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Where’s Waldo? Just ask the Charity of the Ohio Dance Machine!

Charity is a third-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse's Oho Dance Machine

Charity is a third-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse’s Oho Dance Machine

Charity gets asked, “Where’s Waldo?” all the time. And she knows the precise answer, “I say it’s between Delaware and Marion.”

The reason Charity gets asked “Where’s Waldo?” so much, is because the member of the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine is from the town of Waldo, Ohio. So when Charity tells people she is from Waldo, she often hears the standard “Where’s Waldo?” pseudo-question. “I usually laugh, because I do hear it a lot, but it’s still funny. I like that they make that connection. Sometimes my automatic response, even though I understand the joke, I say, ‘It’s between Delaware and Marion,’ because that helps people locate where it is. And they say, ‘Wait, do you get it? The joke?’ So they get a little confused, and I say, ‘No, I get it.’”

And a frequent answer to the question, “Where’s Charity?” is “Dancing.” As far as dance, Charity explains, “I started when I was four. My sister danced, so I’ve just been dancing at Douce Dance Studio since I was little. And I love it!” During the 2014 season, the ever-smiling Charity kindly spent time with UltimateCheerleaders so we could learn more about where Charity has been, and what the future may hold.

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The Ohio Dance Machine is the first sidelines cheer role for Charity. “Before that I’ve only danced. I played violin and trumpet, but I quit all that when I went to high school. I just focused on dance.”

Charity’s dance support begins at home. “My mom’s always has been there for me, for all dance. And she’s really supportive of anything I do, and she never misses any performances. She’s been to every single one I’ve ever done. My family’s very supportive of dance.”

Like much of the Ohio Dance Machine, Charity has a Capital University connection. Charity graduated last May from Capital with a degree in Exercise Science, and she says, “There’s a dance group there called Orchesis and one of the girls that was on the team last year was in Orchesis and she posted it on the page, and someone saw it. So I went to try out.”

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And third year veteran Charity found a sidelines home with Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine, “I really like it. I like that I can still dance. And it’s not just dancing in the room, but I actually to perform, and show people what I’ve learned. And plus, the girls made me want to come back more, because I really like all of them.”

So Charity, if you were in charge of picking a location to take your teammates on a Ohio Dance Machine Calendar shoot, where would you pick? “I would want to pick different locations,” Charity replies, “but if I had to pick one, Colorado’s pretty nice, because of the mountains, and you can have different looking backgrounds in the same area.”

Asked about what her dream job would be, Charity made it all about giving to others. “I don’t really know my dream job. I just like helping people, that sounds weird, but I just really like to help, somehow.” Not weird at all Charity! Charity’s enjoyment of anatomy and physiology lead her to exercise science, and she would like to use her knowledge to assist others, like going into a field such as occupational therapy. “That’s why occupational therapy is really awesome, because it helps you live your daily life better.

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Charity has worked as a personal care assistant in a retirement home and really liked it a lot. Charity values time spent with the senior generation, saying, “Learning their lessons through life, they have a lot of wisdom to teach us, and help us with our decisions; to just mentor us. And I think it’s important to help them too, because sometimes they might get lonely because they’re not around their family at the retirement home. So just going in and talking with them really helps them, plus you learn from their past, and I like that.”

And Charity’s past has some great memories already. Charity liked growing up in small Waldo, with her parents and her older sister, plus “My friends, who are down the road from me. They have eight kids in their family. And they have some of my best friends in their family. So it’s nice being able to hang out with all of them.”

Charity also loved her time at Capital University, which is kind of the opposite of Ohio State. “It would take me maybe four minutes to get to my farthest class, if I left my room, so I loved how small Capital is. My biggest class was under thirty. So that was nice, you knew the professors a lot better.

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On Saturday, July 25, the Ohio Machine hosts the Boston Cannons at Selby Stadium on Fan Appreciation Night. It is the final regular season home game for the Machine before beginning its playoff run. The Ohio Dance Machine will be there too, and we appreciate sweet Charity’s lovely spirit, love of dance, and concern for others. Wherever Waldo is, it creates some really special people.

Thanks so much to Charity for spending time with UltimateCheerleaders last season, and the support of the Ohio Machine franchise. More photos of Charity from 2014 are at this link.

