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New York Fashion Week: Backstage at BCBG with a Marrero Makeup Artist

By Susan Langenhennig
The Times-Picayune

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has found a fun new way to torture the media: make them stand outside in the 24-degree weather for 45 minutes to get credentials. About 9 a.m. this morning, the corner of Columbus Avenue and 63th Street was a sea of fashion journalists shivering in skinny jeans and fierce shoes.

Former New Orleans Hornets cheerleader Lynna Vo backstage at Fashion Week Thursday in New York: 'I didn't think I was going to be doing anything but observing today, but they were like, "Go ahead, we believe in you."'

Former New Orleans Hornets cheerleader Lynna Vo backstage at Fashion Week Thursday in New York: 'I didn't think I was going to be doing anything but observing today, but they were like, "Go ahead, we believe in you."'

It was an inauspicious start to my Fashion Week, but things quickly turned up when I met Lynna Vo of Marrero backstage doing a model’s makeup before the BCBG show.

Vo entered a nationwide contest for aspiring makeup artists, held last fall by Maybelline The prize: a chance to join the makeup team at New York Fashion Week. Out of thousands of submissions, Vo’s video entry was picked.

And though she has no professional training, the bubbly 23-year-old was thrown head-first into the backstage fray.

“I didn’t think I was going to be doing anything but observing today, but they were like, ‘Go ahead, we believe in you.’” said Vo, a student at the University of New Orleans. “It’s been an absolutely amazing.”

A former Hornets cheerleader, Vo’s not entirely new to showtime cosmetics. She fine tuned her makeup skills by helping her fellow Honeybees get ready for performances. She also has a YouTube channel, where she posts how-to makeup tutorials.

Working elbow-to-elbow with Maybelline global makeup artist Charlotte Willer, Vo got to see the whole backstage beauty assembly line at work, brushes flying, dryers buzzing, photographers swarming.

The look for the BCBG show was a soft, natural face, with brown and gold-flecked eyeshadow and no mascara. As Vo put the finishing touches on her model, Willer cast a critical eye over the work, and then gave Vo the nod.

Video: DCCs Model Richie Sambora’s Clothing Line

Last Friday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and family hosted a big party at Mi Cocina Restaurant in Dallas, TX. The restaurant turned into a hot fashion spot for a preview for White Trash Beautuful, a couture fashion line from rocker Richie Sambora and partner Nikki Lund. The collection was modeled by a group of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Here they are in order of appearance:

Lauren Williams
Ally Traylor
Mia Greenhouse
Cassie Trammell
Nicole Bulcher
Tobie Percival
Jordan Chanley
Kaitlin LeGrand
Evan Anderson
Tia Williams
Kelsi Reich
Carey DePasquale
Meredith Oden
(I might have missed one. Corrections are welcome).

It’s amateur video, but it provides a pretty good look at the show. Warning: the opening song will get stuck in your head. “White Trash Beautifuuuuuuuuuuul”

Cowboys cheerleaders wear Richie Sambora line


by Lynn Hoppes
Feb 3, 2011

Richie Sambora, getting ready to board a plane from Los Angeles to the Super Bowl city of Dallas, wanted to talk football.

“Who is going to win the Super Bowl?” he asked.

“Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger is going to be a great battle,” he answered himself.

“Who has the experience to win?” he said rhetorically.

Sambora, the lead guitarist of legendary rock band Bon Jovi, was so excited to head to Dallas on Thursday night to be part of the spectacle of Super Bowl weekend.

And he’s really looking forward to Friday afternoon when he and his partner Nikki Lund have their clothing line — WTB (White Trash Beautiful) — modeled by the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders.

“Of course, I’m extremely proud,” said Sambora, who started the line in spring 2010. “You will have gorgeous girls wearing our fashion. These girls are going to be showing the clothes like art. It’s going to be wonderful.”

WTB is anything but white trash. It’s a contemporary fashion line consisting of distressed leather separates, dresses, evening gowns and more. The WTB Collection already has found celebrity fans including Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus and Kellie Pickler. A men’s line will debut this spring.

What’s with the title of White Trash Beautiful?

“I was walking around my house with this title in my head and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it,” Sambora said, “so I thought ‘women’s fashion line’. I met this brilliant woman named Nikki and we took it from there.”

