Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jills Awards and something new for tryouts this year

It's that time of year again as the Jills held their annual end-of-season banquet this past weekend and as a part of that banquet, many Buffalo Jills received some awards.
There were some repeats from last year as Omarlla and Lisa continue to set a high standard and Kelly, who is retiring after 2 seasons, had perfect attendance her entire career. When you consider all the hard work these girls put in and all the time commitments, that's quite an accomplishment!
  • Rookie of the year: Gina (ambassador) & Natalie(dance)
  • Captain of the year: Omarlla
  • Veteran of the year: Lisa
  • Outstanding Ambassador Jill: Alyssa
  • Miss Congeniality: Kelly (dance) & Keisha (ambassador)
  • Most appearances: Murissa
  • Perfect attendance: Kelly, Omarlla & Jill
  • Most Calendar sales: Meghan

Congratulations to all the award winners!! Though, truth be told, everyone on the squad is a winner in my book.

Captains haven't been selected yet this year with tryouts taking place in April. And speaking of tryouts, there's something new happening at 1st cuts this year, an event which is open to the public for the 3rd year in a row. At this year's 1st cuts, which will be taking place at 1pm on April 17 at the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, the ladies who make it through 1st cuts will be back on stage in swimwear. This is to help evaluate confidence and poise more easily as well as make the event even more interesting to the public. As a Buffalo Jills cheerleader, confidence and poise are a must when on appearances and at events and anyone who can model their own tasteful swimwear (with heels), should do quite well in these areas. See all the details on tryouts at

While the Jills are mostly doing smaller appearances from now until tryouts, there is one big event still at which a large number of the Jills will be on hand. The Annual Buffalo Men's Show is being held at Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center on March 27th and features Ruben Brown, Joe Ferguson, and Van Miller from the Bills as well as Frank Resestarits from the Bandits and many more celebrities and booths. The main attraction though, will obviously be the Buffalo Jills. In addition to greeting people at a few various booths at the event, they'll also be putting on a big dance performance as well. Check out all the info on the Men's Show and how to get tickets at

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bandette of The Week Jessica M

This week, we take a look at our first rookie as the Bandette of The Week. Jessica M, who dances on Justina's line, got a couple big welcomes to the pro cheer ranks when she first joined the rest of the Bandettes and a number of Jills alumni in Toronto for the big halftime performance with the Buffalo Jills and Hinder. Then, at the Bandits Open Practice about a month later, she joined Lauren B in the ring when they challenged Bandits strongman Brandon Francis to a wrestling match. He wasn't up for it, though. In the future, she hopes to parlay the degree in Exercise Science she's pursuing into a job as an athletic trainer with a professional sports team like Sherri Lashomb has done withe the Bandits or Bud Carpenter has done with the Bills. Beyond that, she's proof that the stereotype of cheerleaders/dancers being stuck-up is just that, a stereotype. She actually got voted "Friends with everyone" in high school, which definitely isn't your typical senior superlative so I would imagine they had to have made it special for her. Jessica's secondary photo comes from the Bandits Open Practice held in December. While the players were practicing, the girls waited in the tunnel to the visitors' locker room. Shown posing here are Chrissy, Jessica M, Jessica H, Kirsten, Lauren S, and Chelsea.

