Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Monday, April 28, 2014

You can’t dismiss the influence the Jills have on young girls

The lawsuit filed last week by five former Buffalo Jills was shocking for one reason: It took as long as it did for the women to get fed up.

The allegations paint a picture that’s more sad sorority than professional gig for a billion-dollar industry – little pay, humiliating body tests, a mandatory “bikini show.” All this for the privilege of standing by the sidelines of the nation’s most lucrative sport.

There’s no doubt the Jills have done plenty of charity work. They’ve signed up for a business in which physical fitness and attractiveness is paramount.
Read the rest of Denise Jewell Gee's column at

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Bandettes at the Bandits' regular season finale

Squad photo!!
It's been a tale of two seasons in Banditland as the first part of the season had the team at 8-2 behind a new coach and improved play over last season. Anthony Cosmo had one of the strongest seasons of his career, a vast difference from last season. A not-so-funny thing happened when the team visited the league-leading Edmonton Rush on March 21st. The Rush handed the Bandits a humiliating 14-5 loss in which poor chemistry and undisciplined play proved the Bandits' undoing. It's been all downhill from there as the Bandits couldn't get back in the win column again, with the only bright spot being the continued strong play in goal. Saturday night, with the Bandits playing for a home playoff game, a few things changed. The Bandits played with a lot more discipline than they have in over a month but the goaltending left a lot to be desired, on both ends of the arena. Along with the Bandits' Cosmo, Matt Vinc of the Rochester Knighthawks had a strong season in net but let a lot through that he normally wouldn't. Unfortunately, the poor chemistry and sloppy passing proved the Bandits' undoing as the visiting Knighthawks capitalized and went away with a 16-14 win. The loss, combined with the Toronto win in Minnesota, puts the Bandits on the road for the 1st round of the playoffs next weekend.
LB and Stephanie with some young fans
MaKenzie and Danielle before the game
Kirsten, Stephanie, and Chelsea
The Bandettes' season has been one in transition as coach Jaclyn stepped back to allow Jessica to move into the role. It had been planned as a slower process, with Jessica continuing to perform much of the season but an injury made that impossible, as she had to end that part of her activities after 3 seasons as a Bandettes performer and learn the role on the job under the guidance of Jaclyn and Erin Y as well as the input of former longtime coach Erin J, who was on hand frequently throughout the season. Overall, the season has been a strong one for the squad, a group that really shows how a dance/cheerleading squad should be. Pro cheerleaders/dance squads put in a lot of work to put together a good product and should always be afforded the utmost respect and appreciation for doing so. Moreover, the work they do together should bring them together and the Bandettes, have always done that extremely well. I started covering the squad in 2006 and saw how close-knit they were and Erin J, one of the coaches at the time, had told me it had been that way all along. The Bandettes truly are like a family. This season, 2nd year vet Kelsey has been in the running for the NLL Girl of The Year crown and her squadmates have been working hard trying to help her. A few weeks ago, Danielle entered the contest but failed to make it out of the 1st round. When I expressed my regret last night to her about the loss, she wasn't bothered by it as she's been behind Kelsey's campaign all along just as much as anyone else. That says a lot to me...these girls don't put themselves above their squadmates. When Kelsey wins, God willing, it'll be an award for the entire squad and how well they pull together.
performing in pregame
Kirsten eyeing the camera after a Bandits goal
Cheri cheering on a goal
LB talking to a young fan in the 1st quarter
Cheri and Amanda posing together at the end of the 1st half
performing at the half
Kelsey high above the crowd
Kirsten, Stephanie, and Mandy
After I got to the game and grabbed something to eat, I made my way to the gates where the squad was handing out team posters and posing for photos with the fans. I didn't stay very long as they were pretty busy as a sell-out crowd was pouring in, only grabbing a moment to talk to a few of the girls as well as to Kelsey's mother and sister Danielle, a 2 year-alum herself. When the girls came out for the game, they made sure to get a few group photos as they knew it could be their last time performing together. Reigning Bandette of The Week LB told me before the season it was definitely her last season and who knows who else may not be there when the 2015 squad is put together this fall. But let's not get ahead of ourselves as this year's squad isn't yet finished. The Bandettes are still pulling for Kelsey's victory in the NLL Girl of The Year contest, which is currently in the 2nd round of voting at and the Bandits, if they can pull together a good game next week in Toronto, can still return to the friendly confines of Banditland in the playoffs in 2 weeks against Rochester. Regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, the Bandettes can be proud of what they did this season. Only 2 rookies joined up in 2014 but even though I didn't get to know them that well, they definitely proved themselves with their dedication this season. Also, Janelle has a pair of the most beautiful eyes I've ever photographed, ranking right up there with Jills alum Jackie (2008-2010), and Mandy's smile and enthusiasm for being a part of the Bandettes make them both girls you want to see continue on with the squad for several more years.
You can see all the pics at

