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Sunday, March 22, 2009

We've Moved! 

Posted by James at 5:13 PM ET

We're now at UltimateCheerleaders.com



Update your bookmarks, or feel free to browse the archives of our first five years (Apr 2004-Mar 2009)

[UltimateCheerleaders.com]

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Michelle Guidry Named Turfcats Cheerleader Director 

Posted by James at 6:00 AM ET

From Turfcats.com
The Austin Turfcats were pleased today to announce that Michelle Guidry has been named the Director of Cheerleading and Dance for the team.

Guidry is originally from League City, Texas, south of Houston. She grew up dancing from the age of three. She attended Clear Creek High school where she was a member of the Cavaliers Dance team and was honored to be an officer for two years and serve as Captain of the dance team her senior year.

Michelle Guidry


After graduation Michelle spent two years at Kilgore College where she was a member of the world famous Kilgore College Rangerettes. While with the Rangerettes her performances include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the second inauguration of President George W. Bush in Washington D.C., several halftime performances at Dallas Cowboys games and halftime performances at the Cotton Bowl.
After attending Kilgore College, Michelle went on to finish her college career at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. Michelle attained a degree from Texas State University this past year in Psychology.

Guidry spent two years cheering and dancing for the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League. Her second year she was honored to also direct the team and choreograph routines for the cheerleaders.

She is looking forward to a great season with the Turfcats! The team cheerleaders are currently seeking a title sponsor. Having your company's name on our team can reach approximately 250,000 sports fans each year. More importantly, a title sponsorship can help establish a scholarship fund for members of our team. With rising tuition, and increased demands on our team, we desperately need a scholarship fund to ensure our program's success.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheerleaders Need to Make the Hard Cuts 

Posted by Sasha at 5:50 PM ET



The Ravens had their cheerleader tryouts last weekend, and it's never easy looking for the "total package."

by Mike Duffy, Content Writer
BaltimoreRavens.com
Mar 7, 2009

An unprecedented number of glittered faces, dance shoes and fluorescent tights filled Baltimore’s Merritt Downtown Athletic Center last weekend for the first step in becoming a Ravens cheerleader.

And now, the work really begins.

Ravens cheer coordinator Tina Galdieri was joined by a select group of judges - a diverse 20-member panel that included Ravens corporate sales account executive Brad Downs and Mickey from 98 Rock - to whittle a list of nearly 200 potential rookies and 35 returning veterans down to the 70 names she brought back Tuesday for an intense round of interviews.

It’s all part of finding what Galdieri calls “the total package.”

Sure, a cheerleader needs to look good in a small outfit - or in the Ravens’ case, a swimsuit.

Of course, cheerleaders have to be able to dance.

Those factors make the first two days of evaluations relatively easy when it comes to the final piece of the puzzle - personality.

“It’s an overall package, kind of hard to explain,” she said. “You obviously need to have the look and be able to fit into what the Ravens cheerleaders wear on a regular basis. You definitely have to have some skills - both in cheer and dance.

“And then, it’s about personality and character. What have you done in the community? Are you comfortable being out in front of people. It’s an in-depth process.”

Galdieri personally interviews each candidate for 15-20 minutes and asks the tough questions. With somewhere between 150 and 175 appearances throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area expected this year, the cheerleaders need to be prepared for every situation.

“I can’t keep sending the same ones every time,” Galdieri said. “I want to have confidence with all of the cheerleaders, so it’s a difficult job looking through all the cheerleaders to find them.

Galdieri expects to have the squad finalized by the beginning of April, but the road has been long even to this point.

It started with two cheerleader clinics in February, where anyone with dreams of wearing an official sequined Ravens logo can come to practice for the actual tryouts.

Cheerleader veterans led the recruits through lessons ranging from a simple pirouette to a more complicated dance routine. The girls were also given tips on what to wear to tryouts, from the sports bra down to the white tennis shoes.

“We encourage all the tryouts to go to the clinics, because you really get a sense of where you’re at and what this competition is all about,” Galdieri explained.

That’s what Meghan D. did last year when she tried out as a rookie, and obviously, it helped. She went from sitting on the fence to a spot in the 2008 swimsuit calendar after attending the final clinic at the urging of a friend.

