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Video: Florida Panthers Ice Dancers Press Conference

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.

Florida Panthers Home Opener

The Florida Panthers’ home opener was last weekend. The Ice Dancers, now called the Redline Lady Panthers, made a heck of an entrance, rappelling down from the rafters at BankAtlantic Center. Click here and fast-forward to 4:25 check it out.

Ice Dancers captain prepares for Panthers’ hockey season

By David Raterman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Peggy Exume began dancing during high school and now is captain of the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers. It’s her fourth year with the team, which is preparing for the upcoming hockey season, and she maintains a full-time job with a law firm. To do it all, she has a workout routine that cardiovascularly might be tougher than what the Panthers themselves do. And she relaxes occasionally with a glass of red wine.

Why do you keep fit?

In order to stay healthy and also to maintain my figure. Being a Panther Ice Dancer, sometimes you have a calendar photo shoot, and for games we wear a short top and a really short skirt. It’s imperative to keep your figure.

What’s your workout routine?

We audition in August and after auditions begin practices immediately. Hockey season begins in October, so from August to October we’re just practicing as much as we can, getting the routines down.

Ice Dance practice is very rigorous. We start at 7 p.m. and end at 10, after working a full-time job or [being] a student for some girls.

We practice Tuesday through Thursday and sometimes Mondays. We start with sit-ups and stretching and some toning like push-ups and squats. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Then we start with dancing. We try to go through maybe 50 dances, each a minute. I would say it’s 50 percent memorizing and 50 percent pushing yourself as hard as you can. When you perform the one-minute dance, it’s like sprinting for one minute straight, kicking legs as high and with as much force as you can to get it up to your face. We have a lot of dances with kick lines.

After our calendar unveiling, usually after November, I keep up with fitness by running two or three times a week on a treadmill at a gym. I don’t do weight training, just running. And I like to do the elliptical. I love yoga and Zumba, do them often. On Sundays, I like to run around my neighborhood.

Do you work out during hockey’s off-season?

In May, when season is over, I’ll take a week or two off. Then I’ll take a couple dance classes.

Have you played competitive sports?

In middle school, I was a basketball player. I also ran track and field. When I was in high school, I started dance with electives.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?

Discipline is one day at a time.

Does your family keep fit?

My dad was a professional soccer player in Haiti. He wakes up at the crack of dawn at 4 a.m. and goes running. My mom likes running and Jazzercising. My brother was in the Army, so he likes to keep fit by working out and running.

What’s your typical daily diet?

I know it’s really bad, but I’m not a breakfast person, although sometimes I’ll snack on almonds or have scrambled eggs or boiled eggs.

For lunch, I love chicken salad. I love anything with chicken in it. And sushi. I love veggie and broccoli soups and all that. I love steak. It’s not that healthy, but I like it.

Dinner is the same as lunch: mainly veggies and chicken. I love Subway sandwiches. And once in a while, I’ll indulge in their raspberry cheesecake cookie.

I love popcorn. It’s considered a healthy snack. I eat it every single day. All kinds: buttered, kettle, “smart” popcorn.

What do you drink typically?

Water. I don’t like juice or soda. It’s a waste of carb intake. If you’re going to have carbs, you might as well have a sandwich. I love red wine on weekends. And I drink coffee in the morning, sometimes at work.

Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?

No.

Where did you acquire your fitness and nutrition knowledge?

I do a little bit of research on the Internet. And talking to friends, girls on the dance team. They’ll do certain things that work for them and I’ll try it out.

