Sunday, March 23, 2008

Australia's National Rugby League - Penrith Panthers Cheer Squad 

Posted by Sasha at 1:33 PM ET

Girls beat for Panthers

By Helen Gregory
Penrith City Star

TWENTY-year-old Amanda Grisdale of Cranebrook is looking forward to her fourth year in the Penrith Panthers' cheerleading squad.

Fifty girls applied to be in the 18-strong squad this year.

The standard required was higher this year. The audition included a dance routine set to African tribal drumming.

The manager of the cheerleading squad, Laura Harrison, said the drumming routine was unique to Panthers.

"As the players get closer to the try line, the drumming speed increases and the cheerleaders have to dance in time with the drums," she said.

Ms Harrison said the Panthers had been looking for girls who were good dancers and who were enthusiastic and lively and had a bubbly personality. Ms Grisdale, who is studying to be a dance and physical education teacher, fills the bill admirably.

"I love performing and was really excited when I made it through again," she said.

The cheerleading girls have to encourage the crowd and enjoy the atmosphere. They will train every Wednesday night and perform at all home games. Some of the girls are professional dancers. Others use their time as cheerleaders to keep up their dancing while they're doing other work or while they're studying. They will perform at all home games of the Panthers.

"Having the best seats in the house and being involved with the club is fun too," Ms Grisdale said.

Click here to watch a short video of the Penrith Panthers Cheersquad. The Panthers are part of Australia's National Rugby League.

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