Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Could the Jets Flight Crew settlement mean anything for the Jills?

As most who pay any attention to pro cheerleading are well aware, the Jets Fight Crew won their lawsuit against the New York Jets this past week. In all, there were 5 cheerleading squads across the NFL dealing with lawsuits over the past two years. The Raiderettes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, the Ben-Gals, and now the Flight Crew can now finally move past it all and move forward with the assurances that their members can no longer be deprived of fair compensation.
What does this all mean for the Buffalo Jills, whose lawsuit is still outstanding? It could mean a lot. There are currently 25 teams in the NFL without official cheerleading squads, with unofficial squads working to fill the void with the NY Giants, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and the Buffalo Bills over the past few years. To anyone who understands the true purpose of pro cheerleaders, public relations, especially with children and the military, not having a squad is embarrassing and detrimental to the NFL's goal of the growth of the game. We also have to take into account what people want and when a film crew was in Buffalo working on a documentary about NFL Cheerleading, most of the response was in favor of bringing back the Jills.
On the other hand, it could mean very little. Unlike the Jills, each of those other squads has been run directly by the organization that runs the NFL team. The Jills were one of a few squads contracted out to outside organizations to run. After the lawsuits became such big news around the league, the San Francisco 49ers did away with that arrangement so as to ensure no outside company could abuse the Gold Rush Cheerleaders in their name like Stejon Productions has been accused of doing with the Jills. There are also a pair of other noteworthy differences between the Jills case and the cases of the other squads. For one, those other lawsuits were primarily about the lack of monetary compensation while the original 5 ladies in the Jills' lawsuit had the primary complaint of abusive treatment in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The biggest difference, however, lies in the defendants of the lawsuits. The other squads sued the teams that ran them and that was it. The Jills lawsuit names 4 separate defendants:The Buffalo Bills; the NFL itself because of Roger Goodell's signature on the contracts that the Jills signed; Citadel Communications, which ran the Jills through the 2011 season (Citadel merged with Cumulus Media in September of 2011): and Stejon Productions, which ran the squad during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and made the unilateral decision to shut down the squad, the only squad shut down during the rash of lawsuits. With 4 defendants, it's not as simple a case as the others.
It's hard to say exactly what the other lawsuits being settled means for the Jills so they only thing we can do is to remain ever-vigilant in the cause to return them to the sidelines and have faith in former Houghton College cheerleader Kim Pegula to do the right thing as owner of the Buffalo Bills and reinstate the Jills as soon as possible after the legal issues involved in the lawsuit and whatever contractual rights Stejon Productions has are resolved.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

See the Bandettes at the Buffalo Auto Show!

Three members of the Buffalo Bandits — Ryan Benesch, David Brock and Dhane Smith — will appear at the Auto Show from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, to sign autographs and have photos taken with their fans. Several members of the Buffalo Bandettes, the professional dance team for the Buffalo Bandits, will also be on hand to greet fans!
See more about the Auto Show, taking place at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center Feb 11-14, at
So stop by early and you may see some sights like this
LB posing in a car at the 2010 Buffalo Auto Show

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bandette of The Week Jennifer

This week, the Bandettes Appearance Captain gets the featured spot as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. In her 2nd year on the Bandettes, Jennifer gets to show off her leadership abilities in her new role on the squad. A Chicagoan by birth, she's a huge sports fan and especially basketball. It's just a shame that thanks to her youth, she wasn't old enough to really appreciate the runs of 3 consecutive titles by her hometown Bulls. Jennifer isn't planning on being satisfied with being a pro dancer and a fan as she intends to pursue a career as an athletic trainer after getting her Master's degree. Jennifer's secondary photo comes from the Bandits' Opener against Calgary. As the Bandettes were waiting to head out to perform near the end of the 3rd quarter, Jennifer, Syidah, and Ti got together for a photo together, the three ebony beauties on the squad.
Jennifer, Syidah, and Ti
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2008 Buffalo Jills Calendar Release Party. Things were winding down late in the evening and a few of the Jills posed for photos. Shown posing for this photo are then-2nd year vets Jill and Ayeshia.
Jill and Ayeshia

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Rock

After an overtime loss in Colorado last Saturday night, the Buffalo Bandits returned home to the First Niagara Center last night to face off against the rival Toronto Rock, a team they went 1-2 against last season. The game started out pretty tight with the Rock holding a slight edge over Buffalo for most of the 1st quarter. However, their 4-3 lead early in the 2nd was the last time as the Bandits' offense awoke in a big way and they put in 7 goals before Toronto got on the board again sending their rivals back to Canada with a 12-6 final score.
Jackie with the game programs
When I got to the arena this week, it was rookies Sarah and Jackie handling game program duties and they were both extremely excited to be back in action after a week away from Banditland. Like typical rookies, they had even more fun at the opener than they expected and that especially held true for Jackie, who had never been to a Bandits game before. After experiencing the excitement of opening night, she told me that she and her family were hooked.