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From sidebar to the sidelines: Attorney Emily briefs us on the appeal of the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine

Attorney Emily is in her second season with Major League Lacrosse's   Ohio Dance Machine

Attorney Emily is in her second season with Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Dance Machine

So how does an attorney end up on the sidelines with Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Dance Machine? According to Emily, she and her friend Ashley, also an attorney, “were looking for places where we could dance in Columbus, and we found the Dance Machine online, looked at their videos, and attended some of their tryout clinics.”

Both Emily and Ashley made the season last year as rookies, and last summer Emily said, “I love it. It makes me happy, and I love staying in shape and (dancing is) just something I’ve always done. I was out of it for a few years while I was in law school and when I found the opportunity to be on the Dance Machine, I thought this was perfect, and I get to dance again. I get to perform and the girls on the team are wonderful.”

Speaking of prep classes and clinics, it is that time of year for a lot of leagues. Last summer, Emily briefed UltimateCheerleaders on her cheer and dance background that eventually brought her to be part of the Ohio Machine sidelines.

Emily during her rookie season in July 2014

Emily during her rookie season in July 2014

“Well, I started dancing when I was two and a half,” Emily recalled. “And I started cheering when I was in kindergarten. I cheered all through up until high school, for my school, and I cheered competitively on an All Star Team.”

“I started my Freshman year at Ohio University and cheered there,” Emily continues. “Then I transferred to Ohio State and joined the Dance Team through my senior year of college until I graduated. We danced at basketball games, we did pep rallies during football season, and parades. It was a wonderful experience. We competed at nationals every year, so NDA Collegiate Dance Team Nationals was a competition I’d watched growing up so to actually get to compete in that was a wonderful experience. They keep the alumni involved as well.”

And Emily’s experience in cheer, dance, and tumbling makes it just natural that she makes it just feel natural to be on the sidelines. “I did it my whole life and so you just get comfortable with it,” Emily explained. “There definitely are those times if you have a certain stunt that you’re nervous about or tumbling, but once you step out and you’re in front of people and you’re performing, at least for me the nerves go away. You just sort of turn on to perform.”

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Emily is originally from Trenton, Ohio, near Cincinnati, growing up with an older sister who also was in dance and cheer. Asked about her favorite childhood memories, Emily says, “They probably all involve cheer and dance. I loved the town where I grew up. It’s a small town, I knew everyone and I loved that, but I guess all of my favorite memories involve cheering: cheering for my school, being involved in the community, competitions. My senior year in high school was the first year we had a competition team for my school and we did really well and we won state that year. Just exciting things like that.”

But dance is just her sideline now, as Emily is a lawyer, with a degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, then to Capital University for her law degree.

“I’m currently a staff attorney for a judge,” Emily said last summer. “It’s wonderful. “It’s been a wonderful learning experience and I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve done a lot of different things: I work on the civil docket, do a lot of writing and research, both of which I really enjoy.” Since last season, Emily accepted a position in October with a law firm downtown doing civil litigation.

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Emily, do you think, is there something about dancing since two and a half that helps in law? “Sure,” Emily responds, “I think not only just the aspect of always being busy and it really made me into a hard worker. I think that certainly obviously helps towards law, but it just builds your confidence and I think that’s important and I think it’s really helped grow who I am and contribute to my legal career.”

Perhaps, does even taking dance from a young age, learning steps, help in being able to learn and memorize in Emily’s academic career? “Remembering dances and combinations, I think that does help me in terms of memorization,” Emily answers. “I guess if I could have put some of my law school outlines and choreographed a dance to remember them, that probably would have been a good idea.”

Her co-workers like that Emily has an outlet with the Dance Machine. “They think it’s just really neat,” Emily says. “Actually one of my coworkers came to watch one of the games and she loved it. They knew that I had cheered and danced because I talked about that at work. They ask me about it all the time and think it’s really cool that I’m still involved.”

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Continue reading From sidebar to the sidelines: Attorney Emily briefs us on the appeal of the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine

Photo of the Day – June 16

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Ohio Dance Machine Kassandra during a 2014 MLL game

Jenny was perfectly cast as Co-Director of the Ohio Dance Machine

Jenny was Co-Director/Co-Captain of last season's Ohio Dance Machine of Major League Lacrosse

Jenny was Co-Director/Co-Captain of last season’s Ohio Dance Machine of Major League Lacrosse

First Witch, MacBeth Act IV, Scene 1, Line 1699: Ay, sir, all this is so: but why Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?...

