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Richmond RoughRiders Dance Team Prep Class and Auditions

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Richmond, Virginia has always been a bit small for a major league team, but the Richmond Raiders were blessed with a top tier major league quality dance team, coached by former Washington Wizards Dancer (2000-2003, Captain) and Washington Redskins Cheerleader (2005-2012, Captain) Kelly Allen. Well, in the topsy turvy wacky world of indoor football this spring, the Raiders are no more, but Richmond has a new indoor football team in town, and Kelly is now the Director of the RoughRiders Dance Team. Great news! Information about the prep classes (December 15th) and auditions (January 7th) are included in the graphic above, and we were thrilled to feature Kelly, singing her praises, at this link, previously at UltimateCheerleaders.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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.

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.

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.

Richmond Lady Raiders Auditions

[Richmond Lady Raiders]

Lady Raiders Auditions Begin July 22nd

Auditions for the 2012-2013 Lady Raiders Dance & Cheer Team are scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The Lady Raiders are the all-female promotion and entertainment group supporting the Richmond Raiders indoor professional football at the Richmond Coliseum. The 2012 Raiders football team finished second in the Professional Indoor Football League after competing in the Championship Final game. The Raiders will kick off their fourth season in Richmond in March 2013.

Featured in many local magazines, radio, television as well as internationally on www.ultimatecheerleaders.com, the Lady Raiders are known to represent the All-American young woman who is a gracious community leader and performer. There are several factors evaluated in the selection process including physical fitness, personal appearance, dance and cheer performance, showmanship, dedication to community service, communication skills, professionalism, positive attitude, strong teamwork skills and availability.

Lady Raiders open call auditions, sponsored by Zinsser Plastic Surgery, begin on Sunday, July 22 at 1:00pm at Midlothian Athletic Center, 10800 Center View Drive, Richmond, Va. Candidates must be age 18 or older by August 15 and should review all requirements at www.richmondraidersprofootball.com.
During open call auditions, ladies will learn a short dance and cheer routine performed in small groups, briefly introduce themselves to the judges, and have the opportunity to showcase talents such as tumbling or singing. Ladies advancing to finals will learn additional choreography, attend rehearsals and promotions, conduct a professional interview, participate in online voting, and perform in public during final auditions.

“The Lady Raiders have built a strong tradition in Richmond, throughout the state of Virginia and within the Professional Indoor Football League,” says director and choreographer Laura Eilers, who is also a 6-year NFL Cheerleader and 2011 Ms. United States. “We are often asked how on earth we find such amazing ladies…. And this is where it all begins!”

“Open call auditions gives every candidate an equal chance at showcasing themselves. We then select ladies we would like to see again. The experience is low stress and high energy. I encourage all interested candidates to join us on July 22. What have you got to lose?”

Audition candidates have the opportunity to meet the director and learn more about the organization through a free information session on Thursday, July 12 and the final audition prep class on Sunday, July 15.

Finalists will be featured August 2-5 through online voting and public performances on Thursday, August 2 at the Richmond Flying Squirrels MiLB Baseball Game and Sunday, August 5 at the Carytown Watermelon Festival.

[Complete Audition Information]

Official Richmond Lady Raiders Audition Prep Classes

The first hour will be like a standard dance class including a stretch, technique like skill progression, pirouette turns, high kicks, walks and a fun pro style dance combination. The second hour will concentrate more on the dance style and specific topic such as communication, fitness, attire, professionalism, and other aspects of auditions. All classes include the opportunity for questions and answers with the Lady Raiders director.
No dance experience is too much or too little – you have to start somewhere! Even the best dancers benefit from these classes to study the performance style of the Lady Raiders, NFL, NBA and other pro level dance and cheer teams.
Class is led by Laura Eilers, director and choreographer of the Lady Raiders Dance & Cheer Team, alumni St Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader, choreographer for University of Richmond SpinURs, the Science Cheerleaders, the Portsmouth Cavaliers ABA Dance Team, owner of Going Pro Entertainment, LLC, certified personal trainer & fitness instructor.
Attendees should be age 16 or older. Those auditioning for the Lady Raiders must be age 18 or older by August 15, 2012.
Facility is carpeted, so please wear soft sole shoes or you may dance barefoot. Dress in comfortable fitness / dance attire that allows you to move and have fun!
No food or liquids are allowed in the facility.
Attire is dance, cheer, fitness wear. Facility is carpeted, please wear soft sole dance shoes or may dance in socks or barefoot. It is recommended you practice correct audition attire and hair/makeup style during these classes.
Specific classes will focus on the following:
May 6 – Fitness and nutrition, Performance skills
May 20 – Makeup, hair, eyelash application
June 3 – Attire and communication
June 17 – Fitness and nutrition, Performance skills
July 1 – Communication, professionalism, goal setting
July 18 – Mock auditions with feedback

[Lady Raiders Auditions]

Scenes from the Lady Raiders Calendar Release Party

We were so pleased with over 100 family and friends who joined us for the November 29 release party at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Richmond, Virginia. The Lady Raiders will be appearing throughout the community to promote the calendar and the upcoming Raiders arena football season, which kicks off March 10. The ladies work very hard and love being involved in Richmond, so we are proud to showcase their beauty through this calendar! The 12-month calendars featuring all 24 Lady Raiders can also be purchased at $15.00 per calendar by contacting ladyraidersdanceteam@gmail.com.

