SI.com: Cheerleaders of the CFL

Sports Illustrated: With the 2015 Canadian Football League in full stride in early August, here are some photos of the league’s cheerleaders, both past and present. [Click here] to check out the gallery.

SI 2015 BC Lion

2015 Hamilton Ticats Cheerleader Auditions are Next Month

2015ticats

 

[Audition Registration & Information]

Former NFL Cheerleader to Teach Youth Dance

From LakeshoreAdvance.com

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

morgan

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

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

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

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

Photo of the Day – October 23

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders, August 2013

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders, August 2013

Toronto Argos Pink Game

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

 

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

photo 1

Elizabeth on the field

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

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

photo 2

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

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

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

photo 3

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

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

 

Argos and Ti-Cats Cheerleaders

A few more photos from North of the Border courtesy of our new friend Rick:


[Argos Cheerleaders Gallery]

[Ti-Cats Cheerleaders Gallery]

[Argos Cheerleaders Official Site]

[Ti-Cats Cheerleaders Official Site]

Photo of the Day – October 2

A Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleader (Photo courtesy of Rick in Canada)

Cheerleading ‘A Lot More Than Just Dancing’

By Molly Hayes
The Hamilton Spectator

An army of attractive young women in sports bras and yoga pants has taken over an east Mountain gym, each hoping for a spot on the 2014 Tiger-Cats cheer team.

Fifty are vying for the 20 spots on the team — reserved for “perfectly well-rounded, awesome girls,” explains their coach, Lesley Stewart, at Sunday’s tryout session.

The bar is set high, and Stewart is looking for a lot more than cute smiles and perky moves. These girls are their ambassadors in the community, after all.

“We are looking for intelligent, educated women … with a strong dance background, first and foremost,” she says.

After spending 22 years working in the CFL, Stewart is well aware of the cheerleader stereotypes that exist. With auditions sharing the weekend with International Women’s Day, she stresses that community engagement is a huge part of the gig.

“It’s always something we’ve had to work against,” she says. “It’s a lot more than just the dancing.”

But there is lots of dancing here, with girls breaking off into groups of three to perform a 40-second routine (the choreography was taught that morning) for the judging panel.

Next step is the interview process, later this week.

Cheerleaders must be at least 19 years of age — by November of this year.

Christina Del Sordo is all smiles despite the sweat — it’s her second time trying out. The 19-year-old Hamilton native has been with the Junior Ticats cheerleaders for nine years — a position she balances with her studies at McMaster University’s De Groote School of Business.

Cheerleading offers an outlet — albeit a challenging one. Last week, she squeezed in her workouts around studying for her accounting midterm.

“It’s about empowering women … a lot of the fans are men, so it’s nice to get more women involved,” she says.

The petite blond is also a diehard football fan, with a room decked out in Ticats paraphernalia. Her dad is a longtime season ticket holder.

“I know every player, their weights, where they went to school, everything,” she laughs.

But after looking up to the Ticats cheerleaders throughout her youth, she’s excited at having a chance to become a role model herself.

“This has been my ultimate goal,” she says, taking a break from practice before the big audition.

Taryn Switenky is also vying for a spot, for what would be her fourth year on the team.

For her, it’s a family affair — following in her older sister’s footsteps.

Switenky, 21, grew up dancing at the Pure Energy studio on the Mountain, and says cheerleading has allowed her to continue with the dancing.

“Nobody thinks that we all have careers and education on the side … and you have to be very physically fit,” she says of their cheer training.

Her experience on the team has been “really rewarding,” and the best part, by far, has been meeting fans face-to-face — especially the kids.

They’re also given travel opportunities, such as a stint at this year’s Grey Cup in Regina, performing onstage with Hedley.

“There’s tons of stuff behind the scenes,” she says.