In theatre lore, Shakespeare’s play MacBeth is so cursed, superstition claims that even speaking the name “Macbeth” inside a theatre is bad luck that will cause unmitigated disaster. Well, for Jenny of the Ohio Dance Machine, a production of MacBeth was truly a blessing, not at all a curse. “It’s actually how I met my husband, because my first role at Capital (University) was in Macbeth, and I was the First Witch,” Jenny explains. “We met outside at the cast list and we were talking about what role I had. I said, ‘Oh, I made the cast, are you in it?’ He said, ‘Yeah. I’m Macbeth.’”

Jenny loves plays, musicals, Broadway, particularly A Chorus Line, and she majored in theatre, and, of course, her role in The Scottish Play is her favorite role of her life, “It was so much fun,” Jenny recalls. “Oh my goodness, it was awesome.”

First Witch, MacBeth Act I, Scene 3, Line 110: Thou’rt kind.

Fast forward, now one of Jenny’s current “roles” is Co-Director/Co-Captain of the Ohio Dance Machine that performs at Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine games in central Ohio outside of Columbus. Her view of the entire Machine organization is also ebullient. “I just love it,” Jenny says. “The Machine are wonderful, the front office, and the players are so nice. It’s just a great team and a great organization to start up with. As far as the dance, it’s just like there’s not many other places where you can dance in front of people, perform, work, and challenge yourself for free. You either have to take classes, so it’s just really great to be able to do that every week, and to know that it’s coming each year, and to be a part of this organization.”

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And 2015 is on its way! With 2015 ODM prep classes this starting January 5th and auditions starting January 17th, let’s learn more about Jenny as she co-leads with her Co-Director Megan this impressive squad of pro dancers.

First Witch, MacBeth Act I, Scene 3, Line 98: Where hast thou been, sister?

“I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. And I haven’t stopped. I can’t,” laughs Jenny. “My sister had started dancing, and she was older so I just wanted to do what she did. She actually ended up not liking it, and leaving it for a while, but I just kept doing it. I think it was something to contain all my energy.”

Jenny continued studio dance through high school, and also began avidly performing in musicals during high school. Jenny is a native of Toledo, and she moved to Columbus to attend Capital University, where she received her degree in Theatre Studies. Jenny also started her pro cheer career with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew. ”At Capital there was not as much dance, so it wasn’t until I found about the Crewzers,” Jenny says. “I actually joined the Crewzers originally and so I was able to start dancing again.”

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Though Jenny was a long time dancer, being on the Crewzers was her first cheerleading experience. “Actually, I hadn’t heard about the Crewzers,” Jenny remembers. “I had a friend who was one of the co-captains, so she was a big recruiter for them. That was the first time I ever cheered was with the Crewzers.”

Were local fans familiar with the Crew and realized that they had a dance team? Jenny replied, “You know, it was about 50-50 when I’d say, ‘I’m a Crewzer,’ and people would ask, ‘What’s that?’ Or people would say, ‘Oh, I love the Crew.’ The first year or two, I’d say, ‘Ohio Machine,’ and they say, ‘What’s that?’ Now, fans are really starting to get excited about us, and I’ve had a couple people outside of games recognize me, so as they are building, we’re building.”

First Witch, MacBeth Act III, Scene 5, Line 1488: Come, let’s make haste; she’ll soon be back again.

After Jenny’s rookie season, the Crew discontinued the Crewzers, but some of the Crewzers like Jenny and Megan found a new sidelines home with lacrosse’s Machine. “The Crew was definitely different than the Machine, because now we’re interacting with the audience, Jenny explains. “They’re right there, but on the Crew we were way back there. But it was still neat because there was a lot of energy there.”

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Continue reading Jenny was perfectly cast as Co-Director of the Ohio Dance Machine

Read how clarinetist Jen would wind up on the Ohio Dance Machine

Jen performing with the Ohio Dance Machine last summer; try-outs are coming for 2015

Jen performing with the Ohio Dance Machine last summer; try-outs are coming for 2015

Not too many people have this response when asked about their dream job. “Dream job? I think I have it right now, doing hair,” said Jen, who was in her second year dancing for the Ohio Dance Machine last season. Just like this refreshing response, Jen was part of a refreshing group of dancers that support Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Machine. The Dance Machine is the only squad of pro dancers in the Columbus, Ohio area, the largest city in Ohio. And their try-outs for next season are coming up right after the New Year! Jen shared with UltimateCheerleaders her many artistic sides, the contrast between Columbus and her hometown, and why orchestras really need to replace sheet music with flat screens.