Lund, who already has a clothing line called Eccentric Symphony, said when Sambora came calling, she wasn’t going to say no.

“He is a humble and amazing man, and it really was quite easy for me to say ‘Yeah, let’s do it,'” she said. “We’re knowledgeable together on a lot of things and he’s taught me a lot about football. He explained what a first down was!”

Back to the Super Bowl, Sambora continued the conversation:

“It’s going to be a great game. I can’t wait to see the stadium,” he said. “Some of the players are my friends. It’s going to be a wonderful weekend.”

Ravens Cheerleaders Show off Their Personal Style

Kenneth K. Lam
Baltimore Sun
November 16, 2010)

Ravens cheerleader Kellie

When it comes to personal style, it’s an easy lift for Ravens cheerleader Kellie Lee G. When she is out and about on her own time, she prefers a “more classic, sleeker, basic” style. Nothing fussy for her. When we “glimpsed” her in the Ravens’ workout room, Kellie Lee stood strong in a gray and black striped cotton knit cowl neck Hooked Up tunic and black leggings from Macy’s. Kellie Lee bought her knee high black leather pointy toe Michael Shannon boots at Off Broadway. She says her wardrobe is generally black and gray, and she likes to make statements with her jewelry. She showed off some metal in her stamped silver cross pendant and chain, large hammered link necklace, silver cuff, bead bracelet and charm bracelet, and large silver hoop earrings — all from Silpada. “My sister is a rep…Until three years ago, I wore gold with everything. Then, I got introduced to silver, and I’m hooked.”

Ravens cheerleader Sammi Jo

When Sammi Jo C. hits the town, this Ravens cheerleader generally grabs her skinny jeans instead of a dress, to fit her “trendy” style. But, even if the “in” color is bright, she’s “always in earth tones, or black, gray and white.” On the indoor practice field, Sammi Joe models one of her favorite outfits; an olive military style ruched shirt with rolled sleeves and gold buttons from Express over a white camisole, with a pair to True Religion dark wash skinny jeans. Her brown leather and suede scrunch boots came from Bakers Shoes, and she picked up her Louis Vuitton “Damier Speedy” bag at the Louis Vuitton store…which leads us to her favorite place to shop; Towson Town Center. “It’s a very dangerous place,” she says with a laugh. Sammi Jo adds a little edge with her leather and gold cuff bracelet and two leather and crystal bead bangle bracelets, all of which she found at South Moon Under.

Ravens cheerleader NaShanta

It’s simple. When Ravens cheerleader NaShanta E. isn’t in uniform, she’s probably wearing clothes from Victoria’s Secret. She says they suit her “eclectic” style. She certainly knew how to step it up when we “glimpsed” her in the Ravens workout room. NaShanta sported a teal, lime, green and black animal print tank top with a pair of skinny jeans, a black faux leather biker jacket, and black leather Colin Stuart cage sandals with gold studding on the high heels. You guessed it. They all came from Victoria’s Secret. She bought her gold double leaf drop earrings at Target, her black felt fedora at Forever 21 and her turquoise and leather choker on the Greek island of Mykonos when she was on a cruise there. Her sparkly purple animal print clutch handbag is an example of her fashion passion. “I have an obsession with purses. Clutches, totes — I love them all. Usually it’s the bigger, the better. But, I’m trying to go small.”

Ravens cheerleader Adriene

You may know Adrienne B. as a Ravens cheerleader. But, she describes herself as “between granola and skater girl,” at least when it comes to her personal style. “[My style] starts with the fact that I’m pale and red-headed. I come from a background of skating and surfing. So I like something comfortable that also expresses my personality.” When we “glimpsed” Adrienne in the Ravens’ workout room, she stood her ground in a creative ensemble that showed just the right edge. She had layered a sleeveless chiffon tuxedo blouse that she’d found at a thrift shop over a black and white striped H&M tank tunic and gray denim leggings from PacSun. Then, she added a cropped gray cotton PacSun bomber jacket. “As I’ve grown up, I’ve found a way to put a girly edge to my tomboy side,” she says. So, in addition to the ruffles on the blouse, Adrienne added girly touches with a crystal embellished flower headband from PacSun and black sequined H&M ballet flats. That leads us to something you probably won’t find her wearing on her own time. “I’m not a fan of high heels. Unless I’m involved in a photo shoot.”

