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Photo of the Day – June 17


From 2013, former Indianapolis Tornados Syren Denae was also a Colts Cheerleader

Sidelines Syrens superbly support the Indianapolis Tornados

Indianapolis Tornados Syrens Korine, Director Kim, Bianca, Mari, Sally, Alanna, and Kristen

Indianapolis Tornados Syrens Korine, Director Kim, Bianca, Mari, Sally, Alanna, and Kristen

Commitment. It always seems like the minor league organizations committed to putting the best teams on the field also put the best dance teams on the sidelines. This is the case with the Gridiron Developmental Football League’s Indianapolis Tornados, winning 25 games and losing only two during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and undefeated so far this season. In line with that success, the Syrens Dance Team also includes top talent and management. In her fourth season as Syrens Director and Choreographer (all while dancing with the Syrens), Kim Roudebush is now also the National Cheer & Dance Commissioner for the GDFL.

In addition, this season, the Syrens added new Assistant Dance Director/Choreographer Jamie Dean. Jamie has been dancing since she was a little, with an extensive cheer and dance background, including cheerleading in college. Jamie in enjoying her new role, helping the individual Syrens grow, succeed, and seeing their confidence boosts. “That is what it is all about,” Jamie says.

The Syrens have a summer of cheer and off the field events ahead of them, including dancing at halftime at the Indiana Fever WNBA game on August 14th. You can get super discounted tickets at this link when you use the password “dance” (of course!)

Thanks to Kim, Jamie, the Syrens, and the Tornados for all of their assistance. And here are some Syrens photos from the big home win 41-18 over the Chargers from St. Louis:

Syrens Assistant Director Jamie and Director Kim

Captain Korine

Veteran Kristen






Continue reading Sidelines Syrens superbly support the Indianapolis Tornados

Through performance and teaching, the Syrens Dance Director defines her devotion to dance

Syrens Director Kim Roudebush (far right) with Assistant Director Jess (left) and Syren Colette (middle)

“I think dance is not only a passion, but a way of life. If you can’t think of your life without it, you are a dancer.”

Kim Roudebush not only lives out her definition of a dancer but as Director for the Syrens Dance Team, she works to help other dancers move forward in their own dance journeys. The Syrens cheer on the GDFL’s Indianapolis Tornados minor league football team, and recently we featured some photos of the squad and an interview with Assistant Director/Syren Jess. Now, UltimateCheerleaders learns about Kim and her busy life on and off the field, and as a dance instructor, maybe she will nudge some of the guys into learning that dance can be beneficial to our lives as well.

An Indianapolis native, Kim’s dance life started early. “I have always loved performing, from a very young age,” Kim explains. “I think my very first performance was a group tap number in the middle of the mall at about age seven. After that, I danced most of my childhood and all through high school. I was the dance captain of our high school dance team, choreographed for our local middle school, as well as dances for my high school. I was also a part of the Hip Street Rhythm Company and our high school competition dance team choreographed by Dance Magic.”

After graduation, the love of dance took Kim to Columbia, Missouri. “After high school I auditioned for the dance program at Stephens College and became a dance major,” Kim recalls. “This consisted mainly of Ballet, Modern, Musical Theatre, Acting, Pilates, and ethnic dances such as West African and Flamenco.”

After college, Kim’s career path did not include dance, but she continued to include dance in her life, which connected her eventually to the Syrens. “After college I took modern, hip hop, ballet, and jazz,” Kim remembers. “I was dancing with a local modern dance group and a good friend of mine was a Syren at the time. She reached out to me and asked if I would like to be the Director. Although I had never been a cheerleader, I am always up for a challenge and to work on new types of dancing style. This was more like NBA meets NFL, and it is more dance than cheer. I had experience with choreography and directing in high school and college, so that came easy for me.”

“This is my third year as Director, and because this is a volunteer national league, we do provide a more flexible schedule to the dancers than NFL or NBA,” Kim continues. “However, we still have two nights of practice each week and we arrive three hours early to every game, for practice and preparation. I had thought about being either a Colts Cheerleader or Pacemate, but you need to be able to commit to their schedule and it is a lot more dedicated than ours. I give all pro cheerleaders a round of applause for their level of dedication.”

