Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Jessica

CGOTD13R1v001

In this edition of Flashback Friday, we take a look back at 2013 Charger Girl Jessica.  Jessica was also a member of the 2013 Anaheim Bolts Dance Team and that squad had a number of girls who would go on to big league cheerleading squads, like the Charger Girls, Clippers Spirit, Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders, and the Laker Girls…pretty much all of the major league dance teams in Southern California.

That 2013 Anaheim Bolts Dance Team was coached by Lynae De Leon, a former Clippers Spirit dancer who had a reputation for developing dance talent as Director of the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team and later as the Director of the Ladies of Ontario Fury.  Jessica was one of Lynae’s girls who made it up to the big leagues and all of them were special.

Here’s a bonus pic of Jessica as an Anaheim Bolts Dance Team member.

ABDT2013V140

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged ,

Flashback Friday – New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleader Tara

JFC Tara 2015 11

I get to see a lot of beautiful cheerleaders at the annual P-R-O Convention in Atlanta and in 2015, one of the prettiest cheerleaders in attendance was a young and memorable Jets Flight Crew cheerleader named Tara.  She left a lasting impression and for good reason.  A couple of years later, Tara would try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and make that squad…and the DCC seem to select only special girls and Tara was special.

Here’s a couple of bonus pics.  If I recall correctly, I took these photos after the convention had officially ended.  Tara and a couple of Jets Flight Crew cheerleaders had a later flight back to New York (they usually leave early on Sunday) and I asked her to pose for me before the staff took down this backdrop.  We hurried up and got these photos…the very last of that convention.

JFC Tara 2015 06

JFC Tara 2015 14

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged , , ,

Flashback Friday – San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer Erika

SpursErika2016v004

In this edition of Flashback Friday, we take a look at one of the hottest cheerleaders at the 2016 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta…San Antonio Silver Dancer Erika.  She had this bubbly personality and innocent look about her, but she could really portray a sultry look when posing.  This is one of the more playful images from that photo shoot.

I read that after the 2017-2018 season, the San Antonio Spurs abruptly decided to end the Silver Dancers and go with a coed squad…so very sad and disappointing.

Yeah…the times, they are a changing.

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged , ,

Flashback Friday – The 2016 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions

ACC16v038

I took this photo of one of the most interesting candidates at the 2016 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders auditions.  I thought she was one of the most attractive girls at the auditions and she was a decent enough dancer, but she did not make the final cut if I recall correctly.

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged , ,

Flashback Friday – Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Brittany

Fury17R1v029

The Ladies of Ontario Fury were the dance team of the Ontario Fury soccer team.  They supported the Fury by providing the game day entertainment, community outreach and through public appearances.  They were a valued commodity in marking the franchise and they will be missed.

This is a photo of one of the hottest Ladies of Ontario Fury, Brittany who happened to be a beauty queen in addition to a professional cheerleader.

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged ,

Top 10 Photos of 2018 – The Runner Ups

Even though I attended only a handful of events last year, I must have taken near 15 thousand images or more at the three big events.  So even though the events were few, the hours I was present and the number of images taken were numerous.  Here are some of the contenders that didn’t make the top 10.

It’s MVC Grace again.

PRO2018v458

PRO2018v669

PRO2018v024

PRO2018v185

I just noticed that there seems to be a lot of blondes in this list.

PRO2018v199

PRO2018v207

PRO2018v230

PRO2018v206

There were close to 300 girls in attendance at the 2018 P-R-O Convention and one girl stood out as the freshest face and the girl who enjoyed being a pro cheerleader the most…can you tell who that was in the photo below?  When Cheer Directors say they are looking for someone who stands out from the rest, someone who displays unrivaled showmanship, you can see what they mean in the following photo.

PRO2018v284

PRO2018v308

Suns18v119

Here she is again, the freshest face in professional cheerleading, rookie Houston Texans Cheerleader Sierra.

PRO2018v248

And here’s our section of Charger Girl audition hopefuls…well, I think all of them made the squad, so maybe that should be just “Charger Girls”.