The 2014 Ticats cheerleading team roster will be announced Friday afternoon on the team’s website, ticats.ca.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Auditons are Sunday, March 9th

Benefits of being a Tiger-Cats Cheerleader

Dance for a professional sports team
Perform in front of tens of thousands of fans during nationally televised games
Perform on-field at the 102nd Grey Cup in B.C.
Be a Ticats ambassador in the community at a number of charitable and corporate events
Featured on the Ticats.ca Cheerleader page
Create lifelong friendships and memories

All women wishing to audition for the 2014 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleading team must meet the following requirements:

You must have a dance, cheer and/or gymnastics background.
You must be 19 years of age by November 1, 2014.
You must be available for two rehearsals per week from April to December. Rehearsals will take place every Monday and Thursday nights. Time and location TBA.
You must be available for Cheer Camp Day on Sunday, April 27.
You must be available for all Hamilton Tiger-Cats home games at Tim Hortons Field during the 2014 season. Schedule will be announced in late-February.
You must be available for the 102nd Grey Cup Weekend in Vancouver – Friday, November 28 to Monday, December 1.
You must have graduated secondary school.
You must be physically fit and healthy.

Cheer Tryout Agenda – Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 5 Star Fitness – 1215 Stone Church E., Hamilton, Ontario

10:30-11:00am – Registration
11:00am – Warm-up and introductions
11:30am – Choreography
12:30pm – Auditions begin
2:30pm – 1st cuts
3:00pm – Auditions resume
5:00pm – Wrap-up (possible 2nd cuts)

* interviews will be held on Wednesday, March 12 at the Ticats Head Office – sign-up sheet provided at the auditions.
** team will be announced on Ticats.ca on Friday, March 14.
*** first team meeting will be on Thursday, April 17.

What to Wear

All women auditioning for the 2014 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleading Team should come dressed in proper attire:

All black dance wear – half top and leggings or shorts (no baggy tops or pants)
Dance or sports shoes
Camera ready hair and make-up (hair down)

What to Bring

Please bring the following items with you to the audition:

Photo identification
Current full-length photo of yourself (if you haven’t submitted one with your registration form)
Bottled water
Lunch or snacks
Resume
$20 registration fee

What We Are Looking For

There are a number of qualities in a Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleader that we will be looking for at the audition:

Fit, talented, enthusiastic women
Strong performer
Positive attitude
Dedication
Team player
Outgoing personality
Eagerness to work hard and have fun

[Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders Audition Information and Registration]

Lesley, Lauren, and Andrea’s CFL longevity demonstrates their devotion to the sorority of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders

During warmer times in August; Assistant Coach Lauren (far left) and Head Coach Lesley (far right) with their Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders

(note: after this was posted, the Tiger-Cats won, and for the first time since 1999, the Tiger-Cats are playing in the Grey Cup against Saskatchewan in Regina. Recent Tiger-Cat Grey Cup wins were in 1972, (14 years later) 1986, (13 years later) 1999, (14 years later) ???)

If there was a Hall of Fame for CFL Cheerleaders, certainly Lesley Stewart would be a charter member. Lesley is Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders, in her 21st year of CFL cheer, combining time both on the field and as coach. Devotion to their football team, their cheer team, and dance starts with Lesley, but continues throughout the squad. For instance, Assistant Coach Lauren Yaksich is in her ninth year with the Ticats, after eight on the field. And Captain Andrea is right there to, in her eighth season on the squad.

As the Ticats take on Toronto today for an opportunity for a chance to play in the 101st Grey Cup, UltimateCheerleaders spotlights these three women, all dedicated to pro cheer for the long-term.

So, what keeps Andrea coming back for eight years? “I just love dancing,” Andrea answers. “I love Lauren and Lesley. I love the team. So it’s kind of addicting, the adrenaline when you are out on the field. You just can’t get that really anywhere else, once you’ve peaked during your competitive dancing ages. I compare it to being part of a sorority in the states, because we don’t have sororities.”

Hamilton native Andrea is a Ticats Cheerleaders captain, but her main focus is pursuing a career in education. Andrea graduated with honors with a BA in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University, and a Bachelors of Education from Brock University.

