Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Buffalo Jill of The Week Gabrielle

This week, we take a look at 2nd year vet Gabrielle as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Landing the back cover of the 2013-14 Buffalo Jills Calendar, Gabrielle was to tackle the role of Ambassador squad co-captain in 2014. Middle Eastern in heritage, she's really into celebrating her ancestry with authentic Lebanese food and even Bellydancing. Already a college grad with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, she enjoys painting in her free time as well as photography and the guitar. All that might be a part of why she thinks big when it comes to her perfect date, which includes being flown to Europe. That's not to say she doesn't love Buffalo, because she loves the wings, the Bills, the architecture, and the people, but who wouldn't love to go all out if they could? She's just willing to voice it. You can see all of Gabrielle's photos at  Gabrielle's secondary photo comes from halftime of the Chiefs game. Shown posing for a pic are Melissa B and Gabrielle.
Melissa B and Gabrielle

From the Bandettes comes a photo taken at halftime of the home opener against the Philadelphia Wings. Shown posing for a photo before heading out for their halftime performance are 2nd year vet and NLL Girl of The Week winner Kelsey and 5th year vet and captain Kirsten.
Kelsey and Kirsten

Friday, May 23, 2014

Buffalo Jill of The Week Emmy

This week, we take a look at now-3rd year vet Emmy as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. After spending 2013 dancing on Emily's line between Alyssa K and Allysha, Emmy was to tackle 2014 in a big a captain. A lot of girls, growing up, idolize their big sisters at times and while I'm sure that's true of Emmy's little sister, the reverse seems to be true as well. Besides the fact that she prayed to get a little sister so that she was no longer an only child, she views her as both her best gift ever received and her favorite musical artist. Apparently, her sister Grace is a gifted singer and songwriter. I've seen a lot of Jills and Bandettes think a lot of their younger sisters but I have to say this one tops them all. That being said, hopefully we'll see and hear her sister sometime in the future. Emmy herself plans on a career in the entertainment industry as well, working on degrees in dance and theater performance. Maybe one day, we'll see her dancing on Broadway to music composed by her own little sister? You can see all of Emmy's photos at Emmy's secondary photo comes from the Bengals game and was taking as the squad was exiting the field near the end of the 3rd quarter. Shown heading into the tunnel are Emmy and Allysha.
Emmy and Allysha

From the Bandettes comes a photo from the Opener against the Philadelphia Wings. At halftime, several of the girls posed for photos before their on-field performance. Shown posing for this photo are MaKenzie and Janelle.
MaKenzie and Janelle

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Natalie B on Beyond The Pom Poms

Last night's episode of Beyond The Pom Poms was a pretty special one in that it focused on one of our girls, 2010-11 Buffalo Jills alum Natalie B. As it turned out, it was a pretty hectic weekend for Natalie and it didn't get any less hectic with the show thanks to some technical difficulties at the start of the program. First off, she 1st had an episode of "I Found The Gown" airing on TLC Friday night in which she and some of her family shopped for her wedding dress. Having watched it myself (hey...not everyone sees friends on national TV everyday), she's going to blow her fiance away at the altar. She and her fiance have also been in the middle of moving into a new place all weekend so you'd almost have to wonder how she found the time to do the show. However, as anyone who knows Natalie can attest, she's very focused and driven to get things accomplished and she made it work.
The show started off, with some technical difficulties at first so Austin touched on the lawsuit a bit before Natalie was able to join him. Natalie and Austin went into topics like what she did prior to the Jills as well as the audition processes for both the Jills and the Gotham City Cheerleaders. They then talked about the lawsuit, which could've been a touchy subject but Natalie handled it extremely well and then they wrapped up by talking about what Natalie is into now. Personally, I think the whole series is worth watching because it really enlightens you on what pro cheerleaders are really like and what they go through. This one takes special importance though for us because of the guest so make sure to give it a look. Also, learn more about Beyond The Pom Poms and view past episodes at