Kim (far right) with Syrens Lindsay, Liz, and Hannah

But Kim is very dedicated to the Syrens and puts considerable time and effort into the squad. Asked about her motivation to do so, Kim answers, “My first motivation comes from the love of dance. My second motivation comes from helping other dancers develop their skills. It is great to see someone start at level one and end up at level three by the end of the season. My goal is to prep them for the demands of pro level.”

Continue reading Through performance and teaching, the Syrens Dance Director defines her devotion to dance

It’s loud and clear: the Indianapolis Tornados have a great Syrens Dance Team

Indianapolis Tornados Syren Denae was a Colts Cheerleader

August. Football. Indianapolis. Playoffs? Are we talking playoffs?


Yes, Jim Mora, we are, and get on the bandwagon! Because not only are the GDFL’s Indianapolis Tornados in the playoffs, they won last Saturday night 12-3, to advance to the elite eight in Round 3. The Tornados were champions of the NAFL in 2008, and are looking to add a GDFL title ASAP.

As you’d expect, successful organizations at this level often have their sidelines entertainment up to high standards also. And the Syrens Dance Team adds some wow factor to the Tornados games, and is gaining visibility throughout Indy. And just like the Tornados have players with some Colts and Bears time, the Syrens also have some NFL experience, with former Colts Cheerleader Denae answering the Syrens’ call. Plus, we appreciate that Colette is a fan of UltimateCheerleaders, and her sister Colleen is the Syrens photographer, when she takes time out from her wedding photography.

So the Tornados continue to move forward in the playoffs, and the Syrens also will perform at the WNBA Indiana Fever game on September 13th and at the Indianapolis Heart Walk downtown on September 14th.

We will learn more about the Syrens next week in an interview with their Director Kim Roudebush, but for now, here are the other Syrens that performed during a June home game.






Click on the “Continue” link below to see more Syrens photos

Continue reading It’s loud and clear: the Indianapolis Tornados have a great Syrens Dance Team

Syren Jess reflects on dance, gymnastics, and saving the life of the Indianapolis Tornados coach during a 2012 game


July 2012 Indianapolis news video coverage of Syren Jess and former Tornados coach Jerry Selters

We all know how much pro dancers add to sidelines entertainment, but perhaps no dancer has ever been as essential as Jess was during an Indianapolis Tornados football game last year. Last season’s Tornados coach Jerry Selters suffered a heart attack and collapsed during a game in July 2012’s high heat, and physicians estimate he was clinically dead for four minutes. But Jess, on the sidelines on the Syrens Dance Team, is also a trained Emergency Medical Technician and firefighter, and administered CPR as the crowd fell silent. Soon joined by the team doctor and two medically trained fans, Jess and the others brought coach Selters back from the brink, and onto an ambulance to a local ER. Coach Selters survived, and he and the Gridiron Developmental Football League thanked Jess for her live saving measures.

Afterwards, Jess said she merely did what she was trained to do, and Jess added, “I do not consider myself a hero. I was in the right place at the right time. I’m just very grateful that I was there, and I’m humbled by everybody’s reaction.”

A season later, asked about her thoughts of that game and her actions, Jess responds, “Reflecting on a year ago at that game, I felt like the world stopped. It was just me with the knowledge and experience, I was calm and focused on my patient. The memory that sticks out the most was me yelling at my cheerleaders to bring me ice packs so I could actively cool my patient, as the heat index was 116 that day, and my patient was in cardiac arrest. With my training, I was proud of myself that I knew what to do. I’ve never had, what we call, a ‘witnessed cardiac arrest’ before and I am elated at the results! Like I said it seemed like the world stopped and time stood still. I couldn’t hear anyone yelling or screaming because I was focused on what I was doing. Players, team management, and my fellow Syrens thanked me and hugged me after the ambulance left.”

Now that was one “breath-giving” sidelines performance! In addition, Jess shared with UltimateCheerleaders her experiences as a competitive athlete throughout her childhood, how she became an EMT and fire-fighter, and some advice for cheerleaders as they perform during sweltering summer games.

Jess during a June Indianapolis Tornados game

Jess is a lifelong central Indiana resident. “I was born in Indianapolis and grew up on a farm in Noblesville, where I have lived most of my life,” Jess explains. “Some of my favorite memories growing up was living on the farm, riding go-carts, driving tractors, and taking family road trips for vacations. Most memorable is the music my dad would play during these road trips. His taste in music impacted me at a young age, so we share the same love of good music.”