Ravens cheerleader Abbie

You could say Abbie M. was in the Ravens spirit even before she became a cheerleader. Purple has always been her favorite color. We could see why when we “glimpsed” her at the Ravens indoor practice field in an ensemble which emphasized her “trendy” style. She found her purple cotton jersey Frenzii dress at Federal Hill’s Babe boutique. It featured a drawstring waist, and neckline that looked as if it was a cowl neck top over a camisole. She can change her cool black leather foldover Guess “pirate” boots from DSW by unfolding the cuff and making them over-the-knee. “I do love shoes. I’m always shopping for shoes.” Her black faux leather Big Buddha clutch from South Moon Under featured a black flower embellishment, her crystal embellished stud earrings and her swirly textured black tights from JC Penney added an extra kick. That New York & Co. multi-crystal pendant on a gunmetal chain necklace is an example of one of her fashion passions. “I love really long necklaces, and wear them almost all the time.”

Ravens cheerleader Erin

Erin K. is a “classic,” as far as her personal style is concerned. When this Ravens cheerleader isn’t in uniform, she generally goes for clothes with simple lines and “trendy touches” in her shoes or jewelry. These days, one of her favorite wardrobe pieces is this black knit Theory swing vest with a crocheted back from Nordstrom. “Theory is my favorite label. I love this vest. I try to wear it all the time. I look for clothes to wear it with.” When we “glimpsed” Erin on the Ravens’ indoor practice field, she had paired the vest with a front-pleated charcoal swing tunic from Urban Outfitters, that featured an exposed zipper feature in the back, and black stretch Bailey 44 skinny pants from Nordstrom. Her charcoal suede Classique peep toe booties and Marc Jacobs big face watch also came from Nordstrom. She picked up the big turquoise ring at Urban Outfitters and the turquoise and silver cuff bracelet was a gift. As for her little gold Dogeared Karma necklace from Nordstrom? “It’s my favorite. I wear it all the time, even when I wear other necklaces.”

Ravens cheerleader Courtney

When Ravens cheerleader Courtney D. goes out on the town, it is often all about the shoes. “Shoes are my weakness,” she says. “I have them in all different colors to match any outfit.” When we “glimpsed” Courtney at the team’s indoor practice field, she was sporting one of this year’s hottest footwear trends — the nude pump. She nabbed these suede Steve Madden platforms at zappos.com. They were a perfect complement to her Forever 21 silver striped black tank top and black skinny jeans and white faux leather cropped jacket from Arden B. Her black Coach wristlet was a gift, and her cool heart pendant was carved from a quarter — a find at a shop in New York City’s Grand Central Station. Courtney describes her style as “a mix. I like to do a lot of classic looks and then spice it up a bit.”

Ravens cheerleader Amanda

When she’s working, Ravens cheerleader Amanda G. has to look like everyone else — in uniform. But, on her own time, she loves a “trendy” style. “I don’t like wearing things that everybody else has. I like different, eclectic pieces.” In fact, when she shops, Amanda never looks for complete outfits. She’d rather find interesting pieces that she can mix and match with what she has. She gave us a “glimpse” at the Ravens indoor practice field in silver and gold sequin embellished cream silk camisole from Urban Outfitters, that she’d combined with an olive knit banded skirt with exposed back zipper and a cream faux leather jacket, both from Forever 21. That’s also where she picked up her Chanel-style cream handbag. She found her feather earrings, crystal embellished floral pattern brass cuff and brown and gold-braided skinny belt at Urban Outfitters. And those nude suede platform stiletto Steve Madden pumps were a zappos.com purchase. Among Amanda’s fashion rules: “I’m more of a bargain shopper with trendy pieces. But, I’ll splurge on staple items. I love to shop little boutiques. And you’ll never see me out without 4-to-5-inch heels. Never, ever, ever. Ever.”

