Falcons cheerleader lands role in Nick Cannon movie

Phil W. Hudson, Staff Writer
Atlanta Business Chronicle
September 2, 2014

Second-year Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader and Lithonia, Ga., native Jasmine Cooper will be the principal dancer in the upcoming VH1 television movie “Drumline: A New Beat.”

The follow-up to the 2002 movie “Drumline,” which starred Nick Cannon, tells the story of a rebellious upper-class girl from Brooklyn who defies the odds by becoming Atlanta A&T’s drumline’s first female section leader while revitalizing the marching band.

During her childhood, Cooper trained in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and funk at Decatur, Ga.-based Conservatory of Dance and Fine Arts.

According to the Falcons, Cooper went to college at the historically black university Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. At B-CU, she first auditioned to be part of the marching band and made the auxiliary section known as the 14 Karat Gold Dancers.

In summer 2010, after graduating from B-CU, Cooper went on a month-long tour in Japan with “Drumline Live,” the stage production based off of the original movie. While traveling through Japan, rumors of the second movie began to surface.

It would be another four years before Cooper would audition for the role. During those four years, Cooper was part of the performance “Drumline Live,” at halftime for the New York Knicks vs.Brooklyn Nets game in December 2012. Soon after she tried out for the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and landed a spot on the squad in 2013 as a rookie, and again as a second-year veteran for the 2014 season.

Cooper credits the Falcon’s cheerleader tryouts in helping to prepare for the movie auditions.

“It was almost like the AFC (Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders) auditions; there were hundreds and hundreds of girls,” Cooper said in a statement. “I think there were actually more girls at this audition than there were at AFC this year.”

More than 300 women tried out for a spot on the 14-member dance team, seven of which make up the fictional Atlanta A&T Dancers. After day one, directors cut the number of girls down to 200, and after the second and final day that included two final cuts, they dropped the number of dancers down to 25.

Cooper learned she made the Atlanta A&T team a week after completing the audition process. She also learned the directors wanted a more personal team and cut 11 additional dancers to make a final total of 14, the Falcons reported.

The movie will air in October on VH1.

Lakelyn and Jessi dance into “Million Dollar Arm”

Lakelyn (lower left) and Jessi (lower right) are in "Million Dollar Arm"

Not only are Lakelyn and Jessi known for dancing for Nashville’s NHL’s Predators and NFL’s Titans, respectively, and taking time away from their teams to be part of the national tour of Dance Y’all in 2013, but they now can be seen in Disney’s Million Dollar Arm. What a few months for Jessi, who was also in a scene in Anchorman 2.

You can see Jessi and Lakelyn in the preview below about halfway through:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfqo7IW7diE&sns=em[/youtube]

10 Things About Abigail Klein

Zooey Magazine
May 24, 2012

Abigail Klein is the gorgeous blonde who hails from Dallas, Texas (where she was a part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders). She will appear alongside Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Adam Samberg (SNL), and Adam Sandler (Funny People, etc) in the new comedy “That’s My Boy” out on June 15, 2012. We sat down with Klein to learn 10 new things about her.

How did you get to become part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?
I have always been a Cowboys fan and I loved dancing and performing so I thought, why not? I auditioned in May 2007 as I was finishing high school. I didn’t mention it to anyone besides my parents at first. Once I made it to training camp for the summer, I shared my excitement with all my friends and family who were all so supportive. Finally in August right before the first game, they officially announced the team. I was so happy and proud!

What is something people don’t know about being a professional cheerleader?
Being a part of the most iconic cheerleading squad ever was an exhilarating experience and a great honor. Performing at Cowboys stadium was so much fun. I made my closest friends while being a part of the organization for those three years. It was pretty much the ultimate sorority. I’m forever bonded with women who cheered in the early 1970s when the squad first began. There are so many meaningful aspects of being an NFL cheerleader. I was able to do several appearances with children’s foundations like A Wish With Wings and visit Children’s Hospital in Dallas. I met children facing heartbreaking illness and was able to be part of their team of encouragement. I am in awe of how brave these kids are. I also had the privilege of performing overseas for our troops with the USO. Joining the team as a rookie, I had no idea the involvement we could have and the significance of our commitment. I was fortunate enough to travel to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan in December of 2009 on a USO tour. I’ll never forget meeting such courageous men and women who were so sweet and beyond hospitable. I hope they were as touched even half as much as I was. I’ll always be grateful to them.

If your friends were to use just a few words to describe you, what would they be?
I think they’d describe me as a happy, fun-loving person who’s obsessed with Nutella!

If you could be in any kind of band, which band would it be and what instrument would you play?
I love the 1940s Big Band era and the jazz sound of that time. I’d play the saxophone.

When did you begin taking dance classes?
At the age of nine, I began taking everything from ballet and lyrical to jazz, hip hop, and tap.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?
On cloudy, rainy days (though they are rare) I like to paint. I also like trying new recipes. I make a really mean basil pesto mozzarella grilled cheese. I also enjoy playing the guitar. I’m definitely a beginner so I learn how to play country songs since they’re usually only three or four chords!