Watch a video of the release here.

Lady Raiders Announce 2012 Calendar Release Party

The Lady Raiders dance and cheer squad of the Richmond Raiders professional indoor football team will unveil and sign their 2012 swimsuit calendar, the team’s first, at Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar located at Stony Point Shopping Center, 9200 Stony Point Parkway, Richmond, Va, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29.

The event is open to the public and includes a performance by the Lady Raiders, complimentary hors de’ouvres and a cash bar. This will be the first opportunity to purchase a calendar at $14.99 each. The 12-month calendar will also be available at www.richmondraidersprofootball.com, at all home Raiders games and at local calendar signing appearances. For information on how to stock your shelves with the Lady Raiders Swimsuit Calendar or schedule a signing appearance, contact ladyraidersdanceteam@gmail.com.

The calendar is produced by team owner Elizabeth Fraizer, dance team coordinator Laura Eilers, and award-winning Richmond photographer Guy Crittenden. Hair is styled by Blair Warren of Carytown Instyle Salon and Jessica Penn of Styles of Grandeur, and makeup provided by DeShay Dillard.

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Richmond Raiders to Launch 2012 Swimsuit Calendar Featuring Lady Raiders

The Richmond Raiders Professional Football front office has announced plans to release a Lady Raiders Swimsuit Calendar for 2012. Photography has been completed for the 12-month calendar featuring all 24 members of the respected dance and cheer team. According to Raiders’ marketing director, Steve Martin, this will provide an excellent promotional vehicle for prospective sponsors wishing to highlight particular dates throughout the coming year. Interested parties should contact him at shmartin@shmartin.com.

The ladies spent hours preparing for and shooting the calendar in the midst of actively touring Richmond. In the coming weeks, the Lady Raiders will be seen at heavily populated events including high school football Games of the Week, University of Richmond Homecoming football game, Innsbrook Pumpkin Palooza, Richmond Holiday Parade, and Coats for Kids. The Richmond Raiders arena football season will kickoff on March 10, 2012 and play six home games at the Richmond Coliseum.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our performers,” said dance team coordinator and choreographer Laura Eilers. “Our goal is to playfully show off the beauty of these women, who volunteer their time to support the Raiders and the city of Richmond. The work is tastefully captured by award-winning photographer Guy Crittenden. Sales from the swimsuit calendar will support new uniforms for the 2012 season.”

Eilers herself has appeared in five calendars, having cheered six years in the NFL for the Chiefs and the Rams. She is the reigning 2011 Ms. United States and travels around the world involved in fitness, dance and cheerleading projects.

Bringing even further expertise to the production is Richmond Raiders team owner and former runway model Elizabeth Fraizer. Hair is styled Blair Warren of Carytown Instyle Salon and Richmond’s Black Beauty Expo Stylist of the Year Jessica Penn of Styles of Grandeur. Makeup is provided by DeShay Dillard of Styles of Grandeur.

Projected to go on sale by early December 2011, the calendar will be available at www.richmondraidersprofootball.com, all home Raiders games and at local calendar signing appearances. Retailers that would like information on how to stock their shelves with the Lady Raiders Swimsuit Calendar or to schedule a signing appearance, contact ladyraidersdanceteam@gmail.com.

Laura Eilers is Ms United States


Congratulations to our good friend (and Richmond Lady Raiders Director, former KC Chiefs and St Louis Rams Cheerleader) Laura Eilers who was crowned Ms United States last week in Las Vegas.

Richmond Lady Raiders

(I had some technical difficulties that delayed these photos)

 Back before I went on vacation, I took a drive down I-95 to the Richmond Memorial Coliseum to see the Richmond Lady Raiders.

Back before I went on vacation, I took a drive down I-95 to the Richmond Memorial Coliseum to see the Richmond Lady Raiders.

The Lady Raiders are under the direction of former KC Chiefs and St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Laura Eilers

The Lady Raiders are under the direction of former KC Chiefs and St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Laura Eilers

On the concourse pregame with Risky the Mascot

On the concourse pregame with Risky the Mascot

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