“Last year, I went to school at Mount St. Mary’s with Erin, who has been on the team two years now,” said Meghan, who is a third-grade teacher in Havre De Grace, Md. “When I graduated, she emailed me one day and said, ‘You know there’s only one clinic left, right?’ I ended up going, and even though I was still so nervous at the tryouts, it really helped.

“Now, I know a little bit more about what to expect, but you still get some of those nerves.”

Even the seasoned veterans get a little nervous, as well.

Leslie A., who contributed to the “Ravens Spirit” blog on BaltimoreRavens.com, said that last season would be her last after a six-year run on the team.

But, she couldn’t help herself after watching the Ravens advance to the AFC Championship. Leslie knew that even as a veteran, she would still have to impress the judges regardless of her previous tenure.

“It never gets any easier for me,” Leslie said with a laugh. “You just have to be at your best every year.”

Galdieri, however, was happy to see Ms. October back for another shot.

“I said, ‘I think you still enjoy it and don’t have an attitude like you’ve been around here and don’t need to work,’” stated Galdieri. “Usually, I can tell when people start turning negative about things. That’s when they want to give it up. Not with Leslie. She’s still been very upbeat, still in great physical condition.”

Both Meghan and Leslie did make it to the group of 70, which will get cut further by Galdieri and Co. before to a final practice round March 24.

It may be a taxing route to becoming a member of the Ravens’ cheerleading team, but to everyone involved, it is also worth it when the final product runs out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium.

“We’re never lowering our expectations,” Galdieri said. “We’re trying to get better as a squad every year.”

Mike Duffy

Mike Duffy
BaltimoreRavens.com

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Houston Rockets Power Dancers Dunk 

Posted by James at 11:40 AM ET

Here's a sneak peak at the sort of footage you'll be seeing on the UltimateCheerleaders.com TV show:

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Axe Maidens in the Community 

Posted by James at 10:21 AM ET

On Thursday, March 12th Axe Maidens Lauren and Jaclyn made an appearance at the "Masters of Disasters" 16th annual Golf Tournament to support the American Red Cross. The event took place at Deerwood Country Club., Jacksonville, Florida.

Axe Maidens


The Axe Maidens welcomed over 100 participants and handed out promotional items in support of the upcoming Axemen season. The Axemen donated a package for the silent auction which included tickets, t-shirt, official rugby ball, hat, and more.

Axe Maidens


“It’s so important to participate in events such as the Masters of Disasters to help support charities such as the American Red Cross which does so much for the community and those in need. These organizations rely so heavily on our support so that they can continue to provide the services needed to help others. The Axe Maidens look forward to attending more events such as this one.” According to Axe Maidens Director, Darlene Clancy.

Axe Maidens


The Axe Maidens are looking forward to their 2009 auditions on March 28th. For audition information contact jaxaxemaidens@hotmail.com

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Tami Krause is Mrs. Minnesota International 2009! 

Posted by James at 8:48 AM ET

Tami KrauseTami Krause (Mrs. Bloomington) was crowned Mrs. Minnesota International 2009 on March 15th in St. Cloud. Minnesota, where she competed with other "county/city" title holders from across the state. These women are recognized for their achievements as individuals and as a vital part of the family unit.

HER PLATFORM

"The HEART of the Matter!" Tami has been a volunteer speaker bureau with the American Heart Association since late 2004. She is also an advocate for the AHA and serves on the Go Red Education Committee. She is very excited to be assisting with the development of the AHA Ambassador program later this year.

She began research on heart health after her husband Aaron was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition called a bicuspid aorta. Tami discovered that the AHA offered programs, services and education in so many areas that were relevant to her life. Her husband is living a healthy lifestyle and doctors have said - so long as he is following the "heart healthy plan" they don't anticipate any further monitoring of his condition until he reaches age 50.

With three young children, and as the Head Coach and Coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders and Swarm Performance Team, she is working everyday in an industry where health and fitness are tremendously important. She knows first hand how rewarding it can be to take charge of your health, get educated on health topics, share your knowledge with others and to make it a family priority! It is her hope to inspire people to consider the "Heart of the Matter" and how it affects their and their families lives.