Captain Andrea is in her eight season with the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders

Last season, Lauren was the eight year veteran, and now serves as Assistant Coach in her ninth season in the organization. Lauren says, “It just became a lot with my work, so it’s nice that I can still be able to help out.”
Also a McMaster alum, Lauren has an MBA graduate a specialization in Marketing, and undergraduate expertise in Mathematics and Statistics, with a focus on financial mathematics. Her current position is Manager of Marketing and Communications at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton.

Lesley says about Lauren stepping away from the sidelines, “She has a fantastic job working at the airport, so if she needs to travel with her job, she can miss a practice or a game without feeling like she is letting down the team. And it gives me that opportunity as well to do the same thing, because I know I have someone still there rather than asking captains, because then captains are stepping out of line too. It’s been a really crazy year for me, so it’s been the opportunity that I can say to Lauren, ‘I just can’t be there,’ and she can be there.

Lauren adds, “It’s fun, too, because we do all of our choreographies, so you’re still dancing a lot, it’s just that you’re not performing.”

During on-field practice before the games, Lesley and Lauren are both actively moving to show the team the routines, and were happy that they were able to jump in and dance at Pro-Dance in Las Vegas. “We would both be totally still be dancing on the field, but there is a point where you have to not do that anymore,” laughs Lauren.

And even with Andrea’s eight seasons added to Lauren’s ninth season, they still cannot sum to Lesley’s 21 seasons of CFL cheer. Before her CFL career, Lesley danced for Hamilton Skyhawks basketball team. But the was just the opening act for (a) two seasons cheering for the Tiger-Cats, (b) ten seasons as Toronto Argonauts Cheerleader, and four seasons included being their Head Coach and Choreographer, then (c) nine seasons as Head Coach and Choreographer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheer Team.

A lifelong dancer and then fitness instructor, Lesley is also well known throughout the region as TV/Radio personality. Lesley is an original member of the Morning Live team on CHCH News. Lesley was the Weather and Traffic Specialist for many years, and she is now an interactive community reporter or co-host when needed. In 2011, Lesley also became host of TERRA @ Home, a lifestyle show for Terra Greenhouses that airs on CHCH News Saturday mornings, and can also be found at www.terragreenhouses.com.

Lesley

Despite all this activity plus a young son, Lesley is still a CFL devotee. And today, Lesley’s two CFL teams clash for a spot in the Grey Cup as Toronto hosts Hamilton. While a cheerleader for Toronto, the Argos won three Grey Cups, and she still awaits her first Tiger-Cats Cup win during her tenure in the organization.

But no matter what, as is the tradition, ALL of the CFL cheer squads will be attending the Grey Cup in Regina. Lesley says, “Our league is really good about having out team always present at everything , so we all go to Grey Cup, and you don’t see that at any other league. Which is really, really fun for everybody.”

Fun, and this year, maybe a little cold, with forecast highs in Regina for the Grey Cup Sunday of -6 C/21 F. No matter what, the collective sorority of CFL cheerleaders will be there, no matter what the weather. After all, Grey Cup is part of Canadian history, and Lesley, Lauren, and Andrea are writing their own chapters in the history books of CFL cheerleading.

Thanks so much to Lesley, Lauren, and Andrea for their time, and also to Maurice Grant and Mike Hardill of the Tiger-Cats for all of their assistance at the August 24th home game against Winnipeg. There are more photos of Andrea during those sunny summer at this link.

Artistic Kim throws herself into the cheering for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Third-year veteran Kim of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Only a few minutes after meeting Kim of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders, her bountiful ebullience and laughter, reflecting a truly positive spirit, is readily apparent. A story from childhood about her joyous attitude towards going to school still reflects Kim’s personality today. “I would always skip to school,” Kim remembers. “My parents’ house was backed onto the schoolyard. I would skip across the schoolyard and skip to school, and my mom would be dragging my brother, and he would be screaming and kicking. My mom would say, ‘Okay, I understand him; I don’t understand her. Where did she come from?”

