Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The 2006 Buffalo Jills tryouts-revisited

Aimee and Omarlla  suited up to help teach
Starting off our look at the 2006 Buffalo Jills, we come to tryouts. This was my 1st time attending tryouts and truthfully wasn't sure what to expect. I started off with the workshop which has never been open to the public. At the Open Workshop, young ladies interested in trying out for the Jills will come and learn about the requirements and, if trying out for dance, learn a routine to perform at 1st cuts. There were some big changes in store for 2006 as Nichole transitioned from captain to a new coordinator role in management. To fill her slot as captain, her co-captain from 2005, Aimee, stepped up and started off at the workshop by helping demonstrate the tryout routine with Omarlla and Jills choreographer Kelli Wagner to a remix of Rihanna's "SOS." Tryout season is both exciting and saddening, On one hand, you have several dozen young ladies who could be new rookies on the squad showing off what they got by learning at tryouts. On the other, you've got the realization that some girls won't be returning, most by choice but some not. One of those who chose to retire was 2-year vet Melissa, who instead helped out with check-ins at the workshop.
Jills Ambassador captain Kelly with Melissa
Incidentally, Melissa only took the 2006 season off and returned in 2007. She wound up spending the 2006 season touring the US with a Disney On Ice tour.  See all the workshop pics at
Natale and Lori with Brandi, who didn't make it in 06 but came back in 08 and became a valued Ambassador

1st cuts the following week was an interesting time. Judging the tryouts were, in addition to Jills management, Sam Barclay of FHM Magazine and JP Losman and Coy Wire of the Buffalo Bills along with Coy's girlfriend, a working model. When I arrived, I saw faces from the week before as well as a pair of familiar faces that I hadn't seen...Natale and Lori, who had been with the squad in 2004 but had taken 2005 off. I had met Natale a few times in her earlier stint on the squad, which lasted from 2002-2004, and Lori had spent the 2005 season as a member of the Buffalo Rush Cheerleaders, cheering on the Buffalo Rapids basketball team alongside several other former Buffalo Bombshells cheerleaders. While waiting for tryouts to start, I got a special treat and got to see something I'd start seeing several times over the next few years. I had mentioned in the past that Autumn and Rachael were pretty close friends and when they decided to try out together in 2006, they got matching outfits.
Rachael and Autumn in their matching outfits
When tryouts actually got going, I shut off the camera and took a spot behind the judges to watch the auditions. The girls came out into the room in pairs to show off their mastery of the routine. After they performed, they were invited to demonstrate any tumbling ability they might have. Kaitlin M, trying to become a 2nd year vet, was one of those who did some tumbling. Actually, she showed off some incredible tumbling ability as she did backflips from one side of the room to the other. A few of us held our breaths as she got close to the wall, hoping she'd stop in time. She did.
About halfway through the dance auditions, we took a break and the captains, who had been in the other room with all the hopefuls, came and joined JP, Coy, his gf, and myself in a break area that was set up with food and drink to relax for a bit before we all went back to work. The biggest things to note for the rest of dance tryouts was a double-take that many of us did when a certain pair of aspiring rookies came in to perform....identical twins Jenica and Jessica...and 1 Jills vet performing 3 separate times. 1 girl had left tryouts after signing in and Keiyonna accompanied the girl she was slated to accompany. Also, there were an uneven number of girls registered and Keiyonna again performed, accompanying the final girl.
Kristen, who had left the 2005 squad early before returning in 2006, and Lisa

After dance tryouts were done and all the dancers left, the ambassador hopefuls came in and were ushered into the main room 5 at a time where they introduced themselves and showed off their physique to the judges, which no longer included JP, Coy, and Coy's girlfriend. Nichole and I did a double-take as 1 of the last girls to introduce herself was a rookie squadmate of hers, who had done some modeling and colored her hair since her last time on the squad. After introductions were done and some eliminations were made, the girls were interviewed one at a time. I only observed the 1st interview before joining the captains, an alum who was assisting with tryouts that day, and the rest of the prospective ambassadors. Over the years since then, there have been a few girls at tryouts who stood out enough to me that I could tell they just had to make the squad because of their beauty, poise, and personality. When I went back to the waiting room to join the others, one aspiring rookie was having a conversation with the alum that was helping out and that aspiring rookie was Jessica D. Obviously she made the squad and was an exceptional Jill during her time on the squad. After she left a couple years later, she had several modeling jobs and even landed the cover of the 2010-2011 Bikini USA Swimsuit Calendar.
See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes this photo from the January game against the Philadelphia Wings. Shown posing for a photo just before heading out for the halftime performance are LB and MaKenzie. Tryouts for the 2014 Buffalo Bandettes are going on September 14th and 15th at Catalyst Fitness.
LB and MaKenzie
Make sure to visit the main page of the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog and donate to Jenn, Tammy, Julie, Kim, or Maria. All 5 of these ladies are raising money for the Alzheimer's Association and getting set to play in the 5th Annual Blondes Vs Brunettes game on September 14th. Don't forget that the BvB Kickoff Party is August 23rd and the Bachelorette Auction includes one package put together by Jills alum Desiree (2005).

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