More at MrsMinnesota.com

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Behind the Scenes at the ChivaGirl Photo Shoot 

Posted by Sasha at 8:37 PM ET

The Sunday before last, the ChivaGirls (dance team for the MLS Chivas USA ) reported to the Home Depot Center in Carson , CA for their very first team photo shoot. The plan for the day was to photograph the girls individually for their team photo and profiles on the Chivas USA website. With almost 20 women to beautify, outfit, style, and photograph in a single day, they certainly had their work cut out for them.

When I arrived around 8:30 in the morning, things were in full swing, but you could tell that the switch to Daylight Savings Time had hit everyone pretty hard. It was a bit chilly in the room, though and that helped wake everyone up. I checked the digital thermometer on the wall. 54 degrees. Woo! This was going to be fun!

As always, I took tons of photos for you guys. Check them out here.

The previous day, ChivaGirls Director Aimee Edmundson had clued me in on the plans for the photo shoot. There would be a new approach to the team photo this year. The team shot is their signature photo and will be posted on the Chivas USA website and will be autographed and handed out by the dancers at numerous game day and community events.

A lot of people will see this photo, so it has to be perfect.

Instead of a standard dance team photo, with the ladies lined up in rows, Aimee was going to try something entirely different. A little elbow grease was called for, as this project involved props.

Aimee’s husband Gavin had been put to work constructing a collection of giant letters to spell “ChivaGirls.” The plan was to position the girls in and around the letters. They’d shoot each letter individually, and then Photoshop them together for the team photo. Photographer Mike Nowak (who also shot the team’s swimsuit calendar) was going to jazz it up a little in post-production, so the finished product would be really slick. I couldn’t wait to see it all come together.



Aimee was the first person I saw when I walked in the door. She showed me all of the letters set up in the corner of the room. Each letter one was about five feet tall and made of half-inch foam board and plywood. A few of the letters had 2x4s built in for the girls to sit or stand on. Gavin swore up and down that the boards were sturdy enough to support a dancers’ weight, but I was a bit doubtful. A 2x4 is pretty narrow. I kept thinking how funny it would be if someone jumped up on that letter H and the whole thing crashed to the ground. Crash! Bang! Boom! I mean, it would be bad of course. It would kind of ruin the photo shoot, and someone could get badly bruised. But imagine watching that video over and over. It would never get old.

(Does that make me a bad person?)

I was particularly interested to find out which girl would have to perch on the center bar of the letter H. Somebody’s hindquarters would be extremely sore by the end of the day. I wonder if the ChivaGirls get hazard pay?

Most of the girls had arrived before I did and a few of them were already in hair and makeup. Big curlers. Fuzzy slippers. Uggs. It was all glamour.



(I have a photo of Emi in her Kimono with hair in rollers. I’m keeping that one to myself though. Emi could hurt me if she wanted to.)

There was a lot of ChivaWear laying around the room. Some of the girls were trying on their uniforms and warm-ups for the first time. All of the girls got new boots. There was a cardboard box off to the side, where the veterans had tossed their old boots. Poor, sad go-go boots. They had obviously seen some rough times.



Looking around, I immediately noticed someone I didn’t expect to see there. She looked an awful lot like the red pailette girl I mentioned in my earlier post. (FYI: her name is Erica. Thank you Amanda, for the scoop on that.) I mentally ran through the photos of girls who had made the team. As far as I knew, the only blondes were Laura and Mandi. Yet here was a third. After about 5 minutes of peeking at her from the corner of my eye, I was 100% sure it was Erica.

What was she doing there? I’d seen the list of girls who made the team, and her name wasn’t on it. I did a quick headcount. She can’t have replaced someone. All 17 members were accounted for. Had she shown up at mini-camp and everyone was too chicken to take her aside and say “Look honey, you didn’t make the team. This nice man right here is going to escort you from the building.”

(Just to clarify, I’m not saying Erica hadn’t been selected because she is a bad dancer. She’s a great dancer and a beautiful girl, and I was surprised when she didn’t make the team. But what was going on here? Somebody had some ‘splainin to do.)