Kim just comes from a truly joyful place, and instead of skipping to school to see her classmates, these days she dances to the Tiger-Cats sidelines with the teammates that she treasures. And this weekend, Kim and her Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders peers will be there as the Tiger-Cats take on Montreal in the CFL playoffs. Earlier this season, Kim shared with UltimateCheerleaders her loves of performing, the outdoors, art, and the ways her dad would drain her high energy as a child, and how brushes and canvas utilize her abundant energy today.

Kim is from the Cambridge, Ontario area, and is in her third year as a Tiger-Cats Cheerleader, and she absolutely loves it! After many years of recreational rhythmic gymnastics, in tenth grade Kim started cheerleading. “I did competitive cheerleading, stunting, all of that,” Kim recalls. “I went to World’s three times, and then my body was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ (laughs).”

What was the most physically demanding aspect? “Stunting; I was the thrower and the catcher,” Kim answers. “On the younger teams, the ‘tops’ are little, and as you get older, then you are throwing people your height and your size, and I couldn’t do it anymore. So I hated to have to leave that, because I LOVED cheerleading. Then, I knew this was dance, so I could still do the performance and the team aspect, but not kill my body.”

So how did Tiger-Cats Cheerleading get Kim’s attention? Kim says, “I had a friend that was on the team, and she said, ‘You should try out, it’s super fun!’ And so I did, because I knew I could not do competitive cheerleading anymore.”

Kim’s love of being part of the Tiger-Cats organization is fully evident as part of an overall enthusiastic effervesce. Was Kim always a high energy kid? Kim nods, saying, “My dad, when I was a kid, would say, ‘Okay, I dare you to run ten laps around the house as fast as you can.’ And then I would say, ‘I did it!’ He would say, ‘Ten more!’ (laughs) He would always make fun of me because I would practice routines in the living room.”

So besides her high energy, has Kim always liked being on stage? Matter of fact-ly, Kim replies, “Love it.” Asked if she ever had any nerves, “Not performing; Speaking, yes,” Kim replies. “Speeches at school were not fun. Everyone would say, ‘But you compete,’ but it’s different.”

Also, performing as part of a dance squad also allays any possible nerves today. “It’s being part of a really awesome team, too,” Kim says. “I know that might sound corny, but it’s totally true. I wouldn’t do that (as Kim points to the sidelines) by myself, but with these girls, I would.”

Kim’s first game as a Tiger-Cats Cheerleader was quite memorable, as she recalls, “I almost cried the first time. It was when they play ‘Oh Canada,’ because Hamilton has a GIANT Canada flag. They pull it all the way across the field. And you are standing out there, and often there is a big ‘woo-hah’ as the players run out and we do our tunnel. Then you turn and you stand, it’s quiet, ‘Oh Canada’ plays, and it is one of the most powerful things, because you know you are part of something pretty awesome. It’s Canadian history. At that point I thought, ‘I am sold! I love this, leave me on the field. I’ll be a happy girl.’”

This has been a memorable season for the Tiger-Cats on many fronts. They play this year in Guelph as they await completion of a brand new stadium in Hamilton for next season to replace Ivor Wynne Stadium. About a new stadium, Kim says, “I am SO excited. I mean, it was sad to see Ivor Wynne go, but we are so pumped!”

The Tiger-Cats are also a tight-knit team, with the highest number of returning members in their history, with only four rookies in a team of 22. And Kim notes, “The four rookies are incredible. They are catching on like that (snaps fingers), showing some of us veterans up (laughs). So that’s always good.”

Continue reading Artistic Kim throws herself into the cheering for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Let’s be thankful for Ticats Cheerleaders Casey, Kaitlin, and Jodie

Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Casey

Today’s holiday in Canada means the CFL will present their “Thanksgiving Day Classic” annual doubleheader. After Montreal hosts Winnipeg, the second game will be the rivalry Ontario game of Hamilton hosting Toronto, in their season long temporary home in Guelph.

So enjoy the last day of your three day holiday weekend, Canadian friends, and enjoy the CFL tradition. Hamilton’s fans are very thankful to have the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders cheering on their team. Today we will feature Casey, Kaitlin, and Jodie.