Friday, May 16, 2014

Buffalo Jill of The Week Kaeleigh

This week, we take a look at rookie Ambassador Kaeleigh as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Already a college grad, she's hoping to parlay her degrees in English and teaching into a teaching job one of these days soon. Considering how many Jills have gone into that profession and the fact that Kaeleigh graduated with honors, I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before little boys will have a crush on their teacher Miss Kaeleigh. You can see all of Kaeleigh's photos at Kaeleigh's secondary photo comes from the Bengals game and just prior to halftime when some younger cheerleaders came out to the field to perform. Shown rooting them on as they came out of the tunnel are Kaeleigh and Dana.
Kaeleigh and Dana

From the Bandettes comes a photo from the Opener against Philadelphia and was taken before the squad went out to perform in pregame. A few of the Bandettes wanted to get some photos taken before their first game, including Jessica and Amanda. Rax, the Bandits' mascot, saw an opportunity in this and photo-bombed them!
Jessica, Rax, and Amanda

Monday, May 12, 2014

Natalie B to appear on Beyond The Pom Poms

For those not aware, Beyond The Pom Poms is a new venture by Jordan Enterprises which is co-hosted by CEO Austin D Jordan and 3rd year vet Selina Samano of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals. The format is of a live interview style original web series produced specifically for professional cheerleaders and alumnae. They air it live Saturday nights at 8pm ET and each episode showcases a pro cheerleader or alum talking about their experiences as pro cheerleaders and beyond. The mission of Beyond The Pom Poms is to create awareness about the lives of professional cheerleaders, promote them, create opportunities and ultimately make professional cheerleading a full-time job that provides pro cheerleaders with a living-wage during and after their professional cheerleading career.
Thus far, the series has included

  1. an intro to the show, to Selina, the reigning cover-girl of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals swimsuit calendar,  and to Austin
  2. Bonnie-Jill Laflin-beauty queen, model, cheerleader alum for the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors, actress, player scout for the Los Angeles Lakers, and sportscaster
  3. Danielle Guldin, USMC vet, cheerleader alum for the Philadelphia Eagles, model, and actress
  4. Lauren Coben, 3rd year vet with the Cincinnati Ben-Gals and 2012-13 calendar cover girl
  5. Lindsey Marion, Dallas Stars Ice Girls alum and model with co-host Carley McCord, a broadcast media professional for the Cleveland Browns
You can see all the past episodes at as they archive all the episodes shortly after they air.
The next episode features our own Natalie B, 2010-11 Buffalo Jills alum. For those of you who don't remember, Natalie started off her career in a big way as she blogged about her tryout experiences for After that, she continued making a huge impact as the 2010 dance rookie of the year for the Jills, following  that up with being named co-captain on Christina's line for the 2011 season. After leaving the Jills, she went on to the Gotham City Cheerleaders Ref Squad and is now working with Going Pro Entertainment, an organization that works to support the industry of professional cheerleaders and dancers. They help out a lot of young ladies through the tryout process and assist in choreography and coaching among many other things. In addition to Natalie, 2004-05 Jills alum Elizabeth M is also a part of this great organization. Find out more about Going Pro at
Natalie's episode will air Saturday night at 8pm ET at
Learn more about Beyond The Pom Poms at

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Bandettes at the NLL East Finals