I casually sidled up to Kelley and Marie. “So, uh….what’s with blondie over there?”

The scoop is there are actually 19 ChivaGirls, not 17 as I believed. Two of them had been left off of the Chivas website for various reasons. Erica is one. Liz is the other.


Erica and Monique

(Meanwhile, I really need to talk to Aimee about this thing with the odd numbers. What is up with that? 17 and 19 aren’t even divisible by anything! Why not 16? Why not 20? Who picks 19 girls for a team? I am sorry, but that is just weird.)

I did another headcount. This time I came up with 18 ChivaGirls. Sandra was absent because she had to be out of town for a prior commitment. Whatever it was must’ve been pretty important for her to miss the photo shoot. The group photo is kind of a big deal. Now she’s going to spend the entire season autographing that photo and she’s not even in it! Bummer. Surely there’s some way to include her. Can’t they photoshop her head in there somewhere? Or maybe draw a stick figure in a red and white vest, with an arrow that says “Sandra.”

I mentally tucked that away to ponder later, and went looking for Jebbel and Alheli. Somebody needed to tell me how to say Jebbel and Alheli.

ChivaGirls Pronunciation Guide:

Alheli. Pronounced All-hey-LEE. Alheli is a type of flower (similar to an oleander). FYI: the whole plant is poisonous. If you ingest it, you’ll get really really sick. Like "barfing up a lung" sick. If you burn the plant and breathe the smoke, you’ll be dead. Keep that in mind before you mess with Alheli.

Jebbel. Rhymes with Dave Chapelle’s last name. The J is a soft J like "Elijah." Not a hard J like "Jerry." Jebel (slightly different spelling) means “mountain” in Arabic. There are a lot of mountains called Jebel this or Jebel that in the UAE and that area of the world. I don’t know if that’s what her parents were going for.

(Yeah I looked it up. You got a problem with that???)

The actual photography was scheduled to start at 10. In the meantime, there were various activities going on: sleeping, reading, writing, working, playing “The Price is Right” on the I-phone, etc.


Nicole


Tiffany

It’s so interesting. During auditions, everyone has their game face on. It’s only after you make the team, and that you start to see what you’re working with. They’re a bunch of goofballs and troublemakers, if you ask me. It’s just that some are quieter about it than others.

The other person on hand was Aimee’s son, aka Hurricane Keiran. He is two and a half, and like most kids his age, has an insane amount of energy. He’s the kind of kid you have to tag-team to keep an eye on. Aimee had him. Then Gavin had him. Then Megan, then Marie, then Kelley. Keiran has a monster crush on Marie. He luuuuuuvs Marie. He went outside and picked a flower for her. Soon after that, he passed out, dead asleep.

I helped Aimee move the letters to an open area so she could figure out everyone’s individual pose and how they would all look together. They did “Chiva” first and Mandi was the lucky girl who got the “H” (snicker). Aimee told her to hop up there and Mandi’s eyes got big like “I thought you were joking about that part.” But she climbed up there. A few minutes later, she was looking mighty relieved when Aimee had her switch places with Alheli.

Meanwhile, Marie was cute as a bug in a rug, tucked into the letter C like that.


Marie

All of this was a bit more challenging than it looks. Remember, those letters are made of foam board, which isn’t sturdy enough to support anyone’s weight. So everyone appearing to lean or rest on the letters had to fake it a little. Those who were sitting on the 2x4s didn’t have a much better deal.

Alheli was next. I have to give her credit. She rolled with it like it was no big deal, but she had to be in some of the most awkward, uncomfortable positions ever. She was sitting there with one leg in front of the H. Aimee and Mike couldn’t decide if they wanted the other leg in front of the H or behind the H, so she had to keep moving it. Keep in mind that she was sitting on a 5inch wide board, 3 or 4 feet above the ground. Every time they wanted her to move that leg, she had to balance on one side of her tush and lift the other foot way up in the air and over the H to get it to the other side. After watching the first couple of attempts, Emi stepped in to keep her from toppling over. (I wanted to take a photo of it, but I was too busy laughing. Come on, it was funny!) Then they told her to take one boot off while she was balanced up there, and I just about lost it. But Alheli did all of it without batting an eye. That's what I call a team player!


