Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, May 1, 2015

2009 Jills Open Workshop-revisited

With the Bandits and Bandettes regular season winding down, we're kicking off our summer series with a look back at the 2009 Buffalo Jills, starting with the Jills Open Workshop. For the 2nd season in a row, we held it at Fusion Dance Studio, owned and operated by Jills Choreographer Kelli Wagner. When I arrived, Kelli and the captains were already hard at work getting things set up with gift bags for all the prospective Jills so I joined in to help the work go faster. There were some new faces among the captains as 3rd year vet Jill became a co-captain while Nicole P got promoted to captain. The previous season, Kelly H was the sole ambassador captain until she took ill and with her retirement, 4th year vet Danielle took over in 2009 with 3rd year vet Keisha as co-captain.
It wasn't long before the vets and prospective rookies started showing up, and Anna and Liz even introduced me to a friend of theirs, who not only made the squad but spent 4 seasons as a Jill, Alyssa B.
Anna, incoming rookie Alyssa B, and Liz
As it turned out, several ambassadors were trying out to make the switch to dance, including Liz, Amanda F, Vincenza, and returning alum Kaitlin V. Before things got started, while girls were still checking in, one potential rookie said hi like she knew me and I wished her luck but for the life of me, I didn't think I knew her. It didn't click until a few days later that it was former 97Rock intern Katy who wound up not only making the squad but landed the cover of the swimsuit calendar! Also on-hand for the workshop was CW23's Lydia Dominick. She was looking for someone to talk to whose story would really be worth telling so I directed her to Kaitlin.
Jill taking photos
Vincenza, Dr Amanda, returning alum Kaitlin V, and Jess

The captains and recently-retired Kelly H worked on helping everyone check in while everyone was getting re-acquainted. Jills alum Lisa Y (2003-06) was also on hand to help out Val and Lisa even showed up in matching outfits. Girls trying out in matching outfits was hardly new after Rachael and Autumn had done so in 2006 but Val and Lisa wanted to get a jump on things and start matching even at the workshop.
Val and Lydia
some of the girls working through the dance moves
listening to what Kelli has to say
Stephanie B, fresh from the Pro Bowl Jess, and Stefanie
Ambassador Squad captain Danielle with her predecessor Kelly H
See all the pics at

From the Bandettes comes a photo from last December's Open Practice. After 5 memorable seasons on the squad, LB stepped down but still made the occasional appearance this season, including the alumnae game and helping out at the Open Practice. Stephanie learned a lot from LB during their time together on the squad and had to get a pic with her and so, posing for this photo during the 1st half of the practice before the Bandettes went out to perform are LB and Stephanie.
LB and Stephanie

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