CG18v018

CG18v109

CG18v125

CG18v116

CG18v122

Lots of great photographic opportunities at an audition.

CG18v135

CG18v144

CG18v149

CG18v146

CG18v219

I hope 2019 is a better year than 2018 and that I will be able to attend a few more events but I think we’ve seen a turning point for professional cheerleading and it’s not good.

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged , , , ,

Flashback Friday – Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Jojo

TTCJoJo18v010

One of the hottest cheerleaders at the 2018 P.R.O. Convention in Atlanta was a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader named Jojo.  She kind of reminded me of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, the actress who played Tony Montana’s sister Gina in the movie Scarface.  I was very impressed with Jojo’s looks and dance ability and wanted to schedule some one on one time to take a few posed photos for my convention coverage, which we were able to do.

I was even more impressed with her that she excused herself back to her hotel room to change into her uniform skirt, which was much more attractive and presentable than the blue dance pants she was wearing.  That said to me that she took pride in her appearance and wanted to look her best and in my opinion, this attention to detail makes all the difference between those cheerleaders who stand out and those who do not…and Jojo stood out in Atlanta.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this edition of Flashback Friday and if you want to see more photos of Jojo, check out her 2018 P-R-O Convention All Star feature.

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged ,

Top 10 Cheerleader Photos of 2018

Last year, I said that 2017 was a year of change and it was, but it was not anything like the type of change we saw in 2018.  The Me Too movement and other social currents have indelibly impacted professional cheerleading and not for good, in my opinion.  Numerous lawsuits by former cheerleaders have highlighted the darker side of the profession and the traditionally low compensation paid to these performers has been an embarrassment considering that league revenues have never been higher.  Exposing these issues in such a public manner has left many with a very negative and, perhaps, unfair assessment of the current state of professional cheerleading.

These events have led to the termination of some long time directors of cheerleading and a reevaluation of the profession itself.  Many changes ensued, such as the role and nature of professional cheerleaders with respect to game days and tangential events like calendar shoots and in suite appearances.  Additionally, dance teams have reconsidered the utility of those hyper sexy and provocative uniforms that have defined the endeavor.

Skin is out and modesty is the new reality lest the NFL and NBA run afoul of new social norms aggressively advocated by progressive minds.  In 2018, you do not want to appear to be promoting out of favor beliefs no longer tolerated by some people, especially if you are a multi billion dollar corporation.

There are voices, such as HBO’s Real Sports and several newspapers such as USA Today who question whether or not professional cheerleading should exist at all.  Let me state unequivocally that I am not in favor of eliminating professional cheerleaders.  I enjoy them immensely and in 2018, it’s okay to say so and to like what they do, but I feel like I am in the minority and a sea of change is growing that will inextricably alter what we fans have come to love and enjoy.

The times they are a changing, and in my opinion, not for the good.  Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the existence of professional cheerleaders represented a certain female sexual liberation and there were movements to force them to conform to a certain modesty based belief system.  That attempt came from social conservatives who decried the overtly sexual nature of cheerleaders.  In 2018, that effort have been supplanted by voices on the left who expect people, in particular young women, to adhere to progressive belief systems mandating how a women should act and dress in modern times.  It strikes me as ironic that the political forces attempting to repress professional cheerleaders are now the extreme left.

And why should cheerleaders conform to someone else’s ideals, i.e. progressives or anyone else, that have no vested interest in professional cheerleading?  It’s 2018 and it should be perfectly acceptable for young women to become cheerleaders and dress as they want, overtly sexual or otherwise.  No one is coercing them and from all intents and purposes, these women know what they are getting into from what I hear.  They know what’s going on and choose to do so.


OutkicktheCoverage.com: In Defense of Cheerleaders and Cheerleading


Now I am not advocating that cheerleaders should be exploited, financially or sexually.  Cheerleaders should be paid commensurate with their value to the organization and I believe what cheerleaders bring to the NFL or the NBA is significant and valuable.

Pay them.