Emi gives Alheli a hand

Monique and Mandi were next. I don’t know whose idea it was for Monique to have her foot up in the air like that. I warned her she was going to be in serious pain afterward. She didn’t believe me. “I only have to hold it for a few seconds” were, I believe, her exact words.


Monique and Mandi

I hate to say “I told you so.”
(But I did tell you so.)

Methinks it’ll be a while before Monique does another heel stretch.

On the other hand, some of the girls had it easy. Nicole, Megan, Emi, and Amy were all sitting on the floor, so they had it made. Nicole had the G, which is the easiest letter ever.


Nicole


Megan


Emi

(Serena, on the other hand, I’m sure had board marks on her posterior long after the shoot was over.)


Serena


Ariel

Tiffany’s pose looked a little painful. She had to squat down and balance on one foot with the other leg stretched out to the side. I bet she really felt it when she stood up afterward. That whole crouching thing was not working. A little voice in my head was sing-songing "I see London. I see France..." Somebody put this girl in a different pose already.

Aimee called in Lindsay for reinforcements on this one. Lindsay is a former Clippers dancer and now works a steady stream of dance gigs. It took a minute, but Lindsay was able to come up with a pose that put Tiffany on the ground in a position that didn’t require squatting. It was sort of a halfway kneeling thing, and I know Tiffany was grateful. (Although I bet that one hurt too.)


Tiffany

Speaking of Tiffany, check out her new hairstyle. The stylist took a few inches off and created a graduated bob that’s a bit longer in the front than the back. That hair gives her a lot more “oomphf.” And who knew she was so adorable?

Liz had a tough one too, leaning against the A like that. I think they put Ashley on the other side to keep the A from wobbling.


Ashley and Liz

Can we talk about Ashley’s hair for a minute? She’s got this gorgeous, curly hair and it is huge. She is not a big person so when she sits down, it’s like a big pile of hair with some legs and feet sticking out underneath. I’d love to have that hair. I’d trade with her in a heartbeat. I’m serious.

Watching everyone transform from “regular girl” to “ChivaGirl” was fascinating. It was like watching Bruce Wayne turn into Batman. (But with chicks in short skirts.) Hey, they both wear tights, right? And boots. ChivaGirls may not have a utility belt like Batman, but at least they don’t wear their underwear on the outside.

Kelley was doing double duty as one of the two makeup artists for the day. She used to work for MAC. Now she freelances for special occasions (weddings and such.) That really says something about Kelley, because a bride on her wedding day is one of the scariest creatures alive. Wound up. Hysterical. Tearful. Crazed. Drunk. And that was just MY sister on her wedding day. (Well, except for the drunk part.)



Jebbel and Marie were the first to get dolled up and ready to go.


Jebbel and Marie

After their turn, they wanted to look at photos. Aimee had to put an end to that because they were getting hypercritical and picking themselves apart. It’s not that they were all having a Jan Brady moment (I’m ugly! UGLY!), but each found at least one body part to be horrified about. They were making themselves mental over it, so Aimee cut them off. (Access to the photos, I mean. Not their body parts.)


Marie, you look fine

I don’t know if that helped or not. Sometimes the unknown is scarier than the known. Clearly some of them were sitting around, convinced that they would look like drooling, cross-eyed lizard-women in their photos.

On the other hand, I guess it could’ve been worse. They could have been stomping around the place like “I cannot believe you are unable to capture my innate hotness with your camera.”

It’s not that they’re shallow. I mean, I get it. If someone was taking a photo of me and I knew
(A) hundreds, if not thousands of people would see it
(B) I would be surrounded on both sides by good looking women,
(C) looking good is part of the job, and/or
(D) there are no do-overs,

I guess I’d be a little paranoid too.
I don’t like people taking my picture, and nobody ever sees those.

Mostly, they just got this pained expression on their faces.

I was sympathetic at first. I started out the morning, like “what are you talking about; you look totally cute in this picture.” But that wore off a couple hours into it and I found myself torturing them instead.