You can read more about Jessica at

Buffalo Jill of The Week Eileen

What can I say about our current Jill of The Week that hasn't been said already? Eileen, like Omarlla, just finished up her 11th season on the squad, having started in 2000, the year before the Yahoo Jills Club, which was the precursor to the webgroup and the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog, was formed. Unlike Omarlla however, Eileen told me at the Jills Comedy Show that she's leaning towards retiring from the sidelines, which will definitely take away from the sidelines just a touch. Her smile and warm and loving personality have definitely brightened up some poor years for the Bills. She still has some time to change her mind so keep your fingers crossed. Even if she does stick with her retirement plans, she's had a pretty full career including a Pro Bowl appearance following the 2005 season. She got made a co-captain in 2006 and followed that season with a trip to Iraq with 7 other Buffalo Jills to visit the troops. Then in August, she led another group of 8 Jills to Afghanistan and spent some time visiting the troops in the Balkans as well. 2010 was her 2nd as a full captain and besides the performances on gamedays, her favorite part of being a Jill is probably the time the squad spends with the Jr Jills...she absolutely loves getting to give the next generation of cheerleaders encouragement and helping them learn different routines and cheers. Something tells me she's going to make a heck of a mother and considering how supportive her own mother is, that's not shocking in the least. Eileen's secondary photo, a line shot, comes from the Lions game in November. Shown posing are Natalie, Stefanie, Emily, Eileen, Nicole, Katie, Reena, and Murissa.

You can read more about Eileen at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Wings game

Coming off a 16-7 thrashing on the Philadelphia Wings, the Bandits returned home to host the same Wings on Saturday night at HSBC Arena in front of 15,344 Buffalo fans. Unfortunately, the anger that the Wings team had because of last week's game showed more in the Bandits as the home team took a large number of undisciplined penalties in a 10-9 loss in front of their home fans.

Melissa's line

Justina's line
Prior to the game, the Bandettes greeted fans coming into the game. Some children jumped at the chance to pose for pictures with the beauties that make up the Bandettes. Some little boys took a little more coercing from their parents...and in a few years some of those same little boys will be kicking themselves when they didn't pose with the Bandettes.

Stephanie, Chrissy, Ashley, Jessica M, Noelle, Chelsea, Erin Y, and Lauren S during the pregame performance

Bandettes Alumni Amanda Z and Amanda F
A pair of Bandettes alumni made an appearance at halftime complete with a Happy Birthday sign for Bandettes captain Justina.

Check out all the pics at

Coming up next for the Bandettes, after the Bandits take a week off for the All-Star Break, they return to HSBC Arena on March 5 as the Bandits host their Thruway rivals, the Rochester Knighthawks. Bandettes posters may be available at this game as the girls did their poster shoot before yesterday's game.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bandette of The Week Jessica H

This week, we take a look at 4th year vet Jessica H as our Bandette of The Week. The reigning NLL Girl of The Week, Jessica is a travel agent when not dancing at the Arena and is the lone military veteran on the squad, having served 4 years in the US Navy. She's easily the quietest and most reserved of all the Bandettes vets and probably more so than any of the rookies as well. That being said, I've watched her grow a lot in that area over the course of her career that started with a Championship season in 2008. I probably almost never heard her speak in her rookie season, and that includes at the post-game parties that used to be held at Pearl Street. Nowadays, she's a lot more outspoken and self-assured but still has her quiet moments, letting her incredible smile do the talking. Considering that smile helped win her a recent NLL Girl of The Week vote, there's a lot of people besides me who think it's pretty spectacular. She's been dancing since the age of 4 and cheered for the West (Puget) Sound Saints semipro football team while she was stationed in Washington while still in the Navy. Jessica's secondary photo comes from before the home opener against the Toronto Rock when the Bandettes were greeting fans coming into the game. Shown posing for the camera are Jessica H, Lauren B, and Chelsea.

You can read more about Jessica at and be sure to check out her NLL Girl of The Week write-up if you haven't already at