Ravens cheerleader Angel

When Angel P. is out on the town, she loves a “classy, sexy, but simple” style. When we “glimpsed” this Ravens cheerleader in one of her favorite outfits on the team’s indoor practice field, we didn’t think there was anything simple about her look. She was a classic in a light brown cotton cable knit sweater dress that featured a fold-over v-neck from The Limited, over which she’d added a wide brown stretch belt from Charlotte Russe. And speaking of classic, her brown crocodile pointy toe pumps were ones her mom wore in the 1980s. “I raided her closet,” she said with a smile. Her white Toy watch came from Neiman Marcus, and she wears an amethyst ring not just for the color. “It’s for the Ravens.” Angel admits she loves wearing dresses because she likes feeling feminine, yet professional. Something else she can never have too many of — little tank tops. “You can wear them with anything. Even with a big pair of sweat pants, you can look girly and sexy.”

Ravens cheerleader Dana

When Dana G. isn’t in her Ravens cheerleader uniform, she loves to go the elegant route in her “simple, yet classic” style. She models one of her favorite outfits on the Ravens indoor practice field: A sleek sheath from Express that featured a ruched light peach chiffon sleeveless top and banded black stretch chiffon pencil skirt. Dana says she likes to ramp up her style with accessories, like the black satin peep toe slingback Nine West pumps with satin knot embellishments, a black leather Marc Jacobs bag from South Moon Under, and her classic string of pearls, which were a gift. One reason for her sleek style? “I shop for things that elongate me because I’m short; shorter, more fitted dresses and skinny jeans. Never anything baggy.”

Former Fins Cheerleader’s Sexy Swimwear Debuts

2009-mdc_tiffanypearl3bMIAMI (CBS4) ― Okay ladies, the start of game days is just around the corner so it’s time to say ‘goodbye’ to boxy jerseys and say ‘hello’ to hot new halters and bikinis.

Don’t know what I mean? Then check out the sexy apparel and swim wear from “Miss Fanatic” designed for the female sports fan.

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Tiffany Pearl spent four years on the squad while earning her degree in fashion. This week the current Dolphins cheerleaders unveiled their 2011-2012 calendar at Liv on Miami Beach, and it was one of Pearl’s swimsuits that graced the cover.

“It’s really cool to see two of your suits published,” Pearl told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo, “and actually start to get your name out there.”

Pearl added that the idea to create the line came from her own experiences in attending games.

“Being an ultimate sports fan it was hard for me to find things that were flattering to a woman’s frame,” said Pearl. “I wanted something that made me feel like a woman. I wanted to make cute tops and bikinis so no matter where you are, at the beach or at the game, you could be proud of them.”

Pearl’s line is made in Miami, and in the future she hopes to expand her sexy sports fashions to all of the NFL and college teams.

“Miss Fanatic” bikinis are sold separately, $20 each for the tops and bottoms, and form-fitting jerseys run about $80.

“We have jerseys that are nicely fit to a woman’s body, the skirts look like what the players wear on the field, just a lot sexier,” said Pearl.

2011-mdc-cal-coverClick Here To Check Out The Miss Fanatic Line

The 25-year-old entrepreneur says these days she’s cheering about her up and coming career.

“I couldn’t be happier. It’s the best of both worlds, I love fashion and I love sports, to be able to combine the two, I couldn’t be happier,” said Pearl.

Nearly a dozen colleges are represented in the current “Miss Fanatic” line, including the University of Miami and the University of Florida. Pearl says she has plans to keep the ball rolling to more universities around the country.

P-R-O Convention Sponsor Spotlight: The Line Up

When I arrived in Atlanta, I had an idea of the type of article that I was going to do, my customary event report.  I knew that James was going to cover each and every squad in attendance, but I wanted to do something different and I was searching for another angle.  So, when Saturday began, I took the opportunity to talk with each sponsor.  I wanted to find out a little more about their business and why they were here.

One sponsor stood out immediately. The Line Up is one of the leading designers of performance dance apparel.  I was impressed by the number of teams that wear their fashions and in talking to owner Deb Erickson, I discovered that many of the squads here would be wearing her designs.  I figured a little article covering the Line Up’s fashions might be in order, so I spoke with the organizers of PRO and received clearance to pose a few girls in their Line Up designed uniforms.

First up is the N.Y. Jets Flight Crew (NFL) and Houston Texans (NFL).





