Homecoming: The 2016 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders Final Auditions

Much has been written about the return of professional football to the City of Angels. There were the many abortive attempts over the years to build stadiums that never gained traction among the various stakeholders in the community and in the NFL. And it appeared that the league was more interested in using the threat of relocation to Los Angeles as leverage against other localities to pony up public funds for new stadiums in smaller markets. As the years passed in to decades, fans became more jaded with the less than credible efforts to bring back professional football to Los Angeles, a land of untold riches to the right owner. But things have a way of changing suddenly when billions of dollars are at stake.

What can be said of this long process can be summed up by the adage, “fortune favors the bold”.

Stan Kroenke orchestrated a sudden take back of the nation’s second largest television market by proposing to build, with little or no public funding, not only a stadium, but a mixed use entertainment complex…putting asunder the designs of less ambitious and less serious team owners to the north and south.

Fortune does indeed belong to the bold and Los Angeles belongs to the Rams.

Now let us reap the rewards…and the first of these is the 2016 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders.

Rams16v127

Rams16v045

Rams16v140

Rams16v120

Rams16v056

Rams16v132

Rams16v039

Rams16v100

Rams16v083

On Sunday, April 17th, the Los Angeles Rams held their final auditions for their 2016 cheerleading squad. It was held at The Forum, the venerable arena that in a prior era, was the home of the showtime Lakers. Now it is one of the premier venues for concerts and the performing arts in southern California. It was a fitting locale to host the auditions, being a mere stone’s throw from the future home of the Los Angeles Rams.

On this night of nights, there would be a showcase of beauty and talent on display as 66 finalists vied for one of the 28 coveted spots on the squad. There were former cheerleaders and dancers from the Laker Girls, Clippers Spirit, Charger Girls, Baltimore Ravens, the Kings Ice Crew, the Ontario Fury and a host of other semi-pro teams. If the Rams were creating a band, this would be the equivalent of creating a supergroup the likes of Cream, Bad Company, The Highwaymen, The Traveling Wilburys, Journey, or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Continue reading

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged , ,

A Time To Shine: The 2016 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Auditions

Over the years, one of my favorite events to cover has been the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader auditions. It’s not because I get to photograph some of professional sports most beautiful cheerleaders. It’s not because I am able to shoot in one of the most amazing locations to hold auditions…University of Phoenix Stadium. It’s because of the people I meet here, from the Cardinals staff to the cheerleaders to the other photographers covering the event. They are very nice and so welcoming to me, that I thoroughly enjoy my time here.

Okay, maybe the beautiful girls have a small part in my fondness for this event. Long hours, slaving behind the camera…shooting an endless line of beautiful and talent young women…a lot of hard work and passion goes into covering this event. And like the girls trying out for the squad, for me it is also a time to shine.

ACC16v031

ACC16v108

ACC16v061

ACC16v115

ACC16v148

ACC16v169

ACC16v071

I have been covering this event since 2009 and every year, it gets better and better. Better in terms of the sheer number of gorgeous girls that try out. And better in terms of the dance talent that the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders attract. This year, I noticed a number of Phoenix Suns Dancers trying out to make this squad. This was in addition to two girls who came from Japan and a couple of NFL cheerleaders from other teams who tried out their luck.

Over 170 girls registered for this year’s auditions. This included 18 returning veterans who were trying to secure their spot on the 2016 squad. Preliminary auditions would span over two days and include three rounds of dance in front of a judging panel. At the end of the first day, 170 candidates would be whittled down to 57 semi finalists…and that’s when the real competition began.

Continue reading

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged , ,

Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Kristen

This past weekend, I was in Phoenix, Arizona to cover the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders open call auditions. During the down time, I was able to snap a few photos of Kristen, the AZCC’s Pro Bowl cheerleader from the past season. She was demonstrating the audition routines for the aspirants and I thought that snapping a few pictures of her would be a good teaser for the upcoming article.

ACCKristen03

ACCKristen05

ACCKristen08

ACCKristen07

ACCKristen04

ACCKristen09

ACCKristen10

ACCKristen11

There’s more to come from the 2016 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders auditions!

Posted in Uncategorized

Meet the 2016 Charger Girls!

The Chargers have announced their 2016 Charger Girls. The new squad features 15 returning veterans and 13 rookies in what may be the last squad to grace the sidelines in San Diego.

2016-CGs

TOP ROW (L – R)
Bridget, Blake, Melissa, Shelby, Rose, Lauryn, Courtney, Sydni, Whitney

MIDDLE ROW (L – R)
Teran, Elaine, Kayla Ann, Anna, Delani, Shelbi, Madison, Karissa, Glory, Angelica

BOTTOM ROW (L – R)
Denise, Marissa, Kayla Nicole, Tina, Rebecca, Tawnie, Devin, Emily, Tyler

To read more about the 2016 Charger Girls, please click here.

Posted in News | Tagged , ,

Flashback Friday – Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Tryout Hopeful

ACC46

Today, we begin a new segment called Flashback Friday where I dig deep into the archives and showcase some old and not so old cheerleader photos from the past.  And we begin with my first official gig for UltimateCheerleaders.com, the 2009 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders auditions.

I remember rolling in from the parking lot to see a long line of absolutely gorgeous girls waiting to register and I suddenly realized that I am the only guy there.  To say that I was a little nervous was an understatement and there was a lot riding on this gig.  I was there to produce, not to ogle the girls.

Well, I got down to business and when the first round began, this one hopeful caught my eye.  Not only was she pretty good looking, she was a very good and technical dancer.  The only thing was that she looked a little young…perhaps a little too young.  She didn’t make the squad and maybe that was the reason why.