Jen is originally from the Toledo area, specifically growing up in Oak Arbor, Ohio. Oak Harbor is a small farming town, and Jen reflected, “I like that everyone knew each other. Everyone was nice, everyone was really close.”

But Jen moved to Columbus for college, and she enjoys her new hometown because, “There’s so much to do and so much to see. I met a lot of different people. There are a lot more job opportunities.”

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Jen initially came to Columbus to attend Capital University and studied Clarinet Performance. Starting clarinet at age ten, Jen was trained in classical music and then moved into modern.

Now personally, I always get stressed out when I’m watching an orchestra because they still have to turn the sheet music pages as they play. What if they don’t turn the page in time?! What if the page flips back?! Musical chaos I bet! Why can’t they get digital screens? Jen, how important is the sheet music? “Usually by performance time, I just play,” Jen explained. “There was one time my music blew off the stage. I tried to turn it and it just blew off. It’s like, okay, I’m going to keep going, or tried to.” Did anyone notice that it happened? “Not really, no,” answered Jen. Wow, she’s in control.

So, I always wonder, are you really watching the conductor? Seems to me, conductors get way too much credit and no one is really watching them anyway. Back me up on this Jen, are you watching that baton? “Yes,” replied Jen. “We have to watch to get the tempos.” Okay Jen, I’ll take your word for it.

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Asked about her favorite clarinet pieces, Jen said, “There’s too many. The first one that came to mind was Mozart’s concerto for clarinet.” Mozart’s Clarinet concerto in A major was written in 1791. It was also one of Mozart’s final completed works, and his final purely instrumental work.

Jen decided to take a different career path after graduating from Capital, and attended Aveda Institute Columbus for cosmetology, and Jen’s current job is hairstylist. Jen’s favorite part of her job includes, “Interacting with people and talking to them all the time. Getting to know them more than just saying, ‘Hi, how are you?’”

Jen, is it hard sometimes to convince people the hair style they should have versus the one that they want? “Yes, I’ll make suggestions and then usually they’ll come around to it after time.” How does Jen keep track of all the new styles? “I take a lot of classes. I also look online and lots of different magazines.”

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So, last summer, I asked Jen what was the hot trend was in hair. “I would say varied bowl cuts, very blunt, minor colors,” replied Jen.

So Jen expresses her artistic side as a stylist, musician, and of course, through dance, taking her to the sidelines with the Ohio Dance Machine. “I’ve been dancing since I was six,” Jen explained. “I thought it would be fun. I actually started gymnastics first and then branched out in to every other kind of dance that I could possibly do.”

Jen also continued her gymnastics her senior year in high school. In gymnastics and dance in general, is there a synergy between them? “Definitely yes,” Jen answered, “Dance, helps the movement flow, and gymnastics helps with power dancing.”

Continue reading Read how clarinetist Jen would wind up on the Ohio Dance Machine

Ohio Dance Machine Prep Classes and Auditions

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2015 Audition Prep Classes

When: Monday January 5th at 8pm and Wednesday January 7th at 8pm

Where: Premiere on Sawmill

Registration is $15 per class, please wear clothes that allow you to move and dance freely. Prep class is not mandatory in order to attend auditions, but is highly encouraged.

2015 Auditions are January 17th-18th 2015

[Complete Audition Information]

With playoffs on the line this weekend, Ohio Dance Machine will be in high gear

Ohio Dance Machine from home game versus Outlaws; top row, Kassandra, Rustyn, Erika, Jen, Johnnie, Emily, Charity; lower row, Sarah, Megan, Jenny, Jaime

After two inaugural 2-12 seasons, this year the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse is firing on all cylinders, and a win Saturday propels them into the playoffs. After a 3-6 start, the Machine have won four straight, and a win Saturday places them in the MLL post-season!

And the Ohio Dance Machine will be cheering them on! Under the direction of Megan Hinz, the ODM are THE pro dance team for Columbus, Ohio. So UltimateCheerleaders asked some of the Dance Machine some biographical, locally grown, and machine related questions:

-Place of birth?

-What was your first dance performance in front of a big crowd?

-What is your “dream machine”?