Continue reading P-R-O Convention Sponsor Spotlight: The Line Up

Ben-Gal Cheerleaders to be Featured in Designer Swimsuit Fashion Show

Cincinnati’s NFL cheer squad will work the runway in couture swimsuits from NYC-based designer


PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 30, 2010 – Cincinnati, OH — Summer is officially here and vacation season is revving up, which means the search for the perfect swimsuit begins. That’s why Cincy Chic (www.cincychic.com), the only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati, is hosting a couture swimsuit fashion show featuring the “Ben-Gals,” cheerleaders of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, and New York City based designer Anne Pachan’s collection “Cala Ossidiana”.

The event will take place on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Cincinnati Tan Company in West Chester (8179 Princeton Glendale Rd.) beginning at 6:00 p.m. with the fashion show kicked off at 8 p.m. The event will also feature various local vendors, who will provide mini treatments, product samples and discounted shopping opportunities. Vendors include: Votre Vue by Julena Bingaman, Perfections Salon, Flocktails and Booty Parlors by Shannon Fink.

“Our entire staff can’t wait for this event. It’s such an honor to feature NFL cheerleaders from Cincinnati and have the opportunity to bring couture swimwear designer Anne Pachan to Cincinnati from New York City,” says Cincy Chic Publisher Amy Storer-Scalia. “Anne just recently debuted her designs at Cincinnati Fashion week, so we’re excited to bring her back to the Queen City with our event.”

The event is free for all to attend, and no RSVP is necessary. The Wise Owl will provide food and drinks and DJ Storm Bennet of Killerspots.com will provide music. An after party will take place at the Wise Owl.

For more information, visit www.cincychic.com/events.

Wings Angels Performance & Fashion Show


Philadelphia runway fashion takes center stage on Thursday, February 18, 2010 as G Lounge Announces the Launch of PhillyIn.com with a kick-off celebration to benefit Students Run Philly Style. Hosted by Christian Crosby, G Lounge will welcome models provided by JS Models, LLC, which will be styled by The Studio CL Workshop. Additional models will include: Miss Keystone 2009, Andrea Helfrich & Philadelphia Wings Players, Brett Moyer & Bobby Snider. Beginning at 9pm, this launch party will feature music by DJ Isaac Jordan special guest, Marshall Harris, Comcast SportsNet Anchor an exclusive performance by members of the Philadelphia Wings Dance Team & a Fashion Show at 10pm, showcasing top local designers: Carmelita Couture, Thorsen Handbags, Denim Habit & Rack and Roll Clothing. With no cover, a portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Students Run Philly Style, the only program in Philadelphia that offers marathon training to help young people succeed in life.

Pro Bowl Cheerleaders Fashion Show


[Pro Bowl Cheerleaders on Twitter]

Axe Maidens See Red

The Twisted Martini located at the Jacksonville Landing invited the 2009 Axe Maidens to host their annual Red Party which took place on Saturday, April 18th.


The ladies were all given red t-shirt dresses which included the Axe Maidens logo and event sponsors. Each stylized their dress to suit their own styles. Some ladies added glitter & rhinestones others added ribbons & strategically placed strips. To complete the outfit the Axe Maidens wore their white game day boots.


The night began with the ladies on the red carpet welcoming patrons. There was a live band performing outside which was the perfect opportunity for the Axe Maidens to show off some sideline moves which drew a crowd. A few spectators even enjoyed dancing along. Twisted Martini was beautifully decorated in red and had a special area roped off just for the Axe Maidens.


The 2009 team was introduced which kicked off the Red Party Fashion Show. (Unfortunately, Axe Maidens Diane, Emily and Amanda couldn’t attend and Erinn had to leave early.) Four of the ladies participated in the fashion show which included several models and fashions from a variety of stores. Amy W and Michele modeled fashions from Three Muses and Keana & Cara (who filled in at the very last minute for a model who was ill) wore two outfits from Wardrobe Therapy.


The evening was a huge success and helped spread the word about the Axemen and hopefully made some new fans.

More photos are available on MySpace.com

PCB Exclusive: An Interview With Stacie Gazonas, Owner of Zonas Designs

Stacie Gazonas has cheered for the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers and performed in the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl. In a Professional Cheerleader Blog exclusive, Stacie discusses her experiences as an NFL cheerleader and answers the question, “is there life after cheerleading?”