And I am certainly not advocating that it is acceptable for cheerleaders to be exploited sexually and be put in situations where they might be.  Organizations should protect them and ensure their welfare while performing their duties, just like you would look out for the welfare of the players or coaches.

Protect them. 

Protect them from exploitation and hostile environments.  It is the right thing to do…do we really need to say this in 2018 and overtly state what we all know should be done?

This is my assessment of professional cheerleading in 2018.  And why is this relevant for a retrospective on the top 10 cheerleaders photos?  Because I have experienced the negative consequences of this reality as I covered professional cheerleading for UltimateCheerleaders.com.  In the current environment, the NFL, NBA and other sports leagues have undergone a retrenchment as a result of all this negative publicity and have attempted to staunch the bad press while they address this new reality.  And this retrenchment means less media opportunities for people like myself who are trying to provide some positive publicity to an endeavor under siege.  And there is less content out there as a result.

As for myself, the number of events that I have covered in 2018 have trickled down to a scant few as a result of this new environment and perhaps next year, I will cover even less as I know that there are many teams and organizations that are considering more severe changes to that which we all love.

That is the future of professional cheerleading.

On to my favorite photos of 2018.

10.  The University of Georgia Marching Band at the 2018 Rose Parade

2018RoseParadev039

I like this photo on several levels.  I like the symmetry between all the flag bearers in formation.  I like the bright colors that are so strikingly vibrant.  But what I like the most is the attractiveness of brunette flag bearer in the center, whose shapely curves so perfectly define the feminine form.

9.  Houston Texans Cheerleader Mallory

HTCMallory18v002

One of my favorite events of the year is the annual P.R.O. Convention in Atlanta.  It is the premier professional cheerleading convention in the land and I always have a wonderful time taking photographs of the most beautiful cheerleaders in professional sports.

I almost did not attend this year because the organizers were seriously considering not allowing any media to cover the event because of all the negative publicity that was generated by the recent controversies.  I was fortunate because I had been a participant for the past eight years and I had developed a good relationship with the organizers and as a consequence, I was the only outsider allowed to attend.

Every year, I like to start out with a bang and shoot one of the hottest cheerleaders at the convention and this year, the first cheerleader I photographed was Houston Texans Cheerleader Mallory.  I have photographed her the past three years and she always delivers some of the best photos I get at the convention and she did not disappoint.

8.  The 2018 Phoenix Suns Dancers Auditions

Suns18v103

One of the events that I attended last year was the 2018 Phoenix Suns Dancers Auditions and they always bring out a good crowd of dancer hopefuls.  It was no surprise that strongest candidates were the returning veterans who displayed a higher level of refinement in their dance movements, presentation and appearance.  They looked like NBA dancers and, of course, they were.

One of the dancers that stood out was a returning veteran named Kayla, who had all the qualities that you want in an NBA dancer…namely looks, dance talent, and showmanship.

7.  Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ashley

PRO2018v079

One of the primary reasons why I wanted to attend the annual P-R-O Convention back in the day was to photograph the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.  I think that the First Ladies of Football are one of the hottest cheerleading squads in the NFL and they have some of the sexiest uniforms in professional sports, though they have toned them down this year due to all the hubbub.  But at P-R-O, the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders were at their finest and that is a great look.

And one of the First Ladies of Football that caught my eye was a lovely girl named Ashley who is a great dancer and looks great in their uniform.  I got many great shots of her and her fellow teammates, but this is my favorite photo of the bunch.

6.  The 2018 Phoenix Suns Dancers Auditions

Suns18v025

The Phoenix Suns Dancers Auditions yielded several exceptional shots and they were mainly of the veterans and a few others who showed a little bit more than the typical first timers.  It was quite clear that these girls were going full out and showed the judges that  that they belonged on the team.  And because of this desire and dedication, they had more to offer and it showed in the images that I captured.

The photo above is one of my favorites from the event and to me, it captures something as simple as learning a dance and yet is still compelling in a way that draws in your attention.

