It is a new beginning for the Chargers. Their long quest for a solution to their stadium issue was resolved when they formally relocated to the Los Angeles market for 2017 season. The team will play their home games in the intimate confines of the StubHub Center for the next two years while they await the completion of their new, state of the art stadium in Inglewood.
It is also a new beginning for the Charger Girls. Of the 28 young women who graced the sidelines last year, only eight are tying out for the 2017 squad. So, there are definitely big changes in store for the organization and for the Charger Girls. It is a new chapter in their storied history.
Many more photos after the break.
The Charger Girls held their preliminary auditions this past Saturday on the campus of UCLA. Over 250 women were in attendance, vying for one of the 28 positions on the 2017 squad. It was a long day for the young hopefuls, a seven hour ordeal that included learning two routines and two performances before a panel of distinguished judges.
I have covered many auditions in the past and I was impressed by the sheer number of beautiful and talented dancers trying out. I am certain this is nothing unusual for the Charger Girls, who have consistently fielded some of the most impressive dance teams over the years and regularly draw hundreds of dancers to their auditions. There were former NFL and NBA cheerleaders in attendance along with a group of girls who had danced for semi pro sports teams. And after the first cut, the remaining candidates still seemed to number close to two hundred as they, along with the 8 returning veterans crowded the floor of Pauley Pavilion. This was surely a testament to the caliber of dancers that the Charger Girls attract.
Let’s take a look at the best photos from the 2017 Charger Girls preliminary auditions.
Pre-audition Warm Up
First Round Dance Rehearsal
For the preliminary auditions, the aspiring candidates would be taught a two minute routine, a one minute segment for the first round performance and, for those who made the cut, another one minute portion would be added onto the first segment for the second round routine.
First Round Performance
Second Round Dance Rehearsal
At the conclusion of the first round, the judges excused themselves to discuss the performances and tabulate the scores. Several minutes later, Lisa Simmons returned to announce the audition numbers of those girls who would be continuing the journey on to the second round. Once the eliminated candidates left the floor, the second portion of the dance routine was taught to the remaining candidates. For the second round, the girls would perform what they had learned for the first round and what they learned for the second round, in total a two minute dance routine.
Second Round Performance
It was a long day and I must have stood on my feet for six of those seven hours, photographing the audition process. I think I took well over over 6,000 images, of which I considered 1,348 images for post processing and inclusion in this article. Getting 1,348 usable and representative images for an article covering a day long event is well over the norm for me. I usually get around 300-400 images that are good enough and descriptive enough to be considered for use, but this event was special and there were many, many amazing girls to photograph. This is a testament to the sheer numbers of well qualified candidates that the Charger Girls attract for their auditions and as such, I have many interesting and relevant images to choose from to help convey what went on at the auditions. And for that, I am thankful.
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I would like to thank Charger Girls Director Lisa Simmons and the Los Angeles Chargers for allowing me to cover their auditions. I had an amazing time and hope to see them soon.