Casey (above) is a three-year Ticat Cheerleader, and she is from Hamilton. Her post-secondary education includes studying Social Psychology and French at McMaster University. Casey loves all things involving animals, including her cat, Animal Planet shows, and her dream job is studying sharks at Great Barrier Reef.

Kaitlin (below) is a second-year veteran of the Tiger-Cat Cheerleaders. The temporary move to Guelph has decreased Kaitlin’s commutes this season as she lives in Guelph, and graduated from the University of Guelph, where the Ticats are calling home this year at their stadium. Kaitlin is human resources professional and also coaches cheerleading.

Kaitlin is in her second season with the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders

Rookie Jodie is also a University of Guelph graduate, and Jodie showed she has two powerful brain hemispheres, double majoring Studio Arts and Math, specializing in Oil Painting. Jodie is the proud mom of four and five-year old boys.

Rookie Ticat Cheerleader Jodie

Click on “Continue” to see more photos of Casey, Kaitlin, and Jodie, and there are more photos from their August home game against Winnipeg at this link. I am thankful to meet so many great people at the Tiger-Cats game.

Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Let’s be thankful for Ticats Cheerleaders Casey, Kaitlin, and Jodie

Follow along: Kara is both a Student Success Leader and Tiger-Cats CheerLeader

Kara during an August home game in Guelph

She’s been west to Vancouver, east to Halifax, been north on a two week portaging (that’s carrying your canoe and your gear between lakes) trip to Temagami, and internationally, to Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, a lot of the Caribbean, and throughout the US as well. But the upcoming Grey Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan will fill a travel gap for Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Kara. “I have never been to Saskatchewan or Alberta or Manitoba, any of the central provinces, so I am really excited to be able to do this year that with Ticats, because I have not travelled there,” Kara explains. And it is not that Kara is counting her Ticat post-season chickens before they are hatched, and her assuming they will advance to Grey Cup. Yes, the Ticats have clinched a playoff spot, but ALL of the CFL cheer squads are invited to be part of Grey Cup, so Kara along with her squad-mates will get to travel to her new Canadian destination.

Ancaster, Ontario native Kara is in her second season with the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders, and she shared with UltimateCheerleaders why she loves all things Ticats, and about her studies at McMaster University, including some experience and training that I really “Belieb” would make her a valuable counselor for a young kid that grew up down the highway in Stratford; a certain Justin Bieber.

Kara’s own performance history is in dance, but as she explains about the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders’ backgrounds, “There is so much variation on our team. For me, it is dance, but there are power cheerleaders, gymnasts. It’s great.”

“I actually started dance much later than most,” Kara explains. “Most of the girls started very young. I did a little bit of gymnastics when I was younger, when I lived in Burlington. I started dance around grade six. I went all the way to grade twelve, and when I went to McMaster, I was in the Mac Dance Club for two years, and then after that, I joined Ticats.”

Kara’s connection to the Ticats was through her dance instruction. “Actually, one of the captains of the team, Andrea, was one of my dance teachers,” Kara recalls. “She sent me a message saying I should tryout. I love it, it is so much fun.”

Especially that first game as a Ticats Cheerleader, which was quite memorable. “Yes, it was really crazy,” Kara remembers. “I’ve never done anything like that before. So to walk on the field, and to see the stands filled, it was a really big rush. A lot of fun, for sure! There is nothing like the first game; it’s amazing.”

Kara returned for another season with the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders because it has been multi-dimensionally fulfilling. “Honestly, first of all, just being with a team of girls that is so great,” Kara shares. “It’s a lot of fun to be able to do so many fun things with our team. Like this year, we travel to Moncton for Touchdown Atlantic (the annual CFL games played in the Maritime Provinces). To get to travel around and have the bond that we do, it’s great.”

“And also to be on the field and dance for a great group of fans,” Kara continues. “Our team has some really dedicated fans. It’s a lot of fun to go out and interact with them, especially with the Junior Ticats Cheerleaders. They are young girls and they really look up to us, so we love doing things with them. There are so many different dynamics of the team, that I just love when it comes to the Ticats.”

