This has been a big year for the NRL Cheerleaders in 2013 and especially for the cheerleaders who were chosen to be part of Big Leagues Cheerleader of the Year competition.
A lot of people might think that cheerleaders just turn up to the game, shake their pom poms on the sidelines and that’s it.
Well today I’m going to introduce you to some of the finalists of Big Leagues Cheerleader of the year competition who were on location shooting the first ever Big League Calender, which was sponsored by Mary Holland Lingerie and found out exactly what was involved in their day to day lives and game day duties.
Leah: Parramatta Eels (Leah is an absolute powerhouse! If you ever get to see this young lady perform, you are in for an absolute treat. I love being on stage with Leah, she takes you to a whole other level when I dance with her.)
Occupation: Dance Teacher/Choreographer
Leah teaches Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop at Ettingshausens in Maranda and Kirrawee.
Clubs: Cronulla Sharks 10 seasons, Parramatta Eels 6 season
Leah is also the Choreographer for the Eels Cheer squad.
Game Day: Field 12 cheerleaders at a home game and have 18 cheerleaders in total.
Training: The Parramatta Eels Cheerleaders rehearse on a Monday night and Leah choreographs a 3min routine which they will perform at the upcoming home game. The ladies arrive 2-3 hrs early to the game to block and rehearse the routine and run out and to get prepared for the game.
Each cheerleader looks after their own training to stay in shape.
Occupations of other cheerleaders in the squad: Personal trainers, dance teachers, models, physio.
What are your thoughts on the 2013 Big League Calendar?: Leah-‘I think it’s a great idea! It gives the cheerleaders exposure, we get to socialise withy other squad members and make new friends.’
What would your advice be to other dancers aspiring to be a cheerleader? Leah- ‘Go to dance classes, train hard’.
Do you have any pre game rituals?: Leah- ‘I just get out there and dance the house down!’
Do you have any hidden talents?: Leah- ‘I have the patience of a saint.’
Who are your biggest influences? Leah – ‘My mum, she’s my best mate.’
Who is your favourite Parramatta Eels player?: Leah- ‘Fui Fui, I look forward to seeing fui run out every game, he’s a powerhouse.’
How do you stay in shape? Leah – ‘I dance everyday, eat well and stay busy.’
Amy – Penrith Panthers (A really lovely girl to be around, always smiling and a little pocket rocket)
Age: 22 years old
Occupation: Quality Insurance Officer
Years of dancing: Dancing since 8years old
Seasons with Panthers: 1st Season with Panthers and 1st season cheerleading. ‘I love it.’
Captain and Choreographer for Panthers: Tiffany
Training and Rehearsals: The panthers cheerleaders train with the squad once a week for 3 hours and arrive an hour before kick off on Game Day.
Favourite Panthers Player: Lauchlyn Coote
What are your thoughts on the 2013 Calendar? Amy -‘It’s exciting, I haven’t done anything like this before. It’s great to meet other members from other squads and everyone is really lovely.’
How do you stay in shape?: Amy – ‘I go to the gym 4 times a week, I dance, stay healthy.’
Favourite style of dance: Hip Hop
What is your favourite thing about Cheerleading?: Amy – The atmosphere, everyone is cheering you on, and I love watching the game.’
Leah – Gold Coast Titans (Leah is just this amazing looking, fit, toned, bronzed goddess!)
What age did you start dancing: Age 5
How many seasons with the Gold Coast Titans: 3 Seasons
What do you do when you’re not dancing: Studying Primary Teaching
How many members in the Titans cheer squad? 25-30 cheerleaders
How often do you rehearse? 2 days of rehearsals
How do you stay in shape? Gym, cardio and weights.
What is your favourite thing about cheerleading: Stunts and the atmosphere.
Sammy – West Tigers (Sammy is just so incredibly gorgeous!)
Captain for West Tigers Cheer squad
Occupation: Personal Trainer, dance teacher at Planet Dance
Dancing for 18 years,
Seasons Cheerleading: 1st Season – ‘Its a fun, different style.’
What do you do outside cheerleading: Finishing diploma in fitness, teaching, gigs, auditions, etc.
What is the cheer squad like at West Tigers?: 40 members in the squad, they’re fun, everyone is close and friends through dancing. Enthusiastic, easy to work with.
Do you have any other talents?: Actor & Model
How do you stay in shape?: I stay in shape by training clients, doing cardio, attending a lot of classes.
