$templateURI = get_template_directory_uri(); $homeURL = get_home_url(); if ( isset($bfa_ata_preview) OR $bfa_ata['css_external'] == "Inline" OR ( isset($bfa_ata_debug) AND $bfa_ata['allow_debug'] == "Yes" ) ) { echo '

Singing the praises of Richmond Lady Raiders Director Kelly Allen, an alumnus of ten years of pro cheer

2185003

Kelly Allen embodies the term, “multi-talented.” Kelly spent ten years dancing for the NBA Wizards and NFL Redskins, and is also an accomplished singer, mathematics major, and now Director of the PIFL’s Richmond Lady Raiders Dance Team. A former captain for both the Wizard Dancers and Redskins Cheerleaders, Kelly choreographed many of their dance routines.

Kelly has donated her time to perform as a dancer, singer, actress and choreographer for musical productions presented by Cabaret for Life, Inc. for over fifteen years. Cabaret, as a non-profit organization, donates its show proceeds to organizations that provide support to groups or organizations whose mission is to ease the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases. In addition, Kelly has been a member of the dance company The Capitol Movement Project. With this group, Kelly had the honor of dancing, singing, and choreographing in Capitol Movements Concerts at the Historic Lincoln Theater and the Kennedy Center, as well as the at the 25th Anniversary Radio One Gala. The organization’s mission is to build better lives through dance by partnering with community organizations to provide disadvantaged youth and underserved citizens the chance to participate in and patronize the arts in Washington, DC.

Kelly has been a singer with Kaleidoscope, a ten-piece band, based in Maryland, providing entertainment on a multi-state basis. She has been a feature singer with the band, and has performances ranging from NFL football games to the Inaugural Balls for Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.

For seven years Kelly was the organizer, manager and producer of a major benefit event titled “Kelly and Friends” which featured a band, Kelly as the lead singer, along with other talented musicians. Proceeds from “Kelly and Friends,” which benefited Prince George’s County charities, exceeded $300,000 over the past seven years.

And now, Kelly is in her third season Director of the excellent Lady Raiders that support the PIFL’s Richmond Raiders. With the Raiders hosting a playoff game Monday night, it is a great time to learn more about, who shared with UltimateCheerleaders insights into her life. Kelly kindly was interviewed last before she added yet another facet to her life, being a mom of twins!

UC – Kelly, where you were born and raised, and what are your favorite childhood memories?

Kelly – I was born and raised in New Jersey, have six siblings. My favorite childhood memories are just being young and carefree without a worry in the world and being around my siblings.

UC – How old were you and how did you start dance? As a singer and dancer, were you always putting on shows when you were young?

Kelly – I started dancing at the age of five years old. Whatever activity my older sister was involved in, I always followed so at first my sister enrolled in gymnastics, so then I enrolled. Then my sister went into dance, and then I followed. I have never been nervous to perform in front of a crowd. I was always called a little “ham.” I always created little shows at home and whenever my parents came home from work, I would make them sit down to watch it. Of course the show would be extra-long, so my parents would set a time limit.

Kelly_Life

UC – When did you start your singing training, and who were your singing influences as you developed?

Kelly – I always loved singing for as long as I can remember and took my first vocal lessons when I was twelve years old. My idol has been and always will be Whitney Houston and that is the style that I always tried to emulate. The song that would show my vocal range the best is “I Will Always Love You.”

UC – Tell me about your post high school education and dance/music training?

Kelly – I went to Howard University where I originally majored in dance. After a year, I changed my major to Pure and Applied Mathematics and minored in Secondary Education and Voice. I studied classical music, mostly Italian.

UC – If there was a dream lead role in a musical that you would love to perform on Broadway, what would it be?

Kelly – If I could have any role in a Broadway play, it would be Velma in Chicago, or basically anything Fosse.

UC – What was dance/cheer squads background before you tried out for the Redskins? What prompted you to try-out for the Skins the first time?

Kelly – While attending Howard University, I was a captain for the Bisonettes. After college, I was a Washington Wizards Dancer for three years and held the position of captain and was with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders for seven years and was also a captain. My coach Stephanie Gross, who was previously with the Wizards and moved over to the Redskins, was my motivation to try out. I loved dancing under her. I was lucky enough to know a few current and alumni redskins cheerleaders at the time that I decided to tryout and through their great advice and guidance, was able to make the team on my first try.

redskins049

UC – What were you favorite memories of being part of the pro cheer, and what experiences did it add to your life?