Video: 2011 Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Auditions

Open Call

Bootcamp

Final Audition

The Scarlet Internet Starlet: An Interview with Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz Miller

Meg Liz (right) cheers on the Ice Dancers stage at a Florida Panthers game at BankAtlantic Center

One gets the feeling that a shortage of ideas will never ever really be a problem for Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz Miller. And Meg Liz’s energy to put those ideas into action seems as abundant as Miami’s summer sun.   In a very rare combination, cheering for both major league baseball and NHL teams, Meg Liz has been on two South Florida pro dance squads; first the Mermaids of the baseball’s Florida Marlins, and currently finishing up her rookie season as an Ice Dancer for hockey’s Florida Panthers.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Meg Liz is a self-described “Athlete, Fitness & Motivational Enthusiast, Social Media Expert, Graphic Artist, and YouTuber.”  Multimedia in every way, this “Internet Fitness Starlet” comes complete with a website, Twitter, Facebook, and a YouTube channel, featuring her Ice Dancers calendar shoot video series (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).  She applied her social media enthusiasm to her Ice Dancer friends by setting up individual Facebook accounts for the squad members, which allows unique connections to the fans.  Perusing Meg Liz’s website, one finds a beehive of activity, including being part of the Redline Xtreme Racing Girls, with the unifying factor of her desire to motivate.  Meg Liz’s site’s includes her statement of purpose, “My mission is to encourage all my friends, fans, and family to LOVE LIFE as much as I do.”

Ice Dancers Alexis and Meg Liz, and we thank Alexis' dad for the photos for this piece

Meg Liz took time from this incredible buzz of activity to discuss her motivations and their connections to her pro cheerleading career with UltimateCheerleaders.com.  We learn about Meg Liz’s connections to an animated, legendary mermaid, to “falling into” being a Marlins’ Mermaid on opening day, to possibly trying on mermaid gowns someday on TLC.

UC.com: I can just imagine when you were young, you were the girl with the lemonade stand on the street, but yours had WiFi, a drive thru, and a customer loyalty program. Have you always had a lot of self-motivation and what is the first idea you remember having that you put into motion 100%?

MLM: Yes, you got that right!  I have always been the young girl who was constantly dreaming of MORE!  My nickname is “Ariel” from The Little Mermaid, partly because of my long red hair, and also because as a young child, my mind was always reaching into a different world where all my dreams would come true.  My first memory was when I was three years old sitting on my tricycle in my driveway; I remember thinking, “Why am I only three years old? I wish I was a big girl already so I could travel the world!”  It was a pretty courageous thought for a three year old, but my imagination at this age took my mind years ahead of my age!

UC.com: Motivation is a passion of yours. Do you remember when you first started try to motivate those around you and a success story that comes to mind of someone whose life was changed due to your motivation?

MLM: My favorite quote is “Use your talent, your influence and your experience, not just to accomplish your goals, but to help release a dream in someone else.”

I have always been an extremely happy, motivated and driven person!  Being the cheerleader in my own life was rewarding, but there came a time in my life when motivating myself wasn’t enough.  My first success story has been the most rewarding event in my entire life.  My older sister and I were two different people, and because we didn’t have much in common, we never were very close in high school.  After high school, she became very unhappy in her chosen life, was unhealthy, and was gaining weight because of this. It hurt me to see her like this, so I stepped in with my motivational enthusiasm, put her on a diet and a exercise schedule.  She started to see results immediately and with her new found happiness, we became very close, dieting and training together. In less than six months, my sister lost 80 pounds and was happier than she had ever been! Changing someone’s life like this was the most rewarding experience in my entire life, and made me realize my purpose on this earth!

UC.com: Who inspires/motivates you?

MLM: Being a fine artist my entire life, music has always inspired me artistically! Listening and dancing to my favorite song unleashes my creativity like nothing else can! Professionally, challenging myself daily with small goals motivated me to keep pushing towards the larger goals in my life!  In my opinion the best way to keep yourself on track is to celebrate the small victories!

UC.com: I am sure you hear it all the time, people want to be fit and eat well but they don’t have the time. For people with busy schedules, what are ways someone can fit some exercise into their day, and some good/healthy food one can eat on the run?

MLM: I think this is the worst excuse in the book.  If you don’t have time to take care of yourself, you are just quickly moving closer and closer to old age and sickness!  Taking care of your health should be your first priority and the first thing you think about when you wake up, because the longer you live the longer you can enjoy the fruit of all your daily labor!  My best advice is to start replacing what you already eat with healthier options.  Everyone knows that wheat bread is better than white bread and Diet Coke is better than Coke!  Make smart decisions!  In my opinion, the enemies to our nations health are sugar and carbohydrates! Your body has absolutely no need for sugar and contrary to popular believe you do NOT need carbohydrates for energy!  I receive all my energy from the vegetables in my diet.  My daily diet is carbohydrate free, gluten free, and sugar free, and I have more energy than I have ever had!