What are some of your favorite films?
I grew up watching “Nightmare Before Christmas” every year with my family. That’s when I became a huge Tim Burton fan. And of course as almost every woman would say, I will always love “The Notebook.” I read the book before seeing the movie, and it was one of the rare times when I enjoyed the movie more than the book. Recently, I just added “The Avengers” to one of my favorite films. Sitting in my seat while watching didn’t feel right. Instead I wanted to be jumping up and down rooting for the heroes! I literally got goosebumps before the final action scene. A bit dorky maybe…but wow! I love it.

What kind of projects are you looking to take on in the future?
Who would you want to work with? I want to try anything and everything. I think training for an action thriller would be fun and challenging. I’d absolutely love to work with Betty White some day! She’s charming and talented. You instantly fall in love with her, and that trait in particular can’t be taught.

Now that you’re out in LA, what are your favorite places to be so far?
I adore living in LA. I like to hike in Hollywood and hang out at the beach in Malibu. I love the fact that in LA you can drive a couple hours and hit the slopes for a day of skiing. I also really love that there are countless restaurants to try all the time. Good food and good weather are my favorite perks about living in the city. It’s an incredible place to live in.

What is your most favorite quote…whether or not you live by it?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” It’s a quote that I want to live by for the rest of my life. It relates to everything – career, relationships, and life in general.

Tale of NFL’s Oldest Cheerleader to Get Film Treatment at New Line

Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner producing story about 42 year-old Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Laura Vikmanis.
by Borys Kit
The Hollywood Reporter
March 24, 2011

The story of Laura Vikmanis, who at 42 is the oldest cheerleader in NFL history, is getting the big-screen treatment.

New Line has picked up the story of Vikmanis, acquiring her life rights as well as a pitch by scribes Emily Cook and Kathy Greenberg, whose credits include Gnomeo & Juliet and Ratatouille.

Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner are producing, as is Donners’ Co. president Jack Leslie.

Vikmanis, a mother with two teenage daughters, was shaken after her husband left her for a younger woman. At a Cincinnati Bengals game, her sister suggested she find something to make her happy, and Vikmanis, who had been a dancer, looked to the field and said being a cheerleader looked like fun.

At age 39, she tried out for the Ben-Gals squad but failed. Vikmanis, however, spent a year improving her fitness and working on routines and returned to tryouts the following year. She made the squad, thus serving as an inspiration to her daughters and as a mother figure to the cheerleaders, many of them 20 years her junior.

Leslie introduced Laura Vikmanis to Joseph Veltre, head of Gersh’s book department. Gersh used synergy beyond just books for this project and the tale made its way to Gersh-repped Cook and Greenberg, who saw the video. A brief phone conversation with Vikmanis convinced them that a movie was possible.

“In her real life, it was easy to find a way into the story,” Cook said. “She is a 42-year-old in a sea of 20-year-olds; she’s definitely a fish in out of water. It’s a great contrast. And she proved you can reinvent yourself at any age.”

“It’s really a feel good populist story in the vein of Blind Side. It’s got more comedy to be sure, but it’s an earnest story,” Greenberg added.

Cook and Greenberg honed Vikmanis’ story into a pitch and circled back with Leslie, who brought the Donners on board. They took it to New Line, where the pair was beginning to write Gaggle, an adaptation based on a dating book set up at the company.

Michele Weiss and Merideth Finn will oversee for New Line.

Cook and Greenberg are additionally repped by Kaplan/Perrone.

Gersh also repped the Donners’ Co. in the deal.

Gersh will be shopping the book rights.

Take A Close Look At This The Picture

owenwilson

If you are looking for something to do before the highly anticipated matchup with the Giants this Sunday, be sure to check out the movie How Do You Know when it hits theatres this Friday, December 17th. This romantic comedy was written and directed by the talented James L. Brooks. The movie casts stars such as Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson and twelve members of your Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading squad!

Heery Casting reached out to the Eagles Cheerleaders when scenes for the movie were being filmed in Philadelphia in August of 2009. They were looking for beautiful, glamorous women to appear in a number of scenes and thought that Eagles Cheerleaders would be perfect for those scenes. Second year member of the squad, Lindsey said, “Being on the set of How Do You Know was one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had. It was the first time I had taken part in a blockbuster movie production.”

Joining Lindsey were fellow cheerleaders Tiffany, Tracey, Alicia, Laura, Michelle, Amy, Kristin, Jamie, Krystle, Kim, Erica, and Khira. When talking about the highlights of being on set for the movie Lindsey added, “I never would have thought that I would be a part of a movie with huge Hollywood actors like Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon, who were both so nice to talk to. Owen Wilson was very funny and down to earth. He was definitely the class clown on set. He actually acted pretty star struck to meet us, which I was not expecting! I can’t wait to go see the movie on the 17th and finally see the finished product.”

We hope you get a chance to check out How Do You Know and be sure to keep a look out for the Eagles Cheerleaders throughout the movie.