After finishing up with them, it was up to the 100 level where Stephanie's line was holding court with lots of fans coming in. Karley was still beaming from the last game and MaKenzie was equally as happy with her Bandette of The Week feature. At the same time though, she also made a point to live up to my comment about keeping me on my toes. Mandy's line was at least as busy on the other side of the arena but after a few tries, I was able to get a chance to talk to Mandy about the Bandette of The Week series and how much longer we'll be waiting for the Bandits' site to get updated (she's hoping within the next week and a half at the latest.)
Deanna, Stephanie, MaKenzie, Karley, Jessica, and Jennifer
After we headed down to our seats, it wasn't too long before the Bandettes were assembling to get ready for the game. Erin had her little boy with her and he couldn't have been any more excited to get his picture taken with 16 beautiful young women at once. With little boys and girls, some are shy when meeting pro cheerleaders and we saw one example before the game when a mother wanted to bring her little girl over to meet the Bandettes but she was too shy to come over. Erin's little guy definitely does not suffer from shyness.
The Bandettes with a little big fan
One thing we, as bloggers for pro cheerleaders, wonder about when starting a new season working with a lot of rookies is how they'll react to the attention. Coming from high school and college dance teams, they don't get the attention that the pros do around the country and it might throw them off at 1st. In my experience, continuing to do as good a job as possible for these hard-working young ladies and the trust that the veterans and the coaches have in your work goes a long way with rookies. In the case of the 2016 Bandettes, many of the rookies seem just as comfortable with the coverage they're getting as the veterans are.
beautiful rookies Angela and Jessica
Bandettes in action during pregame
Amanda, Jackie, and Syidah waiting for the team to come out
Ti cheering on a goal
Mandy and Janelle in the 1st quarter
MaKenzie, Sarah, and Jessica cheering on a goal
MaKenzie is clearly excited
See all the pics at
Next up for the Bandettes, they'll be hard at work the next couple of weeks with the Jr Bandettes getting them ready for the next home game on February 6 when New England comes to town. Hopefully, the Bandettes and Jr Bandettes will be cheering on a 3-1 Bandits team after the Bandits come home after their road trip to New England next weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bandette of The Week MaKenzie

4th year vet MaKenzie steals the spotlight as our Bandette of The Week. This season, this future nurse officially takes on the role of Stephanie's co-captain, an adept pairing since besides the fact they're the two longest-tenured girls on the squad, they spend a lot of time together away from the Bandettes as well. Light-hearted and low-maintenance, MaKenzie has always been the outgoing type and loves making people laugh. If she has her way, she'll eventually be doing that around the world as she's hoping to travel a lot in the future, though we hope she restricts it to the offseason for as long as possible so we can see her on the Bandettes for several more seasons. While she has a personality all her own, she also reminds me of past Bandettes captains like LB and Justina in that she likes to keep me on my toes.  MaKenzie's secondary photo comes from the Bandits Opener against the Calgary Roughnecks. At halftime, the Bandettes showed off some new t-shirts and the captains and co-captains got together for a group photo. Shown posing for the photo are Mandy, MaKenzie, Janelle, and Stephanie.
Mandy, MaKenzie, Janelle, and Stephanie
From the Jills comes a photo from the Jills' last Comedy show held 4 years ago at the Tralf with master hypnotist Jerry Valley. Before the crowd came in, we grabbed a few photos of the Jills. Shown posing for the camera are Omarlla, Sara, Courteney, and Loren.
Omarlla, Sara, Courteney, and Loren

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Love has found a way! Buffalo Jills coming to the Otter to sign “Jack the Ball,” Saturday the 23rd, 6-9pm

Still jilted by the Jills was the story of a forlorn, half inflated, misbegotten football named Jack.

Jack was once a happy ball. Every year Jack was taken to the Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher College or Zebb’s in Brighton where he was signed by the Buffalo Jills. With all that feminine attention, Jack was quite puffed up.

