2009 begins tomorrow!

Wan an – good night!
Caitlin, Taren, Cristi, Eri, Mari, Mary Ellen

Everblades announce auditions for dance team on Aug. 30


Ft. Meyers Florida Weekly
August 14, 2009

The Florida Everblades announced that auditions for the newly formed Everblades Gator Girls will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Candidates should be female cheerleaders and dancers over the age of 21 who are interested in supporting Everblades hockey all season long. Although skating is not required, skaters are being looked at to add to the dynamic of the team.

Auditions will take place in the Olde Florida Room inside Germain Arena. Registration is at 1 p.m., with a $20 fee. Auditions begin at 2 p.m.

What to wear during competition: Sports bra or dance-crop top with dance shorts; Flesh colored tights or panty hose; Dance shoes or sneakers. No dance pants, warms-ups, long shorts, thongs, or bikinis; Wear your hair in a style that compliments your features. (No ponytails or hair pulled half up)

All contestants will need to bring a 45-to-60-second individual dance music of their choice. All contestants will learn a group dance and sideline dance to be performed in a small group.

For further information, send an e-mail to Kristi at

Congratulations 2009-10 Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dancers!

On Tuesday night, 28 young women threw their hearts into it as they auditioned for the 2009-10 Clippers Spirit. They did a jazz routine choreographed by Cheryl, Asst. Director/choroegrapher. Director C. They did an insanely fast hip-hop routine. They did solos. Then they did them all over again. They gave it all they had. DeAndre Jordan seemed to have a tough time with it. (Luckily his new pal Blake Griffin, this year’s #1 NBA draft pick, who just joined the Clippers, was on hand to offer an opinion or two.) Here are the judges. Gee, I wonder which two are DeAndre and Blake?


The judges took their time considering the candidates, while the dancers sweated it out. This morning, Clippers Spirit Director Audrea Harris announced the 16 ladies who would join the team this year. All ten veterans who auditioned, made it back on the team this year. They are joined by six rookies who will hit the court at Staples Center for the first time this fall.

Congratulations Ladies!

The returning veterans:
Teresa, Lauren, Recee, Shannon, Nicole, Jessie, Brittany, Nikki, Melissa, and Jacqueline

And now for the newbies:
(You may recognize her from the Chivas USA ChivaGirls)

(You may recognize her from the San Diego Charger Girls)

(You may recognize her from the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush)

(I recognize her from somewhere, but I can’t think where…)

(You may recognize her from the San Diego Charger Girls)

(You may recognize her from the Anaheim Arsenal A-List Girls)

Auditioning for the Pistons Dance Team: One Dancer’s Story


Dancing Towards a Dream: Part One
By Matt Waymire
< "">Connect Mid Michigan
July 25, 2009

AUBURN HILLS — There are those who can dance, and there are those who were seemingly born to dance. And it’s easy to see which category Flint Northern alum Santana White falls under.

“I’ve been dancing since I was two around the house,” said the 24 year-old White. “Christmas-time I would gather my family together, everybody would watch me dance. So, it comes naturally. The last two years of high school, I decided to try out for Majorettes. We called ourselves the best band in the land, basically. We won a lot of competitions.”

“It was a great joy, it was really, along with other parents,” added Diana White, Santana’s mother. “And I even was a band booster, so I traveled along with the band, and was heavily involved in their activities. And it makes you as a parent, proud. ‘Cause you want to be supportive of your children.”

And just like her daughter’s days in high school, there was Diana in the stands for Tuesday’s auditions…and it didn’t take long for mother and daughter to see the daunting competition that lay ahead. Altogether, there were nearly 150 young women auditioning for a mere 15 openings. And thus began a long, grueling day.

“In order to be able to dance at the level that they’re dancing at, for this professional team, they have to be physically fit,” said Rebecca Girard, Dance Team Director for Automotion. “You have to be able to endure through the tough choreography, and it’s so much harder than people think it is. So, athleticism and physical fitness are really key components.”

But there was another key trait to be displayed, as well: the ability to learn quickly, VERY quickly. The girls were taught an intricate dance routine which they would have to perform individually in front of judges.

After a number of run-throughs, it was Santana’s turn to step to the plate and perform the routine, which would determine whether contestant number 484 would survive the day’s first round of cuts.

“It was challenging but, you have to learn it so quick when you’re just…you’re trying to look like you’re smiling and enjoying it, and still remembering the steps,” said Santana. “It was challenging, but fun. I’m just praying and hoping for the best, I’m not sure. A lot of talented young ladies here, we’ll see.”