-Most memorable time that you were in a car that broke down?

-Friends and family know to come to me when they need____?

-Education/career info:

-Who is the most fanatical Ohio State fan you know and what makes them so Buckeye crazy?

-Favorite thing to get at Graeters? (local ice cream place)

-Favorite thing about lacrosse and what do you tell people why they should try an Ohio Machine game?

Emily

Emily-Rookie

Place of birth? I was born in Hamilton, Ohio and grew up in Trenton, Ohio

First big dance performance? I was three years old at my first dance recital so I don’t really remember it! My earliest memory of performing was my very first solo when I was about six years old. It was a tap routine and I kept reminding myself of the advice my mom gave me: if you forget a step, just do a shuffle, no one will know the difference!

What is your dream machine? A boat that is attached to a dock that is directly behind my dream house on a beach in Florida.

Memorable time car broke down Driving home from Florida, the car I was in broke down while driving through the mountains somewhere in Virginia. We were thirty minutes from the nearest town and waited on the side of the road for two hours for the tow truck to arrive. We had to stay the night until the car could be fixed in the morning, but it was a fun little adventure and extended our vacation by an extra night!

Friends and family know to come to me when They need someone to listen or someone to cheer them up.

Education/career info: The Ohio State University – B.A. Journalism with a minor in Political Science; Capital University Law School – Juris Doctor; Current job: Attorney

Most fanatical Ohio State fan Being an Ohio State alumna and former member of the Ohio State Dance Team, I know too many people (including myself) who are fanatical Ohio State fans to choose just one! Go Bucks!

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: Chocolate milkshake

Favorite thing about lacrosse My favorite thing about lacrosse is how fast-paced and exciting the games are. I tell everyone they should come to Ohio Machine because the fans are awesome, the team does a great job, and even if you don’t know anything about lacrosse you will still definitely have fun!

Rustyn

Rustyn-Veteran

Place of birth? Bradenton, Florida

First big dance performance? Dance studio’s recital, tap and gymnastics piece

What is your dream machine? Red Dodge Challenger

Memorable time car broke down Never been in a car that broke down but I’m sure I’ll never forget my brother’s incident of driving to DC in the Fourth of July weekend and it was a Sunday so nothing was open.

Friends and family know to come to me when To talk and have someone to just listen

Education/career info: The Ohio State University for industrial and systems engineering. Job: QA Analyst (Quality Assurance) for Chase

Most fanatical Ohio State fan Myself. Been going to game with my family since I was probably six or seven. Attended all home games for the past five years and if it’s an away game always having football parties with the family.

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: I grew up with Toft’s in Northwest Ohio so I am partial to my Toft’s mint chocolate chip

Favorite thing about lacrosse It’s a faced paced game making it always exciting and fun to watch. I always tell people to try it because it’s great for families and fun to watch a exciting game with a great dance team

Jen-Veteran

Place of birth? Toledo, Ohio

First big dance performance? At my dance studio’s recital, I did tap, jazz, and gymnastics

What is your dream machine? Dodge Challenger

Memorable time car broke down Never been in a car that broke down but I would say it would be fun just talking to the people I’m in the car with

Friends and family know to come to me when To talk or if they need a haircut

Education/career info: Capital University for clarinet performance then Aveda Institute Columbus for cosmetology. Current job-hairstylist

Most fanatical Ohio State fan My good friend Adam. He grew up loving the Buckeyes (even though he’s from the state up north) and he loves anything to do with the Buckeye culture

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: peanut butter chip ice cream in a waffle cone

Favorite thing about lacrosse: It’s such a fun and fast moving game that keeps you entertained. People should try an Ohio Machine game because it is always fun and kid friendly. And you get to see the lovely ladies of the Ohio Dance Machine dance and cheer on the Ohio Machine!

Jenny-Co-Director/Co-Captain

Place of birth? Toledo, Ohio

First big dance performance? First performance that I remember was a dance recital when I was three years old. I was in a tumbling routine to a song that no one knew; I wore a lovely hot pink unitard that was much too big.

What is your dream machine? Does having my own soft serve ice cream machine count?

Memorable time car broke down I’ve never been in a car that broke down, but I’ve had plenty of flat tires. Thanks to my dad, I was able to change them all myself!

Friends and family know to come to me when they need someone to listen to or they just need to act silly.