Posted in Flashback Friday

Cheerleader Profile: Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Madison

Our next featured cheerleader is the tallest member of the Ladies of Ontario Fury…introducing Madison.

Fury16v226

Why did you become a professional cheerleader?

Dance has always been an important and special part of my life. I grew up dancing in a studio, which is where I developed my love for being a part of a team. There is no better feeling than the energy and encouragement you get when you go out and perform with a group of people who all share the same passion as you. I am about to graduate from college, so I am wrapping up my last few months on a college dance team. I wanted to take that next step from amateur to professional so I can continue to pursue my passion for dance.

What was your favorite experience as a professional cheerleader?

Performing at our last home game with the whole team. The only other time we had performed all together was at our first game of the season, so it was exciting to be with everyone again and to see how much we have grown since the last time we stepped out on the field all together. We even got to perform with our mascot, Stryker, which was definitely a moment to remember!

What is your favorite dance style?

While I love a good sassy jazz number, my strong suits are definitely in contemporary and lyrical. I love being able to express myself through dance and I feel like those two styles allow me to be the most genuine.

What is your favorite dance move? What is your go to dance move?

I’m a “leggy” all the way! Kicks, tilts, and leg hold turns are my go-to’s.

What are the three words that describe you?

Funny, ambitious, creative.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I love school! As nerdy as that sounds, I genuinely love learning, my major, and getting good grades. Even after I get my Bachelor’s degree this spring, I want to keep going to school. Fun fact: I spend about 7 hours a day at school.

What is your favorite music genre? Who is your favorite musical artist?

Hip hop – Atmosphere is one of my all-time favorite artists.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I am addicted to Reality TV. Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, The Bachelor… I love it all!

Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Or some other app. What’s your favorite app?

Snapchat! It’s so fun! You can take the most embarrassing photos of yourself and not worry because they disappear in seconds!

Who is the one person that inspires you the most?

My little brother. Even though he is younger than me, he motivates me to be the best person I can be because I want to be someone that he can look up to.

What is your motto to live by?

YOLO! Haha, but really… it’s true! You only get one chance at life and I believe that life is what you make of it. You get what you give, so you should give it your all.

What advice would you tell someone who aspires to become a professional cheerleader?

Never stop taking classes! Every dancer can learn something valuable from watching others. Taking class is the best way to keep improving on your technique, performance quality, and ability pick up choreography. All of those things are so important, especially on the professional level.

 

Fury16v209

For more information about the Ontario Fury, please visit their website here.

[Ladies of Ontario Fury]
[Ladies of Ontario Fury Facebook Page]

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged ,

Cheerleader Profile: Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Kellie

Our next featured cheerleader is Kellie, a first year member of the Ladies of Ontario Fury. Let’s get to know her a little better.

Fury16v023

Why did you become a professional cheerleader?

I grew up in sports. I grew up in elite sports camps, and excelled well above average in mainly basketball and track and field. In elementary I got a small glimpse of performing when I was on a community competition hip hop and drill team but again was always pushed towards other sports. In high school I decided to make my own choice & tryout for the cheer team and dance team . I then went on to college and was apart of the competitive spirit line as well. Although I started what is considered “late” in the cheer/dance world I have found my passion & after college I told myself I was just not ready to stop yet! I love everything about professional cheer.

What was your favorite experience as a professional cheerleader?

Definitely has to be appearances. One of my favorite hobbies is volunteering and community service so the fact that it’s apart of the job is awesome! My favorite experience was the Colonies Holiday Miracle appearance where we got to take underprivileged kids on a Christmas shopping spree! Seeing their grins from ear to ear was the best!

What is your favorite dance move? What is your go to dance move?

I love hip hop tricks! Head springs, freezes, Kip ups, and rubber bands! My go to dance move is probably battements and all jumps and leaps!

What are the three words that describe you?

Fresh – I love traditions but I love contributing fresh new ideas and I feel fresh describes my personality!
Self-driven – I push myself and always try to give a perfect effort.
Reliable – You can always rely on me to be punctual, work hard, make people laugh and a friend to anyone!

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I have a fear of chicken with bones. I cannot eat chicken if it is not boneless or chicken strips. I have forced myself a few times and I just cry on the inside. Haha I don’t even know where this came from!


What is your favorite music genre? Who is your favorite musical artist?

I love hip hop, r&b and rap. I feel like there is a song for every mood and situation in life!
My 2 favorite artists are Chris Brown and T.I.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Fried foods! I love food in general but fried foods are just so delicious! My favorite is French Fries! I can eat those with literally anything and I love to make them all different types of ways! Skinny fries, curly fries, seasoned fries, cheese fries, bacon and cheese fries. . . Oh man now I want some fries!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

The genuine support of family and friends! Having people around you who mean well and with positivity goes a very long way!

Who is the one person that inspires you the most?

Definitely my Mom! She is the strongest person I know for many reasons. I appreciate how she has been a great example and raised me to be a responsible and respectable young lady!

What is your motto to live by?

“If it makes you happy do it, if it doesn’t then don’t!”

What advice would you tell someone who aspires to become a professional cheerleader?

Faith, consistency & hard work. You definitely have to believe in yourself and work at your craft! Training is everything and confidence is everything! Be consistent with technique training and your physical health! If you really want it you have to go for it 100%!


Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I see myself having done everything that I wanted to do in my youth; especially traveling and fulfilling my dance goals and finally settled into my career and have started a family!

Fury16v179

For more information about the Ontario Fury, please visit their website here.

[Ladies of Ontario Fury]
[Ladies of Ontario Fury Facebook Page]

Posted in Featured Articles | Tagged ,