Early Dance Background

Stacie Gazonas grew up in Lenexa, Kansas about 20 minutes outside of Kansas City. She started taking dance classes at the young age of 3 and began designing leotards for her dance studio at age 13. After being crowned Miss Dance Heart America, Stacie went on to dance on a cruise ship at the age of 19, performing in Las Vegas style productions. She accepted a dance scholarship to the University of Arizona, but quickly realized that she didn’t need a degree in dance to perform in front of a live audience, and changed her major to fashion design, her second love.


While in college, a friend suggested that she tryout for the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders, a squad that she made at the ripe old age of 18. It was the start of a long and distinguished career in professional cheerleading. Stacie has said that being a professional cheerleader has really shaped who she is today and has blessed her with the ability to combine her passion for dance and fashion design into a lifelong career.

PCB: Why did you become an NFL cheerleader?

SG: I became an NFL cheerleader because I really missed dancing when I was in college and my passion was always in performing, not necessarily in taking ballet classes. My dream came true when I stepped onto the field at Arrowhead stadium for the first time as a Chiefs cheerleader and performed before 80,000 people. I had chills up and down my spine.

My favorite part about cheerleading was the friendships I made on the squad and dancing in front of such a huge crowd. I loved every minute of it! It was all very glamorous too. At the age of 18, not a lot of women are able to have their hair and make up done for them or have a total makeover to really polish their look. The Chiefs cheerleaders always set a standard of being a classy cheerleading team and not to portray themselves like the many stereotypes of professional cheerleaders.

PCB: For many girls, tryouts can be daunting. Please tell us about your tryout experiences and what it was like to make the Charger Girls

SG: It was crazy! There were approximately 400 girls at tryouts and I believe there was a handful that had cheered for other NFL teams. I was so nervous and anxious…the waiting process almost killed me. In my case, I was in a different position than a lot of girls because I knew what it was like to be on an NFL team, so I knew exactly what I was going for and what I had to lose if I didn’t make it. I knew how my life was going to change if I made the squad and I missed it (professional cheerleading) so much I couldn’t wait to be on a team again.

PCB: How competitive was the audition process and what do you think led to your selection?

SG: The audition was very competitive. Some of these girls try out year after year and know the exact process. I made sure that I looked like a Charger Girl with my hair, make-up, fitness, and attire. I wanted the judges to look at me and say, “she looks like a Charger Girl”. I definitely think my dance ability helped me stand out, along with having the “NFL look”. I get nervous during interviews, so that was the area I felt weakest going into tryouts. As funny as it sounds, I would have rather done a solo in front of ten judges than have an interview.

PCB: As with many challenges in life, it is often preparation that is the key to success. How did you prepare for tryouts?

SG: I am not much of a “go to the gym girl”, so I told myself if I go everyday for a month then I can’t be too disappointed with how I looked at tryouts. I made sure my hair was long so I could flip it around and I had the perfect outfit to make a statement. Preparation and knowing what the judges are looking for is the key to any tryout or job interview. It also shows how much you care and want it!

PCB: I think it’s fair to say that most people don’t realize how involved it is to be a professional cheerleader. What can a person expect if they make the squad?

SG: We practiced Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm and on Saturdays. You also have, maybe, one or two promotions a week along with other events and junior Charger Girl programs. We do a lot of appearances throughout the San Diego area and even some international appearances. It is a lot of work, but it is so much fun to be able to get out into the community and meet the fans.

PCB: How many routines do you learn in a week?

SG: At the beginning of the season you learn the majority of your material, so it can be a lot at first. Then as the season starts you add a routine here and there. You always need to practice and make sure you stay on top of your routines!

PCB: What’s your game day schedule like?

SG: It’s crazy! Arrive at 7:30 am, have meetings, a full practice on the field, time to get ready, promotions in the parking lot and even a pregame routine on occasion…and that is all before the game even starts. It is such a long day, but I can’t tell you how excited I was to wake up and get Big Sunday started! Probably my favorite day of the week!

PCB: Life is complicated, particularly when balancing work, school and the obligations of being a professional cheerleader. Is it difficult to maintain all these responsibilities, be a cheerleader and maintain an active social life?