Next up, we wait to see if the Bandits can snap out of their funk and pull off a playoff win in Toronto next week in order to return to Banditland to face the 1st seed Knighthawks in the 2nd round.
Chelsea, Stephanie, Janelle, and Chrissy
See all the pics from the Bandits at

Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with Jenn C

This morning, the Wease Show on 95.1 FM in Rochester interviewed 8-year Jills alum Jenn C on the lawsuit that's dominating the headlines as well as what things were like when she cheered, from 1997-2004.

Bandette of The Week Lauren B

This week, we finish up the 2014 Buffalo Bandette of The Week series with Lauren B. Known as LB to her fans and some friends, Lauren is in her 5th year with the Bandettes but sadly, it's also likely her final season as she told me at the Open Scrimmage. Truthfully, she's talked like that in the past as well but she seemed more sure of it this time. Still, we'll see for sure when next season rolls around. LB has grown a lot in her time on the squad. Anyone meeting her now would be shocked at how meek she seemed her rookie season. The one example that stands out for me was how she asked "Mr Tavares" for an autograph for her boyfriend at the Buffalo Auto Show that the Bandettes were doing an appearance at. That's not to say she was all meek like that...she was loving getting to pose for a pic in the driver's seat of one of the cars on display there. There was also something else she showed her rookie season. In the NLL, like in the NHL, fighting amongst the players during the game isn't out of the norm, though it does happen less and less these days. Lauren got pretty excited during some of those fights but had to keep her excitement from showing too much because fighting isn't lady-like. She got to show off her excitement the following December as she got to challenge Bandits strongman Brandon Francis to a wrestling match at the Bandits Open Practice. He backed down, though. These days, LB is possibly the most confident and outgoing girl on the squad and a good friend to all. She's also the type to hold others to high standards as well. For the early season matchup against the Knighthawks, I ran a little late and only had time to visit with Kirsten's line briefly before they headed in. On my way to my seats, I ran into LB and her line and she was disappointed in me that I hadn't stopped to see her line as well. She's definitely a girl that keeps me on my toes when it comes to photography and she'll be hard to replace. You can see all of LB's photos at LB's secondary photo comes from the March game against the Swarm and was taken prior to the game when some of the girls posed for photos. Shown posing for this photo are Bandettes captains LB and Kirsten.
LB and Kirsten

Buffalo Jill of The Week Katie

This week, we take a look at rookie Ambassador Katie as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. This blonde beauty, a country girl at heart, is one of those who loves the change in seasons in Buffalo, as wacky as they can be. She loves it so much that she's even hoping to make it her career one day, with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Communication with a minor in Meteorology and Climatology. For now though, she's just enjoying the weather, whether it be by snowboarding in the winter or volleyball, boating, or many other outdoor activities in the nicer weather. She even confesses to being an adrenaline rush enthusiast and enjoyed some sky-diving like some Jills alumnae I know. She hasn't restricted her adventures to Western NY as she's also explored the Grand Canyon. Even though she chose a 1-and-done Jills career, I have a hunch this won't be the last we'll see of her since she and her older sister are both huge fitness nuts so maybe we'll see her in a fitness competition like the one a few weeks ago that 2005 Jills alum Ashlee A earned a medal in. You can see all of Katie's photos at Katie's secondary photo is from the preseason game against the Lions. Shown near the tunnel as they receive instructions from Jon are Gabrielle and Katie.
Gabrielle and Katie

