Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Bandette of The Week Danielle

This week, we take a look at stunning 2nd year vet Danielle as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. With fiery red hair, Danielle kind of reminds me of another fiery redhead, Jills alum and current Panthers TopCat Ashley W. She definitely seems to have that type of warmth in her personality. In her rookie season, Stephanie made a point of introducing her to me and the camera at the Open Practice. Danielle did the exact same thing with rookie squadmate Mandy at this season's Open Scrimmage. It showed a lot of class...which isn't out of character on a close-knit squad like the Bandettes. Still, it really stood out in my eyes. Danielle is the type of girl who, once she sets out to accomplish something, won't accept failure and will exceed the expectations of others on how and when she'll accomplish it. A perfect example of that is how she returned to dancing a month after a spinal surgery when doctors told her it would take over a year. These days, she loves kids enough that she spends her time away from the Bandettes teaching dance and daycare. In the future though, she wants to open her own bakery. You can see all of Danielle's pics at Danielle's secondary photo is from the Opener vs the Philadelphia Wings. In a photo taken during the 3rd intermission performance, we see Danielle, Chrissy, Amanda, and Mandy.
Danielle, Chrissy, Amanda, and Mandy

Buffalo Jill of The Week Olivia

This week, we take a look at rookie Ambassador Olivia as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. The Jills regularly send girls out to visit the troops and have even sent a few large groups to the Middle East, even into Iraq. As it turns out, this blonde beauty was over in Iraq herself...but she was there as a member of the United States Air Force, joining Kelly H(2002-08) and Marisa P(2000, 2003) as USAF Vets who've been with the Jills in the last decade. It makes me wonder why they didn't look like Olivia, or Kelly or Marisa for that matter, when I was in myself! When she returned from her deployment, she got to not only meet President Obama, but her 1-day old niece! Talk about timing...and that was all just before she tried out for the Jills last spring. In the Reserves, Olivia is hoping to become a nurse practitioner with her nursing degree, joining the ranks of beautiful Jills and Bandettes, past and present, in the nursing field. You can see all of Olivia's pics at Olivia's secondary pic comes from the 1st preseason game against the Vikings. Shown in the 2nd quarter are Olivia and Ashley C.
Olivia and Ashley C

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Knighthawks game

Going into yesterday, the Buffalo Bandits trailed the East-division leading Rochester Knighthawks by a half game and faced off at the First Niagara Center to either take the lead in the division or fall behind even further. With two of the best goalies in the league in Anthony Cosmo and Matt Vinc, scoring was going to be at a premium and the Bandits' Cosmo held the visiting Knighthawks to 3 goals through the 1st 3 quarters. However, the 3-time NLL goaltender of the year didn't have his usual strong game and the Bandits put up 10 goals on him before he was pulled from the game. The thing about box lacrosse is that no lead is safe and goals can be scored in bunches, completely changing a game. The 10-3 lead didn't hold up as the Knighthawks piled up 7 goals in the final quarter of play and, if not for a timely goal halfway through the quarter by local product Joe Resetarits, the defending champs would've tied up the game. As it was, a late barrage came up short when the Bandits' Jay Thorimbert won the final faceoff and killed the clock, preserving the 11-10 win and giving the Bandits sole possession of 1st place in the NLL East.
Danielle, Kirsten, Brianna, Lauren, and Chrissy
I made it to the arena later than normal thanks to the roads and got inside just in time to get a few pics of Kirsten's line before they headed down to get ready for the game. A few of the girls were missing last night however, as Stephanie and Mandy had other engagements and couldn't make the game. On our way down to my seats, I heard a familiar voice, LB, who was headed down to get ready for the game with her line. My lateness didn't go unnoticed by LB, of 
Kirsten and Erin, who proves again that Buffalo choreographers are the best, but knockouts as well
Kirsten, LB, Janelle, Chrissy, Amanda, and Brianna
Chelsea, Amanda, and Kelsey
The 1st time I went to a Bandits game, it was mostly to support Karla, a Bandette at the time I had gotten to know during her time on the Jills. After seeing the game in person, I loved it and decided to make it to more game and, in 2007, got season tickets. As luck would have it, I got, for my needs, the best seats in the house, with a great view of the Bandettes for photography purposes all game long. The one negative is that there's one corner of the area where they dance where it's awkward to get photos and sadly, whoever is dancing there usually gets fewer photos than the rest of the squad. The last two seasons, Danielle, on Kirsten's line, and Kelsey, on LB's line, have been the ones in that corner and I've done what I could to get them extra shots whenever I can. Last night, I got a little help in that when the lines switched in the 2nd half. Normally, LB and Kirsten are in the front with their lines with co-captains Chelsea and Chrissy in the back line. For the 2nd half, Chrissy and Chelsea were up front with the rest of their part of the line with them, putting Danielle and Kelsey up where they got on camera a lot more than normal. In fact, Danielle got on camera more than anyone else. Next week, hopefully blonde bombshell Kelsey will be one of the leaders.