ChivaGirl: Ugh. My thighs are huge.
Me: That is not true. The one on the left looks perfectly fine

ChivaGirl: I think one of my eyes is bigger than the other.
Me: You noticed that too, huh?

ChivaGirl: Why does my face look like that?
Me: Genetics. We all have our crosses to bear.

Hey, I kid because I love.

Honestly, they all looked great. Better than great. I wished they would realize that and stop fussing about it. I really wanted to stand up on a chair and say “Listen up, ChivaGirls. Knock it off!”

A few letters into the shoot it all started to come together. I could visualize the end result in my head. This photo is going to be so cool.

The girls shooting in pairs were interesting to watch. C-I-A-R-S. Inevitably, one girl’s pose was way easier than the other girl’s pose. Take Amy and Laura, for instance. Amy sat down, and she was good to go. Meanwhile, it was “turn this way Laura, turn that way Laura, take a step towards me, turn to the side, nevermind, go back to where you were, can you do something different with your arms?” Everyone’s trying to figure out where to put Laura and Amy’s just chillin like “Whatever. Take your time; I know what I’m doing.”

Yeah, except where’s the rest of your uniform, Amy?

D’oh. So easy to forget about that vest.


Amy and Lauren

Once they were into the G-I-R-L-S things started to speed up. The girls at the end of the word were thinking they still had a lot of time, and then all of a sudden, it was “get it together girls. I need bodies over here!” Then there was a big red and white flurry as everyone hurried to get ready.

Kelley and Dalila were the last pair. Earlier in the day, the news that they were going at the end, was a real downer. What none of us realized though, was the girls with the last letter would have the first individual shoots. So in the end, they actually wound up finished before everyone else. Nice!


Kelley and Dalila

Dalila stepped up to go first for the individuals. Dalila is a baseball-hat-and-sweats kind of gal, and she looked more than ready to be done with the shoot and jump back into her comfy clothes.

The other girls were off to the side, trying to figure out poses that were flattering and not weird-looking.

Each girl did a few photos with the soccer ball and a few without. Believe it or not, there aren’t that many things you can do with a soccer ball. Especially if it’s a ¾ standing shot. You can’t kneel or sit or rest your foot on the ball. You can’t hold it over your head, because you’ll look like a lunatic. It’s pretty much “do I want to hold this thing on my right side or my left side?” Given the limitations, I thought they came up with some good ideas.


Ariel


Erica


Alheli


Serena


Megan

The individual shots went faster than fast. They kept it moving like an assembly line, and the next thing I knew, it was over. That was around 3-ish, I think.

I wondered what a ChivaGirl does when the photo shoot is over and she’s standing there in sweats with a face full of makeup. There’s still plenty of daylight left. Do you take that face and that hair rollerblading? Do you go see a movie? Go home and defrost the freezer? Do you find your boyfriend and make him watch while you peel off your lashes, because you know that freaks him out?

Or am I the only one who thinks like an 8 year old?

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The NBA Dance Team Bracket is Back! 

Posted by Sasha at 5:49 PM ET

I'm sorry Heat Dancers, but we have to take it away from you this year.
Click here to cast your vote.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cavalier Girl's Rookie Diary 

Posted by Sasha at 1:20 PM ET



Rookie Ashley's Exciting First Season!!
CavFanatic
March 11, 2009

Hey Cavfanatics!

What an awesome experience this has been for me joining the Cavaliers family during such a victorious season! The exhilarating energy from the fans in the arena has made the games so exciting for me. Every time I step into the arena, I still get the same chills and excitement I felt when I made my debut on opening night. The entire game presentation and crazy devoted fans are what truly makes the experience of a Cavs game so thrilling!

My season actually began the end of June when I received a phone call at work that I was one of 16 girls to make the team. I was working on the sales floor and somehow hid my cell phone in my pencil skirt waiting for my phone call. When I saw Jami was calling, I hurried up and ran outside to answer. Of course, knowing Jami, she played a trick on all of us by making it seem like we were not chosen for the team. But shortly after, she turned our almost tears around to a "Congratulations, you are a member of the 08-09 Cavalier Girls!" I can't even describe to you the feeling I experienced from the phone call that day. Let me tell you, it's not as easy as it may seem to be a member of this team. It takes a ton of heart, talent, hard work and dedication. That line of congratulations that day meant so much more to me than just a spot on this team; it meant that I truly have accomplished and deserved my dream. Knowing that I am standing where I am today based on these ambitions is such a rewarding experience for me. But most of all, being able to stand amongst and learn from one of the most beautiful, deserving and talented dance teams in the NBA is even more rewarding.