After a brief time to relax, Santana and the other ladies learned their immediate fate through a simple piece of paper, which contained the numbers (484) Santana was hoping to see.

Coming up in our next installment, we’ll see how Santana fares in the second round of auditions, and also learn more about what it takes to become a member of the Automotion dance team.

Dancing Towards a Dream: Part Two
By Matt Waymire
< "">Connect Mid Michigan
July 26, 2009

AUBURN HILLS — In part one of our feature, we met Flint native Santana White, who made it through the first round of cuts in her quest to become a member of the Detroit Pistons’ Dance Team “Automotion.”

So it may surprise you to find out that Santana hasn’t danced in front of a crowd in nearly three years. So how in the world did she shake off all that rust?

“I just pulled out my Michael Jackson greatest hits, Beyonce and all that, and just started dancing around the house,” said a smiling Santana. “It’s natural to me, but of course I’m still nervous. But dancing…you can either dance or you can’t, usually. That’s how it goes.”

But make no mistake, Santana’s been plenty the past three years, working as a promotional model for companies like Mattel and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. And as it turns out, her work in this avenue directly corrolates to the numerous other traits that an Automotion dancer must possess.

“Number one, they have to be great ambassadors, and really in touch with the public relations and the community service aspect of the job,” said Dance Team Director Rebecca Girard. “So dancing is almost secondary really, if you think about it. But they need to have great personal business skills.”

That aspect of the audition took place on day two, but first thing’s first. Santana needs to survive two more cuts of dancing tryouts on day one…and the routines only became more demanding, and more complex.

Though she struggled at times in front of the judges, Santana still put forth a solid effort, and she anxiously awaited her individual critique.

“484 (Santana’s number), I need some confidence from you, as well, but a smile on your face,” said Tricia Crawford, an Automotion choreographer. “Also, watch some of your arm placements. Sometimes they’re being thrown there instead of placed there, so really watch your arm placement. Then separate your styles a little bit more. Jazz kinda looked the same as hip-hop, and vice-versa. So try and separate the two different styles.”

After waiting over an hour, the numbers of the girls who advanced were finally announced. But unfortunately, the number 484 was not among those called.

With that, Santana’s Automotion journey came to an end. She was obviously disappointed, but the positives still far outweighed the negatives.

“It was a good experience, even though it didn’t, you know…the results I didn’t get that I wanted, but it was a good experience,” said Santana. “I haven’t danced in a long time, so…it was fun. I got to meet interesting girls, and it was an interesting experience.”

So even though her goal of joining Automotion is put on hold for now, Santana believes she will be dancing somewhere in the very near future…and gearing up for the 2010 Automotion tryouts all the while.

Rooting for Celtics dancers


By Mark Shanahan & Merdith Goldstein
July 24, 2009

NESN’s Heidi Watney, Shayna Seymour of “Chronicle,’’ Miss Connecticut Monica Pietrzak, Miss Massachusetts Alison Cronin, and JAM’N 94.5 morning DJs Ramiro and Melissa were just a few of the notables on the guest list last night for the Celtics Dancers final auditions at the House of Blues. The competition – which had 44 women competing for 17 spots – was emceed by Kiss 108’s Billy Costa and was to include, not surprisingly, a swimsuit competition. [Click here for photos from finals]

Congratulations Pacemates!


Congrats to the 16 dancers selected to the 2009-10 Indiana Pacers Pacemates dance team. This year’s group includes 10 returning veterans and 6 newbies.

Orlando Magic Dancer Crowned Miss Florida USA 2010

Orlando Magic Dancer Captain Megan Clementi, who entered the pageant as Miss Volusia County USA, beat out 49 other contestants to take the crown Saturday evening.


No stranger to Central Florida, Megan was a former Miss University of Central Florida, crowned in 2006. She was the first runner-up for Miss Florida that same year.


A five-year veteran of the Magic’s dance team, Megan was on the sidelines as the Blue and White made their run to the NBA Finals.

As Miss Florida USA, Megan will go on to compete in the Miss USA 2010 pageant, with a chance to compete for Miss Universe from there.

Lynn O’Brien Cheer and Dance Camps

Former New Orleans Saintsation Lynn O’Brien runs her own Cheer and Dance Camps. But the most important thing Lynn wishes the girls would take away from the camps is not cheer and dance technique. She wants each girl to walk away from her clinics and classes with a smile, pride, and knowledge that they can use in the future. Lynn says, “It is a rough world out there, especially for girls.”

