Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Jills at the 2012 Buffalo Bills Season Ticket Holder Draft Party

Loren and Emily
Jill and Nicole
Starting in 2009, the Buffalo Bills have been holding draft parties for its most devoted fans, allowing them to come to the stadium and watch the draft together with thousands of other season ticket holders. With the move to the 3-day draft, premium seat holders were given the option of watching the 1st rd at the Fieldhouse while the rest of the season ticket holders got to go in on Friday to see the 2nd and 3rd rds.  The advantage that the season ticket holders get on Friday nights is the chance to see the 1st draft pick introduced to them in person.
A major part of the Draft Party every year is the Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders. In addition to holding court at a booth where they pose for photos and sign autographs, the Jills circulate throughout the Fieldhouse and also put on a dance performance. When I got inside after a small tailgate party (this is Buffalo, where tailgating is a big deal), I helped Amanda V set up just before several other of her squadmates arrived on the scene. Less than 24 hours before, all of these girls, except the captains, were on edge waiting to find out for certain that they'd be returning to the Jills for 2012-13. Before long, there were 11 Buffalo Jills on hand posing for photos with fans and signing autographs. After long-time great ST Ace Steve Tasker took some time to introduce Stephon Gilmore, the Bills' 1st rd pick, to the crowd, it was time for the Jills captains to take the stage, performing first to Shout!, and then the tryout routine to plenty of cheers from the fans.

Jacki lining up to kick a FG
Caity (2009) and Valerie
After the performance, the Jills spread out and after spending some time with Nicole and Jill (getting her strength back after missing last season's action due to injury), I caught up with some of the girls around the Fieldhouse, including when Lisa, Jaclyn (going by Jacki now) and Emily had some fun kicking FGs.

Afterwards, we took a walk around and we ran into a familiar face...Caity from the 2009 squad, who Val chastised a little bit for not deciding to return to the squad.
The Jills with the daughter of Bills LB Arthur "Don't Cross The" Moats

Something new this year to the draft party is the chance to get autographs from some of the current players. After we made our way back to the Jills booth, Bills LB Arthur Moats, taking a break from signing autographs in the locker room, stopped by with his wife to get a photo of his daughter with the girls.
One of the founders of the Bills Mafia with Jacki

In addition to my work with the Jills, I am also a big Bills fan, going into my 17th year with season tickets and one of the big things with the Bills the past few years is the Bills Mafia movement. Just as the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog is about giving positive support to Buffalo's Pro Cheerleaders, the Bills Mafia is about giving positive support to the Buffalo Bills team and players. The Bills Mafia even gets a share of the credit in bringing LB Nick Barnett and DE Mario Williams to Buffalo, two players who are going to be key contributors to the Bills' success in 2012. For more on the Bills Mafia movement, visit
See all the pics at
Coming up next for the Jills, they'll be celebrating the finalization of the 2012-13 squad at Bambino Bar and Kitchen at 297 Franklin Street in Buffalo on Thursday night. Come congratulate the rookies and veterans alike!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bandette of The Week Chrissy

This week, our Bandette of The Week is 2nd year vet Chrissy. It's not my place by any means to give out awards to Jills or Bandettes but if it was, Chrissy would definitely get the Most Improved Award. The fact that she dances on Lauren B's line, who would've won that award last year, is purely coincidental. No, it has nothing to do with her dancing or even her stunning good looks. What it is about is her confidence. In 2011, she was a bit on the shy side...overwhelmed and perhaps a bit intimidated joining the top dance team in the NLL as a rookie and surrounded by several squadmates with extensive experience. I think in her entire rookie season, she probably said about 2 dozen words to me. Imagine my surprise when she came up and gave me a big hug at tryouts last October. With the turnover on the roster since last season and a season under her belt, Chrissy has become a lot more confident and outgoing on the squad. Now she's doing her best to set a strong example to the younger girls. You can read more about Chrissy at Chrissy's secondary photo comes from February's game against the Washington Stealth. Prior to the game, the Bandettes were greeting fans as they came up the escalators to the 100 level. Shown posing for the camera are Stephanie G, Chrissy, and Carissa.
Stephanie G, Chrissy, and Carissa