What is your favourite style of dance?: Commercial jazz
Favourite West Tigers Player?: Benji
What are your thoughts on the Big League Cheerleading calendar this season?: Its awesome and I think it’s great that Mary Holland Lingerie could sponsor it. Great exposure, something the fans will love and recognise and Its a great opportunity.
Crystal: Newcastle Knights
Seasons with Knights: 2 seasons
Dancing since: Age 4
Favourite Knights player: Uatai
How big is your squad at Knights: It’s a big squad of 24, we have 16 on the field at home games and the other members do promo around the stadium. They’re a great bunch of girls.
Captain/Choreographer Knights cheerleaders: Michelle – She used to be in the squad with Jen Hawkins.
Occupation: Real Estate receptionist
When does your squad train for game day: We have a Monday night rehearsal which runs late to get it all done, and we film it so we can practice during the week. We also have an on field rehearsal before the game.
Do you have any hidden talents: I can touch my nose with my tongue.
Favourite style of dance: Modern/Contemporary
What do you think about the Big League Cheerleader calendar this season: I think it’s an awesome idea, it hasn’t been done before, and this is also my first photo shoot.
When did you drive down for Newcastle: We drove down early this morning before the shoot.
How do you stay in shape: My Boyfriend is a gym junkie, I dance 3 nights a week and go to the gym as well.
Jo – Cronulla Sharks
Years dancing: 15 years
How many seasons with the Sharks: 3 Seasons
Tell us about game week preparations: We rehearse on a Monday night for hours, we learn a new routine, practice run out and get briefed for the game. We arrive to the game before gates open and have an on field rehearsal to block and practice the routine and positions.
Favourite Sharks Player: Paul Gallen
Do you have any other talents: Modelling, dancing, acting.
What are your thoughts on the Big League Cheerleader calendar this year: I think it’s a great idea, its great exposure for the girls, its classy, professional and lots of un. Its not only for the men, but the women will appreciate the classy side of it.
Do you have any pre game rituals: No, Im pretty normal.
What are some of your goals with performing: I would love to be in a musical, especially the Lion King or A chorus Line.
Best Thing about being a cheerleader: You have fun on the field, and you get to perform which we all love to do.
What advice would you give to young dancers who want to be a cheerleader: Do it…. AUDITION!
How do you stay in shape: I dance every day at Brent Street Full Time Performing Arts, and I do Yoga and Pilates.
Shaunee: Canberra Raiders ( A lovely young woman, and also holds 3 Australian Titles and is a Black Belt in Karate)
Seasons with Raiders: 1 season
How many years have you been dancing: 10 years.
What is your favourite thing about cheerleading: The fans, kids and also our squad, we’re all really close and everyone is nice.
Tell us about your squads game week preparations: We rehearse once a week for 3 hours on a Wednesday, we all get ready at home and arrive to the game for rehearsals before kick off.
Raiderettes Sponsor: Malibu Spray tans.
Favourite Raiders player: Jarod Croker.
Occupation: Project Management
What do you do when your not cheerleading: Catch up with friends, ride horses as I live on a property.
Other Talents/Skills: Holds 3 Australian Titles, and has a Black Belt in Karate.
Who is your biggest influence and why: My mum, I can go to her about anything, she’s a happy woman and that’s what I want to be like.
What are your thoughts on the Big League Cheerleader calendar: It’s very exciting, we get to meet other girls from other squads. It makes you feel like you’re an important part of the NRL.
Mariah – Brisbane Broncos
Mariah, how has this calendar shoot experience been for you: It has been an amazing experience, I’m really grateful to have been nominated by Arianne for the Big League shoot. The fans will love the calendar. I flew in early this morning for the shoot, so it’s been an exciting week.
How do you stay fit: I do cross fit every afternoon. It’s short workouts and it’s like hell.
What would your advice be to young dancers who want to be a cheerleader: Keep up with your dance technique, stay flexible and dreams really can come true.
Who is your cheer squad sponsor: Hogs Breath and they treat us really well, and constantly give us extra promotional work and we are very involved in the community.
Well there you have it, a little sneak peak of the NRL cheerleaders who were involved in the first evert Big League Cheerleader of the Year calendar for our upcoming season in 2014.
It was so great to spend the day with this awesome group of young ladies and getting an insight into their cheerleading experiences and game week preperations.
Below are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot.
Thanks for reading!!!