Continue reading The Scarlet Internet Starlet: An Interview with Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz Miller

A Beach Girl That Loves Dancing on the Ice: Panthers Ice Dancer Jacqueline Is One of Florida’s Coolest Pro Cheerleaders

Jacqueline of the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers, getting a visit from Stanley C. Panther during the March 19th game against the Islanders

Palm trees, sunshine, and 80 degrees on one side of a door; cold temperatures, ice, and flying pucks on the other. Such contrasts are evident at the BankAtlantic Center for Florida Panthers games. Arriving fans passed by swaying palms on their way to the March 19th Panthers-Islanders game, only to enter doors into a chilled arena with a frozen surface ready for NHL action. But interesting contrasts didn’t end there. Take Jacqueline of the Panthers Ice Dancers. Jacqueline has some interesting contrasts in her own life.

These include Jacqueline’s passion for both arts and science, specifically dance and biology, both big parts of her life. Also, Jacqueline’s heritage is half Venezuelan and half Bolivian. Not only are there obvious differences between Venezuela (hot, equatorial, miles of coastline and beaches, not so spicy food, and baseball loving) and Bolivia (land locked, mountainous with “three mile high” La Paz, cooler, a bit spicier food, and fans of soccer), but if each country had a collective personality, Venezuela would be outgoing, energetic, and pageant loving, whereas Bolivia would be more laid back, relaxed, and focused on natural beauty.

Upon meeting Jacqueline, one begins to notice that she has taken the best parts of all of these interesting dimensions. As she greeted fans outside the BankAtlantic Center, she was outgoing and friendly, but with a charming graciousness and easy smile that that sums up all the best traits of all of her family lines.

Jacqueline and Courtney greet fans prior to the game outside of the BankAtlantic Center

Cheering and dancing for the Miami-area Panthers, who play their home games in Sunrise, Florida, Jacqueline was born and raised in Miami. Dance has been a big aspect of her artistic side since a young age. Jacqueline relates, “I started dancing when I was five years old. I started out dancing ballet and jazz at a dance studio in Miami Lakes. It was then that my love and passion for dancing began. I was on the dance team throughout middle and high school. I love everything about it, from the long hard practices and training to the crazy chaos that goes on backstage on performance days. There’s something about being on stage and performing that makes me so happy.” And this is obvious once the music starts, and Jacqueline transforms as her dancing side energetically takes over.

But there is a scientific side to Jacqueline also, as she is a full-time student majoring in biology, with a goal of becoming a pharmacist. As part of her preparation, she works part-time at a pharmacy. Again, her enthusiasm about this side of her life also triggers a passionate response, as Jacqueline describes, “I love my job as a pharmacy technician. I enjoy being able to helping others feel better. I have worked in the pharmacy for almost four years, and I learn something new every day I work. What excites me about being a pharmacist is the knowledge in knowing how effective medication can be, how it works, and much more. When the pharmacist recommends or counsels a patient, I always listen and try to learn and catch up on what they say to the patient.”

How can we spread enthusiasm about science to young kids? Jacqueline replies, “I think science should be approached to kids in a fun and positive way. Kids see it as such a difficult challenging subject, and it sure is, but it can also be very interesting!”

Jacqueline, along with Catherine and Courtney, amidst the palms and sun outside the arena

As far as her ancestry, Jacqueline says, “My background being Venezuelan-Bolivian is quite a contrast; my friends call me a mutt!” So with these national contrasts, let’s see where Jacqueline leans. Does she prefer beaches or mountains? Jacqueline says, “I am a beach girl.” Spicy food or something milder? “I enjoy spicy food but have to be in the mood for it,” replies Jacqueline. Baseball or soccer? Jacqueline says, “I love watching all sports, especially HOCKEY!”