Buffalo Jill of The Week Omarlla

The average career of a Buffalo Jills cheerleader is about 2-3 seasons. This week, we're looking at one of the girls who's been raising that average for several years. Omarlla has been with the squad since the year 2000, an incredible 11 seasons which included a Pro Bowl appearance in 2004, but has yet to show any signs of slowing down and is leaning towards returning for a 12th season as well. Her contributions to the squad go far beyond what the fans see on gamedays and those contributions are a major reason why no one is anxious to see her retire anytime soon. You see, when you have a large group of girls together, cliques tend to form and there can tend to be some cattiness. The Jills are the exception that prove the rule and if there was one girl more responsible for that than anyone else, my vote would go to Omarlla. She truly acts as a big sister to her squadmates and gets along as well with rookies on the squad as she does with longer-term vets. Away from the squad, she's an elementary school teacher whose students seem excited to have her as a teacher and with a master's degree under her belt already, plans on attaining her PhD one day as well. Omarlla's secondary photo comes from the October game against the Jaguars. Prior to the game, Omarlla got a line shot taken in the tunnel area. Shown posing are Loren, Brianne, Kelly, Lindsey, Omarlla, Kristen, Jackie, and Angelina.

Obviously, as a captain, Omarlla didn't need to tryout to make the 2010 squad but at 1st cuts, Omarlla and Christina performed the tryout routine at the start of the day so that fans and judges knew what they were to expect to see.

You can read more about Omarlla at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Troop visit in Seattle and more info on tryouts

Over Super Bowl weekend, there were a few troop visits going on involving the Buffalo Jills. In addition to the 8-girl group that spent a week and a half visiting bases in the Middle East, a pair of Jills rookie ambassadors were in Seattle visiting the troops at Fort Lewis. In addition to signing autographs and taking photos, Meghan and Taryn got to try their hand with some fire-fighting equipment as well as the M-16. See all the pics at

All the dates and locations are set for 2011 Buffalo Jills tryouts with the Open Workshop kicking things off on Sunday April 10th at 1pm at The Tralf Music Hall in downtown Buffalo. The workshop, closed to the public, is an event where ladies trying out for the squad, can learn the dance routine they'll be expected to know for 1st cuts, and find out what is expected of a Buffalo Jills cheerleader for 2011 whether it be dance or ambassador.
First cuts will also be held at The Tralf and, like the last few years, will be open to the public with a $10 cover. Tryouts start at 1pm on April 17th and it's advised to show up at least a half hour to an hour early to register and get warmed up.
Prior to auditions, there will be two optional prep classes meant to give you an edge with hair and make-up tips, stage presence, and basic dance skills to help you at tryouts. Both take place at Fusion Dance Studio from noon to 1:30 with a $20 fee per workshop. March 20th and April 3rd are the dates for these.
Get all the detailed info as well as cut dates beyond 1st cuts at

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bandette of The Week Lauren B

This week, we take a look at 2nd year vet Lauren B as our Bandette of The Week. Last season, she spent much of the season in awe of all she was accomplishing as a member of the Bandettes. Now she's an established veteran who, in addition to dancing with the Bandettes, got more face time than anyone but Jills vet Loren on the big screen in Toronto for the big halftime show in November. When I mentioned that to Lauren, she remarked that it had to be the fact that they both had that name (albeit a different spelling) as far as why they each ranked up there. Everyone by now knows that she's excitable and talkative, as well as a bit shy at first...but only at first. What isn't widely known is how tough she is. As a Bandette, she has to be ladylike and not get too excited about the fights that happen on the turf during a Bandits game. Her captain last year, Meghan, had to remind her on occasion early on. For a quarter each game, she danced and stood next to me last season and when there was a fight going on, I could see her eyes go wide watching it but holding back from actively cheering on whichever Bandits player was involved. At this year's Open Practice, the Bandits held wrestling matches and Lauren wasn't restrained in watching the action...and when Jaclyn said that the Bandits wanted a couple of girls out there to join in, Lauren was obviously the 1st to volunteer. This season, she's still excitable about the fights but isn't quite as ready to jump in as much as she was last year...probably because of getting to get involved like she did at the Open's secondary photo is from the Bandits Open Practice held in December. Shown in the pic are Lauren B and Jessica M coming off the field after challenging Bandits strongman Brandon Francis to a wrestling match...he wanted no part of the beatdown they were ready to dish
You can read more about Lauren at