Education/career info: I went to Capital University and graduated with a degree in Theatre. Currently work as a concierge for a senior living facility.

Most fanatical Ohio State fan My uncle is the biggest OSU fan I know because he dotted the “I” in the script “Ohio” and has been a devoted fan ever since!

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: is a phosphate mostly because of the name.

Favorite thing about lacrosse My favorite thing about lacrosse is watching the Machine when they really work together as a team. Because when they do, there is so much energy and it makes the goal so much better! I always tell people they should come because it’s more than just a game, it’s an experience and a great time for the family.

Ashley

Ashley-Rookie

Place of birth? Lima, Ohio

First big dance performance? I was three and a half in a cute leotard with sequins and ballet shoes. I smiled the whole dance.

What is your dream machine? Baby blue convertible

Memorable time car broke down I was driving on a Chicago highway and my automatic steering shut off and my car temp started to rise as I called my dad for advice. I asked him what was wrong and what should I do? He told me that was what Triple A was for and to call them. He was right.

Friends and family know to come to me when they need someone to go with them to a new place or to try something new.

Education/career info: Loyola University Chicago, B.A. Political Science, Law School: Ohio Northern University, JD; Current job: attorney

Most fanatical Ohio State fan Most fanatical Ohio State fan I know is my friend Dave who sets up a tailgate near the stadium for every home game no matter the weather and no matter how small the crowd is that joins him. He will be there with food and music to cheer on the bucks!

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: anything with chocolate

Favorite thing about lacrosse My favorite thing about lacrosse are the fast shots on the goal that get you excited every time a player swings to shoot. People should come out to a Machine game because the team plays hard and the crowd is a great support system for them. The people that come to cheer on the team make you love the sport just as much as them!

Jaime-Officer/Squad Leader

Place of birth? Waterville Ohio

First big dance performance? I was four years old dancing to Broadway Baby in a little purple and gold tutu, with a purple bow the size of my face.

What is your dream machine? I just want a boat, any size is fine I just love being on the water.

Memorable time car broke down Knock on wood I have never been in a broken down car, there was one time I was on a boat off the coast of Florida and the GPS went out. We were way too far out for the little boat we had but we found our way back eventually.

Friends and family know to come to me when they need something to get done. I’m usually on my A game…Usually

Education/career info: I graduated from THE Ohio State University with a degree in interior design. I now work at Chute Gerdeman an award winning retail design and branding firm. It is basically a dream job.

Most fanatical Ohio State fan: Walk around on campus on a game day and everyone you see is the craziest Buckeye fan!

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: banana split.

Favorite thing about lacrosse The thing I love about lacrosse and the machine is how great the people are. This is my third season and it is great to meet new people every year and continue growing relationships with returning members. I tell people to come to Machine games because they are just plain fun.

Sarah

Sarah-Co-Captain

Place of birth? Columbus, Ohio

First big dance performance? A dance recital when I was five. We danced to N’Sync Bye Bye Bye. Some of the parents learned the dance and joined in at the end! It was so much fun!

What is your dream machine? I would love to have my own frozen yogurt machine!

Memorable time car broke down I was driving to school and my car stopped working. When I called my professor to let her know I wouldn’t be there she did the class lecture over the phone with me while I was waiting for the tow truck to come.

Friends and family know to come to me when to vent or to have a silly conversation.

Education/career info: Graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a degree in early childhood education and intervention specialty. I am a 7th and 8th grade intervention specialist.

Most fanatical Ohio State fan My friend that I met through my fiancé. If he’s not at the games you can find him yelling at the tv.

Favorite thing to get at Greaters:: anything that has mint chocolate chip ice cream in it

Favorite thing about lacrosse The games are so much fun and energetic! The crowd really gets into what’s going on no matter what. I tell people to try the Ohio Machine games because no matter what they will leave with a fun story!

Erika

Erika-Rookie

Place of birth? Pickerington, Ohio

First big dance performance?: Jazz dance to Five at my dance studio’s recital

What is your dream machine? Jet ski

Friends and family know to come to me when they want medical advice

Education/career info: School: OSU; Job:Nurse at James Cancer Center

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: toffee chip

Favorite thing about lacrosse Fast paced and aggressive. Tell people they should come to game because is family friendly and close knit. Players support their fans as much as the fans support the players. Great atmosphere and games are always a lot of fun

Samone-Officer/Squad Leader

First big dance performance? My first recital at three yrs old. It was a tumbling class and I had on red and white polka dot two piece. I can still remember the song “Hey Micky ”

What is your dream machine? A bright and shiny Range Rover

Memorable time car broke down I ran out of gas on my way to get gas! I was in the school parking lot and literally ran out of gas at the stop sign: I was blocking buses and cars from leaving the parking lot! Thankful my dad came to the rescue and brought me gas

Most fanatical Ohio State fan Attending OSU…therefore I know many crazy Buckeye fans …one guy in particular painted his house scarlet and grey!