Kelly – My favorite memories of being a Wizards Dancers and a Washington Redskins was making made several trips to the Middle East, Europe, the Balkans, Central America, and Greenland to entertain and boost the morale of our troops before and after the 9/11 tragedy; serenading the troops vocally as well as dancing. My most memorable moments as a Redskins Cheerleader is running out the tunnel for the first time to thousands of screaming fans, and singing the National Anthem at multiple games. Cheering professionally resulted in me growing more as a person and a professional, meeting so many people that I was able to network with and learn from, and fostering lifelong friendships that I cherish.

redskinsdraftmisc11

Continue reading Singing the praises of Richmond Lady Raiders Director Kelly Allen, an alumnus of ten years of pro cheer

Photo of the Day – January 26

raiders

Erica of the Richmond Lady Raiders at the Sideline Prep Workshop on Saturday

Trenton Freedom Xtreme Dance Team

trenton

A few of the Xtreme Dance Team members pose with their 2015 Dance Team calendars at the Trenton (NJ) Freedom Fan Experience held at the Sun National Bank Center

[Trenton Freedom Xtreme Dance Team]

Nashville Venom Dance Team Audition!

Audition Flyer

Start the new year right! Auditions are coming up for the Nashville Venom Dance Team. The Nashville Venom are the 2014 PIFL Champions and are looking to have another GREAT season!

Preliminary auditions:
January 4, 2015
Municipal Auditorium in Nashville
Registration starts at noon.
Application fee is $20, cash or money order only!

Preliminary auditions will begin promptly at 12:45. Preliminary auditions are closed to the public and will only be open to those auditioning.

Wardrobe: two piece dance attire- Stomach must be shown, Tennis shoes or Dance shoes, surface is concrete/gym floor

Interviews:
If you are selected as a finalist you have to schedule an interview for Monday, January 5,2015.

Finals:
TBD

For the latest information or contact information, visit their website at www.nashvillevenom.com/dance-team.html or look them up on Facebook

Harrisburg Stampede Crush Dance Team Auditions are December 6th

The Harrisburg Stampede is holding open auditions for its Crush Dance Team on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

[Crush Dance Team]

Harrisburg Stampede “Crush” Dance Team Prep Class And Auditions

cr7sh

The Harrisburg Stampede’s “Crush” Dance Team is seeking beautiful, physically fit women with energy, dance ability and charisma to represent the Stampede in the community and perform during home games at the Giant Center.

Audition location: Historic Ice Palace at HersheyPark Arena
Date: Saturday, December 6, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Attire: 2-piece audition outfit (sports bra and dance trunks/briefs or shorts) and performance-ready hair and makeup.

Interested candidates can learn more by attending Crush prep classes, which are designed to help applicants feel more confident during the audition. Prep classes allow potential candidates to learn the different dance styles incorporated into Crush’s season performances. The environment is supportive and non-competitive. Participants will be exposed to new choreography each week and will have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with Crush Director Julia Powers.

Prep Class Location: Historic Ice Palace at HersheyPark Arena
Dates: Thursday, November 13 and Thursday, November 20
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Attire: 2-piece workout attire
Fee: $20 (includes admittance to both prep classes and audition)

Requirements:

Must be at least 18 by 12/6/14 and have a high school diploma or GED
Complete online registration process at www.harrisburgstampede.com
Bring photo ID, non-returnable picture and water
Auditions are CLOSED to the public

This is your chance to:

Perform at the Giant Center in front of thousands of fans
Model for photo and calendar shoots
Attract local media attention
Represent the Stampede at community and charity events
Dance for a championship-caliber team
Meet new people and make lifelong friends

To learn more and pre-register, visit www.harrisburgstampede.com/crush/

For questions, email julialpowers@gmail.com

View 2014 Crush performances on YouTube by visiting their YouTube Channel

Richmond’s Lady Raiders final tryouts for 2015, and a look back to 2014’s edition

Today, the Richmond Lady Raiders own legacy of excellence continues as final tryouts are being held at the courtyard at the Innsbrook Shoppes (4028 Cox Road, right off Broad Street). This round is free and open to the public. You can support your favorite Lady Raider and meet the new team, and enjoy drink specials at Sharky’s and food specials at Taziki’s after the audition! Auditions are from 12:30 – 3:00 pm. Here are the candidates for the 2015 squad.

