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Photo of the Day – October 1

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A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Photo of the Day – December 10

A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Photo of the Day – October 13

A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Photo of the Day – March 11


A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Photo of the Day – September 16


A pair of Hartford Colonials Cheerleaders

Photo of the Day – April 11


Nikki of the Hartford Colonial Cheerleaders

Photo of the Day – December 19


From 2010 -A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Where is She Now? – Former Long Island Lizards Dancer Danielle

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Danielle danced for the NLL NY Titans at Madison Square Garden for two seasons. She also danced from 2003-2010 for the Long Island Lizards and choreographed and coached the Lizards during her last season.

In 2010 she made the UFL Hartford Colonials Cheerleading/Dance Team when she moved to CT.

The Colonials were under the direction 2011 Patriots Pro Bowl Cheerleader Brittney Bonchuk, who Danielle describes as an amazing coach and choreographer and who taught her so much while living Connecticut.

Now Danielle lives back in New York where she teaches K-12 Physical Education, Health and Dance.

She says she is really enjoying her career. She’s trying to motivate my students to live a healthier and more active life. She has always wanted to work with children and by doing so she has a smile on her face everyday when she sees them smile and succeed.

Danielle is also pursuing her Masters Degree in Building Leadership with the goal to be a Principal on day. She created a dance team in the school district where she works And during all this time she got married to the man of her dreams.

Danielle misses all of the talented ladies she danced with and hopes to begin auditioning in the near future after she graduates with her masters degree.

Photo of the Day – August 23

A Hartford Colonials Cheerleader

Tough luck for Killingworth’s Camille Kostek, Hartford Colonials cheerleaders

By JOE PELLETIER
Assistant Sports Editor

8/18/2011

MIDDLETOWN – One week removed from the announcement that the Hartford Colonials would not have a season this year, most of the players have already found another home. The UFL held a dispersement draft last week that sent most Colonials to another one of the four franchises, and other free agents (like former UConn running back Andre Dixon) were signed after that.

For the Colonials cheerleaders, though, contraction of the Hartford franchise meant an abrupt end to their season. No games. No practices. No time in front of 14,000 fans at Rentschler Field.

Killingworth’s Camille Kostek, 19, was one of those cheerleaders, and got the email from Colonials cheerleading coach Brittany Bonchuk just before the formal announcement on Aug. 10.

“My heart sunk,” Kostek said. “I got a text from one of my friends, and I was already sick to my stomach when I opened the email.”

Rumblings of reducing the struggling UFL to four, not five, teams had been in the air for a few months. Kostek and teammates, though, hadn’t been given any word until the contraction announcement.

“I really had no idea,” said Kostek, a rising sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University. “We had learned things about the UFL and the Colonials players, but as far as financial things, we had no idea.”

The timing was tough for the cheerleaders, who had their professional photoshoot the week before. The announcement came only days after their official headshots and portraits went up on Facebook. [click here]

Several supporters of the “Hartford Colonials Cheerleaders” group (which has 1,190 members) wrote posts of thanks and sorrow on the group wall.

“So sorry to all of you that your dreams and hard work end like this,” Darien’s Doug Cooke wrote. “To the veterans from last year – thanks for some awesome memories. To the new girls on the squad and Brittany – sorry you won’t have your chance to shine this season. Good luck to all in whatever the future may bring.”

On Aug. 11, the day after the announcement, more squad pictures went up on the page.

“Ugh! Guys, you are all so beautiful….it makes me wanna cry,” wrote cheerleader Jessica Bella. “ I feel so happy to have met all you beautiful, talented, fun loving women. Xoxo.”

The squad practice each Monday and Thursday this summer at Goodwin College (East Hartford), and even had a promotional event right outside of Rentschler Field, the Colonials former home, on Aug. 7.

“We were all there, all glammed up,” Kostek said. “It was almost like a taste of glory. This was our home field. We were right there.”

Kostek took it hard (“I’m surprised I haven’t cried yet,” she said wistfully during the interview), especially because this was her first professional cheerleading squad. She had previously tried out to be a Patriots cheerleader and Celtics dancer to no avail.