Buffalo Jill of The Week Courteney

This week, we take a look at 3rd year vet Courteney as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. One of the most positive-thinking ladies on the squad, she's been spending her time as a valued member of the Jills Ambassador Squad except for 2 games during her Jills career. While she loves getting to meet so many people as an Ambassador, she also likes getting to perform from time to time as well. To satisfy that urge, she joined a pair of huge performances, first at the Toronto halftime show in 2010 and then again in pregame against the Eagles last year alongside about 180 other Jills and alumni. Happily married, Courteney and her husband are practically attached at the hip at times it seems with common interests like field hockey and even work together. They've been married just under 3 years and still act like newlyweds together. Of course knowing the two of them, that's not surprising. They actually seem to feed off one another's positive energy and he's supported her through now 4 years of tryouts and even through learning several dance routines. You can read more about Courteney at Courteney's secondary photo comes from the Lot C Tailgate party before the White-out game against the Jets. Shown posing for the camera are Sara, Courteney, and Jessica.
Sara, Courteney, and Jessica

Get Stephanie O to the finals!!

Candace and Stephanie O
It's semi-finals time in the race to be crowned the NLL Girl Of The Year. She won the preliminary round against Candace of the Toronto Rock by over 18,000 votes. She then won in the quarter-finals with a whopping 96% of the vote. Now it's semi-final time and rookie Bandette Stephanie O is going up against a member of the Washington Stealth Dance team the same weekend that the Bandits face the Stealth. Get your votes in and vote often for Stephanie O.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Congratulations to the 2012-13 Buffalo Jills!

The squad has been selected and there's a lot of variety as far as experience.
13 years-Omarlla (captain)
7 years-Christina and Valerie (captains)
6 years-Laura (captain) and Lisa (co-captain)
4 years-Ruby and Loren (co-captains), Alyssa B, Nicole L, Courteney S
3 years-Emily (co-captain), Lindsey, Jaclyn, Jill, Gina, Amanda V
2 years-Kristina, Melissa, Myesha, Krystin, Jenny, Jami, Kelly, and Rita (back after a 3-year hiatus)
rookies-Chaundra, Maria, Emmy, Jayanti, Alyssa V, Megan M, Kayla C, Alyssa K, Katrina B, Hannah D, Nicole S, Katie B, Kelsey H, Lindsey V, Ashley B, Dana M, Eileen S, Gabrielle F, Chelsea A, and Kelsey D.
See the list with their audition numbers from this past Sunday at

Come out to Bambino Bar and Kitchen and help the 2012-13 Buffalo Jills celebrate making the squad next Thursday night at 10pm. Bambino Bar and Kitchen is one of the sponsors of the 2012-13 Buffalo Jills and is located at 297 Franklin Street in Buffalo, right across from Buckin Buffalo Saloon.

Jills Victory Party postponed a week

To allow more time to promote the event, the Jills Victory Party previously scheduled for tonight at 10pm at Bambino Bar and Kitchen will now take place NEXT Thursday night!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bills Focus with Christina on Tryouts and a chance to congratulate the 2012 squad!

At 1st cuts on Sunday, 7-year vet Christina, going into her 3rd full season as a captain, filmed some video for talking about the tryout process and had several interviews with Lindsey, Jaclyn, Courteney, and Valerie as well as a number of potential rookies. The video went up live today and you can see it at
Also, Jills tryouts are entering their final stages after 2nd cuts were held last night. The final cut will be announced after a series of interviews Thursday night and everyone is invited to congratulate the new squad at Bambino Bar and Kitchen at 297 Franklin St in Buffalo. The event starts at 10pm with music furnished by Kiss 98.5 and DJ Anthony. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More from the weekend

First up, from, are a couple sets of photos from Saturday night.
Rebecca and Joe Arena with a pair of guests
Statler City was host to the Bucket List Bash and Channel 4's Joe Arena interviewed guests on the red carpet while  the Jills' Rebecca was on hand for photos and autographs. See all the pics at

Lauren B and Krista in action

Farther downtown, the Bandits were taking down the Rochester Knighthawks and has photos of the game, the fans, and the Bandettes at

Finally, when the 1st round of Jills tryouts went public in 2009, I started getting videos of the young ladies auditioning, first of the vets and a few potential rookies. Last year, I went with a video camera in addition to my normal camera and shot video of everyone...although a camera error kept me from getting video of Nicole and Emily. This year, there were no such errors and everyone who auditioned on Sunday got on tape.

