Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, August 28, 2015

2009 Jets and Panthers Away Game Parties-revisited

In 2008, 103.3 The Edge held away game parties featuring the Jills at Rhino's Union Pub in Orchard Park just a few blocks from the Ralph. Unfortunately, they weren't able to held them there in 2009 but instead found an even better place in a sports bar in Depew named The Aud. With HD TV's all over the place and sports memorabilia lining the wall, it was the perfect spot to watch Bills away games.
I missed the 1st two away games but in week 6, I made it up to Depew to meet up with James from 103.3 The Edge once again for another season of away game parties. With a 4:15  kickoff to the game against the Jets, I made it there early to watch some early game action before our game started and shortly before 4, Alyssa and Vincenza made their appearance. Not long afterwards, rookie ambassador Lindsay also showed up. She wasn't there on duty however as she and her fiance were there to watch the game.
Alyssa and Vincenza at The Aud
Lindsay and her guy
Alyssa and Vincenza spent the 1st half of the game greeting fans and getting them signed up for the squares game. At halftime, it was time for them to leave and normally, I would've stuck around but in 2009, the Jills had a second away game event going on. The Sole restaurant, in the Walker Center, had a Buffalo Jill on hand not for just a half, but for the entire game. They weren't there just to visit with customers and pose for photos however as they helped out as guest bartenders and when I got there, 3rd year vet Amanda F was behind the bar with the regular bartender. Since it was a quiet night at the bar, the three of us chatted most of the time when we weren't focused on the game.
Amanda at Sole
See all the pics at
The following week was another late game and I watched most of the early games there at The Aud before James and the Jills showed up. This week, it was ambassadors Kristen and Keisha who made the appearance. During the 1st half, Keisha chatted with several patrons as she was always well-known for being a gifted conversationalist...and yes, she waited until commercial breaks or other breaks in the action. Rookie Kristen had a pretty easy day as her big forte was picking up the spirits of people and the Bills 7-2 halftime lead had fans in a positive mood as it was. We also got a visit from a former Jill as alum Kristine L (2002-05) was on hand partly to enjoy the game and partly to see how the appearance was going for her job with Citadel Radio at the time.
Kristen and Keisha with Jills alum Kristine L (2002-06)
At halftime, while Kristen and Keisha were headed out to watch the game with some of their squadmates, I was off to Sole again and this time found Val behind the bar helping out. The place was a little busier than it had been the previous week but still pretty quiet as we watched the Bills beat the Panthers. Always a fan of getting her photo taken, Val was more than happy to pose for a few pictures before leaving after the game was over.
Val at Sole

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the game against the Colorado Mammoth at the end of February, This game was the Jr Bandette game and there are always extra alums on hand to help out. Shown posing for the camera before the game are Jessica (2011-14), Kirsten(2009-14), and Meghan (2006-10).
Jessica, Kirsten, and Meghan

Sunday, August 23, 2015

There's going to be not 1, but 2 dance teams with the 716ers this year!

We told you a couple of weeks ago about how Bandettes alum LaToya and Jills alum Loren will be heading up the Lady 716ers this season, with tryouts happening September 11 at King Charter Central School.
Well, there is also the new 716ers Street Crew. Headed up by Caitlin Bowers, this group will be the Hip Hop Dance team for the 716ers and planned to be a co-ed squad with tryouts taking place on September 25th at the King Charter Central School.
As far as Caitlin's credentials, she has performed for the Bill Evans Dance Company, Kristi Ann & Dancers, Tom Truss, and she has done work with the Kista Tucker Dance as well.
She has performed in the Boulder Jazz Dance Festival, the Built On Stilts, and Silk City Arts Festivals. She has choreographed for the New Dancers' Showcase at SUNY Brockport, multiple First Fridays, and the Boulder Jazz Dance Festival. You can contact her for more details at
If you have the desire to dance on a professional level, don't let the Jills being temporarily shut down dissuade you from pursuing your dreams. The 716ers have 2 squads to audition for now and the Bandettes have long been a gold standard when it comes to the NLL dance teams. I've talked to several young women over the years who wanted nothing except the Jills when it came to dancing/cheering on the pro level and I've always thought that was a shame. I know several girls who have loved the Bandettes enough that trying out for the Jills again was never a thought...and I'm sure there will be plenty who make it as a Lady 716ers squad member or a Street Team member that will love where they're at as well.