Danielle loves the camera
reigning Bandette of The Week Lauren K and Janelle
rookie Janelle has been a beautiful addition to the Bandettes
Chrissy running Kirsten's line in the 4th quarter.
See all the pics at

Next up for the Bandettes, they'll be back in action next Saturday night as the Bandits play host to the Toronto Rock at First Niagara Center. The Bandettes won't be alone however as they'll be accompanied by the 2014 Jr Bandettes!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bandette of The Week Lauren K

This week, we take a look at 3rd year vet Lauren K as our Bandette of The Week. The writer of the Buffalo Dance Examiner, Lauren is probably the young lady in Western NY more devoted to dance than any other, even Jills' Pro Bowler Emily, who's finishing her Jills career this weekend in Hawaii. Graduating from college a semester early with a degree in communication studies and a minor in dance, Lauren's Buffalo Dance Examiner, which can be checked out at and at , is likely just her starting point. Even with that as just a starting point, she's already accomplished a lot and even got to interview former Miss America Vanessa Williams last month before a concert in Niagara Falls. She has a goal of doing promotional work for a dance company and likely, knowing her, still performing with and choreographing for that dance company for several more years as well. Besides the regular job, she hopes to publish a book one day and continue to inspire people through her dancing and her writing. You can see all of Lauren's pics at Lauren's secondary photo comes from the Opener against the Wings. In a shot taken during 3rd intermission, we see some of the Bandettes doing what they love most...dancing. Shown are Stephanie, Lauren, Mandy, and LB.
Stephanie, Lauren K, Mandy, and L.B.

Buffalo Jill of The Week Ashley P

This week, we take a look at rookie Ashley P as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Spending her season on the Ambassador Squad, she's already an accomplished college grad working as a certified medical assistant but even though she loves Buffalo, she does have the goal of moving to a larger city. That, of course, can change at any time as we've seen the goals of Jills change over the years. But Ashley's already had some adventures in her life while living in Buffalo. She partied it up in Vegas for her 21st but, before that, she spent some time in Los Angeles for a modeling and acting competition. How they missed out on selecting her is puzzling but we can be thankful they did or else she might never have joined the Jills. You can see all of Ashley's pics at Ashley's secondary pic comes from the home finale vs Miami when she was helping handle promotional duties for the game. Shown posing for the camera in the second quarter are Ashley P and Dana.
Ashley P and Dana

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Jills pics from the season

I shared some of my friend's pics from the home finale a few weeks ago but there are still more to share as well. He's allowed me to copy them to an album to share with the Jills fans and here are slideshows of each album.
Vikings preseason

Lions preseason

Pats Opener

Panthers game

Ravens Game

Bengals Game

Chiefs Game

Jets Game

Enjoy!! We'll hopefully see more from the Jills pretty soon here and at as Pro Bowl Dan will be getting lots of pics of Emily who's already in the Aloha State getting ready for Sunday's game!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bandette of The Week Jessica