Being a bit north of NFL cities, the CFL schedule starts earlier but can get quite wintery by the end for the players, fans, and cheerleaders in Ontario. But the summer is no sweat for Kara. “My favorite season is summer, I love the heat.” Kara says. “A lot of people don’t like humidity, but I love it. If I could, I would move to California or northern part of Australia in a second, but I do love Canada.”

But Kara and the Ticats Cheerleaders do see a spectrum on weather over the course of a season. “We’ve been in everything,” Kara shares. “Last year we had some rain games, but this year, our home opener, it was TORRENTIAL downpour; I’ve never been in rain like that before. We’ve had some light rain games, but that one was insane. It was like a movie. SO much water!”

Continue reading Follow along: Kara is both a Student Success Leader and Tiger-Cats CheerLeader

Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Tenisha also gets her kicks from karate

The CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Tenisha regrets that she did not start dancing earlier, but when she was young, Tenisha concentrated on karate. By nine, Tenisha won gold and silver medals for Team Canada at the Junior Olympics in karate.

In her fourth year with the Ticats, Tenisha’s hometown is Stoney Creek, Ontario, and Tenisha graduated from Brock University with a BA in Dramatic Arts and also went to George Brown College for Commercial Dance.

During the August 24th game against Winnipeg, Tenisha was also featured on the big screen dealing out Tiger-Cats Cheerleader playing cards for a game break contest. Appropriate, because having Tenisha on the sidelines is a big deal for Ticats fans!

Click on the Continue link below to see more photos of Tenisha from the Hamilton-Winnipeg game, and there are more photos at this link.

Continue reading Tiger-Cats Cheerleader Tenisha also gets her kicks from karate

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders seamlessly transition to a season at home in Guelph

This is a very unique season for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders. For one thing, the Ticats are spending a season away from Hamilton, as Tim Horton’s Field is being built to replace their former home, Ivor Wynne Stadium. Therefore, the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders are on the sidelines of their temporary home, Alumni Stadium at the University of Guelph, about 30 minutes north of Hamilton.

On the personal side, it is a season of change for some of the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders as well, as four of them have been recently engaged!

But amidst a season of transition, some things remain the same. Starting with Head Coach and Choreographer Lesley, in her 21st season of being part of CFL cheerleading! Talk about the Ultimate CFL Cheerleader! Lesley cheered for the Tiger-Cats for two seasons, then for the Toronto Argonauts for ten years, the last four as Head Coach and Choreographer. Then in 2005, Lesley returned to Hamilton to take on her current role.

Lesley loves her current squad, and in a season of stadium transition, the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders had the highest number of returning members in the history of their team, with only four rookies on the team of 22 Cheerleaders.

The other constant is that even though the Ticats are away from Hamilton, their enthusiastic fans are rooting on their team in Guelph. During the games, the Cheerleaders help out Pigskin Pete as he leads the crowd in the tradition of the Oskee Wee Wee cheer. Besides their sidelines, the Ticats Cheerleaders perform a routine at the 55-yard line during each quarter, and an additional mid-field routine if they win. In addition, during the game, the Cheerleaders help out with promotions, including a unique card game on the big screen that is based on a unique Tiger-Cats Cheerleader product, a deck of playing cards featuring the squad!

Pigskin Pete and the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders after an enthusiastic Oskee Wee Wee yell

The biographies of the 2013 squad are located at this link, and during this season, UltimateCheerleaders will feature interviews and photos of some of the Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders. We sincerely thank Lesley, Assistant Coach Lauren, all of the squad members, plus Maurice Grant and Mike Hardill of the Tiger-Cats for all of their assistance at the August 24th home game against Winnipeg. The Tiger-Cats won 37-14, so that meant a fifth mid-field Cheerleaders routine to celebrate the win! Click on Continue below to see more photos, and there are even more at this link.

Continue reading The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders seamlessly transition to a season at home in Guelph