Melissa and Nicole

See all the videos at
Stay tuned for more from Jills tryouts as I'm working on putting together some more photos from Sunday's 1st cuts!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pics and videos from Jills 1st cuts

This is an anxious time in the NFL. Players start reporting to their teams for offseason workouts, the NFL college draft is fast approaching, and NFL Cheerleader tryouts are in full swing. In Buffalo, after workshops have finished up, over 100 young ladies converged on the Healthy Zone Fieldhouse in Orchard Park in an attempt to become part of the 2012-13 Buffalo Jills and cheer on Mario Williams and Nick Barnett as they shut down opposing offenses and give Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, and Stevie Johnson lots of support as they run up the score in the AFC East.
Jills Coordinator Nichole, Eileen (2000-10), Danielle (2005-06)
 & Lisa (2003-06)
a potential rookie getting her photo taken by Jeff Fisher
The Jills have been reaching out to their alumni a lot the last few years, recruiting some to dance with them in Toronto in 2010 and over 100 of them to join them for a pregame performance last season. Nowhere is that evidence seen on a regular basis than in tryouts each year. Jills management and the captains can't do it all themselves and several alumni volunteer to help out each year, helping with registration, directing girls to where they need to go and assisting them with preparing for their audition. Some of the alumni helping haven't been with the squad in several years while others, like Amanda F and Keisha, only just retired. After registering with the alumni at the front door I don't know as well, the girls were directed over to submit their bio cards to several more alumni before getting individual photos taken by Jeff and Snjezana Fisher of Fisher Creative Image Photography, the official photographers of the Buffalo Jills.
Keisha (2007-11), Omarlla, and Lisa (2003-06)
Afterwards, they went to the back of the Fieldhouse to get ready for their auditions while families, friends, and other fans filled the seating around the judges to take it all in
Rebecca and Jessica
Jill and Myesha in matching outfits
Jills alumni helping out...Nicole P (2003-09) and Jillian (2004-06)
Beth (2011) and Danielle (current Bandette) in the audience
introducing the 2012-13 Jills captains to the crowd
Melissa and Nicole coming across the stage
Kelli interviewing Alyssa
Gina and Amanda V bringing it!

After things got started, Jills choreographer Kelli Wagner of Fusion Dance Studio introduced the Jills captains who then put on a performance before all the girls trying out paraded across the stage to introduce themselves to the judges and the fans. The captains then returned to the stage to show off the tryout routine to everyone in attendance.

Following that, tryouts progressed pretty quickly. Dancers came out in pairs, introduced themselves and performed to one of three songs. Ambassadors came out in groups of 3 and, after introducing themselves, drew a question for Kelli, acting as emcee for the event, to ask them.

Krystin looking even better than last year

After everyone tried out, they came back on stage in swimsuits to show off their physiques. With calendar shoots coming up next month, everyone needs to be in their best shape and can't wait to get in shape over the summer. Plus the swimsuit modeling gives the girls a chance to show how confidant they are in front of a crowd. Each girl came on stage while Kelli read off a bio card for each girl that they filled out themselves. Some were serious and some, like Jaclyn's, mixed in a bit of humor when she mentioned she liked short skips along the beach while Nicole said long walks. After reading Nicole's bio card, Kelli commented that she and Jaclyn must hang out together. In truth, Jaclyn was talking while working on her bio card about putting that on her card while someone else would mention the long walks.

See all the pics at Stay tuned throughout the week as more photos are added to the album as they're all processed.