After last week's big win in the 1st round of the playoffs, the Buffalo Bandits returned home for the 1st game in the NLL East Finals against the Rochester Knighthawks. Neither team had the upper hand for long during the bulk of the game as whenever one team would take the lead, the other would come back to overtake them. That changed in the 4th quarter however as, after Rochester took their final lead of the game halfway through the period, the Bandits put in 5 straight goals to take the opening game in the series by a score of 12-8. After the 8-game losing streak to end the regular season, even last week's big win had many fans less than confident about the team's chances in the playoffs. Thankfully, behind outstanding goaltending by Anthony Cosmo and the leadership of the legendary Johnny Tavares, the Bandits rewarded the more faithful fans with an exciting game that included 4 goals from Tavares and from Steenhuis as well as a hat trick from 2nd year star Dhane Smith. Next week, the Bandits head to Rochester for the 2nd part of the NLL East Finals. Should the Knighthawks win, the series goes to a 10-minute mini-game following the 2nd game to decide who advances to the NLL Finals against either the Edmonton Rush or the Calgary Roughnecks.
After getting to the arena, I caught up with MaKenzie and Stephanie real briefly before heading up to the 100 level. LB's line was pretty busy with a long line of fans at the top of the east bank of escalators so after talking to Erin and Jessica, I headed over to the west end where Kirsten's line had a pretty good amount of fans as well.
Kirsten's line signing autographs
Once the autograph sessions were over, my buddy (a Knighthawks fan) and I headed to our seats for the game. It's kinda different having someone rooting for the opposing team with you but if both are good sports about the game, it works out pretty well. It wasn't long before the squad came out to pose for photos and to perform.
LB, Stephanie, and Mandy
They even visited with some young fans who had come by to see their idols. The Bandettes hold a pretty high status with the Bandits fans of all ages for their beauty and personalities. I think LB and Stephanie, who went out of their way to visit with a few fans, were even more excited to see them than their fans were to see them.
LB and Stephanie visiting some young fans
Mandy, Chelsea, Chrissy, Kirsten, Kelsey, Jessica, and Amanda
MaKenzie and Chelsea
Kirsten's line cheering on a goal
Mandy and Chrissy
Kirsten cheering on a goal
Running this blog has definitely been an interesting experience and the best parts of it are getting to work with a group of young ladies like the Bandettes, a squad that always seems to have the best of the best and is possibly as beloved in the NLL as the DCC is in the NFL. They always get lots of attention when signing autographs and their flannel shirt-and-daisy dukes outfit, a big crowd pleaser, was adopted by the Jills in 2013. The biggest cheers for their performances on the field though, have to be when they finish off a performance by spelling out B-A-N-D-I-T-S with their pom-poms. The arena was far from full capacity but it sounded like a sell-out crowd when the Bandettes did that at the end of their 3rd quarter performance.
The Bandettes' 2 gorgeous rookies, Janelle and Mandy

Finishing off the halftime performance
Kirsten signaling for the music to start at 3rd intermission
One thing I noticed a few times during the 4th quarter was the look on LB's face. There were times it looked like she was lost in thought, like she was in a zone or something. Unless the Bandits can pull off the win next week, it was her last game and I have to admit that's saddening. There are others who will be retiring as well but considering that LB announced this would be her final season at the Open Scrimmage and how much she's grown during her time on the squad, it's going to be an adjustment for everyone although the way the squad is built, there are definitely plenty of candidates who can step up to fill her shoes.
Janelle, LB, and MaKenzie

Brianna and Danielle
Don't forget to check out the photos that the Bandits have posted at

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tanning, gym and surgery: Buffalo Bills ex-cheerleader unloads to Salon

Bosses of the Buffalo Jills, the NFL cheerleading squad for the Bills, are being sued for allegedly not paying employees fully for their work. In response, the director of the Jills struck back Wednesday in a statement to the press, accusing the Buffalo Bills of failing to support the squad and suggesting critics have ignored the Jills’ many perks.

“While much has been said about how the Jills were compensated, there was an extensive list of benefits given to the members of the squad that included free surgical procedures, free gym memberships, free tanning memberships and free tickets and parking to all Buffalo Bills home games,” said an attorney for Stejon Productions, the company that manages the team and has suspended its activities amid the legal battle.

But not only don’t those perks replace unpaid wages, countered former Jills cheerleader Caitlin Ferrari, they’re offered with an ulterior motive: “The tanning and gym” are about “‘This is how you should be, and this is how you should look.’”