Friday, August 21, 2015

1st Annual Blondes Vs Brunettes Buffalo game-revisited

In 2009, a new kind of football game hit the Queen City as the BvB Buffalo organization put on its first ever game in October of that year and it started off with a very heavy Buffalo Jills presence with 2 players on the Brunettes and 8 of the Jills dancers there in support. Even the Jills blonde choreographer, Kelli Wagner, was on hand for a portion of the game and showed more loyalty to her director than to her own hair color!
Kelli showing off one side of her sign
The Brunettes Lisa, Murissa, Katie K, and Gabrielle
Blondes Jennifer, Christina, Lynn, and Jackie
Kelli couldn't stick around long as she had classes to teach at Fusion Dance Studio so she left the sign with Katie and the rest of the brunettes who, when they weren't selling raffle tickets, were cheering on the brunettes as hard as they usually did at Bills games.
Katie showing off one side of Kelli's sign
Jennifer and Gabrielle with raffle tickets for sale
At halftime, it was time for the Jills to really put on a show as they put on an inspired dance performance with 1st just the blondes and then the brunettes before they joined up to perform together.
As for the game itself, it was a close affair all game long as neither team could maintain enough momentum to get a real lead but the Jills' presence on the field wasn't restricted to the sidelines as the Brunette team's offense was powered by the running of 1998-2002 Jills alum Danielle H. The covergirl of the 2001-2002 Buffalo Jills Swimsuit Calendar picked up 1st downs with regularity and had a big TD early in the game as well as another big play on a reverse that led to a TD the next play.
Danielle making one of her big runs in the game.
Afterwards, both teams retired to Average Joe's Sports Bar for a victory party to collect awards, eat, drink, and even got shots bought for them by the game's referees. We were joined by Jills alum Francine (2000-02), still looking as great as she did during her cheering days.
Brunette MVP Danielle at the Victory Party

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from halftime of the March game against Toronto. This started out as a pose from Chrissy and Stephanie but when a few of the girls pose for a photo, many of the other girls will usually join in! lol
an impromptu squad photo

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bandettes Dance clinic and tryouts set!

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 22
Registration: 6:30 p.m.
Learn/Practice Choreography: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $20
*This is your chance to get familiar with the Bandette dance style and have your questions answered!*
Day One - Saturday, Oct. 3. Registration 12-12:30 p.m. Learn choreography 12:30-3 p.m.
Day Two - Sunday, Oct. 4. Arrival/review 12-12:30 p.m. Auditions 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 (Receive $5 discount if you also attend clinic)
Both clinic and tryouts will take place at Catalyst Fitness, 1402 French Rd., Depew, NY 14043.

Friday, August 14, 2015

2009 Buffalo Jills Open Practice-revisited

In 2009, the Jills started something that was a huge success both in raising funds for the squad and in reaching out to the community. Their Open Practice, just a few days after the Calendar Release Party, was held in the Bills Fieldhouse where the Jills have normally practiced over the years. They started advertising the event in late August as an event in which the younger generation of cheerleaders could come and work with the pros for an evening before showing off what they learned. Since it was the 1st of these events to be put on, we weren't sure what kind of turnout we'd get so when the entrance to the Fieldhouse started overflowing with children and their coaches and parents, we were happily surprised.
Kelli going over how things will work
After Kelli went over how the event would go, the captains led everyone through stretching exercises before splitting everyone off into groups led by 3-4 Jills dancers while the Ambassadors started circulating around, talking to parents and coaches about the Jr Jills program as well as selling raffle tickets for the prizes donated by the Bills and other sponsors.
Ambassadors Ruby, Amanda, and Laura
I spent the bulk of the evening walking around, getting photos of the Jills dancers leading their young charges through practice and talking with the ambassadors and with Stefanie. Stefanie, in her 4th season with the Jills in 2009, had injured her foot and was sidelined for a few weeks.
Anna and Kaitlin working with one group
Kelly Ann and Nichole
Vincenza gives one little lady some one-on-one instruction
After the Jills got all their proteges trained in a routine, they demonstrated what they learned for the parents and coaches in attendance and followed that up with a dance performance by the Jills dancers alone before they split back up into groups to pose for pictures before everyone but the Jills left for the evening, who had to stick around to continue their own practice.
Loren, Amanda, and Katy with Loren's protege
See all the pics at and check out videos of everyone performing at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from halftime of the March game against Toronto. In 2015, the Bandettes had a large influx of rookies but they had but 2 in 2014. What they lacked in numbers, they made up for in beauty though as seen in this photo of these two young women. Shown posing for the camera are Janelle and Mandy.
Janelle and Mandy

