ACHI Magazine Cover Shoot – Sneak Peek

26 01 2015

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I recently did a photo shoot for ACHI Magazine. I was very flattered that they wanted to capture this mug for their fashion magazine…and not only that, but I’ll be on the cover of their January issue! The magazine is published quarterly online…

ACHI “Strength in Sisterhood” is a Fashion and Life Style Magazine focusing on women’s interests. ACHI Magazine is “For Women That Want It All.”

On January 31, 2015 at the First Annual ACHI Magazine NFDC they will unveil the January-March issue, featuring me!

Click play below to watch a quick behind the scenes look at my shoot!



Birthday in the Nation’s Capitol

30 09 2014

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I spent my (pre) birthday weekend in the U.S. Capitol with some of my best girlfriend’s. I’m not really big on making a BIG deal out of my birthday as I get up there in age…LOL, but since a few of my girls have relocated to the area and a few others willing to travel to hang out for a girl’s weekend…why not?

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My first night in town we had dinner at The Hamilton, which is not only a very tasty DC spot, but they have a great ambiance and a performance venue there as well. A couple of my fellow NFL Pro Cheer Alumni gals (Joi and Mari) came out to break bread with me, and we shared so many laughs…weekend got off to a great start.

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The next day we did some sightseeing…whenever you are in DC, a stop at 1600 Penn is a must! It was a beautiful weather over the weekend for walking around and taking in the DC sights…we squeezed in a little shopping too! ;)

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That night we enjoyed a yummy dinner at STK in Dupont Circle. Pictured above (l-r) Cat, Dara, Cherisse, Norma, me, Rene and Rohelia. I am so flattered that all these girls made time to hang out…we all get so busy in our lives that sometimes it is tough to find time, and especially as a Mom now, my social calendar revolves around their activities…it was kind of different to be around so many “grown ups!” haha

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One of the other big motivators to get to DC that weekend was to see my girl Anjelah Johnson’s show at Warner Theatre! She provided lots of laughs and I even got some one on one time with her at brucnh before we all headed home the next day.

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Fun times for sure…it was “Miami” reunited in DC!! :) Love my girls!!!



You KNOW You’re an NFL Cheerleader IF…

12 08 2014

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I’m a former NFL Cheerleader for 2 different NFL teams (Raiders and Cardinals) and recently we had a reunion with women representing 24 different teams over the past 50 years! Anyhow, my “roomie” for the event was Shannon Oleen, a former KC Chiefs Cheerleader turned Inspirational Speaker. She was one of the speakers during our Saturday night gala and delivered a great message to all the attendees, preceded by her very TRUE and very FUNNY “Top 10 — You know you were a (former) NFL Cheerleader IF…” She tested it (the list) out on me beforehand and she was dead on!!!

So, I wanted to re-post her blog and share it with all of you!!! And — to all my fellow NFL Cheerleaders (Alumni, Current and Future), would love it if you chimed in on just HOW TRUE this all is!!!

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Top 10 Reasons, you know you were a former NFL Cheerleader:

10. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day, you cannot take a photo without the classic top pop.

9. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you have the best grapevine in your Zumba class.

8. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you have mastered the art of putting on eyelashes or nails, while driving. Shhhh!

7. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day you can still educate any man about the game of football, all of the rules and you can spot a tight end from a mile away, because you know your football facts!

6. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, if you are out for a girls weekend and you happen to bust out into sidelines #6.

5. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you know exactly which number, and which shade of red lipstick suits you.

4. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you’ve been asked a 1,000 times how many, and which players you’ve dated.

3. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day, your husband’s cousin’s boyfriend still asks you if you can get free tickets to this year’s season home opener.

2. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because every time you step into a stadium, you get that tingle in your belly when you hear the national anthem.

1. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because at the NFL Cheer Alumni Reunion, we took over the dance floor all night long.