Congratulations to all those who made it through 1st cuts and best of luck the rest of the week! See the complete list at
More than that though, congratulations to all those who even just tried out. It's not easy putting yourself out there like that. There's a lot of girls who want to get on the sidelines in the NFL that won't even try. If you missed the cut, don't let it get you down. There are several girls who have made the Jills who missed it their first tries. There may even end up being a number of rookies this year who missed it before. So keep working at it and give it a shot again next year!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Knighthawks game

Lauren B and Stephanie G with the lacrosse balls they were selling
Jaclyn and Erin Y
Lauren K, Carissa, Chrissy, and Krista pose for the camera
It was fan appreciation night in Banditland for the final home game of the 2012 season and the Bandits showed their fans some real appreciation by putting together their best game in months, putting away their rivals from Rochester by a score of 14-9. When I got there, Lauren B's line was selling lacrosse balls just inside the gates. Each ball was autographed by a member of the Bandits, the entire Bandits team, or an entire other NLL team but you didn't know until you bought it and opened the bag. I'm not big on autographs myself but with the proceeds going to benefit the Bandettes, I had to get L.B. is pretty hard to say no to. Sadly, even with the win, this may have been the last game of the season for several of the Bandettes as the Bandits will need some help to earn any home games in the playoffs. After rooting against Rochester in Banditland and again next week, the Bandits can earn the #3 seed in the East but will have to root for Rochester in the 1st rd of the playoffs in order to host them for the NLL East Title game. Barring that though, 3rd year vet Stephanie G and 2nd year vet Danielle have decided not to return with Stephanie moving away in the fall and Danielle concentrating on her upcoming nuptials. In addition, Lauren B, Noelle, and Krista have talked about hanging up the poms but I told Lauren that she couldn't retire after I bought the lacrosse ball from her.
Stephanie G, Chrissy, Alicia, and Noelle in action
After heading upstairs, I ran into Kirsten's line, also selling plenty of lacrosse balls as well as posing for lots of photos while I got caught up with the Bandettes' stunning choreographer, Erin Y. Erin's been in the Buffalo Pro Cheer scene since 2003 when she first joined the Buffalo Bombshells and hasn't lost a step or look like she's aged even a day. After the girls headed in to get ready, it was off to the seats to take in the game and get lots and lots of photos.
Chelsea, Stephanie C, and Stephanie O in pregame
Ambassadors Ashley and Amanda

The Bandettes dancers with Erin Y and Jaclyn
Stephanie G and Kirsten
Jessica and Chrissy hugging as the Bandits win
Lauren B leading the Bandettes around the arena

Normally, the girls head to the locker room late in games to get ready to leave, watching the final seconds tick off while they change. This time, the possible final home game of the season, they joined the players on the field doing a lap around the arena to celebrate the win.
Chelsea, Krista, Lauren B, Stephanie O, Danielle, Stephanie G, Ashley
and Noelle at Cobblestone's postgame party

After the games this year, several of the girls join the fans and players at Cobblestone and for this game, all but one of the girls made it and for the first time this season, Krista made an appearance. After looking over some of the videos I took of their performances during the evening, several of the girls posed for photos at what could be their last postgame party together. Hopefully it won't be because in my mind, this was a pretty great grouping of Bandettes this season.

See all the pics at

Coming up next, with help, we may have another home game in 3 weeks as the Bandits are now in the playoffs and still have a chance at the #3 seed in the East.
Also, stay tuned as the NLL Girl of The Year competition is in its final stages. The final quarterfinal competition is ongoing and rookie camera ham Stephanie O is waiting for her semi-final matchup in her quest to become the NLL's Girl Of The Year!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bandette of The Week Chelsea