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Official stance on the Jills lawsuit

I've been asked about  my stance on the lawsuit both publicly and privately several times over the last 24 hours. This site has been up, in one form or another, since 2001, even before the current director took charge of the squad. The goal is promote the hard work and quality of the pro cheerleaders of Buffalo, NY. With that, I'm referring to the squads as a whole as well as the individuals on each of the squads we cover here.
A lot of people on social media and in the media have gone off the deep end in regards to the lawsuit, attacking the ladies involved in the suit as well as anyone who's ever donned the uniform. I have to say that says a lot about those individuals more than it could ever say about those that they're attacking. The ladies on the Buffalo Jills, or the Buffalo Bandettes for that matter, put in a huge amount of work that the general public doesn't see or understand and every last one of them is deserving of our respect.
Regarding the suit itself, I'm not going to speculate on all the reasoning behind it. It wouldn't be fair to anyone involved and no one outside of those 5 ladies knows all the details, not me, not other fans, not even other Jills alumni. The way the Jills are run changes on a yearly basis and some big changes were made in 2012 beyond just minor yearly changes. I can say that it's not just about money by any means and that things must have been be pretty severe to involve lawyers.
My advice to everyone is to let it all play out and remember that all our ladies in uniform past and present are deserving of our respect for all the hard work they do. This blog will continue as normal and the 2014 squad will be treated here much the same way as past squads have been, with the utmost respect.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vote for Kelsey in the 2nd rd!!

It's time to put in the votes again as 2nd year Bandette Kelsey. A few weeks back, she won her opening round matchup against Jorina of the Philadelphia Angels by almost 3000 votes. This week, she's facing off against Chantelle of the Edmonton Crush in the semi-finals and she needs your help to advance to the finals. All you need to do is go to and vote often. Hopefully we'll see her not only win this matchup but the rest of the contest as well!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bandette of The Week Chrissy

This week, we focus on 4th year vet Chrissy as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Dancing on Kirsten's line on gamedays, she's become a lot more vocal and confident over the years and has been Kirsten's co-captain in 2014. Quite the change from the quiet girl she was in 2011 when she was a rookie surrounded by some vets who had a lot more experience than she does now. A big country music fan, she's hoping to be working in the sports industry one day when she's done dancing with the Bandettes if not sooner. The big key to her is finding a job she loves so it doesn't seem like work, something that few people wind up doing but the ones that do are the happiest I know. A romantic at heart, Chrissy feels her biggest strength is her willingness to help others, a trait that serves her well as one of the longer-tenured girls on the squad as she's someone the less experienced girls can go to for help. You can see all of Chrissy's photos at Chrissy's secondary photo is from the 2nd home game against the Toronto Rock. Shown performing during the 1st quarter are Chrissy and Lauren K.
Chrissy and Lauren K

Buffalo Jill of The Week Natalie

This week, we take a look at rookie dancer Natalie as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Spending gamedays in 2013 dancing between Lisa and Emmy on Lisa's line, this gorgeous redhead is originally from down south but has grown to love it in Buffalo since moving here for college. Buffalo isn't the only place she's spent time in for higher education. In addition to working on her BA in dance in Buffalo, she spent a summer in Chicago with the prestigious Giordano Scholarship dance program. With all that focus on dance, she definitely wants to keep dancing for several years to come and eventually teach children to dance as well. Natalie has another side to her as well. Here at the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog, we've noted a few singers and even a professional actress. Natalie likes to paint so maybe one of these days we'll see some of her work in an art gallery just as we've seen Theresa on TV and Ashlee and Aimee onstage. You can see all of Natalie's photos at Natalie's secondary photo comes from the 1st quarter of the Jets game. Shown along the sidelines are Allysha, Natalie, Emmy, and Shelby G.
Allysha, Natalie, Emmy, and Shelby G