Lynn O'Brien
Lynn with a dance camp class

Before we get back to the camps, here’s a little about Lynn. She danced on her high school dance team, the Goldenettes at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. She was also a UDA All-Star Dancer. Lynn had always wanted to cheer for the NFL growing up. After high school she met her then boyfriend (now husband) David and moved to New Orleans after dating long distance for two years.

She started college at the University of New Orleans and worked as a waitress. One of the girls she met waitressing was on a dance team, the “Dominators of Dance”, that performed at Mardi Gras Parades. Lynn tried out and made that team. Unfortunately her friend that had introduced her to was kicked off the team for not perfecting a signature move. Lynn consoled her friend by saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll try out for the Saints”. Two months later they both tried out and made the team.

Since she had always loved pro football, Lynn says have that one of the most exciting parts of being a NFL Cheerleader was being so close to action. During one of the very first games she cheered at two players tackled with terrific force and impact just two feet from her. Lynn says that most of her teammates moved away, but she was too busy watching to see if the Saints still had the ball.

Her proudest moments as a Saintsation would come while visiting small towns outside of New Orleans. The people, the kids and the entire town were so grateful for the Sainsations appearances. Lynn says she felt such a great sense of pride when she stood under the hotel’s marquee that read “Welcome Saints Cheerleaders”. She says, “I know it’s a small thing, but you can’t take small things for granted.

Lynn on the set of Kansas City LIVE

Today Lynn runs Lynn O’Brien Cheer and Dance Camps. There are five-to-eight week long camps over the summer, as well as two day clinics and weekly classes. Lynn decided to start the camps just after she had her fist child, David. She was not ready to leave him for a long period of time and really wanted to dance again. She had an idea to hold a cheer camp where she would utilize her talents both as a dancer and as a teacher.

During the first camps the girls seem to really open up to her and talk about pretty important things. Lynn had 5 year-olds telling her they think they need to go on a diet! She realized the impact she could have on their lives. These girls really looked up to her, really listened to her and she had to take advantage of that.

A typical class begins with stretches, dance and cheer technique. Then they move on to free dance, where Lynn talks to the girls about moving to the music, if the music goes fast, dance fast, if the music moves slow, dance slow. Most importantly, Lynn tells them dance in a way that makes you feel good. She encourages the girls to use dance as a release of feelings. She advises, if you are happy, sad, mad, scared, just put on music in their room and dance and soon you will feel better.

Then they have “girl talk”. Lynn explains to the girls that now that they are on a dance team (cheer team) together they are best friends. They can rely on each other to learn and lean on. She brings up a topic and let the girls comment on their experiences and their thoughts. Some “girl talk” topics include: body image, giving to our community and those in need, standing up for yourself, healthy eating, smoking prevention, taking care of yourself, a positive body image and role models and much more.

Lynn gives all the girls her e-mail address and phone number in case they want to talk or just let her know how school is. She says she gets great e-mail updates and questions about issues the girls are facing at school.

Lynn says she is especially pleased when parents tell her stories of how their daughters came home and taught the family a lesson that Lynn taught them. One example Lynn cites is a mom who told her 6 year-old daughter had another girl that was being mean to her and mom asked her how she dealt with it. The girl said “I put on my best cheerleader smile and said, I am sorry you are having a bad day, but I care about you.” Her mom said, “You sound just like Ms. Lynn.”

Lynn says that each girl at each camp, class, and clinic holds a special place in her heart. She has had over 350 girls participate in her camps in the past five years and she can tell you something about each of those girls.

Lynn O'Brien

Lynn’s three-year old daughter Maddie is now participating in the camps and classes, and they have a great time making up the dances and learning from each other.

Lynn also has a clinic for the winter that is held one week before Christmas. The girls learn a fun Christmas dance, rockin’ around the Christmas tree, two cheers and we will talk about the importance of giving. And there are more clinics coming during Spring Break. And between camp, classes, teaching pre-school and raising her own children Lynn spends an astounding amount of time with kids, so how do she do it all and keep her sanity? Lynn says she adores children, her own and others. “Kids are amazing and have nothing but love to give. I have never loved a job so much. I love how excited the girls are, the way they look up to me, the impact I have on them. I also appreciate the parents. I think I would go insane without kids. I have a very goofy personality. I need to be crazy and silly and I just don’t think adults would get that.”