Hope is not entirely lost for Colonials cheerleaders – UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue said he has not closed the door on the Hartford franchise: “(We) will review the viability of returning to the city at the end of this season.”

And if they do, Kostek said she and her teammates would be ready to go.

“One hundred percent,” she said.er the announcement, more squad pictures went up on the page.

Finals Set For Selecting The 2011 Hartford Colonials Cheerleading Team

18 finalists chosen at second round of auditions Saturday at the State Armory

The process of selecting the 2011 Hartford Colonials cheerleading team is down to the final round, and the competition and dancing will heat up as a group of talented and glamorous women compete for a spot on this year’s squad.

The second round of preliminary auditions, held Saturday at the State Armory in Hartford, saw 18 ladies advance to the finals May 21 at Black Bear Saloon in downtown Hartford from 4-7 p.m. They will be joined by 19 finalists from the first round and the 2010 cheerleading captains, who were exempt from auditions.

“These women are going to come back looking great and all glammed-up for the finals. It’s going to be a wonderful show,” Colonials cheerleading director Brittany Bonchuk said. “We hope people will come down to the Black Bear Saloon on May 21 to support these ladies as they compete for a spot on the 2011 Colonials cheerleading team.”

The finalists will perform two dances. The first performance will be the choreographed routine they performed in pairs at the auditions. The second will be a solo performance. The finalists will be evaluated on physical appearance, dance performance and ability, and overall appeal in front of Bonchuk and a panel of judges that will include Hartford Courant Java columnist and blogger MaryEllen Fillo, the popular “About Town” writer.

The judges at Saturday’s audition were New England Patriots cheerleader alums Sandra Smyly and Alyssa Tosoni, and professional dance instructor Jenna Martire.

“I love that we had so many girls with big smiles on their faces and were really eager to learn the dance,” Smyly said. “I think the final product is going to be a great team with a lot of really nice girls who also love to dance and will love supporting the UFL.

“It’s hard to learn a dance on the spot. Even when they might have had a little blooper in their dance, they got past it and put a little smile on their face, maybe a cute wink or something to show they can pick it right back up again. It’s a lot about showmanship, as well as your dance ability, and being able to move on from a small mistake. It’s just as good as doing the dance perfectly with no smile on your face.”

There will be some familiar faces at the finals. About a dozen of the finalists were on the 2010 Colonials cheerleading team.

“It was very energizing, not stressful at all. I had a lot of fun,” said Carissa, a member of the 2010 squad who qualified for the finals at Saturday’s audition. “I think there’s going to be a great group of girls this year and I’m very excited.”

The cheerleading squad will perform at Colonials home games and serve as ambassadors for the team by making community appearances throughout the year.

“Once again we’d like to give a big thank you to the Connecticut National Guard for providing us with this space for the second round of auditions,” Bonchuk said. “The State Armory was a great big venue and we were really able to utilize it well.”

Hartford Colonials Cheerleader Auditions: Round Two

Hartford Colonials Cheerleader Director Brittany Bonchuk at the April 30 auditions in Southington

Hartford Colonials Cheerleader Director Brittany Bonchuk at the April 30 auditions in Southington

The second round of auditions for the 2011 Hartford Colonials cheerleading squad is Saturday, May 7, at the Hartford State Armory on 360 Broad St. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with auditions to follow. The event is open to the public.

Individuals must be female and at least 18 years of age by May 21, and submit a non-returnable recent photograph and updated resume. Participants should wear workout attire and sneakers or dance shoes. Hair and makeup should be performance-ready. A $15 non-refundable registration fee is required or individuals can pre-register for $10 at www.hartfordcolonials.com.

Dancers and cheerleaders will learn a choreographed routine to be performed for a panel of judges and Colonials cheerleader director Brittany Bonchuk. Participants will be evaluated on physical appearance, dance performance and ability, and overall appeal. Anyone chosen will advance to the finals May 21, joining 19 women from the first round of auditions April 30 in Southington. The cheerleading team will consist of 32 members.