So with the dawning at 2015 squad, let’s take a look back to some of last year’s talented squad! Good luck to those trying out today, and to the wonderful Kelly Owens-Allen who directs the squad.

Ally

Your name is…Ally
You were born in what city? Canandaigua, NY
Years on Lady Raiders? This was my first year
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? 2012, “Grease” songs
Your college/major and/or day job is….J.S. Reynolds Community College, Associates of Science, day job- martial arts instructor
Your dream job is? Physician assistant
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Faithfully by Journey
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are….College- Virginia Tech Hokies; NFL – Giants
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Genghis Grill and museums
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? French Rivera/Monaco

Your name is… Ashley F
You were born in what city? I was born in Richmond, VA.
Years on Lady Raiders? I have been on the team for one season.
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started dancing at the age of 6. I was 7 when I first performed at a dance competition. It was a jazz funk dance to a Cotton Eyed Joe remix.
Your college/major and/or day job is…. I just recently was accepted into the Respiratory Therapy Program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Because I am still in school, I work as a server at BT’s Deli in Glen Allen.
Your dream job is? My dream job would be a backup dancer for an artist because dancing is my passion. It would also give me the opportunity to travel the world.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? My “go to” Karaoke song would be “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett because when I was younger I was obsessed with that song.
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. My favorite college football team would be Ohio State. My favorite NFL team would have to be the Cleveland Browns. My entire family is from Ohio so I would go to the games and also go to the Browns Backers club here in Richmond.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? There is so much to do in Virginia so I try to give them a taste of everything. I show them the Civil War battlefields in Mechanicsville and take them to Bell Isle because of the beautiful scenery. I also take them on day trips to Virginia Beach, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. As for restaurants, we go Sapori Italian restaurant and Mama Cucinas because the food is absolutely amazing.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? If I had to choose a location for the Swimsuit Calendar it would be Antigua because the water is crystal clear and the sand is silky smooth. It is by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

Ashley M (left)

Your name is…Ashley M
You were born in what city? Huntsville, AL
Years on Lady Raiders? 3 years
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I’ve been cheering since age 6; I started dancing with the Lady Raiders.
Your college/major and/or day job is….I work at a Credentialing Company; I work in the Provider Enrollment Department where I enroll practitioners into the various Managed Care Plans.
Your dream job is? I would love to be a professional playwright or a professional critic.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Tyrone by Erykah Badu
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are….I personally don’t have a favorite team; I enjoy the sport. I typically pull for the Steelers, because my dad is a Steelers Fan.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? For a delicious meal, I like to take friends and family to the Croaker Spot here in Richmond. The food is absolutely delicious.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Any tropical island where the water is clear, the sun is bright, and the bugs are minimal!

Demetria

Your name is…Demetria
You were born in what city? I was born in Petersburg, VA
Years on Lady Raiders? I have danced on the Lady Raiders for 3 years.
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started dancing at the age of 14. My first performance was at my high school football game to Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “End of Stone.”
Your college/major and/or day job is….I graduated from Virginia State University with a major in Mass Communications. I now work with Heroes Academy teaching people how to make and save money.
Your dream job is? My dream job is doing what makes me happy and something I’m passionate about. This is exactly what I have at Heroes Academy.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? My go to Karaoke song is anything Michael Jackson!
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. As a fan of football, my favorite college team is University of Miami Hurricanes and my favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? When out of state friends visit Virginia, I love taking them to Maggiano’s Italian restaurant.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? If I could pick anywhere in the world to go for a swimsuit photo shoot it would be Hawaii.