Jacqueline values her connection to both sides of her family, saying, “I have a really big family on both sides. I enjoy the warmness of being around family and the culture when I go visit. In Bolivia, my family owns property in the country called ‘El Beni,’ and we all take a family trip every three years to the farm, and go horseback riding, fishing, and hunting. It is so different from here, and it is so good sometimes to get away from the daily routine and spend time outdoors, bonding with family. Venezuela has beautiful beaches and great food! My family from Venezuela lives in Caracas, but I enjoy going to the beautiful beach in Maracaibo.”

Jacqueline walks down the aisles to get the crowd going

This is Jacqueline’s second season as a Panthers Ice Dancer. Jacqueline’s Ice Dancer journey started when, “A friend of mine went to a Panthers game and saw the Ice Dancers, and suggested I audition. I will never forget the day of final auditions when they announced my name. I was so happy I cried!”

Besides work and school, practice and personal workouts also are part of the schedule, as Jacqueline explains, “We usually have dance or ice practice two to three times a week. My workout regimen consists of doing thirty minutes of cardio on the treadmill or the elliptical, and also thirty minutes of circuit weight training. I also enjoy taking spinning and hot yoga classes!”

Jacqueline (left) and the Ice Dancers hit the ice for their performance during the second break

Continue reading A Beach Girl That Loves Dancing on the Ice: Panthers Ice Dancer Jacqueline Is One of Florida’s Coolest Pro Cheerleaders

Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz

megliz

Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Meg Liz is Motivational Enthusiast, Social Media Expert and Artist.

She’s also been documenting her experiences during her rookie season.

We already showed you part one. Here are the latest videos.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

[Meg Liz on Facebook]

[Meg Liz on Facebook, Again]

[MegLiz.com]

[Florida Panthers Ice Dancers]

Florida Panthers Ice Dancers Calendar Shoot – Part 1

[Florida Panthers Ice Dancers]

2010-11 Florida Panthers Ice Dancers

After a competitive audition process, the Panthers have selected their new dance team. Congratulations ladies!

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2010-11 Ice Dancer Prelims

2009-10 Florida Panthers Ice Dancers

The Florida Panthers website has at last been updated with individual profiles, photos and lots of game day shots of the dance team. Click here to learn all about the dancers – and check out their new 2009-10 uniforms.

2009-pid-yendi-krystal-sophia

On The Flipside – Jack London Square


On The Flipside rtravels to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida for a sexy Sideline Distraction segment as the Bova Florida Panthers Ice Dancers hit the runway with a swimsuit fashion show to reveal their new calendar!

[On The Flipside]

[Aubrey Aquino]

[Florida Panthers Ice Dancers]

Panthers Ice Dancer Auditions This Saturday

fpid-crop

The Florida Panthers are looking for a few good (wo)men to join the Panthers Ice Dancers. If (A) you’re in south Florida, (B) Love to Dance, (C) actually can dance, and (D) would rather spend a Saturday afternoon in the cool comfort of an ice rink instead of this boiling hot August sun, I suggest you plan on going to this audition! Everything you need to know is posted on the Panthers website. Click here for information and registration materials.

A quick point of clarification: some ice crews dance, and some don’t. This one DOES. You don’t have to know how to skate, but you do have to have some rhythm and style. And for pete’s sake, SMILE! You look so pretty when you smile.

On The Flipside

In the latest edition of On The Flipside is in the studio with the “Slam Girls.” This girl group is all about pro sports, singing the praises of their favorite sports teams and stars…namely the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. They’ve got a “Kobeliscious” style…that’s a song dedicated to Kobe Bryant and have a tune for Tiger Woods too! One of the group members also shares who she hopes will be the subject of an upcoming track …Miami HEAT star Dwyane Wade. Finally, in the Sideline Distraction, we break the ice with NHL Florida Panthers Ice Dancer Judy, and get her behind the scenes insight into the team’s sexy swimsuit calendar shoot!

[OnTheFlipside]

[Aubrey Aquino]