Monday, April 14, 2014

Buffalo Jills Final Auditions

Alexandra Vitale of was at Jills tryouts Sunday afternoon and shot some video and talked with Jills choreographer Kelli Wagner about her own  nervousness about what the new squad will  be like as well as with prospective rookie Shannon as well as Kelsey, Bandettes alum Carissa, and prospective rookie Mackenzie.
The final list of numbers of which girls made the squad can be found at
Congratulations to those of you who made the cut. To those who didn't, take heart because with the way the squad has shrunk so much the past few years, a lot of girls who are easily good enough to make it don't get selected. You can either try out again next year (several girls who have missed the cut have come back to have noteworthy careers with the Jills like retired captains Lisa, Keisha, and Amanda F) or try something different. There are other avenues to cheer in the pros nearby like the Raptors Cheerleaders(1 former Jill currently is with them), Cavalier Girls (I know of 1 who went there...there may be more), and the Bandettes (several have chosen that route)to name a few. Maybe you'll even decide you like the other squad enough that you'll prefer that. I know a number of girls who did just that and never looked back. Either way, just to try out and put yourself out there says a lot about each of you, whether you made it or not.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Video from 1st cuts

Alexandra Vitale of was at 1st cuts today and shot this video of today's 1st cuts of 2014 Buffalo Jills tryouts. Included are talks with Kelsey and prospective rookie Shannon in the video. Follow Alexandra at @alexandrabills on Twitter and go to to see the audition numbers of the girls who made it through 1st cuts

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bandette of The Week Chelsea

This week, we take a look at 5th year vet Chelsea as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Dancing on LB's line on gamedays, she's stepped up into a co-captain's role, a role she's long been well-suited for. The reason I say that is because on the Bandettes, a captain or co-captain is like a big sister to her linemates and Chelsea was already a devoted big sister even before joining the Bandettes. Her little sister was a common fixture at post-game parties when they were held at Pearl Street and was even with her in Toronto at the big halftime event with Hinder and the Jills. Chelsea didn't view having her little sister along as a chore but she did ensure her sister enjoyed herself all the time, which I'm sure she still does these days whenever they spend time together. Something tells me that they don't spend enough time together for Chelsea's taste. She thinks her biggest weakness is caring too much but truthfully, if more people were as caring as she is, I think the world would be a much better place. I've seen first hand and heard stories about how she's gone above and beyond for others...she truly sets a great example for others. You can see all of Chelsea's photos at Chelsea's secondary photo is from the Bandits-Swarm game when LB's line was signing autographs in the concourse before the game. Shown smiling for a photo are Kelsey and Chelsea.
Kelsey and Chelsea

Buffalo Jill of The Week Taylor

This week, we take a look at rookie dancer Taylor as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Found on Christina's line on gamedays between Christina and Myesha, her closest friend on the squad seems to be Pro Bowl representative Emily and it seems they have a lot in common. Working on degrees in Dance and Business Marketing, Taylor is also a dance teacher and choreographer who, like Emily, wants to travel the world one day. Taylor isn't originally from Buffalo, originally hailing from Pennsylvania but really feels at home in the Queen City. However, like most, this statuesque blonde is really looking forward to some warmer weather to hit the region so she can enjoy some beach time. You can see all of Taylor's photos at Taylor's secondary photo comes from the Bills-Ravens game. Shown in a photo taken at the end of the 1st quarter are Christina and Taylor walking past the tunnel as their line changes sections.
Christina and Taylor