Melissa (right)

Your name is… Melissa
You were born in what city? I was born and raised in Richmond Virginia but I’m Filipina by blood.
Years on Lady Raiders? This year was my rookie year as a Lady Raider.
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started ballet when I was four. My first performance was as a flower in a Hansel and Gretel play. It was orchestrated so it was an instrumental number. I use the word dancing loosely because back then at age four I’m sure it was much more of running around on stage than it was dancing. Nonetheless I fell in love with the art and 18 years later I’m still dancing.
Your college/major and/or day job is…. I’m a nursing student but I bartend on the side.
Your dream job is? Aside from being a nurse, I can envision myself being so many different things because my interests are so broad and passions are so deep. I don’t have a particular dream job in mind, although if I found an avenue for profit with photography, art, writing, or dance I would definitely be ecstatic. My main concern is just finding a job or several projects that will contribute to my happiness and feed my soul!
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are….Favorite college football is Virginia Tech. Go Hokies! As far as NFL teams go I’d say the Tennessee Titans.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Downtown Richmond has so much to offer as far as entertainment and good food. There’s always a festival or some kind of event going on during the weekends, so if it coincides that’d be one of the first things I’d bring them to. Restaurant wise it’s hard to choose just one because it all depends on what your mood dictates, but my go-to restaurant being the beer aficionado that I am is American Taproom. Crazy good beer selection, and the food is phenomenal.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? If I could choose I would send us to the Philippine islands. I had gone island hopping two summers ago with my family and it is absolutely postcard perfect! The water is so clear enough to see the fish swimming around you and the beaches are to die for. It’s paradise!

Nicole

Your name is…Nicole
You were born in what city? Chicago, Illinois
Years on Lady Raiders? 2
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started dancing when I was 3. My first dance recital we danced to a song called “Babydolls” and I was 3 years old.
Your college/major and/or day job is…. My college major was Psychology and I am a professional figure skating instructor.
Your dream job is? I have my dream job teaching figure skating.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Wagon Wheel
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. Virginia Tech Hokies and Dallas Cowboys
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? I like taking my out of town friends to Carytown and the Fan. There’s so much shopping and walking around to do. I love getting brunch at Boychiks Deli with my friends on the weekends.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? I would choose Oahu, Hawaii. It is one of the prettiest places I have been to and would love to go with my squad.

O'Keira

Your name is…O’Keira
You were born in what city? Richmond, Virginia.
Years on Lady Raiders? This was my first year
Your college/major and/or day job is….I attend school at Virginia College to be a Medical Assistant. I work at Precious Place Salon as a hair stylist.
What age did you start dance?
Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I was 8 years old when I first started dancing, and I performed to Shackles by Mary Mary.
Your dream job is? My dream job is to be a RN.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? My favorite karaoke song is Respect by Aretha Franklin.
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. Virginia Tech is my favorite college football team and Philadelphia Eagles is my favorite NFL team.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? When my friends from out of town come to visit, I take them to Cary Town to shop and eat at the different restaurants. If I could take the Lady Raiders someone for our photo shoot it would be Rio, Brazil.

Shana

Your name is… Shana
You were born in what city? I was born in Killeen, Texas.
Years on Lady Raiders? I have been a member of the Lady Raiders Cheer and Dance team for 3 years, and have served as a co-captain for 2 years.
What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I stared dancing at 3 years old and performed to the song, “Bake Me a Cake”.
Your college/major and/or day job is…. I am a senior psychology major at Virginia State University. I currently work on campus as a mentor for incoming freshmen.
Your dream job is? My dream job is to work as a child psychologist.
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? My go to Karaoke song is “Bills, Bills, Bills”, by Destiny’s Child.
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. I do not watch a lot of college football, but my favorite NFL team is the New England Patriots.
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? I would show them all of the fun things Richmond has to offer, such as the history and museums, the river walk, and of course, a Richmond Raiders game. There are so many great restaurants in Richmond, some of mine are Mama Zu’s, and Tarrants Café.
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? I would love to travel to Greece, and shoot in the Mediterranean!!

Tori

Your name is…Tori
You were born in what city? Richmond, Virginia
Years on Lady Raiders? 1 year
What age did you start dance? 12 years old
Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? Yeah! By Usher
Your college/major and/or day job is….Cosmetologist
Your dream job is? Lawyer
What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Believe by Cher
As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are….Alabama, Redskins
When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Williamsburg premiere outlets
For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Fiji

More photos of these Lady Raiders are located at this link.

Trenton (NJ) Freedom Xtreme Dance Team Auditions are Next Month

[Trenton Freedom Xtreme Dance Team]

Pair of four-year Richmond Lady Raiders Gloria and Sarah are two of a kind

Richmond's Lady Raider Sarah

Things just keep moving at high speed for Richmond’s Lady Raiders. I bet veterans Gloria and Sarah cannot believe it has been four years already on the squad.

