Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Former Dolphins Cheerleader LauRen Merola Vying For Miss USA

Friday, April 4th, 2008

By Andy Kent
Special for

LauRen Merola

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader LauRen Merola is getting ready to try her luck in Las Vegas, only she won’t be anywhere near the poker tables.

Merola will be taking the stage April 11 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino as Miss Pennsylvania in the Miss USA Pageant, hoping to be crowned by 2007 Miss USA Rachel Smith at the end of the evening.

The Miss USA Pageant has supplanted the Miss American Pageant as the marquee beauty pageant in America and will be broadcast live on NBC in front of a nationwide viewing audience. For Merola, this is a chance for her to tap into some of her experiences as a Dolphins cheerleader when she regularly performed in front of 75,000 fans at Dolphin Stadium.

“When I started cheering, my first game was such a rush,” said Merola, who didn’t start entering pageants until she was 14. “But this is very comparable. You’re representing another organization so it’s just like being a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, and in reality it’s kind of the Super Bowl of all pageants. There is a lot of media attention being a public figure as a representative of a state and a role model for young women everywhere. The Miami Dolphins have helped me prepare for this level of competition at Miss USA.”

Contestants are required to be at least 18 and not yet 27 years old. Each contestant from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be judged in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The winner of the Miss USA contest goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe Pageant, and the gala event is a joint venture among executive producer Donald Trump, NBC and veteran television writer and executive producer Phil Gurin and the Gurin Company.

Merola departed Philadelphia last Friday for Las Vegas and was given the celebrity treatment by Miss Pennsylvania Director Randy Sanders as she left the downtown Hyatt and made her way to the airport. Once inside she was the center of attention as she boarded the plane and she is eager to soak in the atmosphere and share her experiences with her family, friends and Dol-fans through her exclusive diary for

“It’s very exciting for LauRen. When she started she was 19 years old, a young, pretty little girl that came in to try out for cheerleading,” Dolphins Sr. Director of Entertainment, Dorie Grogan said. “She wasn’t a strong dancer but she had this sparkle, and to see her now, this beautiful woman that’s going to be in the Miss USA Pageant, she’s already Miss USA to me. From the first day, I knew that she was special and unique and that she would always strive for perfection.

“I think it’s extremely prestigious and I’m honored that she’s there now, she is not only representing Pennsylvania but all Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders past, present & future. She is a perfect example of what a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader is. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman who has a love of dancing and entertaining and of course a love of the Dolphins.”

Grogan and Merola stay in touch and exchange e-mails, Merola is one of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Ambassadors who work on game day at Dolphin Stadium. Grogan will be busy the night of the pageant reviewing the final candidates from the 2008 cheerleader auditions, which are being held this Saturday, April 5 at Dolphin Stadium from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In order to prepare for the Miss USA Pageant, Merola had to do a lot of preparation, beginning with the state pageant. She related a sentiment that has permeated throughout the pageant community where it is said that for a parent you have a better chance of having a son compete in the Super Bowl than you do a daughter compete in Miss USA.

“I work with an interview coach that helps me to communicate my point of view effectively.” Merola explained. “I have a politics coach as well that I work with, so I have the best of both worlds there. I expect more political questions than most states as the Pennsylvania primaries are April 22 and the pageant is April 11.”

Another aspect of her job as a Dolphins cheerleader was the community service aspect, and Merola was very involved so she feels that experience helps her. But overall, she believes that she belongs on the stage with the rest of the contestants and is taking a football player’s approach as far as not just being satisfied to have made it this far.

“As far as competition goes, I feel good going into it this year,” Merola said. “I’m not nervous about anything; I’m excited more than anything. You work so hard for swim suit, evening gown and interview that you’re really excited to show off what you’ve done. I plan to do a lot of networking while I’m in Vegas.”

There will be 10 celebrity judges scoring Merola and the other contestants, led by Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, Heather Mills. She will be joined by Rob Schneider, Joey Fatone, Kristian Alfonso, Amanda Beard, Christian Siriano, Shawne Merriman, Ken Paves, Kelly Carson and George Wayne.

Stay tuned to for LauRen’s exclusive diary.

MVC Annual Banquet

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Pamela - 5th Year Veteran and Team Captain

Hello Minnesota Vikings Fans!

One of the MVC’s absolute favorite things about the month of February - outside from the Super bowl- is the annual Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Banquet. The MVC Banquet provides the team with a wonderful opportunity to catch up with each other during the off-season and recap the season. The 2008 banquet was one to remember; not only did we celebrate the team’s successes, but we were able to commend our Head Coach Tami on 10 years of remarkable leadership.