This week, we take a look at 4th year vet Jessica as our Bandette of The Week. A fitness trainer when she's not performing, Jess is one of those girls who gets along with everyone and has been doing that since her school days. As a Bandette, she's been L.B.'s co-captain the last few years, even without the actual title. The two of them have been pretty tight from day one, back when they and the rest of the Bandettes joined the Jills for a halftime performance in Toronto. She's level-headed and can come across as more mature than her age would suggest but can still have fun with the best of them. Those traits help her a lot in not only relating to the lesser-experienced members of the squad but also being someone they can look up to. You can see all of Jessica's pics at Jessica's secondary pic is from the season opener vs the Wings and taken just prior to the squad's halftime performance. Shown posing for the camera are Jessica and Brianna V.
Jessica and Brianna V

Buffalo Jill of The Week Kristina

This week, we look at 3rd year vet Kristina as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Anchoring one end of Christina's line alongside fellow 3rd year vet Myesha, Kristina loved that some of the Jills got to go elsewhere for their calendar shoot for the 1st time since 2010. This isn't to say she wanted out of Buffalo, though. While some may think otherwise, Kristina feels you just can't get bored in Buffalo between sporting events, concerts, and festivals. With all that's going on in terms of the harbor development, that's going to be even more true pretty soon. Kristina's about more than just her love of Buffalo, though. She's already accomplished a lot including 2 degrees in 5 years, while studying abroad for a part of that time. The thing about that is...she's not even done yet. She already has a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Nutrition and she's prepping to go back for her doctorate as well. You can see all of Kristina's pics at Kristina's secondary pic comes from the 4th quarter of the Jets when they were all dressed up in honor of America's veterans. Shown about to perform to Shout! are Myesha, Kristina, Christina, Taylor, Hannah, and Megan.
Myesha, Kristina, Christina, Taylor, Hannah, and Megan

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Teasers Rock The Vault

The Teasers in action at The Vault
After the Bandits game, I made my way up to Niagara Falls, NY where The Teasers were playing. For those unfamiliar, The Teasers is a cover band based out of Lockport, NY with 2003 Buffalo Jills alum Aimee L as the lead singer. Over the last decade or so, the Jills have boasted a pair of professional singers in Aimee and in Ashlee Amoia. Ashlee's angelic voice can be heard at events like the Italian Festival and she's sung with Studio 54, About Face, Disco Duck, and The Scintas over the past few years. Aimee's powerful voice was with Disco Duck before the Teasers was formed about 4 years ago. They cover a wide variety of songs from Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield as well as current hits from artists like Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. They also add new songs frequently and not just for Aimee's vocals. Guitarist Parker Greenman may be built like a linebacker (Bills alum Gabe Northern comes to mind) but his intimidating physical stature belies a velvety smooth voice that comes through on several songs, both in backing vocals and as the lead.
Aimee and bassist Tony Truscio have great on-stage chemistry

Lead singer Aimee
the velvety-voiced guitarist, Parker Greenman

You can see all the pics at Friend them on Facebook at and/or join Teaser Nation at to keep track of where they're playing and check them out. You'll be thanking me