And it seems like the PIFL season just ended, but the Lady Raiders already have completed one prep class, and the next of four is on August 13th. More info is here.

Let us learn more about Gloria and Sarah!

Gloria is originally from Atlanta

Gloria

You were born in what city? Atlanta, Georgia

Years on Lady Raiders? 4

What age did you start dance? Three years old Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? At four to “My Little Sunshine”

Your day job is…. I was a Youth Developmental Specialist, but I just currently got an amazing job working at a Celebrity PR Firm.

Your dream job is? Is to background dance for major celebrities

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? It would currently have to be Beyoncé “Drunk In Love”

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. My favorite college football team would have to be the Georgia Bulldogs….. And it’s so many NFL teams that I love, it’s no way I can just pick one!

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? I love to just hang by the pool and relax during the summer. If I could get paid to do that, life would rock!

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Especially because I’m not from Virginia I like to take them to some of the places that I was first shown and that would definitely include Carytown and ShortPump Mall.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Oh my gosh! I would love for me and the ladies to be able to go to the Bahamas. When I went it was so beautiful and I would love to share that experience with them.


Sarah

You were born in what city? Fairfax, Virginia

Years on Lady Raiders? 4

What age did you start dance? I’ve been dancing since I was three or four. I took classes here and there but really got into it when I made my high school’s dance team freshman year. From there. I joined VCU’s Gold Rush Dance Team and now the Lady Raiders.

Your college/major and/or day job is…. I have a Mass Communications degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. I am currently the program director at the Art Factory & Party Place

Your dream job is? Event Planner

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

As a fan, your favorite college football teams are…. We didn’t have a football team at VCU so I became a huge basketball fan – Go Rams!

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? Love going to the beach with my husband and our dog

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? We always end up shopping in Carytown – so many fun and unique stores you can’t find anywhere else. After shopping we have to get donuts from Dixie Donuts! I often take friends and family to eat at Water Coastal Kitchen and Casa Del Barco, yum!

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Aruba – the white beaches, crystal clear water & amazing sunsets would make the perfect setting for our calendar shoot!

More photos of Gloria and Sarah are at this link.

Richmond fans have been going gaga over Lady Raiders Keisha, Lia, Ryan, and Sherika for 5+ seasons

Lady Raider Keisha prior to the season's last home game

The PIFL’s Richmond Lady Raiders certainly are a standout squad, and the role over its existence from long-time pro cheerleaders Laura Eilers-Clark and the current leadership of Kelly Owens-Allen are a key ingredient. But also, when you see key veterans, like Lady Raiders Keisha, Lia, Ryan, and Sherika, all part of the squad for five-plus years, one sees the synergy of a healthy organization, where veterans want to return and help shape the experience and culture of the squad. So here are the veteran Lady Raiders, and congratulations on another stellar season:

Keisha

You were born in what city? Martinsville, Virginia

Years on Lady Raiders? 5

What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started cheering at 14, and the our first dance we learned was to “Candy Girl.”

Your college/major and/or day job is…. I am kindergarten teacher.

Your dream job is? (laughs) I would like to be Beyonce.

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Anything by Beyonce.

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. Goooo Steelers!

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? Go to the beach or pool!

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? I like to show them Carytown.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Jamaica or any beautiful island with beautiful beaches

Lia

Lia

You were born in what city? Omaha, Nebraska

Years on Lady Raiders? I am going into my sixth season with the Lady Raiders

What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started performing at two years old for a dance company called Traylor Dance Academy. The first song I danced to was “I’m a Little Teapot”

Your college/major and/or day job is…. I recently graduated from college where I studied Dental Assisting. I am currently working as a dental assistant for Virginia Family Dentistry and have been for about eight months.

Your dream job is? I am happy to say I am working in my career field and where I have wanted to work since I was little, but I would love to one day pursue a career in music. I love to sing.

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel”

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. Colts and Broncos for NFL and for college I would say Virginia Tech.

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? Love going to the beach, spending time with friends and family, having/attending cookouts and fishing at the river in Urbanna. (smiles) So relaxing

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Love to take them to downtown Richmond and have them experience to city nightlife. Also to some of the great shopping malls such at Stony Point Fashion Park and Short Pump Town Center Mall. As far as food, it depends what were in the mood for but I really enjoy the restaurant The Daily. Great food.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Bora bora would be phenomenal.