Favorite thing to get at Greaters: Just chocolate!

Favorite thing about lacrosse I love how intense lacrosse can get, especially when it’s a close game! I tell people to come to support our Ohio teams! Also to support ODM!

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THANKS Dance Machine! Saturday is also Fan Appreciation Night, with piles of activities, giveaways, and fireworks!

Ohio Dance Machine Director Megan’s non-profit “Urban-Eco” allows students to really see the circle of life

Megan is Director of the Ohio Dance Machine, dancers for Major League Lacrosse's Ohio Machine

Her passion for dance evolved into Megan’s off-hours role, directing the Ohio Dance Machine, the sidelines dancers for the MLL’s Ohio Machine. Megan’s passion for education became her day job, high school science teacher. But a life changing trip to Kenya in 2012 created another new mission for Megan, to connect high school students to the experience of visiting Africa. The result is “Urban-Eco,” a non-profit organization that Megan created with two equally passionate teachers, which is allowing students and teachers to visit Kenya, to experience a global perspective on the issue of conservation.

As Megan explains, “I first visited Kenya in 2012 while working on my Master’s degree. From the moment I stepped off the plane I fell in love with the country and the people. It was everything, from working with the Kenya Wildlife Service scouts, researchers, to meeting David Western and hearing him speak about the development of Amboseli national park, tracking lion movement at four in the morning with his son David Western, and working with the Maasai tribes. The experience was life changing and decided I wanted to share this experience with others and change their lives, too.”

The conclusion of Megan’s trip was a safari with her twin sister Jenny, also a high school teacher, and two other classmates. “We became so enchanted by what we learned, that we talked about sharing this experience with our students,” Megan continued. “I am proud to say that less than six months later, with the help of my sister and another teacher, we co-founded the non-profit organization Urban-Eco.”

Columbus, Ohio native Megan's team plays its home games near Columbus in Delaware, Ohio

“Urban-Eco’s mission is to provide hands-on experiences that infuse scientific inquiry and cultural immersion with educational volunteer opportunities for teachers and students on a global stage and local stage, and develop sustainability and community based conservation in an urban setting,” shares Megan.

And in the short time since 2012, Megan’s organization is already accomplishing its exciting vision. “This past summer, two years after our first visit, Urban-Eco made the inaugural trip with seven students and four teachers to Kenya,” Megan recounts. “It was such a wonderful experience, for it wasn’t just their first time out of the country, but out of their city. Students learned so much from the trip and even designed and carried out their own research project while in country. It was amazing to see the students grow and change while we were there; students began to realize how much they take for granted, and that the end of the trip wasn’t the end of their journey, they wanted to share this experience with their friends and families when they returned home, and do so much more.”

Urban-Eco is moving forward, with goals of moving in more directions. “We are currently planning our next trip and would like to expand the program to other locations and incorporate mountain gorillas, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, working with the cheetah conservation fund, and even marine life in Cape Town. It takes about two years to help our student’s fundraise for the trip to Kenya, so we will offer small trips in the off years to allow for more opportunities for students to get involved.”

To find out more about Urban-Eco or get involved please check out their website, urban-eco.org or visit Urban-Eco on Facebook for regular updates. But Urban-Eco is just part of her purposeful life, and Megan was kind enough to share with UltimateCheerleaders the joys of dance, teaching, and being a twin.

With two older brothers, Megan was born in Columbus, Ohio, with a best friend born on the same day. “Some of my favorite childhood memories involve dancing and performing with my sister,” recalls Megan. “Having a twin sister is the best experience in the world; the fact that we both share a passion for dance makes life even better. For me, there’s nothing quite like when I’m dancing with my sister, it’s very harmonious and invigorating.”