This week, we feature 3rd year vet Chelsea as our Bandette of The Week. Dancing on Kirsten's line on gamedays, Chelsea used to be known as the squad's biggest camera ham, a spot now belonging to the girl dancing right next to her, Stephanie O. That being said, Chelsea certainly hasn't been a slouch when it comes to getting into pictures, which is obviously a good thing for a photographer to deal with. Soft spoken in nature, she's really big on family and treats the rest of the Bandettes like family. She's the type who's generally pretty happy most of the time and does her best to treat everyone well and make them happy as well. That's something that will serve her well when she finishes getting her degree and pursues her career as a radiology technologist. Speaking from experience, it's not a lot of fun staying still while getting an x-ray so I can see Chelsea being able to help patients relax better before the procedure. You can read more about Chelsea at Chelsea's secondary photo comes from the NLL All-Star game. Prior to the game, the Bandettes signed their new posters and handed them out to the fans coming into the game as well as posing for photos. Shown in this photo are the Bandettes' 2 biggest camera hams, Stephanie O and Chelsea.
Stephanie O and Chelsea

Pics and video from the Jills Optional Workshop

Valerie, Lisa, and Loren modeling their shirts
Steph and Nichole talk to the assembled participants
In preparation for tryouts coming up on Sunday, the Buffalo Jills first held their Open Workshop at the Fieldhouse on Sunday but for those who couldn't make it, in addition to those who just wanted some extra instruction, they held an extra workshop at Gold's Gym in Lancaster. The captains all showed up in matching attire, from their tops and shirts all the way down to their shorts and shoes. After we got set up, a large contingent of young ladies, including several girls who didn't make it to Sunday's workshop, showed up to learn about becoming a Buffalo Jill. In addition to Miranda, who was there Sunday, Rebecca is also thinking about a switch to the dance squad after a successful rookie season on the Ambassador Squad.
captains on stage during the discussion

After everyone filed in, a larger group than was at last year's Optional Workshop, Steph and Nichole went over many of the requirements and expectations of becoming a Buffalo Jill and answered questions from several potential rookies looking to learn all they can to be ready for Sunday and the future.

Christina explains the process to the assembled participants

Kelly and Krystin on "stage"

After the question-and-answer session was over, some more girls who were just there for the dance session showed up and everyone was given a look at how tryouts were going to run. This year, the first part of tryouts will be basically a parade across the stage in which all the young ladies auditioning will go across the stage in their tryout attire. This will allow the judges, and the fans, to get a look at everyone trying out and to give the participants a chance to not only give everyone a great first impression, but help shake off any jitters they may have for the tryout process.
the captains leading the girls through learning the dance
After the run-through was done, the captains got straight to work, leading everyone through stretching exercises before teaching them the dance, first all at once and then, once a nearby room opened up, in two separate groups. Valerie, Lisa, and Emily took about half the girls to the other room while Omarlla, Christina, and Loren stayed in the first room to allow everyone more space to dance. I stuck around in the first room to get lots of pics and some videos of the group that contained most of the returning vets.

Murissa, Kelly, and Rita among the potential rookies learning dance

See all the pics at

Also, after everyone had gone through the routine, Omarlla, Christina, and Loren separated the girls into three groups and led each group through the performance. Videos of each of those performances can be found at
Sunday, Jills tryouts reach the 1st cut stage at the Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse and this event is open to the public for $5! Doors open at 12:15 with tryouts starting at 1pm. Get all the details at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bills schedule released!!

It's a busy time in the NFL...the annual draft is fast approaching, Jills tryouts are in full swing, and now we know what dates we'll get to see the Jills in action at Ralph Wilson Stadium (and at Rogers Centre in Toronto) this fall. All times are Eastern

  • Thurs, August 9th vs Redskins 7pm WKBW
  • Fri, August 17th at Minnesota 8pm WKBW
  • Sat, August 25th vs Steelers 7pm WKBW
  • Thur, August 30th at Detroit 7pm WKBW
I think we can count on the August 25th matchup vs the Steelers being the Kid's Day game

