Friday Night With The Laker Girls

So I went to an L.A. D-Fenders game on Friday, something I haven’t done in a few years.  I was there with a friend, who always tries to catch a game at the Toyota Center every time he’s in town during the season.  Why?  Because the D-Fenders’ dance team are the Laker Girls.  And it is a rare treat when you can see the Laker Girls up close and personal.

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The Wisconsin Badgers Dance Team at the 2015 NCAA West Regionals

As luck would have it, my good friend Mad Max (no last names) was in town again to support his Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA tournament.  This was the second year in the row that the Badgers got sent out to the west regional and the second year in a row that the west regional was held in Southern California.

Since we had such a good time at last year’s pep rally, we decided to meet up again.  This year, it was held at the team hotel, the L.A. Downtown Hotel. So once again, I snapped a few shots of the Wisconsin Badgers dance team.  And here’s what I got yesterday evening.

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UCLA In The Sweet Sixteen

UCLA has always had some of the hottest song girls in the land (yes, that’s what we called the dance team when I went to school there back in the day) and in honor of the Bruins making the 2015 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, here are a few photos from the past.

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A Charger Girl Tribute – Andrea S.

Over the past six or seven years, the Charger Girls have had some amazing squads and have become one of the top dance teams in the NFL.  In fact, the Charger Girls have been so renown that they have attracted former cheerleaders from the Sea Gals, Jets Flight Crew, 49ers Gold Rush, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizard Girls.  And for Charger Girl fans, we have been blessed by many special girls that have graced the sidelines over the years.

When I first saw Andrea S., I was taken by her beauty and her vivacious personality that was highlighted by her smile.  She was very photogenic and definitely one of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph.  Only on the squad for two years (2012, 2013), I was heartbroken when she retired last year because I figured we had many more years of photographic bliss together…but it was not to be.

So let’s enjoy this tribute to Andrea S., one special Charger Girl.

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2015 Charger Girls Audition Date Announced – April 4, 2015

2015 Charger Girls Auditions

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The Charger Girls uphold a high standard of quality dance performance and community involvement.  The Chargers organization feels strongly that the cheerleaders should complement the professionalism represented on and off the playing field.  During the preliminary audition process, applicants will be judged on dance ability, crowd appeal, showmanship and individual applications.  For finalists, there is an interview process and a final dance audition.

Date: Saturday April 4, 2015
Time: 9:00 am Registration
Location: University of San Diego – Jenny Craig Pavilion

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REQUIREMENTS

  • You must be at least 18 years old by the date of the preliminary audition. There is no maximum age limit.
  • There are no height or weight requirements.
  • Team members must have flexible schedules for twice-weekly rehearsals, games and appearances during and prior to the season.
  • Team members must attend a mandatory weekend mini-camp.
  • Team members must have a means of transportation.

AUDITIONS ATTIRE

A two-piece and flesh colored nylons/hosiery are mandatory. This helps to standardize and minimize the possibility of an unfair advantage based on individual attire. Jazz, dance shoes or athletic shoes (minimal tread and non-marking soles) are also mandatory.

More information and link to Charger Girls audition application here.

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One Season Wonders – Nicole

The Charger Girls are one of the most prestigious and recognizable dance teams in the NFL. The competition to make the team is fierce with over 400 girls trying out each year for one of the 28 spots on the team. It’s a much coveted position with many off the field responsibilities, so it should come as no surprise that we have some girls that are only on the squad for one year.

And in this installment, we honor a Charger Girl that was on the squad for the 2013 season. She was a former Pro Bowl Cheerleader for the Seattle Sea Gals in 2011 and cheered for that team for six years before making the move down south to San Diego. And let me say that I was quite happy to see her in a Charger Girl uniform because she made quite a lasting impression. Introducing Nicole, a one season wonder.

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I was fortunate to photograph Nicole at the 2011 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta and I must say that though she looked great in a Sea Gal uniform, she definitely looked better in a Charger Girl uniform!

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Some Audition Tips From An Outsider

I originally wrote this article two years ago and I thought it was good audition advice back then, so I am reposting it again this year for those readers who may be considering trying out for a professional cheerleading squad.

Over the past few years, I have attended several professional cheerleader auditions and have made some observations that may be helpful to potential tryout candidates.  Now, I have no dance experience, no audition experience…nothing other than an observant eye and the ability to draw some obvious conclusions.

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So, here are my observations and tips for aspiring NFL or NBA cheerleaders.

1. Auditions are like job interviews, so you want to take this seriously and do what you would do when applying for a job…namely preparing, showing up on time, and dressing the part.  Follow the audition guidelines…if you don’t, it sends a message that you can’t.  So, if audition packets says to dress in a form fitting, two piece outfit and flesh colored tights…wear a form fitting, two piece outfit and flesh colored tights.

The judges want to see how you will look in the uniform and how you will perform.  Help them make a decision in your favor. Do what you need to do to have them envision you as a professional cheerleader.

2. Game day ready hair and make up.  Once again, you want to help the judges buy into the fact that you are cheerleader material.  So look the part.  Don’t show up looking like you are going to workout or a dance clinic.  Cheerleaders are glamorous and so should you be when auditioning.

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3. Wear an outfit that makes you stand out.  Judges will evaluate several candidates over the course of the auditions.  Wear something that makes you memorable and identifiable.  Leave a lasting impression, a positive one.

4. Go to the audition clinics.  During the actual audition, the time to learn the routine is all too brief.  So, any advance preparation that you can do is an advantage.  At some clinics, the audition routine is taught.  If practice makes perfect, then avail yourself to the opportunity provided to learn and prepare.

What separates those who make it to the next level from those who don’t, is the ability to learn a routine quickly and to perform it flawlessly in the short amount of time given.  This leads us to our next tip…

5. Get some dance training.  There are many girls that can dance and may do so well.  But few are trained dancers, who have a framework for learning technique in a structure manner.  Those girls who have had dance training stand out in two important ways: 1) they are more technical and 2) they are able to learn a new routine faster.

6. Bring water and snacks.  All the auditions that I have been to, have been long and rigorous affairs.  You will burn a lot of energy and sweat a lot, so refuel and rehydrate yourself at every opportunity.  Keeping up your energy level is important, particularly when you are in front of the judges…which is usually at the end of the day.

7. Be articulate.  At some point, you will be interviewed and asked some questions about yourself and why you want to be on the squad.  You’d better have an answer.  Think about the questions they’ll likely ask you and prepare for them.  Be insightful, be professional, and be articulate.

8. Go big or go home.  In all the auditions that I have been to, those dancers that stood out had big moves…precise moves…fast moves..powerful moves.  One of best dancers I have ever seen is Amy Toliver formerly from the Arizona Cardinals.  Her moves are big, powerful and precise.  She stands out.  When you are in front judges, your moves better have some pop, else you’ll be viewed as a the dance equivalent of a wall flower.

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I am sure there are many more tips out there and if we have any current or former professional cheerleaders reading this, please leave a comment with your audition advice.

Good luck!

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