Ryan

Ryan

You were born in what city? Chester, Virginia

Years on Lady Raiders? Five years

What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? Five years old and it was to “Hey Mickey” by Toni Basil

Your college/major and/or day job is Manager of a Heart Failure Clinic

Your dream job is? To one day own my own cheerleading apparel store

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? “Shoop” by Salt-n-Pepa

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are Baltimore Ravens and Virginia Tech

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? Lay by the pool and read a book

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? I love the South of the James Farmers Market. Such great fresh food and local vendors.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Bermuda! I love the pink beaches

Sherika

Sherika

You were born in what city? Petersburg, Virginia

Years on Lady Raiders? Five years

What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I started dancing when I was three. I believe the first song was “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Disney! I still love that song!

Your college/major and/or day job is… I majored in Health & Physical Education and obtained my Master’s in Sport Management. I currently work in medical billing and teach dance and fitness.

Your dream job is? I would love to be a dance and fitness entrepreneur. (smiles) I’m working on it!

What is your “go to” Karaoke song? Respect by Aretha Franklin…. I can jam to that song!

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are…. Virginia Tech and the Washington Redskins

What are your favorite things to do in summertime? Cookout by the pool and go to all the various festivals that take place in downtown RVA (Richmond, Virginia)

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? I love to take my friends for walks along the Canal River and show off the Richmond Arts & Culture District which is where many of the art galleries and studios are located. I live not far from there and call it the area where the “movers and shakers” are.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Bali! It’s known as one of the best islands in the world and I have always wanted to go.

Thanks to Kelly and the Lady Raiders for all of their graciousness! More photos of the four vets are at this link.

Kat needs nine lives to keep up with her roles in IT, drumming, dancing, show jumping, and cheering for the PIFL Nashville Snake Charmers

Kat is new to pro dance with the PIFL's Nashville Venom, but is a versatile performer

We constantly encounter super accomplished, multi-tasking pro dancers at UltimateCheerleaders, yet I can still be completely astounded by their careers and diverse hobbies that defy the notion of 24 hours in a day. Recently I met Kat, who must have nine lives. Kat is an IT professional by day, with dance and political science degrees, and her “hobbies” of being a drummer in bands, back-up dancer, dance teacher, choreographer, she owns two horses, and participates in show jumping. So since she had all that “extra time” on her hands, Kat decided to add pro cheer to the equation this year. Kat performed at PIFL Champion Nashville Venom games, as a member of the Snake Charmers. Well, Kat’s ability to balance all of that is one equation I could never solve.

Kat shared with UltimateCheerleaders some of the dimensions of her life, from riding a show jumper to being a show stopper, and why she may frequently party like it is 1999, perhaps even in a raspberry beret.

With a degree in dance from Virginia’s Radford University, Kat says, “I’ve done almost all styles of dance and some commercial work. I’ve done back up dancer work. I teach dance. I’ve done choreography, but this is the first experience I’ve had working with a professional sports team.”

So why add pro sports to this very busy plate for the inaugural season of the Venom? “It just sounded like something that I would probably find really interesting,” Kat explains. “I knew it was a new team that was starting up. Sissy Brown, our coach, had a workshop last winter prior to auditions. I thought, ‘Let me go to this workshop and see what it’s all about.’ It was really fun. Her choreography was really hip hop heavy. My background’s in dance not in cheerleading, so I thought, ‘Okay, the hip hop background and the choreography, I can do that.’ I thought I’d try out and see what happened, and I made it. It’s been a really cool experience.”

What types of things surprised Kat about the experience? “There’s definitely so much that goes into each game,” Kat responded. “It’s not just, show up and put your shoes on, and go out on the field. There’s so much. There have been plenty of times where we’ve had to do our own hair and make-up, and help design our own outfits. We’ve had appearances, charity events; a lot things like that.”

But on the day job portion of Kat’s plate is being an IT project manager. “My career is in project management,” Kat explains. “I do have a very demanding career. Then on top of that I juggle teaching dance, being on the Venom, I do back-up dancer work for a Prince tribute band that’s based here in town. I play a lot of freelance gigs as a drummer. Then there’s a pop rock artist based in town and I play for her as well. It’s keeping the legitimate day career and keeping all the other things I love alive, all at the same time.”