24 Hours in Atlanta

4 08 2014

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I had a whirlwind weekend in Atlanta this past weekend, and while I would’ve loved to have been able to have been there a little longer, it was an unforgettable 24 hours in the ATL. The reason that brought me there was to attend the 2014 national Football Cheerleaders Reunion. The event is still in it’s baby stages, this only being the 2nd reunion ever to include all Alumni from NFL teams across the map. I missed the 1st reunion in 2012, as I had just had my first child, but I knew I wasn’t going to miss this one! The Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Alumni hosted this event, and did an absolutely amazing job putting it all together. I’m so glad my limited time did not deter me from attending, it was so totally worth it to be there for the Saturday night gala and stand among some 250+ women, all Alumni of the various NFL Cheers teams…even the ones that don’t exist anymore!

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There is nothing like being in a room full of women who have gone through the auditions, practices, workouts and game days you love and cherish. It’s an amazing almost indescribable experience, an instant bond, like being in a sorority, a real sisterhood where you KNOW these women KNOW exactly what it’s like to stand and cheer on the NFL sidelines.

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All in all, 24 teams spanning 50 years of NFL Cheerleading, were represented, some that don’t even exist anymore. So if you didn’t know…now you do. The Pittsburgh Steelerettes, Chicago Honey Bears and Houston Oilers Derrick Dolls all had alumni in attendance. And –while I was the lone Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader alumni, there was also a former St. Louis Cardinals cheerleader in the building!

In the photo above are current and former directors of NFL Cheer Teams…and in the center is Suzanne Mitchell, the original director for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, a legendary woman, who spoke to us about how it all came to be…it was such an emotional moment feeling the deep love and appreciation everyone in the room has for her, knowing she was a huge part in paving the way for what the opportunity has become today.

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I had a great time meeting A Raiderette sister, Elaine, who was an LA Raiderette before moving to Indy where she danced for the Pacers and Colts. I met the very sweet Lisa Guerrero who is a fellow broadcaster and former LA Rams Cheerleader…her resume also includes directing the Falcons and Patriots Cheerleaders. My roomie for the weekend is a fellow AFC West Alumni Cheerleader, Shannon Oleen who was a Chiefs Cheerleader. She is also an amazing public speaker who delivers inspirational messages and impressed at the Alumni Gala with her “10 Reasons You KNOW You’re an NFL Cheerleader.” All of them, so much fun!!!

There is nothing like line dancing and doing the “Wobble” with 200 plus former cheerleaders or busting out with game day choreography with your sisters on the dance floor. Cheers go out to Mickey Crawford who runs the Atlanta Alumni group and made this reunion happen, along with Terri Lamb who is the head of the Redskins Cheer Alumni group. I have had the pleasure of knowing them both for a few years now and I see their vision for uniting all the talented and amazing women who all share the distinction of being NFL Cheerleaders. I feel so blessed to have made so many new friends and just to be part of this elite network of women who are my sisters. I can’t wait for our next shin dig in 2016! Buffalo or bust!!!



Top 20 Under 40, I made the List!

1 05 2014

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Who really pays attention to the “lists”?!?! There’s lists and countdowns for just about everything these days and I’ll admit I don’t really pay attention all that often, but I will always browse and glance to see what’s on there…. Well, now that I MADE A LIST, I’d say it’s a pretty darn good feeling! Plus, since this “list” is only for those under the age of 40….my years to make it were running thin! haha!

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At any rate, I am extremely honored, flattered and humbled to be chosen as one of the Top 20 Professionals Under 40 by Brickell Magazine. I must say my nomination came as quite a surprise as I am just now hitting my stride balancing my titles of work and Mommy, and I was thrilled to be selected.

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The photo shoot was lots of fun, as I got to meet some of the other professionals chosen for the May/June 2014 issue (I’m on page 103), everyone has a story to tell and I’m in great company! So, if you’re in and around downtown Miami/Brickell, pick up an issue…or check it out online HERE!!!



PhilanthroFest

7 04 2014

Philanthrofest has made a huge impact on the South Florida community. The event, now in its third year, connects 1000’s of South Florida residents to valuable resources and services in the areas of Business & Economic Development, City/County Services, Civic Engagement/Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Cultural/Arts/Humanities, Educational, Environmental, Health/Human Services/Disease Prevention, Poverty/Welfare, Animal Related, Food/Agriculture/Nutrition, Recreation & Sports, and Youth Development & Services.The PhilanthroFest Community Engagement Festival features more than 100 South Florida non-profits and community agencies, art, music and dance entertainment, a kid’s zone, a community stage, healthy living section, and other family friendly attractions.