Hartford Colonials Cheerleader Auditions at CT National Guard Armory

2011 Patriots Pro Bowl Cheerleader at Colonials Cheerleader Director Brittany Bonchuk

2011 Patriots Pro Bowl Cheerleader at Colonials Cheerleader Director Brittany Bonchuk

19 advance to finals; second round of auditions is May 7 in Hartford

A spacious room at the Connecticut National Guard armory in Southington was deployed as a dance stage for a group of energetic ladies on Saturday, April 30, as the first round of preliminary auditions were held for the 2011 Hartford Colonials cheerleading squad.

“We’re really appreciative to the military and Connecticut National Guard for providing us with a facility and allowing us to be here today,” said Colonials cheerleader director Brittany Bonchuk, who visited U.S. troops overseas in 2009 as a New England Patriots Cheerleader.

Bonchuk, a Griswold, CT native, and a panel of five judges evaluated the participants on physical appearance, dance performance and ability, and overall appeal. Each had to perform a 1-minute dance routine that was filmed by Colonials cheerleader assistant director Laura Altieri.

At the conclusion of the auditions, 19 women were informed they had advanced to the finals on May 21. A second round of auditions will be held May 7 at the State Armory in Hartford. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with auditions to follow. A $15 non-refundable registration fee is required for both sessions. Participants can pre-register for $10 on-line at www.hartfordcolonials.com.

“I was pretty impressed with the people who turned out for the auditions today,” Bonchuk said Saturday. “A lot of really excited women came out, as well as some big Colonials fans. I hope our turnout next week will be a little bit better, but those who came out today were really talented. I’m really excited to see what next week will bring, and we’ll get rolling from there. We have a good start.”

The day started with a brief warm-up period, followed by Bonchuk teaching a dance routine the participants would have to perform for their audition. After the judges were introduced, the competition began.

Performing in pairs, the women did a 60-second dance routine to “On The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez and featuring rapper Pitbull. The first 45-50 seconds was the routine they were taught and the final 15 seconds was freestyle.

“I think it went really well,” said judge Alyssa Ziemba, a Boston Celtics dancer. “We were commenting the girls had so much energy. We enjoyed it.”

Seven cheerleaders from the 2010 squad participated in Saturday’s audition. More are expected at the May 7th auditions in Hartford.

The cheerleader squad will consist of 32 members who will perform at the Colonials home games this season and make promotional appearances in the community.

“It was a fun experience,” Ashley Abate said. “The thrill of going out on the field for the first time, everybody was excited. By the end of the season, we had our own fans. I would recommend everybody to try out. You make friends and it was a lot of fun.”

Bonchuk will discuss the cheerleading auditions on two television shows in the next week. She will appear on the FOX CT morning show Wednesday along with three cheerleaders. On Thursday, she’ll be a guest on Channel 3’s “Better Connecticut” with co-hosts Kara Sundlun and Scot Haney.

Hartford Colonials to Hold Open Auditions for 2011 Cheerleading Team

Preliminary tryouts to be held April 30 in Southington and May 7 in Hartford

The Hartford Colonials of the United Football League are seeking dancers and cheerleaders who are interested in auditioning for the 2011 cheerleading team.

Hartford Colonials Cheerleaders

There will be two rounds of preliminary auditions for the 32-member squad. The first audition will be held April 30 at the Southington Armory (590 Woodruff St, Southington). Registration begins promptly at 8 a.m. with auditions scheduled to start at 9. The second round is May 7 at the Hartford State Armory (360 Broad St., Hartford). Registration begins at 8 a.m. with auditions to follow. A $15 non-refundable registration fee is required for both sessions. Participants can pre-register for $10 on-line at www.hartfordcolonials.com.

Individuals must be 18 years of age or older by May 21 and submit a non-returnable recent photograph and updated resume. Participants should wear workout attire and sneakers or dance shoes. Hair and makeup should be performance-ready.

The Colonials cheerleaders will perform at all four home games, starting in August, and serve as team ambassadors throughout the season.

“For anyone who’s a fan of football and enjoys performance, this is a great opportunity,” said Colonials cheerleader director Brittany Bonchuk. “I’m excited at the chance to create a diverse squad of talented and beautiful women who will entertain Colonials fans this season.”

Both audition sessions are open to the public. For more information, email Brittany.Bonchuk@ufl-football.com.

Hartford Colonials Cheerleader Auditions Start April 30th

[Hartford Colonial Cheerleaders]