A few days ago, I learned that the Ontario Fury has decided not to field a dance team this year. With the passage of the cheerleader minimum wage law in California, the economics of offering a dance team did not work for the Ontario Fury and I would imagine several other minor league sports are also feeling the pinch. I know that the San Diego Sockers came to the same conclusion last year and the Socker Girls were eliminated.
Fact of the matter is that although professional cheerleaders were egregiously underpaid over the years, dance teams are a significant expense for most franchises and in an era of increasing costs, they have become, in many cases, expendable. And that is truly unfortunate because I know first hand the value of the Ladies of Ontario Fury and the goodwill that they fostered for the organization with their public appearances, community outreach efforts and junior cheerleader programs.
For me this loss is devastating because I have covered the Ladies of Ontario Fury and their predecessor organization, the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team, for several years. And the most impressive thing is that under the direction of Lynae de Leon, these two programs have been a hot bed of dance talent and a breeding ground for major league cheerleaders. Lynae’s girls have gone on to perform with the Laker Girls, Charger Girls, Clippers Spirit, Sacramento Kings, 49ers Gold Rush, Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders.
In this Flashback Friday post, we recognize the Lynae’s efforts in developing dance talent to fulfill their potential and achieve higher level success. So here are a few of Lynae’s girls from the past few years that have made it to the next level. We present: McKenzie, Sativa-Skye, Kellie, Lizzie, Krista, Courtney, Diana, Alex, and Madison.
I hope the Ontario Fury finds the resources to bring back the Ladies of Ontario Fury because they are an asset that cannot be described by mere dollars alone.