PhilanthroFest is FREE and open to the public with the goal of connecting volunteers and donors to not-for-profit organizations while creating an environment that promotes civic engagement, deepens community connections and sparks the philanthropic spirit of South Florida.

3 ways YOU can support PhilanthroFest TODAY:

GIVE

Donate to support the PhilanthroFest 2014 Festival and we will include your name on our donor recognition page and donor activation at the festival. DONATE VIA EVENTBRITE!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/philanthrofest-2014-tickets-10897953071

VOTE

Cast your vote for PhilanthroFest in the KIND “Do The KIND Thing” Challenge: VOTE NOW! http://projects.kindsnacks.com/project/philanthrofest-2014-civic-engagement-festival/

SHARE

Share your #PhilanthroSMILE with us and be featured in our social media campaign: SHARE YOUR #PHILANTHROSMILE
http://www.philanthrofest.com/philanthrosmile



Cover Girl x Vixen Workout

9 02 2014

I finally got an opportunity to check out and try the “Vixen Workout.” And, it just so happens that the class I went to was actually part of an event where the #vixenarmy teamed up with Cover Girl to promote Bombshell mascara! The event was on South Beach in Miami and while I had some idea of  what the workout was going to be like, I don’t know if anything could’ve quite prepared me for its intensity!!!

First things first, they had Cover Girl makeup artists on hand to assist with the #bombshelling look…so I did that. The event took place in a large space with lighting to set the “mood.” The idea was to have a concert feel, since the Vixen Workout is taking a page out of a video vixen’s “book.” There was a great turnout, I mean hundreds of women ready to work it out!! I was told this fitness regimen has a cult-like following, and from the large crowd of excited ladies who showed up, that is clearly evident.

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Now about the workout, it is seriously a heart-pumping, energy-inducing, sweat producing, non-stop dance-filled workout. The creator of the Vixen Workout is Janet Jones, a former Miami HEAT dancer, who basically incorporates some of the hottest dance moves – often seen in music videos, and then choreographs workout routines with lots of sexy, sassy sweat! I loved that Janet, along with her dancers had incomparable energy and while they were “leading” the 1-hour workout, I felt like I was watching Pitbull’s dancers at an award’s show! Lots of fist-pumping, cheering and HIGH ENERGY… Just check out this quick snippet video I shot on my iPhone >>

I will be the first to admit that 30 minutes of this workout quite enough for me…until I can get my cardio up and my thighs/knees can handle all the squats and “drop down and get your eagle on” moves! ;) Note — if you have any issue with explicit lyrics found in rap music, or walking out of a class with your ears ringing, then this may not be for you! **Plus, I couldn’t help but think of rapper “drama,” when songs by Kanye West, Rick Ross, Chief Keef, etc… came on! It’s not all rap either, there’s lots of Beyonce to go around with some Dancehall, EDM and Latin spice sprinkled in.

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The “Vixen Workout” definitely has Miami written all over it, from the gyrating booty pops to the constant chest thrusts and slinky body rolls…many of the ladies ditched the ponytails and let their hair down while getting some extra lift from wedge sneakers. And — I can’t really think to any “downsides” to this workout…unless you count the all-over soreness you feel the next day. I did find myself getting a bit too technical, wanting to have all the choreography down, and not “mirror” the women on stage – as a dancer I tend to want to have the exact hand placement, movement and timing…but reminder to self, this is all in fun, and after a few classes, you’re sure to have all the vixen moves down pat! What else can I say, I loved it, would totally do it again! And what better way to feel like I was up in the club getting my late night groove on! I mean even my “Cover Girl Bombshell” eyelashes were sweating!! ;)

Right now the Vixen Workout is only in Miami and New York, but it’ll hit the West Coast soon…and I’m sure all my Bay Area U-Jam girls would LOVE it! Visit the website at http://www.vixenworkout.com/



Raiderette LOW PAY Lawsuit – MY THOUGHTS!!!