Much of Jess’s childhood was occupied with the world of competitive rhythmic gymnastics, having opportunities to perform at Indianapolis Colts games, the Olympic Torch Lighting ceremony, and at 13, becoming one of the Indiana State Champions for Rhythmic Gymnastics. “I started out in jazz and tap as a child then moved into artistic gymnastics at the age of 6,” Jess recalls. “A few years later at the gym, I saw a lady with a ribbon and I was intrigued. That’s when I switched to rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 10.”

Asked what people should look for to indicate a potential talent for rhythmic gymnastics, Jess answered, “As far as certain talents to look for in a rhythmic gymnast, it’s basically coordination. I feel also that a child should have to want to do the sport as it is very difficult, demanding, and time consuming.”

Jess reflected on the years of effort and competition in rhythmic gymnastics, the benefits to her future personality. “My years of competition were the most fun!” Jess recalls. “I loved competing and traveling with my mom from state to state. I learned discipline and patience during my years as a rhythmic gymnast. My coach also inspired me with a strict schedule and shaped me into the person/teacher I am today. As a competitive gymnast, I was in the gym three to four times a week, three hours at a time. I did not mind this AT ALL! I loved rhythmics and enjoyed learning and improving myself as a gymnast. I never wanted to give up that sport. My goal was to be a Level 10 and make it to the Olympics, however a bilateral hamstring injury that I never recovered from ended my career as a Level 8.”

Jess during halftime performance

Cheerleading was another part of Jess’s time in school, as a cheerleader in junior high and high school, as well as being a high school dance team member. After high school, Jess continued taking dance classes and performing, including for semi-pro football’s former Indy team, the Circle City Soldiers. Jess is in her second season with the Syrens Dance Team that cheers on the GDFL’s Indianapolis Tornados semi-pro football team. Now the Syrens’ Assistant Dance Director, how did Jess become part of the squad and had she wanted to be part of pro dance before? “I had the opportunity to dance with some alumni of Colts Cheerleaders and Pacemates at a pre-game performance at a Pacer game in 2012,” Jess explains. “One of the ladies was also part of the Syrens and suggested I try out. I had already been a part of a semi-professional cheer team back in 2002, and, yes, I’ve always wanted to be a professional cheerleader for the Colts or Pacemates.”

But it was Jess’s career decision that gave her essential skills to be able to jump to the rescue on the sidelines last season. “My interest in becoming a Firefighter/EMT happened by chance,” Jess remembers. “I already knew at a young age that I wanted to be in the medical field and help people. I started out in college in nursing, then worked in an ER and became even more fascinated with the human body and how it worked. I took an EMT course, ended up riding out on an ambulance for the first time, and loved every minute of it. That’s when I knew what my calling was.” So did Jess watch COPS or Rescue 911 at an early age? “Yes, I did watch Rescue 911 with my mother when it was on,” Jess replies.

So let’s take advantage of Jess expertise as both a pro dancer and trained emergency worker, and ask her advice for cheerleaders hitting the field during the torrid summer heat. What would Jess recommend for cheerleaders to prepare for hot games, and after what symptoms should a cheerleader realize that she should take a break and rest? “During heat related months, everyone needs to be aware of how much fluid they are taking in, and I’m talking about fluid that hydrates you: water, Gatorade, Powerade, et cetera. As a cheerleader being outside in the heat, you must bring plenty of hydrating drinks and food. I would also suggest a wet washcloth to keep in a cooler and ice packs in case of an emergency, like the emergency last year. Be aware of how much you are perspiring and once you stop perspiring, that should indicate to you to stop what you’re doing and go inside to cool down. Also, if you become nauseated, feeling faint, dizzy, or start vomiting.”

Continue reading Syren Jess reflects on dance, gymnastics, and saving the life of the Indianapolis Tornados coach during a 2012 game

Photo of the Day – June 18

Denae of the Indianapolis Tornados Syrens is also a Colts Cheer Alumni

Photo of the Day – June 16

Colette of the Indianapolis Tornados Syrens during Saturday night’s game