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Sign up now for the 2016 Junior TopCats Fall Clinics

topcats fall clincs 2016

Richelle Williams, the Cheerleader Manager/Choreographer for the Carolina Panthers, lets us know that registration for Junior TopCats Fall Clinics is fast approaching!

Girls from across the Carolinas team up with one of the NFL’s premier dance and cheer squads, the Carolina Panthers TopCats. Junior TopCats participate in three clinics and learn a routine to perform with the TopCats at a Carolina Panthers game.

The Junior TopCats will help kick off the Panthers’ 2016 season with a special pregame performance at Carolina’s home opener versus the San Francisco 49ers on September 18.

Register now! Click here to register

Highlights:

-Experience the thrill and excitement of performing a pregame show in front of more than 73,000 fans during a Carolina Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium.
-Develop basic dance and cheerleading skills taught by the TopCats.
-Receive an official Junior TopCats costume, t-shirt, pom poms and LOTS of other Junior TopCats items.
-Build self-esteem and character.
-Make new friends.
-Show your Carolina Panthers and Junior TopCats pride and HAVE FUN!

Program Dates (rain or shine)
Friday August 5, 2016 Registration deadline with ticket orders
Friday August 19, 2016 Registration deadline without ticket orders
Saturday September 10, 2016 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Clinic #1
Sunday September 11, 2016 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Clinic #2
Saturday September 17, 2016 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Clinic #3
Sunday September 18, 2016 11 a.m.-Kickoff Pregame Performance

Click here for more information!

AFL Goddess Danielle Provides 21st Century Choreography for Cleveland’s Jr. Goddesses

Goddess Danielle and some of the Jr. Goddesses

At eight-thirty in the morning on a Saturday in downtown Cleveland, the streets were quiet and unoccupied, with the exception of a group of people gathered outside an entrance to the arena. It was one of those Cleveland spring days, rotating sun and sudden rainy downpours, with one constant, wind! So, the waiting girls, plus a sprinkling of parents, huddled in circles, but with eyes wide open wondering what the morning would bring to prepare for a performance that night. All were happy when the arena doors opened and the wind swept them into the arena’s entryways. The group of pre-teen and teen young women was starting a long, busy, and exciting day at Quicken Arena. It was the morning of the Jr. Goddesses Clinic, which would prepare these girls to perform on the field later that night with some of the Goddesses, the dance squad for the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators. Three of the Goddesses, Danielle, Heather, and Angela, plus Dance Team Coordinator Kristen Bickel, braved the early morning winds to lead the clinic which prepared the Jr. Goddesses for their performance at the Gladiators game against the New Orleans Voodoo, on April 16th.

Rather than to the field, the young dancers were escorted to the Cavaliers’ practice court. It was also a very busy day for Quicken Arena and its staff. On the previous night, the “Q” hosted a concert, then a hockey playoff game was inserted for noon on Saturday, overlapping with an Indians game across the street at 1 pm. Then the arena football set-up would follow to prepare for a 7:30 kickoff between the Gladiators and Voodoo, only then to prepare for another hockey game for noon on Sunday. Over a couple days, the arena changed as much inside as the weather varied outside.

Danielle (left) and the Jr. Goddesses begin morning practice on the Cavs practice court

Once they arrived at the court, first, the Jr. Goddesses received the tops that they would wear for the performance. Afterward, the girls took to the court, and Goddess Heather started them stretching, and then some initial movements. Although she is from an area of Ohio without sports teams near by so that she had this type of opportunity when she was younger, Heather has taught dance before and was a natural at easing the girls out of their initial early morning induced quietness, with a conversational style and some activity to get their blood flowing. It wouldn’t be long before the Jr. Goddesses were relaxed and talkative. The Cavs practice court probably felt initially warm and cozy, but it did not take long for the active dancers to feel the reality; it was HOT in there! At one point when asked if there were any questions, one Jr. Goddess asked the obvious, “Is there any air conditioning in here?”