Kat is a Jacksonville, Florida native but moved to Virginia, where she spent her high school and college years. Besides Dance, she studied Political Science at Radford. So has Kat always been interested in current affairs and history type things? “Very much so,” Kat replies. “Political science, history, languages. Then I just kind of fell into the career track of project management because it lined up with a lot of my already existing skills. Communications is the most important part of project management. Communications and then accountability.”

“I’ve always had like the business project management side of me and then I’ve always had the art side of me,” Kim continues. “I’ve always tried to inter-mix them as much as possible.”

And dance has always been in mix, even though young Kat was quite opposed to the whole dance thing at first. “My mom enrolled me in dance when I was three,” recounted Kat. “She enrolled me in tap and ballet, and she told me years later that I complained going to every class. I whined, I didn’t want to go, didn’t want to go. Then recital time came around and I had the costume, the hair, and make-up. After the recital, she told me as a three-year old, ‘Just make it to the recital and then you can quit after that.’”

“After the recital, she said, ‘Okay, well you can quit now,’” Kat continues. “She said I announced, ‘No, no, I don’t. I like it, no no no!’ I never complained again after that, ever about going to class.”

Continue reading Kat needs nine lives to keep up with her roles in IT, drumming, dancing, show jumping, and cheering for the PIFL Nashville Snake Charmers

Gimme an A…for Adrienne of the Richmond Lady Raiders!

Adrienne just completed another season with the Richmond's Lady Raiders, here greeting fans before the home game against Nashville

The silvery sparkly Lady Raiders are a big part of Richmond, Virginia’s sports scene, as part of the Richmond Raiders PIFL franchise, and they are a must-see squad in pro-dance. The hats, the capes, the performances…amazing! So I did, I must-saw the squad, directed by Kelly Allen, who spent ten years combined herself dancing for the Wizards and cheering for the ‘Skins.

UltimateCheerleaders will be featuring an interview with Kelly and profiles of the Lady Raiders, but where to start? I’ve got it! Let’s start at the beginning of the alphabet with the lovely veteran standout Lady Raider Adrienne! Let’s learn more about Adrienne:

You were born in what city? Portsmouth, Virginia, raised in Columbia, Maryland

Years on Lady Raiders? Just wrapped up my third year

What age did you start dance? Your first dance performance ever was at what age and what song? I was five years old when I was enrolled in my first classes. I don’t remember my first ballet song, but my first tap song was “Splish Splash”

Your college/major and/or day job is…. I graduated with a B.F.A in Dance and Choreography. I am currently an Activities Coordinator at a Dementia, Nursing, and Assisted Living Community.

Your dream job is? To be a talent scout, write, produce, and direct stage musicals and some TV and film.

Your Lady Raiders Director Kelly is an accomplished singer. What is your “go to” Karaoke song? “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica, or anything by Destiny’s Child.

As a fan, your favorite college football and NFL teams are… I married into a family of Marshall Alumni, therefore I root for Marshall football. I’ll always love the Redskins, or whatever they change their name to!

What is your favorite things to do in summertime? I love to swim. I love shopping, going to the fairs, festivals, carnivals, riding roller coasters, traveling, and creating fun memories with family and friends.

When out of state friends visit you in Virginia, where are the favorite restaurants and fun things you like to show them? Everywhere! Richmond, Va. has some of the best places to eat, all types of food cultures in one city. Richmond has brought many Food Network shows and celebrities to its unique restaurants.

For the swimsuit calendar for your dance team, if you could choose the location anywhere in the world, where would you send yourself and the squad? Miami, Florida! Somewhere on the beach, or a “Star Island” mansion home that could be used to shoot around the pool and property. Another place would be the Bahamas/Atlantis Resort. It is such a beautiful and fun place to experience.

It was so nice to learn about Adrienne! I am sure it has it challenges and emotional ups and downs, but that is one lucky assisted living facility to have Adrienne brightening their days. A real pro dancer to add some “cheer” to the residents of the community!

The only downside of Adrienne’s profile, now I have “Splish Splash” on a continuous loop playing in my head. And its the Potsie from Happy Days version!

Thanks so, so much to Adrienne, the Lady Raiders, Kelly, and the Richmond Raiders for all of their assistance! More photos of Adrienne from the last Raiders home game of the season are at this link.