This year, the banquet was sponsored the Minneapolis North Crowne Plaza Hotel, and we are very grateful to them for their excellent cuisine and service. At the beginning of the night, the MVC assembled to enjoy dinner with one another, and watch the Year End Video - graciously provided by Chad Ryburn and Ted Kopacek. There were special presentations by each of our 5 small teams, our Head Coach Tami, the lovely and talented MVC staff, and the team captains. It was great to reflect on year that included more than 350 appearances in the Minnesota community, the successful launch of the A* Team and the All Star programs, and countless other memories on and off the field. Our 2007 Pro Bowl Representative and 3rd Captain Laura also inspired us by sharing her experiences in Hawaii. We typically end the night with awards; congratulations to the following women on their outstanding achievements on the team and in the community:

The Most Valuable MVC: Laura

The Angel Award: Brita

Fitness Achievement: Jessie

Best Overall Dancer: Kara

Vikings Children Fund Support Award: Sarah

Community Service Award: Sarah

Rookie of the Year: Krisandra

Whether it’s community service, fitness achievement, or dance ability, our coach Tami is constantly pushing us to become the “Whole Package.”

Krisandra, Vikings Cheerleaders
Krisandra and her Rookie of the Year Award

The evening is always very memorable, and sometimes bittersweet as it provides us with a chance to say goodbye to retiring team members. We wish them all success as they pursue new opportunities. The team is especially sad to see 2007 Pro Bowl Representative Laura retire - she has been an outstanding team member for the past six seasons, and leader for the past three.

Laura, Vikings Cheerleaders
Say it isn’t so! Laura is retiring.

One of the highlights of the evening was the opportunity to thank and congratulate Tami on her 10th year in position as Head Coach and Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders. Tami continually highlights the growth and success of the MVC, and it was great to turn the tables to celebrate the woman responsible for the team’s success.

At the end of the evening, Tami announced the captains for the 2008 Season. The returning captains are Rachel (6th season), Kara (4th season), Sarah (4th season), and Pamela (5th season), and Glamour Captain Melissa (4th season). The group is happy and excited to welcome Krisandra (2nd season) as a new captain for the 2008 season. The captains are grateful for the opportunity to work with a talented staff and cheer again for the best team in the NFL!

Overall, the MVC had a fantastic season in 2007, and we are excited to kickoff the 2008 season! Open auditions are just around the corner…

Go Vikes!

MVC Audition Information

Open Auditions

Location: Winter Park – 9520 Viking Dr. Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Date: Saturday, April 5, 2008

Time: Call time is 9 am. End time will depend on the number of applicants. Plan a late end time and a long day!

* Here is your chance to be considered for the team! GO FOR IT!
* Please review all the questions on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section of this site for detailed information about tryouts. Auditions are closed to the public! Arrive dressed in form-fitting clothing and prepared to dance.

For more Vikings Cheerleader News checkout

Buffalo Jills Open Workshop

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

From The Buffallo Jills and Bandettes Blog:

On March 30, the Buffalo Jills held the first part of the tryout process for the 2008 squad at Carol Joy’s Fusion Dance Studio in Buffalo. On hand were about 115 hopefuls looking to make the squad, both as dancers and as ambassadors. In past seasons, only the captains were chosen prior to tryouts.

This year, the co-captains were also selected, which helped keep things running smoothly at the workshop. To the tune of a remix of ‘Break The Ice’ by Britney Spears, choreographer Kelli Wagner demonstrated a new sexy routine to the hopefuls with the assistance of Omarlla, Eileen, Nicole, and Christina.

Buffalo Jills
Eileen, Vincenza, and Kelly

Meanwhile, Jills Director Stephanie Mateczun went over what was expected of everyone trying out with the assistance of Jills Alumnae President Lori Marino as well as Jamie, Katie K, Kelly, and Danielle.

More photos and video at Phil’s Blog.

Cheering Cherry: Reliever had Pompom-waving Mom

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

A cute story from the Baltimore Sun:

Orioles PithcerAs a young boy, Orioles reliever Rocky Cherry found a poster of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader while rummaging through his house. Then he found out that his mother had been more than a third-grade Catholic school teacher.


Merry Cherry was part of the famed Cheerleading squad in 1975 and 1976 - three years before her son was born.

“Now that I look back, it was a pretty cool accomplishment,” he said. “She’s done well with it. She does those reunions and gets to go back, and I get to meet some of the newer cheerleaders because she’s hanging out with them, so that’s a good thing.

“When she first did it, it actually was a real big deal. She got paid very well, and they flew her to a lot of places to do car shows and boat shows and stuff like that. It was a great opportunity for her, and she really enjoyed it.”