5.  Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Darby

PRO2018v369

I have been covering the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders off and on since 2009 and one of my favorite cheerleaders to photograph is a girl named Darby, whom I first photographed a few years ago…and ever since.  She is remarkably beautiful and very photogenic and every opportunity I get to photograph her, I take because I always get some great shots.

This photograph was taken at the 2018 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta and there were many beautiful cheerleaders, but Darby was one of the few that stood out.

4.  The 2018 Charger Girls Auditions

CG18v152

One of my favorite events to attend is the Charger Girl auditions because it always draws a large number of beautiful and talented dancers who aspire to become a professional cheerleader.  And you can say I am partial to the Charger Girls because I was a long time season ticket holder and photographed the Charger Girls for almost two decades.  And over that time span, I got many, many amazing photographs, so any chance I get to photograph the Charger Girls…or aspiring Charger Girls, I avail myself of the opportunity.

This photo is one of returning veteran Melissa who has that something extra that stands out.  Perhaps it’s her smile or maybe her looks or her dance ability…or a combination of all three.  One thing that is for sure, Melissa demands your attention when she’s performing and she stands out amongst a sea of beautiful and talented dancers.

3.  Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader at the 2018 P-R-O Convention

PRO2018v515

Of all the squads at the 2018 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta, I think I got the most keepers from the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders.  Beautiful girls.  Beautiful dancers.  Beautiful uniforms.  All these ingredients make for a great photo and in the photo above, you have all three in abundance.  Nothing beats a pretty girl, a great smile and a hair flip for some hot cheerleader action…and for these reasons, this photo is my third favorite photo of 2018.

2.  Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Coley

PRO2018v648

Every year I cover the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders, I am always amazed at the fresh faced girls that they find to join their squad.  There’s a certain quality, an All American girl look, that seems to symbolize the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders and these girls are the ones that I always seem attracted to.

This year, one of these All American girls caught my attention at the 2018 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta and she gave me one of the most memorable photos of the year.  That girl was Nicole or Coley as she is known on the squad.

Not all of my favorite images are of the “fun, frolicking dance” type.  Sometimes a more focused and determined expression is the type of shot captures my attention and perfectly summarizes an event like the P-R-O Convention where the majority of the time is spent learning dances and that learning process can be quite laborious and intense.  The image above represents what went on in Atlanta where over 300 professional cheerleaders worked long and hard to learn over 23 dance routines and because of that, it is one of my favorite images of the year.

1.  Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Grace

PRO2018v423

My favorite photo of 2018 is a photo of a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders named Grace that I took at the P-R-O Convention in Atlanta.  She was a rookie and had the good sense to line up front where most of the veterans usually position themselves.  This afforded me good shooting opportunities and that was the key for me to get some up close images of this expressive cheerleader.  And I was quite taken with this young girl as she was definitely a fresh face with enthusiasm and a joyfulness in her dance styling and that made for some very interesting photos.

It’s always the rookies that have the bright eyed, first timer’s look that are the most compelling images.  Everything is so new and exciting to them and that comes across in the photos I get and Grace’s youthful exuberance caught my attention.

Here’s a bonus pic of her that exemplifies what I mean.

PRO2018v033

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged

Flashback Friday – A Washington Huskies Cheerleader at the 2019 Rose Parade

2019RoseParadeV26

A few days ago, I was in attendance at the 2019 Rose Parade, where I snapped this photo of a lovely Washington Huskies cheerleader.  Absolutely gorgeous.  They had many beautiful cheerleaders on that squad and I can imagine we will see one or two on the Seattle Sea Gals in years to come.  But for now, we will have to enjoy them while they cheer on the PAC 12 Football Champions.

Here’s a bonus pic showing the entire squad.

2019RoseParadeV27

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged ,

Flashback Friday – Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Alex

Fury16v028

The Ladies of Ontario Fury was a program that spawned many major league cheerleaders and one of them was Alex, who is currently a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader along with a few other former members of this squad.  Check her out on Sundays at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum cheering on the Rams.

Posted in Flashback Friday | Tagged ,