Snake Charmer Maya and her lucky charm help Nashville’s Venom make Saturday’s PIFL championship

Maya is a rookie Snake Charmer during the successful first season of the PIFL's Nashville Venom

Talk about a successful first season! The Nashville Venom entered the Professional Indoor Football League in 2014, compiled the league’s best record, advanced to the championship game, and now will host the PIFL championship on Saturday night against Lehigh Valley.

Same goes for the Venom’s dance team, the Snake Charmers. They are instantly successful with the guidance and leadership of their Coordinator Sissy Brown, a veteran of the NFL sidelines plus AFL experience including being selected for the AFL Dream Team.

In addition, Snake Charmer Maya is in her first season of pro cheerleading, and is a part of this inaugural success on the field and on the sidelines. Maya is a product of Nashville, a college student, and enjoying this first taste of the pro dance experience. Maya shared with UltimateCheerleaders where she inherited her cheer/dance genes from, her secret talents, and why someone should Say Yes to Maya to have her help pick out a wedding dress.

Maya is originally from Nashville and loves her hometown. She has seen the burst of the city of Nashville’s growth and the increased local happenings even during her young life. And now she gets to see all happenings surrounding the brand new Venom up close.

Maya began dancing at age three because her mom wanted her to take dance, “and I ended up loving it” explains Maya. “I’ve always been kind of shy, and dance is a way to let me express myself, and be me. “

And having mom around made things easier when little Maya first danced in public. “It was my first recital and I was three,” Maya recalls. “It wasn’t as scary because it was a ‘Mom and Me’ dance class, so my mom was on stage, too.”

Maya’s mom was a college cheerleader herself, so Maya received the dance/cheer genes from mom. Maya was a cheerleader in middle school, high school, and in college at Tennessee State. But Maya says her biggest achievement in dance thus far is making the Snake Charmers. “My proudest moment in dance would be making this team. This is the biggest thing I’ve done in dance so far, and I just want to keep going.” And what did Maya’s mom think of it? “She was really excited,” reports Maya.

Working with such an experienced pro cheerleader like Titans veteran Sissy as her coach provides Maya with a chance to see what the world of pro dance is like. “I wasn’t quite ready to try out for Titans yet, and I thought it would just be good opportunity to try it, get my feet wet, and see if I like it,” Maya explains. “I’ve learned a lot. It’s a really good experience.”

Maya is a college student, majoring in Business, with a concentration in supply chain management. And Maya’s dream job is a true marriage of all of her interests. “I do know I want to do something with weddings, like being a wedding planner or bridal consultant,” Maya says. So what does the Say Yes to the Dress fan find appealing about weddings? “They’re just really happy and a good time, to be with family and friends coming together. I really like that.”

So let’s say Maya was assisting a bride choose that perfect dress (perhaps a new show, Say Hi-ya to Maya). How would Maya approach helping someone with this huge decision? Maya answers, “I’d first try to see what their vision is, and I would try to the best of my ability, helping them find what they want and also making sure it’s in their price range, because you never want a bride to find a dress that she can’t buy.”

And fashion is one of Maya’s hobbies. “I actually like fashion a lot,” Maya says. “I’m learning to sew.” Her interests are also shared in her family, as one of her cousins is a designer for Kohl’s for their children’s line.

Maya’s other hidden talents include singing. In addition to singing in her church choir, Maya’s go-to karaoke song is Usher’s, “U Got it Bad.” So would Maya like to transition to singer/dancer? “Nah, I’m pretty content with the dancing,” answers Maya.

Continue reading Snake Charmer Maya and her lucky charm help Nashville’s Venom make Saturday’s PIFL championship

Harrisburg Stampede Crush Dance Team

Thanks to Julia Powers, Director of the Harrisburg Stampede Crush Dance Team for these photos of her squad.

Abby

Justine

Loren

Next chance to catch the Crush Dance Team in action is this Friday.

[Crush Dance Team]

Harrisburg Stampede’s “Crush” Dance Team Home Opener

Thanks to Harrisburg Stampede Crush Dance Team Manager Julia Powers for sending us these photos of her team from their home opener.

The Crush Dance Team next take the field on May 17th.

[Harrisburg Stampede Crush Dance Team]