Jills tryout video

For anyone looking to tryout tomorrow, or just interested in seeing the 2014 Jills tryout routine choreographed by the amazing Kelli Wagner, here's a rough video of some of the captains performing the routine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014 Buffalo Jills Day 1 Auditions from

The Bills have hired a new reporter to take over for the departed Hannah Beuhler and, as it turns out, Alexandra Vitale is already a well-established reporter, having previously worked with the Patriots and at WTVM in Georgia. One of her duties will be some Jills coverage and she was at last night's Open Workshop.
In the video you can see that Alyssa K is among those joining Melissa as a captain. Looking through the video, there are a few familiar faces as 2012 Bandette Carissa and 2013 Bandette Brianna A are among those looking at what it could be like to be a Jill. Alexandra also talks with Amber and Megan, both looking at returning to the squad in 2014. Be sure to follow Alexandra if you're on Twitter at @AlexandraBills

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vote for Danielle!

The 1st round of the NLL Girl of The Week competition is still going and 2nd year vet Danielle of the Buffalo Bandettes is up against Krista of the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders. Two years ago, Stephanie took down a member of the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders in her 1st round matchup on her way to winning the year-end title! Maybe history will repeat itself? Only way to find out is to vote for Danielle and get her into the next round! Go to and vote often for this ravishing redhead!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Roughnecks game

The Bandits' early season was a strong one, a vast departure from the 2013 season. However, a road trip the last few weeks gave the Bandits a 3-game losing streak before their return to Banditland Saturday night. Being back in the friendly confines of First Niagara Center was hopefully going to help them end that streak and get back on the right track in 2014. At first, it looked like it did the trick as the Bandits jumped out to a 5-2 lead after the 1st quarter and held a lead most of the game. However, the issues that plagued them the last few weeks on the road in the form of penalties and sloppy passing showed up in the 4th and allowed Calgary, in their first visit to Buffalo since 2003, to tie and then take the lead, with only a single goal from 2nd year player Dhane Smith slowing the Roughneck scoring streak. The 16-13 home loss, in front of 16,606 fans, delayed the Bandits' hopes for a return to the playoffs by a week at least. The Bandits hope to return to winning with another 3-game road trip with a game in Minnesota next weekend and games in Toronto and Rochester the following weekend before returning home to finish the regular season against Rochester on April 26th.
Kirsten's line, minus Chrissy, early in the 1st quarter
The story of Tucker Williams, the son of Bandits forward Shawn Williams, has drawn the entire NLL community together, with support coming from across the league in support of the 7-year old's fight against Stage III Burkitt Lymphoma and the biggest amount of support came in the Bandits' home game against Calgary. In addition to the "Braver Than Brave" t-shirts that have been on sale much of the season, memorabilia and special jerseys were put up for auction, and the Bandettes' annual lacrosse ball surprise, where for $10, you get an autographed lacrosse ball featuring one or more of the Bandits players, brought in money to help the cause. That was just some of it as the whole list of special events for last night's game can be found at
MaKenzie and LB with their lacrosse ball surprises
For the game, I was debuting my new camera and I have to say I love how it worked out. I only got it a couple of weeks ago and I think the pictures of these beautiful young ladies turned out better than ever. Of course with the beauty on this squad, it's hard to do a bad job. When I got to the arena, the Bandettes were down just inside the gates selling their lacrosse ball surprises as well as greeting the fans. Also on hand to assist were former Bandettes coach Erin J and former captain Meghan F, proving how close-knit the Bandettes family truly is. Bandettes alum Noelle even stopped by for a visit before the game.
Danielle and Kelsey posing before the game
Stephanie, Kirsten, Brianna, and Lauren K in action
The beautiful Cheri poses for the camera
Janelle, LB, MaKenzie, and Cheri in action
MaKenzie cheering on a goal
LB and Stephanie pose for a pic with Lauren K photo-bombing them
Danielle cheering on a goal
some reactions from the squad to John Tavares' 800th career goal!
LB's line in action in the 4th quarter
While the Bandits struggled to pull off a win, the Bandettes, even short-handed with Chrissy and Ashley absent and Chelsea missing for most of the game, were rock-solid for the game. I have to admit I was especially impressed in the 4th quarter as LB's line seemed to have some new moves that, even though they seemed brand-new, looked like they'd put in a long amount of work on them. Donned in special green "Braver Than Brave" tanks as well as jerseys for a portion of the game, they once again showed why they're the premier dance team in the NLL. They even pulled out their daisy dukes and flannel shirts for halftime, a look that the Jills got a lot of attention for a few times last season. However, it should be noted that the look was started in Buffalo by the Bandettes several years ago...which means a lot of fans who only saw it at the Ralph are way behind the times as the Bandettes' costume changes set the standard as the squad constantly adds new outfits to their wardrobes. If fans want to see gorgeous dancers/cheerleaders with great moves and hot outfits, they need to see the Bandettes in person. You can see all the photos at