More at

Buffalo Jill of The Week Shelby G

This week, we take a look at rookie Shelby G as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Dancing on Lisa's line between Kelsey and Katie, Shelby is a girl with a lot of goals that go beyond the sidelines. Working towards degrees in communications, education, and Interdisciplinary Studies, she's planning on opening her own daycare and preschool one day. To make that goal happen will take a lot of work, but she's no stranger to hard work. Besides all the hard work and pressure that goes into becoming and being a Jill (It's not all fun and games), she's always on the Dean's list in college after getting an academic scholarship at her high school graduation. You can see all of Shelby's photos at Shelby's secondary photo comes from the 4th quarter of the Panthers game. Shown revving up the crowd are Katie and Shelby.
Katie Ba and Shelby G

From the Bandettes comes a photo from the Bandits Home Opener against the Wings. Shown posing for a photo at the top of the west bank of escalators are members of LB's line. Posing from left to right are LB, Kelsey, MaKenzie, Janelle, Jessica, Chelsea, and Cheri.
LB, Kelsey, MaKenzie, Janelle, Jessica, Chelsea, and Cheri.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Back to Banditland!

After a thrilling 15-13 win over the Toronto Rock, the Buffalo Bandits, and Bandettes, return to Banditland next Saturday night with a 7:30 face-off against the Rochester Knighthawks in the 1st game of a 2-game series, with the 2nd game being played in Rochester the following week!

Cheerleaders as eye candy?

With the suspension of the 2014 Buffalo Jills season, there's been a lot of talk in the media and on social media about how necessary they are. There's even been some talk of them being nothing more than eye candy. Many of us who know better are rightfully offended but rather than go off on those people, it's better for everyone to educate them, if we can.
Consider this...a typical year for a Buffalo Jill, after making the squad, has no significant downtime. From April-December, these young ladies are practicing at least twice a week to learn several routines and performances for use in the fall football season. In 2009 and 2010, the Jills held a few open practices to work with some younger cheerleaders and I can tell you those young ladies were kept pretty busy. After the open portion was done, they went back to work on their own stuff and from what I was told, they covered a lot in that time. It's pretty rare that they get practice nights off and if they do, it's usually for a big reason, like the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs viewing parties held back in 2006. Even after the season is over, there are still appearances to fill and if there are any big events in the spring, there's practice time as well to get ready for those.
The people who write cheerleaders off as eye candy are generally ignorant of how much work goes into being a professional cheerleader as well as to the benefits of having them around. Sports leagues that employ pro cheerleaders don't do so to satisfy the drunks in the stands. As a matter of fact, those types of people aren't even a factor when it comes to having pro cheerleaders or not. A part of what pro cheerleaders do is to help grow interest in the sport. They do that with appearances and greeting fans primarily. Adults aren't usually going to be swayed by pretty girls on the sidelines, though I must confess that I only checked out my 1st Bandits game to support a friend who was on the Bandettes. After seeing the game in person though, I was hooked on that...but I digress. Children need to have their attention captured to get their interest in something. Some players appear on local tv shows and sign autographs afterwards but the players don't have the time to make many appearances with all the demand on them. During the season, players generally only get 1 day off per week. Cheerleaders though, are available for appearances year-round. The only time they can't make appearances is during home games, for obvious reasons.
Over my years working with the Jills and Bandettes, I've witnessed a lot of interactions at games, events, and appearances. Thankfully, I've never witnessed what was reported to have transpired in Syracuse last year. The worst I saw was when a photographer from a local website had taken a few photos at an event that he really shouldn't have. I myself ensured he didn't do it again the following year. There's plenty of fans of all ages who love to meet the cheerleaders and get their autographs and/or pictures taken with them. I think the most important interactions I've seen are with the children. I couldn't begin to count the times I've seen little boys and girls extra excited when they get to meet a professional cheerleader. The little girls generally idolize them while the little boys are usually pretty shy but still excited. 3 specific interactions really stick out for me, though.
Dunkirk middle school cheerleaders performing for Jess
and Angelina
In 2009, Jess, Jill D, Angelina, and Joya of the Jills were at an appearance in Dunkirk along with Bills alum Adam Lingner and what I remember the most about that day was when a group of middle school cheerleaders visited. Instead of just getting autographs or pictures, they performed one of their cheers for Jess and Angelina and got extra excited when Jess told them about the Open Practice the Jills were holding the following month.
Briana and Emily with a hopeful future Jill
In 2011, I joined Emily and Briana M at another appearance in Dunkirk. They sold raffle tickets for the Nathan George Softball Tournament and we came upon one family relaxing on this beautiful day, half-watching the softball game going on with a little interest. When their little girl saw Emily and Briana, she couldn't contain her excitement and told them that she wanted to be just like them when she grew up and cheer on the sidelines at the Bills games. The final one happened just this year at a Bandits game. I was with Erin, Jessica, and Kirsten's line while they were signing their new posters near the top of the east bank of escalators. A lot of younger fans come by when the Bandettes are signing but this one really stood out. Jessica had suffered an injury that put an end to her performing and she took a role in management, joining Erin Y running the squad. While we were standing there talking as the girls signed their posters, a lady came over to talk to Jessica. Her daughter idolized Jessica and missed getting to see her perform. After talking to her for a bit, she got her daughter to come over and she was both disappointed that Jessica couldn't perform and excited to get to talk to her. Just getting to talk to Jessica seemed to make her entire day.
The future of the Jills is up in the air after this season and we can only speculate on the reasons why their season was cancelled except that it had something to do with the lawsuit. Whether it be the Bills taking charge, new management, or a renewed focus by current management, the Jills need to be re-formed not just for what they bring to the sidelines, but for how they impact the children in Western NY. Take a look around the league. Only 3 teams have no cheerleaders at all with unofficial groups in Detroit, Cleveland, and the NY Giants. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most popular teams in the NFL and it's all due to one thing: marketing. The team on the field hasn't been a very strong one in several years but they still keep gaining fans. Back in 1978, NFL Films put together a year-end highlight film for the team, like they do for every team every year. They entitled it "America's Team" and the Cowboys have used that in their marketing ever since along with the iconic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, marketed as America's Sweethearts. Does anyone seriously think the the DCC isn't a huge part of what attracts fans? When you consider that the Buffalo Jills beat them out in a fan poll in 2011 for the NFL's top squad, it'd be insane to let them go the way of the Steelerettes or the Honey Bears, the defunct cheerleading squads  for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Buffalo Jill of The Week Melissa M