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Rock Game

After the Bandits started off the season in a pretty poor fashion with a loss in their opener, their fans were thinking of it as a carry-over from last season instead of the 1st game of the new, 2014 season. When the game got going though, it looked like more of the same as the visiting Toronto Rock jumped out to a 4-0 1st quarter lead with some soft goals let in by Cosmo and very little defensive help in front of him. The teams traded goals in the 2nd to go into the half with a 6-2 Rock lead and that's where the score remained until there were 4 minutes left in the 3rd. The Bandits then woke up and poured in 4 goals to tie it up and then took the lead early in a 4th quarter they never trailed in. When one considers that the Buffalo Bills are the owners of the Greatest Comeback in NFL History, the fact that the Bandits came back like they did should be no surprise to anyone. Ryan Benesch, acquired in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Swarm, was the game MVP and made sure to thank the fans in Banditland for sticking behind the team even as they struggled early in the game. After 7 seasons playing in the league and having to come into Buffalo as an opponent, he was looking forward to having the crowd in Buffalo on his side and Ryan "They Call Him Benny" Benesch has definitely been made to feel welcome so far this season.
Danielle, Chrissy, Brianna, Kirsten, Mandy, and Lauren K

After meeting up with a buddy for dinner, we hit up the arena where Ashley and Stephanie were downstairs at the gates. I'm not big on having my photo taken as I'm much more at ease behind the camera but when you can get pics with a ravishing redhead like Ashley or the super-cute Stephanie, who could say no to that? After we headed up to the 100 level, I checked in with Kirsten, the reigning Bandette of The Week and grabbed a quick shot of her line before checking in with LB and getting a few photos there, including a pic with Amanda, one of the most well-spoken young women I know, and Chelsea, owner of one of the biggest hearts well as a total camera ham.
Mandy, Chrissy, and Lauren in the 1st quarter

Janelle, MaKenzie, Jessica, LB, Cheri, Chelsea, Amanda, and Kelsey
After that, we headed down to our seats for the game where, before the game, I talked with Rich Gaenzler of WEDG-FM and 1270 The Fan, who I've gotten to know over the years at Jills events and Bandits game, about the Bills and a hopefully soon-to-be HOF inductee in Andre Reed before the Bandettes came out for pregame. While the team struggled early on, the Bandettes were rock solid all night long and maybe in part to inspire the comeback, Erin had both lines performing the entire 2nd half.
Kelsey in action
Both lines performing in the 4th quarter
See all the pics at

Next up for the Bandettes, as the Bandits return home from games in Philly and Colorado, they'll be performing when the Thruway rivals, the Rochester Knighthawks come to town on January 25th at First Niagara Center. Prior to the game, the Bandettes will be working with the Jr Bandettes to get them ready to join them at the February 1st game against the Rock.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bandette of The Week Kirsten

We start off our 2014 Bandette of The Week series with a look at 6th year vet Kirsten. She started off her career posing with the Champions Cup at the Open Practice in December of 2008 and is hoping to be performing when the Bandits win their next title. It says a lot about the Bandits championship drought when the longest-tenured Bandette has yet to experience a title with the winning-est team in Buffalo. A future physical therapist, she's originally from Long Island but came to Buffalo for college, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 3 years. She was thought of as sweet and friendly in high school and as much as people can change a lot over the years, Kirsten hasn't changed a bit since high school in those regards. Over the years, she's become kind of a big sister to the younger girls on the squad and has seemed to have strong bonds with most of the girls. She's definitely solid proof that the Bandettes are less like a group of girls and more like a family. You can see all of Kirsten's pics at Kirsten's secondary photo comes from the Opener vs the Wings and was taken prior to the game when the lines were greeting fans coming into the game. Shown from left to right, Kirsten's line, are Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Kirsten, Brianna V, Danielle, and Lauren K.
Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Kirsten, Brianna V, Danielle, and Lauren K

Buffalo Jill of The Week Hayley

This week, we take a look at rookie dancer Hayley as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Dancing on Emily's line between Emily and Jenny, Hayley was a brunette in the calendar but went blonde by the time the season started. Already in possession of an associates degree in Criminal Justice, she's working towards a double major in Dance and Legal Studies with a minor in Sociology with the goal of becoming a lawyer as well. She doesn't plan on stopping with that however as she's also hoping to own her own dance studio as well. The fact that she wants to continue dance should come as no surprise as her most memorable moment came in a dance competition. When she was 14 years old, she placed 2nd in a National dance competition in Hollywood. You can see all of Hayley's pics at Hayley's secondary photo comes from the 4th quarter of the Ravens game. Shown along the sidelines are Hayley, Jenny, Katrina, and Emily.
Hayley, Jenny, Katrina, and Emily