Regular season

  • Sun, September 9th at NY Jets 1pm CBS
  • Sun, September 16th vs Chiefs 1pm CBS
  • Sun, September 23rd at Cleveland 1pm CBS
  • Sun, September 30th vs Patriots 1pm CBS
  • Sun, October 7th at San Francisco 4:15pm CBS
  • Sun, October 14th at Arizona 4:05pm CBS
  • Sun, October 21st vs Titans 1pm CBS
  • October 28th BYE
  • Sun, November 4th at Houston 1pm CBS
  • Sun, November 11th at New England 1pm CBS
  • Thur, November 15th vs Dolphins 8:20pm NFL Network
  • Sun, November 25th at Indianapolis 1pm CBS
  • Sun, December 2nd vs Jaguars 1pm CBS
  • Sun, December 9th vs Rams 1pm FOX
  • Sun, December 16th vs Seahawks in Toronto 4:05pm FOX
  • Sun, December 23rd at Miami 1pm CBS
  • Sun, December 30th vs Jets 1pm CBS
See it and print it at

More from the Open Workshop

I wasn't alone in snapping photos on Sunday as sent a photographer as well to get some photos.
Jenny, Krystin, Jami, Jill, and Mel

See all the pics at
Also, Jeff and Snjezana from FCI, the official photographers of the Buffalo Jills were on hand as well talking to the girls as well as snapping photos as well as some video.
Lindsey in action

See their pics and the video on FCI's Facebook page at!/pages/Fisher-Creative-Image-Photography/322101311054
Finally, I did shoot a little video on Sunday as well. After the girls looking to dance on the sidelines in 2012 learned the routine, the captains put them into 5 separate groups and had them show off what they learned, first with the captains leading them, second on their own, and finally for Steph, Nichole, and the sponsors. See the videos of those first performances at

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pics from the 2012 Buffalo Jills Open Workshop

It's that time of year again as NFL Cheerleading squads are working to get girls together to get ready for the 2012 NFL Season. The Buffalo Jills took over the Bills Fieldhouse today where they hold their practices all year long and somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 young women showed up to learn the requirements of becoming a Buffalo Jill and, in the case of those looking to be on the sidelines, learn a routine that they'll be expected to perform next Sunday the 22nd.
To help out, several Buffalo Jills alumni helped with check-ins, CD and Instructional DVD sales, and clothing sales as well as helping with the many sponsors who were on hand for the workshop.
Stephanie G (2002) and Mickey (2002-04)

Current and past Ambassador Squad Captains
Laura, Danielle (2006-09), and Keisha (2007-11)

Gymnastic dynamo Jill  ready to return to dancing after last year's injury
posing with last year's dance rookie of the year Jenny

After the girls started rolling in, we saw a lot of familiar faces, a lot more brand new faces, and a few surprises as well. We also saw a lot of potential rookies who missed the cut last year but aren't giving up and hope to join the rank of some impressive ladies who missed the cut the first time only to make the squad later and have strong careers.

Myesha, Gina, Emily, Nicole, Jenny, Krystin, and Jami

After introducing the rookies to the captains and giving them a brief overview of what to expect, dancers went to the back of the Fieldhouse while Steph and Nichole talked more extensively with the Ambassadors.
even while stretching, Lindsey smiles for the camera

in the foreground, Miranda looking to make the switch to dance

I joined the dancers in the back of the Fieldhouse where, after the captains led everyone through some stretching exercises, they split off into 2 groups where Kelli, Omarlla, Lisa, and Loren taught one group and Christina, Val, and Emily worked with the other to teach them the routine until they pulled them all back together to iron out any rough spots and show what they learned.

taking a break, Jenny and Krystin with Kelly in the background

I, for one, am happy that Murissa is reconsidering retirement

Rita (2008) is rocking it

Kelly, Amanda V, and Melissa
Afterwards, while the Ambassador hopefuls headed out, the dancers went back up to the front of the Fieldhouse and, after showing off what they had learned to Steph, Nichole, and the sponsors, sat down to learn a lot of what the Ambassador hopefuls had learned.

All the pics can be found at
Coming up next is an Optional Workshop at the Gold's Gym on French Road in Depew. This is for anyone who missed today's workshop or just wants some extra practice and instruction with the captains. It runs from 8:30 til 10:30 and costs $20 for the whole workshop or $10 for info-only and $10 for dance-only. See all the details at
Next Sunday, the Bills Fieldhouse will be hosting 1st cuts, open to the public at a cost of $5 per person. The event starts at 1pm and will generally run around 4-5 hours or whenever everyone is done auditioning.