This week, we look at 3rd year vet Melissa as our Buffalo Jill of The Week. Now the longest tenured-Jill on the squad, she's actually already put in 10 years in the pro ranks, with 7 seasons as a Bandette before transitioning to the Jills in 2011. As Christina's co-captain last season dancing between Hannah and Shelby H, she was to become a captain for the 2014 season. A country girl at heart, Melissa is most happy when she's performing or spending time with her husband, a guy whose sense of humor is sure to keep their marriage happy and long-lasting. Working in PR and communications, she's a gifted writer after graduating with honors with her Communications degree. She even shared some of her writing skills in her Bandettes days when some of her squadmates got named NLL Girl of The Week by writing about them. As far as contributions to the Jills, if you saw the Western gear that the squad wore for a few performances last season, I think it's safe to say we can thank Melissa for that. The flannel shirts-daisy dukes outfit has been a common thing at Bandits games with the Bandettes a few times a season and given Melissa's history with that squad, she had to have had some part of bringing that over. You can see all of Melissa's pics, including from her Bandettes days, at Melissa's secondary photo is from the Ravens game and taken at the end of the 1st quarter. Shown passing by the tunnel are Melissa, Hannah, and Christina.

From the Bandettes, we feature a photo taken at the Bandits Opener against the Philadelphia Wings. Prior to the game, Kirsten's line was greeting fans at the top of the east bank of escalators. Shown posing for a photo are Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Kirsten, Brianna, Danielle, and Lauren K.
Mandy, Chrissy, Stephanie, Kirsten, Brianna, Danielle, and Lauren K