SG: It is definitely a balancing act when it comes to handling work, school, family, and cheerleading. A lot of the times, these organizations want women that have great careers or own their own companies, but then they expect you to be at an event in the middle of the day or take off work to go do a promo. You really have to be flexible and find a way to make it all work.

A lot of times you go…go…go…and the season flashes by because you were so busy. I would always tell the rookies to make sure to take in every moment because it is over so quickly and you never know if you will be back on the team the following year. I will say…it is all worth it!

PCB: I am sure that many of our readers have seen the CMT television series on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and are familiar with their emphasis on being physically fit and trim. Are there concerns regarding weight or body image in professional cheerleading?

SG: I definitely think you can have a healthy lifestyle as a professional cheerleader. You just need to balance it out. I do think sometimes women put a lot of pressure on themselves and get into bad situations or gain weight after tryouts. Everyone needs to work hard to stay fit and make sure and do it in a healthy way or it will come back to haunt them later. I make sure I work extra hard in practice because I do enjoy eating out and having French fries, calamari and pasta. I know those kind of foods would definitely catch up with me if I didn’t burn those extra calories.

PCB: Have you had any embarrassing moments you’d like to share with our readers?

SG: I have never had a wardrobe malfunction or fell on the field, but my last year on the team, every time we came to a stop after a transition, Alicia, now a Raiderette, would run into the back of me. And it would always crack me up when she tried to cover it up by acting as if she had to tell me something…lol…sorry Alicia!

PCB: So, what’s the best thing about being an NFL cheerleader?

SG: The friendships, hands down. I have made a handful of lifelong friends on this team and I am blessed everyday to have them in my life!

PCB: I’ve been attending Charger games for many years and from a fan’s perspective, I think the two most anticipated games of the season are the Halloween game and the Christmas game. It’s those sexy costumes and the blue velvet Christmas uniforms that the fans love. I am sure you have some interesting thoughts on the topic.

I loved dressing up for the Halloween game. It’s so much fun to show the crowd a different side of you. The Christmas game is always fun. The fans love the uniforms; however, the girls aren’t so fond of them. Maybe it’s because the uniforms are older than some of the girls.

PCB: Are there any special considerations when performing in these two outfits?

SG: You definitely have to make sure the Halloween costume you choose will stay on. We do not change choreography for this game, so making it work is the key. As for the Christmas uniforms, the girls usually eat a little more than usual before the game since our midriff is covered for once!

PCB: Some might say that they are too sexy and revealing. Your thoughts?

SG: All of the Halloween costumes are approved, so we never wear anything more revealing than our official uniform. We always try to stay family friendly and keep it sexy, but classy.

PCB: While in San Diego, you were a Line Captain for two years. For those of us that don’t know, what are the responsibilities of a Line Captain and how do they differ from that of being a cheerleader?

SG: A line captain is someone who is there for their whole team. They have to know the material inside and out and pay attention to the details in meetings, so they can answer any question at any time. It is a big responsibility and a little more weight on your shoulders, but I love helping out people, so it felt pretty natural for me to step into that position.

PCB: Now, turning to life after cheerleading. You have started your own fashion design company. Please tell us a little about your business and why you started Zonas Designs.

SG: I started my own company, Zonas Designs, officially in November of 2007. I did not originally plan to start one, but after producing uniforms and outfits for friends, demand for my designs grew. I had reached a point that I needed photos of my past uniforms posted somewhere for people to view and have a forum where they could contact me with their requests, so I created a website. Once the website was done, it only was natural to form a company.

Zonas Designs offers three different categories of clothing: dance/cheer attire, jersey attire for women, and swimsuits. Everything we produce is custom made to your specifications. We will help you choose a style, color, detail and then make it to your measurements. Each piece is a unique creation.

PCB: I read that you recently designed new uniforms for the Clippers Spirit. How did that come about and what was the process in custom designing a uniform for the Clippers Spirit?

SG: This season I had the honor of designing a hot outfit for the Clippers Spirit dance team. A lot of times, team directors will see my creations on girls that are auditioning and contact me about my designs and what I can do for them. And that was what happened in this case. A great friend of mine, Harmony, auditioned for her 4th year on the Clippers Spirit dance team wearing one of my designs. That outfit was amazing…it was made from a jersey, but totally reconstructed to get all the great details in the form of a small, sexy top. And that was the inspiration for the Clipper Spirit uniform.