Danielle, Cheri, and Brianna
Also, see the pics from at Next up, the Bandits are on the road the next two weeks before returning home to face off against the Rochester Knighthawks on April 26th at 7:30 at First Niagara Center. There's more to look forward to Bandettes-wise before then though as we should be seeing Kelsey's 2nd rd matchup in the NLL Girl of The year competition coming up very soon.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bandette of The Week Kelsey

This week, we take a look at 2nd year vet Kelsey as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Dancing on LB's line on gamedays, Kelsey was the chosen representative in the annual NLL Girl of The Week contest held on She took the first round by almost 3000 votes and is now waiting for her next match-up hoping to bring the NLL Girl of The Year crown back to Buffalo. Kelsey is, in the history of the Bandettes, the 1st to follow in her sister's footsteps and I mean that literally. Her sister Danielle spent 2 seasons on the squad in 2011 and 2012 and even danced during games in the same spot. Hopefully though, after Kelsey wins this year's NLL Girl of The Year crown, she'll be around for more than the 2 seasons. A future daycare center owner, she admits to being rather gullible, a trait that I'm sure her big sister took advantage of from time to time when they were growing up. It's not that Danielle just wants to torment her little sister, but all siblings do that on occasion. Danielle is, along with their mother, Kelsey's biggest supporter in this year's NLL Girl of The Year contest. You can see all of Kelsey's photos at Kelsey's secondary photo is from the February game against Philadelphia. Prior to the squad heading out to perform for pregame, some of them posed for this photo. Shown are Kelsey, LB, Cheri, Brianna, Mandy, and Lauren K.
Kelsey, LB, Cheri, Brianna, Mandy, and Lauren K

Buffalo Jill of The Week Jayanti

This week, we take a look at 2nd year dancer Jayanti as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. This ebony-skinned beauty, who danced on one end of Emily's line next to Katrina, is looking at a career in broadcast journalism after previously being interested in veterinary work. Her ultimate would be to land a spot as a reporter on E! Network. Maybe she could end up a co-host on one of those entertainment magazine shows the way Maria Menounos did but Jayanti can skip the wrestling nonsense. Afterall, no one wants to see anyone damage Jayanti's gorgeous features. Maybe the next time the CW23 star's position becomes available, she could get that job like Jills alum Laura and honorary Jill Lydia Dominick once had it. Laura may have discovered it wasn't for her but Lydia is one of the most well-known personalities in Buffalo these days. As far as being a Jill, it seems the biggest thing she'll take from it when all is said and done is the friendships she's made. When you put as much work into being on a squad like the Jills or the Bandettes, if you don't have strong friendships with your squadmates, odds are it'll be harder to handle the job. Luckily for Jayanti, that's not an issue for her as she's extremely appreciative of all her opportunities and friendships she's had with the Jills. You can see all of Jayanti's photos at Jayanti's secondary photo comes from the Ravens game. Shown coming off the field at halftime are Jayanti and Katrina.
Jayanti and Katrina