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Supporting the Jills and Bandettes

At the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog, we try to do more than just share pictures and videos. The ladies who make up the Jills and the Bandettes put in a huge amount of work to do what  they do and deserve all the support that people can muster. In some cases, that should go above supporting what they do, or have done, on the sidelines. Sometimes, they've gone into business for themselves or do something else in the spotlight besides the Jills. Last year, Katherine (2007-08 Jills) and her husband were on TV Sunday nights competing in The Amazing Race on CBS and could be brought back on an All-Stars season. They did finish in 2nd afterall and only missed out on winning it all due to some bad luck on one challenge.
Fusion Dance Studio is run by Jills Choreographer Kelli Wagner and she has a variety of classes to fit various needs. Learning direct from Kelli can also give a young lady a leg up if they plan to try out for the Jills. Every choreographer has a different approach and Kelli's choreography is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, in the NFL.
Expression Dance Arts is run by Jills alum Elizabeth Morgan in 3 separate locations in Ontario. Elizabeth is also the Toronto-area consultant for Going Pro Entertainment, an organization that, among other things, preps young ladies for tryouts in the pros.
While I'm on the topic of tryouts, here's a bit of advice for anyone thinking about trying out for the Jills this spring. Check out videos of the Jills in action to get a feel for Kelli Wagner's style of choreography. Learning that can be a huge help. Christie Artinger, the Ref Squad Director of the Gotham City Cheerleaders, did it when she tried out for, and made, the squads she cheered on. Jills alum Natalie B (2010-11) also made a point to see videos of the Jills in action prior to trying out...she happened to not only make the squad, she made dance rookie of the year in 2010. The 2013 Buffalo Jills can be seen in action at
If you want to really keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening in the dance industry in Buffalo, check out the Buffalo Dance Examiner at If anyone knows what's going on, 3rd year Bandette Lauren K is sure to be the one.
There are many others who have businesses that aren't related to dance as well.
The Teasers music group, based out of Lockport, NY, features 2003 Jills alum Aimee L as their singer and they do an outstanding job on hits from several years ago as well as today's hits. There are a few songs, when they come on the radio, I imagine Aimee's voice instead of the original singer's. Hopefully we'll have some photos and video up soon from an upcoming gig.
If you're in the Louisville, KY area and need a wedding planned, contact Maggie at Even while she was on the Bandettes, she talked about doing wedding planning and she's been doing a great job with her business the last few years.
If you need professional painting done in the Rochester area, contact is a new business started by a Mother-Daughter duo who love to bake and be creative.
If you're looking for a spray tab, look no further than
Dream of a Disney vacation? Bandettes alum Meghan F will set you up with what you need at
Hair accessories for mothers and daughters can be found at
Jills alum Hannah J (2006) has to handle your dessert needs in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Last, but certainly not least, 8-year Jills alum Jenn Chodora (1997-2004) is one of the co-chairs for the BvB Buffalo organization. Going into its 6th year raising funds to help fight Alzheimer's, they raised over $90,000 last year alone and if I know Jenn, they'll be pushing to top 100K in 2014. Learn more about the BvB at