Speaking of rewarding experiences, seeing my picture revealed as Miss December 2009 in the annual Cavalier Girls Swimsuit Calendar was such a breathtaking moment. It took a moment to realize that it was actually me in that photograph. I definitely had to pinch myself a little to make sure I wasn't dreaming haha! We trained very hard at the beginning of our season to work towards this calendar, and went through a pretty long and tiring day of shooting with no idea of how our pictures turned out. On the night of our calendar release party, Jami planned it so that we thought we were just dressing up to go out to a team dinner. She took us to the first floor of the Q, and as soon as we got off the elevator we were shocked to see our families standing there in front of us. I was so surprised!!!!! I immediately starting crying upon seeing my parents faces. Once inside, they revealed our calendar pictures one at a time and everyone was so shocked and thrilled with how stunning their picture turned out. The calendar is absolutely beautiful and very classy while still most importantly, representing for the Cavaliers!

Most of all, the games thus far this season have been incredible! Every member on the basketball team seems to be such a good fit and great force to lead us to the Championship this year! It's crazy to think that just last year I was also a huge fan sitting up in Loudville cheering on the Cavs. Now, I'm still a huge fan, but I get to sit on the court cheering a few feet away from the players or dancing center court in front of the entire arena. Being able to dance and entertain every game in front of such enthusiastic fans is the most exhilarating moment of my life! What could possibly be better than the opportunity to do what you love in the presence of the best fans in the NBA, while cheering on the best team in the NBA....nothing! J Keep it up fans, YOU are what keeps this Cavalier family strong!

Love,

>Ashley

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Los Angeles Kings Ice Girls in Action 

Posted by Sasha at 1:15 PM ET

Watch it!

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Cronulla dancer is determined to shine 

Posted by Sasha at 12:36 PM ET

A little tidbit from Australia's National Rugby League. Looks like reality tv is snapping up pro sports dancers down under...


By Eva Tejszerski
St. George Leader
10/02/2009

Chanelle Johnson of Cronulla will do everything it takes to prove to Australia she can dance.

And she is one step closer to that goal after making it into the nation's hottest new reality television show.

The lyrical contemporary dancer was the first entrant to secure a place in the top 100 of this year's So You Think You Can Dance.(Aussie version)

A trained gymnast, Ms Johnson started ``dancing'' at her mother's dance school even before she could walk.

But when she was 10, doctors found a curve in her spine.

"`After I was told I had scoliosis, a specialist said I would need to wear a brace for two years and would need an operation, but I kept dancing [instead],'' she said.

"Now, because I am so fit and flexible, dancing has helped build strength in my back muscles.''

When she's not carving up the dance floor, Ms Johnson cheers in the Cronulla Sharks Mermaids cheer squad, and jets across Australia as a flight attendant.

She auditioned for the TV series when it premiered in 2008, making it into the top 50 before being knocked out of the competition.

This time she hopes her moves will take her further.

"I want to show myself that no matter what, I can make it.''

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

SI Gallery Update - NBA 

Posted by Sasha at 3:40 PM ET

This week, the New Orleans Hornets dance team, the Honeybees, are featured on Sports Illustrated. Go see the photos.

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Former MVC needs your votes 

Posted by Sasha at 12:59 PM ET

You may remember that we've mentioned Tami Krause a time or two. Tami is a former Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader who went on to become the current Director of the cheerleaders.

Tami, Mrs. Bloomington International 2009 is now in the running to become Mrs. Minnesota International! (You can read more about her here.) One of the awards to be given out is the People's Choice Award. The winner of that award is up to you. This is last minute notice, of course, but I encourage you to click here to vote for Tami and help her win that award. I do have to warn you ahead of time - voting isn't free. But if you're an MVC fan, this is a nifty way to show your support.

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