Megan’s twin Jenny is also leading the way in pro dance, being the founder of the brand new Chicago Thunder Dance Team in the MSFL. “Aside from both loving dance, she and I share the same passion for education and teach at the high school level; her passion is business information and technology, and I teach my passion of life sciences,” Megan says.

Jenny is in Chicago now, a couple of states away from Ohio, which is a change for Megan. “My twin is my best friend; my support, my courage, and my sanity, and it’s hard going from seeing her almost every day of my life to just holidays and special occasions, when she moved away. It’s tough saying, ‘Hey I want to meet up and run some choreography by you’, when you’re six hours away. In spite of the distance, we are closer then ever; talking multiple times a day and it makes any opportunity to dance with her that more special.”

Family has played a big part for Megan, as her mom played a big part in both her vocation and avocation. “I started out dancing when I was very young, around three years old,” Megan remembered. “I have my mom to thank for dancing, she always made sure I had opportunities to try all sorts of things and decide which ones where for me. As I grew up, I tried all styles of dance: ballet, tap, jazz , and modern. When I was in high school, I learned pom and kick line styled dancing, and when I was in college, I added hip-hop and breakdancing to my repertoire.”

College was guided by Megan’s lifelong interests and her mom’s daily example. “Growing up I was always interested in the science professions, from veterinarian to aspiring to be the first women on Mars, but I always knew my profession would be in science,” Megan says. “I always enjoyed sharing what I learned with others, and helping others discover their passions, and what better way than to teach? I have both my parents to thank for their support over the years, and am proud to say I follow in the footsteps of my mother, as she too is an educator and has truly been an inspiration to me in and out of my classroom.”

Continue reading Ohio Dance Machine Director Megan’s non-profit “Urban-Eco” allows students to really see the circle of life

Photo of the Day – July 29


Jenny S, during last Saturday’s halftime performance by the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine near Columbus

Photo of the Day – July 28


Megan, captain of the MLL’s Ohio Dance Machine, last Saturday night

2014 Ohio Dance Machine Auditions

With all this cold and snow in the Midwest, it is a great time to think about the warmth and sunshine of MLL season! And Megan Hinz of Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Dance Machine has all the info about their upcoming auditions!

We have changed up our audition process and are looking for some talented dancers to join us this season. Our auditions will be:

2014 OHIO DANCE MACHINE Auditions

@Premier on Sawmill

Pre-liminary round -Friday January 31st 7:30pm

Round 1- Saturday February 1st- 12:00pm

Bootcamp call backs- Start Monday February 3rd

Public Final audition- Saturday February 8th- Sponsor Bar TBA

For a complete outline of our audition process, more information can be found on our website:

website link

Or Facebook:

Facebook link

To register you must:

– be over 18- please bring valid ID

-Bring head-shots and complete resume

-Pay a $30 registration fee

-Come dressed in a black crop top and black booty or dance shorts with tights.

-Full Hair and make-up is expected

Online registration can be found at:

Registration form

I have also put up FAQ:

FAQ

Getting geared up for the Ohio Dance Machine with prep classes

Megan Hinz of Major League Lacrosse’s Ohio Dance Machine let’s us know that the squad is getting all geared up for their prep classes for the 2014 season. Their prep classes are November 6th, 20th, and December 4th and 11th, and will start at 8 pm at their sponsor’s gym Premier at Sawmill Athletic Club. The price is $10 per class or $30 for all four. Interested dancers may sign up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioDanceMachine or email at theohiodancemachine@gmail.com.

There is more information at their website theohiodancemachine.wix.com/ohiodancemachine

Megan is excited and looking forward to an even bigger and better 2014 season! She is awaiting confirmation on the final audition dates and will post them soon, and the auditions will take place in January.

Auditions for The Ohio Dance Machine are next week

Megan, the Captain of The Ohio Dance Machine, professional cheer/dance team for Major League Lacrosse’s The Ohio Machine, writes that they are very excited to start their second season in the MLL, with upcoming auditions on January 11th-12th.

Auditions are at the Metro Fitness in Hilliard (3440 Heritage Club Dr, Hilliard, Ohio 43026-3326). Registration is at 5:30pm on Friday January 11st, 2013 followed by clinics. Registration is $25.

FINALS will be held Saturday January 12th, 2013 starting at 11:30am.

Do you have what it takes to go PRO?

Questions? Send us a message on facebook or email us at Theohiodancemachine@gmail.com

There is more information at their Facebook page and web links here and here.