Friday, January 3, 2014

Buffalo Jill of The Week Megan

This week, we take a look at 2nd year vet Megan as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. A gifted tumbler, Megan could be found anchoring one end of Christina's line alongside Shelby H. A future high school history teacher, she plans to also continue to coach cheerleading and/or gymnastics coach in the evenings. As a child, Megan was a Jr Jill before growing up into 2012's beautiful dance rookie of the year award winner. Being a winner is nothing new for Megan as she grew up competing in gymnastics and all-star cheerleading. While getting her degree, she also competed in collegiate diving and is currently working on taking her Bachelor's Degree and using it to help her get her Master's Degree in Social Studies education. Even though her focus is on becoming a high school history teacher, she does dream about another future as well. She'd like to be the next Oprah except that she'd take her show on the road and do her interviews in all sorts of different locales. Of course she also has a much better figure but I would imagine that would be pretty obvious. You can see all of Megan's pics at Megan's secondary photo is a shot from late in the 3rd quarter of the Panthers game. Shown performing a cheer in the endzone are Megan, Melissa M, and Hannah.
Megan, Melissa M, and Hannah

From the Bandettes comes a photo from last week's season opener against the Wings. Shown is a group shot of almost the entire squad. Only missing are LB, Ashley, and Brianna N. We'll have the Bandette of The Week series starting up very soon leading off with 6th year vet Kirsten!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Response to a cheerleader article on by Alyssa K

About a month ago, a link to's article "NFL cheerleaders: Gratuitous sexism or all-American fun?" appeared in my inbox. The intense headline got the best of me, so I clicked, and read through a pretty harsh judgment that I was not entirely prepared for. Throughout this piece, Joanne Gerstner, Professor of media & sports at the University of Michigan and past president of the Association for Women in Sports Media, delivered a colorful opinion on not only the act of being an NFL Cheerleader, but on the women themselves. She states, "When the whole essence of your job is basically hanging out in a tiny bikini and a bandeau top, it kind of undercuts the rest of your argument that you are a well-rounded person"...Ouch. 

Now perhaps I am being a bit biased. I am an NFL cheerleader for the Buffalo Bills, and when you get thrown into this world, you learn very quickly that this "job" is much more than the few seconds of winks and ruffling Pom-Poms seen before commercials on ESPN. Sure, the uniform and the hair and the glam are all things that come to mind with the term "NFL Cheerleader," but most wouldn't also equate the words dedicated, charitable, and well-rounded, unless you're lucky enough to really know some of the amazing women who hold the title. Just like the athletes we cheer for, we are out in the community using our pedestal to make a difference. Whether it is bringing some publicity to a December toy drive at 6 AM, collecting prom dresses to donate to local schools, teaching young girls how to dance with confidence, visiting hospitals, or traveling to troops overseas, the list goes on and on...without getting paid I'd might add. We do these things as volunteers; to give back to the community we love, while balancing full time jobs, studies, families and friends. That means a lot of early mornings and late nights, but we are always out there with a permanent smile, trying to make a difference. We might bring a bit if glitz and excitement to an event, but that does not make our time and effort any less significant. 

So, when I read the aforementioned quote about the "essence" of this "job," I instantly thought that what I do isn't a job, it's a privilege, and even if it was, my uniform is definitely not the essence of it. What is seen on the field is such a small part of what we do, and if our purpose is based on dancing in skimpy attire, fans definitely wouldn't be seeing the Buffalo Jills and many other teams post September! We are outside in sun, rain, and in our case, snow, supporting the team and keeping the fans excited about the game, no matter the score. We are committed to practice days, game days, and 30+ hours of various appearances during one season, including charities, benefits, and meeting with children. 

Ms. Gerstner poses the question "if cheerleaders are necessary, why are there no cheerleaders in any women's sports?" It is clear that cheerleaders are not necessary, proven that only 26 of 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise. But, in response to the question, I'd say that if women's sports had the same funding and sponsorships and publicity as the NFL does today, perhaps there would be quite a few cheer squads for them as well. I can speak for myself, and for many teammates who would cheer just as loudly to support other women, as we do for men. Until then, this is an opportunity as dancers, performers, and community volunteers to take our talents and passions to the next level, to reach more people, and to learn how to be better spoken, and better poised young women overall. On the surface it may not look like a tough gig, but it takes a strong woman to wear our boots. 

Alyssa K
2nd year vet 
Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders "The Jills"