Team directors will email me with their ideas and then I will create 4-6 design sketches. We will tweak the design until they are 100% satisfied with the concept. Then Zonas Designs will produce a sample for approval before proceeding with the final order.

PCB: I seem to recall that you designed some of the swimwear worn by the Charger Girls in their past swimsuit calendar.

SG: The swimwear that I make for calendars, such as the Charger Girls, Redskins, and Chiefs, are a little more detailed and unique than my line of ready to wear swimwear I sell to the public. I specifically design suits that represent the team’s overall image and make it sexy and flattering to get that perfect shot for the calendar.

PCB: Some swimwear is not meant to be worn while swimming and are more for lounging poolside. Are your designs functional as well? Can a girl wear them while swimming in the surf or jet skiing?

SG: My ready to wear swimwear line is definitely functional and has tie sides, neck and back to get the perfect fit and to ensure that you won’t lose anything while jet skiing! As for the calendar shoots, a lot of time the suits have strings or hardware that may not stay in place…so I always find out what my client wants before constructing and designing their suit.

PCB: Your Jersey line seems to be quite popular, certainly among the fans that saw you model one of them during the 2007 Halloween game against the Texans. How popular are these jersey with your customers.

SG: This is probably my #1 selling outfit, yet each is customized for the team, amount of detail and stones wanted. I believe I have made at least one for every team in the NFL!

PCB: Are they individually customized designs or can people purchase them ready to wear?

SG: The jerseys are all customized. Customers send me the jersey they would like to use, that way they get the color, player name and team that they want before customization begins. Then we cut it to specifications and add all the details that make it special and unique.

PCB: Personally, I think these jerseys would be hot sellers, but I can’t seem to find one anywhere. Where can people buy one?

SG: You just order it online at my website, ZonasDesigns.com. Jerseys can be completed in just one week due to our great turn around time. We just need the jersey and your measurements in order to get started.

PCB: Have you considered selling them at online at
the NFL Team stores or popular retail outlets?

SG: Yes, that’s definitely a future plan of mine. There are licensing issues and other legal aspects that I do not have in place yet…but I know they would sell out in a second!

PCB: I’ve seen photos of some veteran Charger Girls wearing your dance wear at tryouts. What makes your dance wear designs unique?

SG: I think I have a huge advantage when it comes to designing audition wear. As a former NFL cheerleader, I was in these girl’s shoes many times and know exactly what they want and what the judges want to see. I make sure the fit is flattering, comfortable and will compliment each girl’s skin color.

PCB: Many of our readers are young women who aspire to become professional cheerleaders. How important is it to wear the right dance wear when auditioning?

SG: If you feel great about what you are wearing and feel confident, it will definitely show on the outside and show through your audition. You want an outfit that will accentuate your strong body parts and a color that compliments your skin tone. Choosing the wrong color can definitely affect the whole mood the judges get from your audition. Zonas Designs works closely with our customers to recommend a style and color that will compliment their figure to maximize their chances of making their dance dreams come true.

PCB: Does more stylish and sexy dance wear really get the judges attention?

SG: Definitely…I know a lot of times the judges will refer to a girl as the “yellow top girl” or whatever particular color that girl was wearing. After seeing 400 girls, it is hard for them to remember names or numbers, but it’s much easier for them to remember individual girls by describing the outfits they wore.

PCB: Is it important to stand out in a good wa
y and does the right outfit make that happen?

SG: Most definitely. That is the number one way to catch a judge’s attention before they even see you dance or speak. First impressions always stick!

PCB: In closing, what does the future hold for you? Is there truly life after cheerleading?

SG: I am so happy with everything I have accomplished. I still have a lot I want to do in life and sometimes I think that I will cheer one more time…for whom, I am not sure. But I still have that itch and passion. The great thing about my job is that I am in contact with dancers and girls on teams, so I am still a part of that world. Even though I am not performing in the spotlight, my outfits definitely are!

PCB: And what advice do you have for those readers who want to become a professional cheerleader or business owner.

SG: I think you should follow your dreams. Sometimes I wake up and think how did I get here and then I realize something my Dad had instilled in me when I was young. He said to always believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything you want to in life.