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lady 716ers moving forward

As many may know, last season's 716ers Girls dance team was short-lived and we only got to see them in action early in the season. In an effort to make improvements on whatever caused that, the Lady 716ers Dance Team is taking a new direction for the 2015-16 season. To start with, their new coordinator is no stranger to the Buffalo dance/cheer scene. Spending 4 seasons on the sidelines at Ralph Wilson Stadium as a member of the Buffalo Jills, including the last two as co-captain, Loren is well-qualified to lead this squad forward into the future. Besides her experience as a Jill, she brings to the job outstanding choreographical skills, class, and a strong work ethic.
Director LaToya and Coordinator Loren
Their new director also brings pro experience to the job as 2015 Buffalo Bandettes rookie LaToya was hired for the job earlier in the week. Besides her time on the Bandettes, LaToya spent 2014 as a member of the Queen City Classic Dance Team. I haven't known LaToya as long as I have Loren so the biggest thing I can say about her based on personal observations is that with her as director, the squad will definitely be great in front of the camera as LaToya was an ace in that area this spring.
LaToya and Loren are hitting the ground running as they're already hard at work getting set for tryouts next month. September 11 is the date and the King Charter Central School is the location as tryouts take place from 6-8 that evening with registration starting at 5:30. The audition fee is $15 and if you make the squad, you will make that back as the 14 spots on the squad are a paid gig!
In addition, they're launching a kid's dance program with auditions for that happening on September 18th! They'll be taking 60 kids ages 12-17. Email for more info.

Friday, August 7, 2015

2009 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party-revisited

The 2009 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party was perhaps the most unique event of all the events that I've covered over the years.
Our story actually starts out earlier in the day when I was still in Jamestown picking up a few last minute supplies for the next day. Since the Bills were playing the next day, heading home after the event wasn't a real possibility since I had to be back up there the next morning. As I was leaving the store to get back in my car, I got a text message from Jills Ambassador Laura checking to make sure I was coming to the event. It was a pretty odd question since I hadn't missed a Jills event since I started attending them in 2005. What was doubly odd was that 3rd year dancer Jess had already asked me if I'd be at the event as well when I saw her at the DFT Tailgate appearance earlier in the month.
When I got there, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary and I helped get things set up for the event while the squad showed up. One thing that was different was a few friends of mine that had shown up. I frequently invited buddies to come to the events and I could even get one in for free at the events but whether it be the fact that some weren't going to be in Buffalo that weekend or whatever else, no one took me up on the offer until this event. With the Bills playing the next day, a pair of guys I used to pretailgate with stopped by for the evening and didn't regret it for a second.

Kelly Ann and Omarlla 
For the bulk of the evening, Jills sold raffle tickets and mingled with family, friends, and fans until about halfway through the event when raffle prizes were awarded. While the bulk of the squad handed out raffle prizes, several others got warmed up to put on a great dance performance. 
The 3 Musketeers Alyssa, Nicole, and Kristen with my friends Paul and Jamie
Twins? Val and Lindsay
Lydia and Heather

Following the dance performance, the whole squad departed the club to get ready for the swimsuit calendar fashion show. Anyone who's paid attention to the Jills lawsuit heard about allegations of some inappropriate conduct towards the ladies at the 2013 Calendar Release Party at Turning Stone Casino and while I didn't see everything that went on at Club Paradise in 2009, I do know that security kept a close eye on things so that the Jills didn't feel unsafe. However, the previous year, a photographer from did take a few less than appropriate photos and in 2009, I made sure I was where he had been so that it couldn't happen again. I always have ensured that each photo I took and shared was something the ladies on the Jills or Bandettes would be something they'd feel comfortable sharing with their families for years to come and that didn't change just because they were in skimpy bikinis and other swimwear.

Kaitlin, Vincenza, Loren, and Alyssa
Covergirl Katy before heading out for the show
After the fashion show, I finally found out why Laura had called me to make sure I'd be there that night. I was told that the squad wanted to get a group photo but I was a little confused. The squad all went up to the seating area behind the DJ booth instead of in front of the stage where they usually took group photos. When I went down in front of the DJ booth to try to get into position to get a good photo, Heather came down and told me I was needed up where the squad was. When I got up there, I spied a cake on one of the tables and Heather had me come over to the cake, presumably to get a photo of it. I knew the next day was Lisa's birthday so I naturally assumed it was hers. Imagine my surprise when it had my name on it, with my birthday having been a few days prior. I handed my camera to Jennifer who took a few pics of my extremely red
Afterwards, I went back to taking photos of the evening and even had a unique encounter with the boyfriend of one of the Jills. Then-3rd year vet Jess and I always got along great and a few months prior, she started seeing a new guy. She made a point to introduce us and I made sure to warn him that in the 2 years I'd known her, her beauty had only increased over time and it would likely only continue to do so.
Jess showing her love for Stefanie

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the March game against Toronto. Prior to the game, the co-captains were selling programs while the rest of the squad was signing their new posters. Shown smiling for the camera is 4th year vet Stephanie. It's hard to believe she's already finished a 4th season as I can still remember seeing her try out for the 1st time after learning dance and cheering from 2 former Bandettes.