Buffalo Jill of The Week Valerie

This week, we take a look at 5th year veteran dancer Valerie as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. She started off the season on Christina's line between Jill and Morgan but moved over to Omarlla's line between Lindsey and Kristen in midseason after some girls left the squad early. Valerie is definitely one of the most popular girls on the squad, both from a fan standpoint as well as within the squad. Part of that is her looks because face it, she's a knockout, but more than that is her personality...she's genuinely fun to be around and talk to. She's bright, outgoing, and generous and is also a photographer's dream as she loves the camera and loves coming up with poses for all the time I've spent taking photos of her, she always finds something unexpected to do at least once or twice a season. However, nothing could surprise me with her poses, though I'm sure after reading this she'll try to think of a way to do so. I know in running this site for all these years, I really can't play favorites but Val would be high on my list if I did. She and fellow 5th year vet Christina have talked about putting in several years on the squad as Omarlla and Eileen have done and I definitely hope she follows through on that. Val's secondary photo comes from the 8th Annual Buffalo Jills Golf Tournament where she and fellow 5th year vet Stefanie spent the day in the dunk tank, a new and popular attraction at the Jills Golf Tourney in 2010.
For tryouts, veterans get to choose their own numbers and Valerie and Lisa chose #1 and #2 the last few years when dancing together. Last season, I didn't get video of all the vets and Val made sure to give me some grief about not getting her and Lisa...I made sure they got video in 2010 as seen

You can read more about Valerie at

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This week's Girl of the Week - Jessica of the Bandettes - hails from Niagara Falls, NY. A veteran of the United States Navy equipped with a Bachelor of Science from Niagara University, Jessica is enjoying her fourth season cheering on the Buffalo Bandits. She has been dancing for quite a while now, starting when she was four years old, practicing everything from ballet to hip hop and lyrical to baton.

When she is not working for a travel agency in the area, Jessica loves cheering on all of the professional sports teams in Buffalo.

Looks like all the hard work all the voters did paid off and it's great to see the sweet and stunning Jessica reap the rewards.
A special thanks goes out to Bills WR Stevie Johnson who told all his followers on Twitter to vote for her.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Swarm game

With a 2-2 record, the Buffalo Bandits needed the crowd at HSBC Arena to step it up to help them against a strong Minnesota team and the 15,001 fans in attendance were ready, willing, and able to do just that as the Bandits sent the Swarm home with a 15-12 defeat.

Justina's line at the top of the east bank of escalators
Prior to the game, Justina and Melissa's lines spent time greeting fans and posing for photos with them as they came into the game.

Jessica H, Ashley, Kirsten, Krista, Danielle, and Stephanie posing while waiting to go out for pregame

Ashley and Krista in action

The squad posing for a pic at halftime
See all the pics at

Next up, some of the Bandettes will be in attendance at the Buffalo Auto Show on Wednesday, February 9th with Bandits star Mark Steenhuis before the entire squad is back in action on February 19th as the Bandits play host to the Philadelphia Wings.
While you're waiting to see the Bandettes again, you still have a few days left to vote for Jessica H at as the stunning 4th year vet is up for the NLL Girl of The Week honor!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bandette of The Week Kirsten

This week, we take a look at 3rd year vet Kirsten as our Bandette of The Week. In addition to it being her 3rd season on the squad, it's also her 1st as a co-captain on Justina's line. Kirsten absolutely lives to dance and dancing seems to make her happier than anything else. In fact, after the big halftime performance in Toronto that she and the rest of the Bandettes joined the Jills for, she probably had a bigger smile on her face than I've ever seen before. The fact that she made co-captain in her 3rd season is no big surprise. As a captain of her kick-line in high school, she helped deliver some regional and National Championships to her school and even has a National Championship under her belt as a baton-twirler as well. Considering the Bandettes are well-regarded around the NLL as one of the premier dance squads in the league, she fits in very well here. Here in Buffalo for college from her home on Long Island, she's working towards her degree in physical therapy and hopes to open her own clinic. Considering the warmth and compassion she shows, she's going to be great at her job. Kirsten's secondary photo is from the Bandits Open Practice when the Bandettes came out to see the Bandits having a wrestling match. Shown smiling for the camera are Noelle and Kirsten.
You can read more about Kirsten at