Not only isn’t Cherry the first celebrity in his family, he doesn’t even have the coolest name. That distinction goes to his mother.

“With a name like that,” he said, “I guess you’re destined to be a Cheerleader.”

Flashback Photo of the …whatever.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Remember how I used to post a different flashback photo every week? Ah yes…the good old days. I still have a few in the archives, but they are few and far between these days. So you can thank one of your peers for this one.

Valerie tells us: “This is actually my most memorable part of Super Bowl XV. The Eagles cheerleaders in their cute white sweaters, running on the field holding yellow ribbons. The Iranian hostages had recently been freed.”

So there you go. A little bit o’ history for you.

Cheers to Fitness

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Pamela Jagger Purcel Staff Writer
March 28, 2008

IRVING, Texas - For many of us, casual Friday is a day worth looking forward to all week. The mood seems a little lighter, the environment a little more relaxed. But for the students of Denton Creek Elementary School in Coppell, a recent Friday morning was anything but relaxed.

In fact, the mood was downright fun and the volume was turned up a few notable notches. The school gymnasium seemed to rock with the level of cheers and enthusiasm.

Why so pumped? Well, for starters, three members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders spent the morning with the students. Megan Fox, Makenzi Swicegood and Deryn Derbigny, all veterans of the glamorous squad, also happen to be members of the team’s “power squad”, the fittest of the fit so to speak.

So why were they there? The purpose of the visit was obvious through the presence of the fourth member of this group, Sgt. Jay Johnson, a nationally known fitness professional and trainer to the DCC. The kids were in for a serious boot camp . . . and some serious fun.

The group was invited to Denton Creek Elementary School by Coach Larned. His goals were simple. He wanted to reiterate the importance of fitness and nutrition to the youngsters in a fun presentation.

“We want the kids to know that fitness is not work; you can enjoy moving and it’s fun,” Coach Larned said. “Plus they’ll learn about nutrition and how to better help their bodies.”

The children filled the gymnasium and were treated to a genuine “boot camp” series of exercises lead by Johnson. But they weren’t alone. The three enthusiastic cheerleaders worked right along side of the kids. Johnson not only lead boot camp but offered real advice too about nutrition, encouraging the kids to stay away from sodas and doughnuts and make better choices when it comes to diet.

“Fitness is simple. It’s not rocket science and anyone can do it,” said Johnson.

It’s no secret that obesity levels in our country have reached an alarming number. Coach Larned is acutely aware of that.

“Obesity is a problem in our country - especially in our state - and I’m thrilled that our state has gotten involved and that our schools are holding kids responsible,” Coach Larned said.

After the children completed a series of exercises in the gymnasium, they were broken into groups for the course created for them outside. Once back inside, they were allowed to ask the Cheerleaders questions. Those questions ranged from “Who is your favorite Cowboy?” to “What’s your favorite color?”

When the Cheerleaders were asked by one student who their role models were while growing up, the ladies answered unanimously that their parents were the role models that guided them. When the same question was asked of the kids, one little voice answered excitedly above the others, “Beyonce!”

What a reminder of how impressionable these children really are. Coach Larned took advantage of that fact by bringing in the world-famous ladies and their trainer.

“If I could have one Cheerleader out here every day all year long I would have no problems . . . the level of excitement has raised the roof,” Coach Larned said.

KC3 Audition Showcase

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Click here to Purchase Tickets

Two More Retirements

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Tiffani and Leeanne, Redskins Cheerleaders
Reader James caught up with Redskins Cheerleaders Tiffani and Leeanne at an appearance at Carpet One over the weekend. After 8 seasons culminating with a trip to Hawaii as the Redskins Pro Bowl Cheerleader, Tiffani is retiring. And after 6 NFL seasons, three with the Baltimore Ravens and the last three with Redskins, Leeanne is also retiring.

Could be quite a lot of new faces on the Redskins Cheerleaders this season. You can get your first look at the Redskins Cheerleaders Finals on Tuesday, April 8th. More information here

More from the Pats audition

Monday, March 31st, 2008

There are a few more photos of this year’s Patriots Cheerleaders auditions up on Go there now

Sad News

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Sad news concerning rocker and former Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Amanda Star:

At 5:25pm, on a beautiful Easter Sunday afternoon, Amanda’s suffering ended.

Surrounded by the love of her entire family she went peacefully to a much better place.

After a heroic 15 month battle against the cancer inside her, she decided enough was enough. She waited until her entire family was with her, and then went into a beautiful final sleep.

Watch Amanda perform here.

Donations can be made in the name of Amanda Phillips to the following address:

Hospice of the Valley
1510 East Flower Street
Phoenix, AZ 85014

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