22 01 2014

Yes, I was an Oakland Raiderette…and am still a proud alumni! So news of a lawsuit by a current – on her way out former Raiderette from the most recent season has hit the media, and I couldn’t resist giving my 2 cents, okay it’s more like a lot of SENSE!! And this all comes on the heels of a new petition on behalf of ALL NFL Cheerleaders (completely unrelated) to get MORE PAY!

Check these links for background:

Busted Coverage – Cheerleader Sues Raiders for Withholding Pay & Not Paying Minimum Wage **this article contains a copy of the actual lawsuit paperwork filed**
ESPN – Cheerleader Files Suit Against Raiders
Pay Petition – for all NFL Teams Cheerleaders

But seriously, this is sparking so much debate among Raiderette Alumni and people in general, that I just had to put my thoughts down and share…so here goes…

YES…being a PRO TEAM Dancer/Cheerleader is a low paying job…I’ve been on 3 teams in the NBA and NFL. Do I believe the compensation should be more, yes, that would be nice to be paid for my time and talent, but here’s the reality (from my dancing days):

  • Cheerleaders (Raiders) are paid a per game stipend, practice is not paid and certain community/charity events may also be non paid. There are other paid appearance opportunities and you are always told the pay, location and summary of all events before you sign up. Other pro teams do receive a minimum wage for practice. You also receive tickets for the game as part of the compensation.
  • Team members sign a contract acknowledging and agreeing to the terms of pay, attendance, expectations (hair, makeup, nails, citizenship, etc…), duties, hours, and it is often a requirement for those selected to hold some type of job or be a student outside of the team.
  • Members are required to maintain and meet fitness/appearance requirements, all of which are discussed and agreed to…gym membership and stylist discounts are also given by sponsors. And while some of the ladies may take that as required weekly manicures or regular haircuts and color, those are optional expenses the ladies incur at their own discretion…again they AGREED to this.
  • Travel to appearances may sometimes be out of area, but if you sign up to drive 90 miles, I’m saying, don’t complain about it.
  • Fines are incurred when you are late for practice, games, events or if you forget required equipment, attire, etc… I have no issue with this, money is the best motivator to get people to stay on top of their game.

So my thing is, at auditions… candidates are WELL AWARE of what it takes to make the team and what the job entails, if selected among the HUNDREDS, sometimes THOUSANDS of hopefuls. I think the general public assumes it is a full time job and doesn’t realize the reality of what goes on behind the glamour – hours of practice, appearances and prep, but truth be told, after all the hard work, hours of sweat, all the tears shed, dedication and miles driven, what you take home doesn’t even cover gas costs! However, the majority (if not all) of the ladies in the pro ranks aren’t doing it “for the money.” What this job offers are priceless memories and friendships, unique experiences and once in a lifetime opportunities. As a pro team cheerleader I was able to network and meet countless top level executives from a wide range of industries, work alongside community leaders and influencers, travel and represent teams in the most elite sports leagues and given the platform to be part of game day entertainment in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans!

Honestly, this gets me worked up because I am protective of the “sisterhood.” I do see the point of being paid more and it would be well-deserved, but the reality is that being a Raiderette or part of any pro team is a privilege and honor, that is priceless!! IF this suit is successful, I think a few things could happen. It may be possible that teams do away with cheerleaders altogether or make it a volunteer job with NO stipend. However, since the cheerleaders are vital to branding and bring in millions of dollars for the team, maybe they shrink the squads down to only a dozen or less, to make them full-time staff.  But, let’s be honest, the hundreds of women that try out would do it for free, and these days the spots are so coveted that they enlist the coaching of people like me, through Going Pro Entertainment, to give them advice and pointers on how to make a team!

It will be interesting to see what happens. I worked full time outside of my position as a pro team cheerleader/dancer, with each team I was lucky enough to be a member of…and I would do it all over again for the same “low” pay.