Ready to rock the beat, the Jr. Goddesses were anxious to start practicing the routine, and Danielle of the Goddesses began showing them the steps with short segment by segment instructions. Danielle choreographed the routine that the Jr. Goddesses would perform, and selected the song, Willow Smith’s “21st Century Girl.” Looking for inspiration, Danielle went to Radio Disney to listen for songs and selected Willow’s for the performance. The Jr. Goddesses interest in dance and performing is mirrored in Danielle’s interest in being a Goddess, as she says, “I tried out for the Goddesses because I love to dance and I thought this would be a great experience. I was so happy and excited when I made the team. Performing is my favorite thing to do.” And the people around her are pretty happy about her being a Goddess too, as Danielle related, “My family and friends were excited for me when I made the team and everyone asks for tickets.”

Angela, Danielle, and Heather instruct the Jr. Goddesses

Danielle is a college student, balancing school with her responsibilities as a Goddess, “I study psychology and sociology at The University of Akron. I also work on campus. I have scheduled my classes around practices and games. I am also able to make my work schedule so that it does not interfere.”

On this day, Danielle was teaching while the clinic participants paid close attention. Danielle went through each of the segments which was followed by the Jr. Goddesses doing a few run-throughs. Not only were the girls being junior dancers, a few were also “junior choreographers,” with lots of their own ideas for the routine. Danielle and Heather performed in front so the Jr. Goddesses so they could keep their eyes on their moves, and Angela eased into the back rows of the formation so she could help out and watch the progress. Angela could identify with their day, as she had the opportunity to perform at a Cavaliers’ NBA game as a high school freshman with her cheer team.

Heather shows the Jr. Goddesses the moves

Danielle was a nice match to be Jr. Goddess choreographer, because she shared some attributes with the younger squad. Danielle can relate to the experience that the Jr. Goddesses were having, as she also danced from an early age, saying, “My mom put me in dance classes with my cousin when I was three years old and I have been dancing ever since. I cheered and danced in high school, and before doing Goddesses, I had been on my college dance team.” And Danielle’s personality matches some of the Jr. Goddesses, saying, “I may be outgoing while in my uniform, but outside of the team I am pretty shy.” Danielle said that right before the performance, some of the Jr. Goddesses were quite talkative, but that some of that may have been nerves, another feeling she can relate to, as Danielle says, “I am always nervous right before a performance. The nerves are what gives me the energy I need!”

Danielle and the Jr. Goddesses are ready for their performance


Continue reading AFL Goddess Danielle Provides 21st Century Choreography for Cleveland’s Jr. Goddesses

Former Jr. Cheer Participant Becomes An Eagles Cheerleader

2008-eagles-action_jessica1 Former Jr. Cheer Participant Becomes An Eagles Cheerleader
PhiladelphiaEagles.com
September 16, 2009

The Jr. Cheer Clinic offers young girls who aspire to become Eagles Cheerleaders a chance to learn from the women who make up the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading squad. Jessica, a Swarthmore, PA native and a first year member of the squad, was once one of those young girls who attended the Eagles Jr. Cheer Clinic and will now be an instructor at this year’s event.

“Having done this at a young age, the experience gave me a sense of self-confidence and an opportunity to do something few young girls get to do growing up.”

Jessica has gone from being a participant at the Jr. Cheer Clinic to a member of the Eagles Cheerleading Squad through hard work and dedication.

“Being an Eagles Cheerleader is one of my greatest accomplishments. This has been my dream since the moment I attended the Jr. Cheer Clinic. Making the squad this year proves that you can accomplish your goals if you believe and work hard.”

The Eagles Cheerleaders are excited to be instructors at this year’s clinic, but for Jessica, being an instructor means so much.

“I am so excited to be an instructor at the clinic this year. I remember how I admired the cheerleaders when I was younger. I am really looking forward to talking and working with the girls and giving them an experience they will never forget!”