Lynn speaking about her Cheer and Dance Camp from Kansas City LIVE! Learn more about Lynn’s camps at

2009-10 Houston Areo Dynamics Auditions

Date: August 1st 2009
Time: Registration – 9:00am, Audition – 10:00am
$10 registration fee at audition – Cash Only
Location: Shops at Houston Center
Shops at Houston Center


Please fill out the Aero Dynamic application and send with an 8×10 full body photo to:

Houston Aeros
Attn: Aero Dynamic Auditions
1221 Lamar St. Suite 1100
Houston, TX 77010

Applications must be received by July 20

Must have a full/part time Job or attend college full/part time
18 Years of Age by August 1st 2009 (NO EXCEPTIONS)
Reliable Transportation
Must attend all practices (Tuesdays & Thursdays), games, community and charitable appearances


Yes. You will be required to make up your own dance with your own 1 minute song choice (Please have edited music).


Dance shorts to show your legs (required for uniforms)
Midriff-baring top (Dance or Athletic Bra-Top)
Dance or Athletic Shoes
Select attire that is eye catching and unique


Have your hair and make-up performance ready; please make sure to have your make-up to accent your natural beauty. Your hair should be fixed to the style it is currently in and not to hide your face.


Registration will start at 9am in the Park Shops Mall and you will be given a number when you register. You will then proceed to the photography area where you will be photographed with our photographer.

At 10am the auditions will begin and we will start to call out numbers randomly for each individual to perform their own 1 minute choreographed dance.

After every participant performs we will have a 30 minute lunch break.

You will then learn a 1 minute dance routine choreographed by a dance instructor and perform in groups in front of the judges.

Your 1 minute choreographed music on a CD
Valid Drivers License
$10 Registration Fee (Cash Only)

No. Being an Aero Dynamic is time consuming and requires commitment to the Aeros for a full season. Aero Dynamic dancers do have full time jobs or attend college and is a volunteer position.

Shops at Houston Center
1200 McKinney St., #545
Houston, TX 77010

Parking is available in the Shops at Houston Center garage at the corner of Austin and McKinney or at the parking meters on the streets around the building. Please bring cash for parking, an ATM is located in the Shops.

[Houston Aero Dynamics]

Ben-Gals host dance camp at Oak Hills

By Kurt Backscheider
July 10, 2009

Charlotte Jacobs said she may have discovered some future Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders.

Nearly 70 girls between the ages of 5 and 16 spent their summer evenings July 6-10 at Oak Hills High School participating in the first ever dance camp put on by the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders.

Jacobs, the director of cheerleading for the Cincinnati Bengals, said campers learned basic techniques, choreography and general fitness from some of the NFL’s best dancers during the week-long camp.

“The camp is all about having fun,” she said.
“We have several cute little girls who really know how to show off.”

Green Township resident and former Ben-Gal Julie Raleigh, coordinator of the camp, said more than half of the camp’s participants are underprivileged girls from around the Tristate.

She said girls from St. John’s outreach program in Over-the-Rhine, Rees E. Price Academy in Price Hill and the Special Olympics were given free scholarships to the camp thanks to sponsorships from the Shayne Graham Foundation, Mercy Hospital Western Hills and Mercy Franciscan at West Park.

“We think this camp is a unique opportunity,” Raleigh said.

“Some of these girls will experience another avenue of life that is not usually open to them. This experience is an opportunity for the girls to learn dance and just have so much fun,” she said.

Jacobs said the camp also helped kick-off this year’s Cincinnati Junior Ben-Gals program, an annual cheerleading program for young girls that culminates with a half-time performance during a Bengals game at Paul Brown Stadium.
“The camp is a way to better prepare these young ladies for when they go into their school seasons, and help the girls in our Junior Ben-Gal program get ready for their season,” Jacobs said.

Raleigh said campers learned two dance routines, which they performed for fans at the Florence Freedom baseball game on Thursday, July 9, to raise money for Special Olympics.

She said the camp featured special guest speakers each night, including a Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy who talked to the girls about personal safety and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Members of the Oak Hills High School Oakettes drill team and cheerleading squads also helped out to make the week possible.
Additional Facts
Be a Junior Ben-Gal

Parents and girls who would like to learn more about the Cincinnati Junior Ben-Gals program can visit

The program runs from August to December and is open to 100 girls between the ages of 5 and 15 from around the Tristate. The Junior Ben-Gals season offers clinics designed to create and promote self-esteem, pride and confidence, and girls in the program learn performance fundamentals from Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders.

The program’s highlight is an on-field performance in front of 65,000 fans at Paul Brown Stadium during the 2009-2010 season.