Buffalo Jill of The Week Loren

This week, we take a look at 2nd year vet Loren as our Jill of The Week. Anchoring one end of Omarlla's line next to Brianne on gamedays, Loren probably made the biggest transition from rookie to vet without switching squads. Just from my view from photographing her and talking with her, she's become a much more confident and mature young lady since last season and seems really excited to continue cheering with the Jills. She's embraced many aspects of the role and is currently on a tour with 7 other Jills in the Middle East visiting the troops after having gone on the Iraq trip just a couple of months ago. During the Jills Open Practice in November, while the captains were working on some stuff with Kelli, Loren headed up stretching exercises for everyone else there. The fact that she's done so well should be no surprise however as she spent 16 years as a competitive dancer, and she only just turned 21 recently. Even with the increased confidence and maturity, she's still just as delightful a girl to have around and hopefully she'll be cheering on the sidelines of the Ralph for several more years. She definitely has a great role model in her captain as Omarlla's been not only a great Buffalo Jill throughout her time on the squad, but a great teacher away from the sidelines as well, something Loren is working towards herself. Loren's secondary photo is from prior to the Thanksgiving weekend game against the Steelers and features Natalie and Loren posing together in Lot C prior to the Jills' tailgate performance.

From tryouts, we have the video that we featured last week with Gabrielle, as Gabby and Loren danced together.

You can read more about Loren at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vote for Jessica!!

Every week during the season, is going to do a feature on one of the dancers from around the league and the way they decide is through fan votes. This week, up for the honor from the Bandettes is the stunning Jessica H. She's a 4th year vet on the Bandettes after having spent 4 years in the US Navy. Just go to and click on Jessica's vote button and we'll hopefully see the NLL have a feature up on her very soon! With a smile like hers, you know she's the only choice to make!

Lots more to share

First up are some more photos from Saturday night's Jills Comedy Show. As many fans know, FCI Photography was the official photographers of the Buffalo Jills for several years. Well, after a 1-year hiatus, they're back on the job with the Jills and were also on-hand Saturday night and took a lot of photos as well. Check them all out at

After the Comedy Show, I myself went downtown to visit with the Studio 54 dance band who, as many of you already know, used to have a Buffalo Jill as the lead singer. Well, the current lead singer is also into acting as well and occasionally, Ashlee fills in for her with the band. This past weekend, Ashley Kate was playing the role of Cheryl in "The Taffetas" and is also slated to play the role of Lucy in a production of "Jekyll & Hyde" in late March. So Ashlee was ready, willing, and able to fill in for her both in Lockport Friday night and at the Shadow Lounge Saturday night. Check out all the pics at
Also, make sure to visit to learn more about the band, see showdates, and even get a little extra info on when Ashley Kate is on stage as Lucy in March.

Finally, the spring of 2008 was the beginning of one of the biggest non-sporting event to hit the area since Wingfest was founded...the Buffalo Men's Show! Sponsored in part by Jills primary sponsor 97Rock, the Jills will once again be in attendance at the March 27th event to be held at Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, NY. In addition to the Jills, who will be there putting on a big dance performance, there's always plenty of celebrities, models, and all sorts of neat gadgets and toys to check out like big electronics items, ATVs, snowmobiles and the like. Last year's event included Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Ruben Brown, and Mark Steenhuis as well as local model Jessica Daniels who landed the cover of the current Bikini USA calendar. Tickets go on sale on February 7th and more celebrities are joining the current line-up that can be found at
Stay tuned to 97Rock and the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog for more info on the 3rd Annual Buffalo Men's Show!