Then something terrible happened. The Jills were disbanded by bad men called lawyers and accountants. Jack became depressed and deflated. His hand air pump just wasn’t doing the trick.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bandette of The Week Mandy

We start up our annual Bandette of The Week series by taking a look at one of the beautiful captains on the squad. Mandy is in her 3rd season on the squad and her 2nd as a captain, which says a lot about how dedicated and focused she is on making sure the Bandettes remain the premier dance squad in the NLL. Never one to let things just happen, she's the type who makes things happen and she's used that drive to help her earn degrees in dance and communications. Her dedication is likely a big factor why she got named captain in only her 2nd season and now, with so many rookies on the squad, she's one of the most experienced on the squad with only Stephanie and MaKenzie having been Bandettes longer. Besides the experience and wisdom that comes with all her time in college and dance, perhaps Mandy's greatest attribute is her positivity. No matter what she's working on or going through, she does it all with a smile on her face. As a matter of fact, I think I've only seen her frown once....and it was staged expressly for a photo. Mandy's secondary photo comes from the Bandits Open Practice held back in December. Shown posing for a photo is most of Mandy's line. Posing from left to right are Amanda, Angela, Ti, Janelle, Mandy, Rachel, and Syidah.
Amanda, Angela, Megan, Janelle, Mandy, Rachel, and Syidah
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2013 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Shown as they come off the field just before halftime are Emmy and Allysha.
Emmy and Allysha

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Bandettes at the 2016 Buffalo Bandits Opener

It was the beginning of a new era in Banditland Saturday night as, for the 1st time in the history of the franchise, the legendary John Tavares was no longer suiting up for the team. Well, that's not exactly true as although he was no longer leading the team out on the floor, he's now in an actual suit and tie behind the bench as the team's new offensive coordinator. That being said, the Bandits will be playing homage to him all season long beyond retiring his number in a couple of months with their celebration of 25 years in existence.
Ti handing out game programs
The Bandits started off their 25th season in much the same way as they handled their 24th season, with strong defense and a tight low-scoring affair. With free agent acquisition Daryl Veltman tallying a goal against his former team and 2 goals each from stalwarts Ryan Benesch and Dhane Smith, the Bandits squeaked out a win over the visiting Calgary Roughnecks by a score of 10-9 after Dhane's game-winner with 1:10 remaining in the game.
Thanks to quick service at Washington Square, I got down to the Arena after dinner and was greeted by Jennifer and Ti, handling game program duties for the 1st hour the gates were opened up. After catching up with them briefly, it was up to the 100 level where Mandy's line was handing out Bandits schedule magnets. This is only the 2nd season the Bandits have handed those out but the Bills, who had previously handed those out every season, failed to do so in 2015. I got a chance to talk to Mandy and Amanda (a returning alum whose uncle I'm longtime friends with) real briefly before it was time to go see Stephanie's line on the other side of the escalators. Both lines were pretty busy with lots of fans but Stephanie's line was getting pulled in every direction by fans, family members, and friends excited for the rookies on the squad. One rookie who was especially excited was Karley, who was unable to dance at the Open Practice. Her excitement didn't stop in pregame as she was practically glowing all game long as she danced alongside Stephanie and the rest of her squadmates.
Sarah, Jessica, MaKenzie, Deanna, Stephanie, and Karley
Bandettes in action
Sarah clearly loves the camera almost as much as it loves her
Mandy and Angela
After the game got started and I got to catch up briefly with coach Erin, who was loving getting to spend time with her Bandettes, it was business as usual. I will always say I have the best seats in the house as I have the Bandettes dancing right beside me with MaKenzie and Angela the closest. The negative is that there is always one young lady on each line I have to work a little harder to ensure they get plenty of photos. Given the striking beauty of rookies Jessica and Ti, it's definitely worth the effort to get them on camera. One thing extra I did do at the game was to get a squad photo in their new t-shirts, both because of the t-shirts and because Jackie had been unable to make the Open Practice last month. The squad photo we have is now complete though coaxing the lovely coach Erin into a few squad photos is definitely a must.
Squad Photo!!
The gorgeous captains and co-captains Mandy, MaKenzie, Janelle, and Stephanie
Karley clearly enjoying herself and the Bandits lead
Ebony beauties Jennifer, Syidah, and Ti
Rookie beauties Deanna and Jessica
See all the pics at

Next up for the Bandettes, while the Bandits travel to Colorado next Saturday night, they all return home to the First Niagara Center on January 23rd for a big matchup against the hated Toronto Rock.

NFL cheerleaders win ruling in fight for better wages

The cheerleaders for the NFL's Buffalo Bills were given the go ahead with their class action lawsuit against the team demanding better wages.

The ruling this week by a New York state judge allows "all Buffalo Bills cheerleaders and ambassadors since April 2008" to come together on the suit. Five former cheerleaders had originally brought individual suits against the team.

The cheerleaders' lawyer, Christopher Marlborough, told CNNMoney that he is pleased with the ruling and "fighting for the rights" of all Bills cheerleaders who are making claims.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Meet the Lady 716ers-part 3

We finish up our look at the 2015-16 Lady 716ers by meeting Katrina and Arlisha as well as coach and choreographer Loren.
Katrina, Loren, and Arlisha
Katrina started dancing at 2 yrs old, taking tap at the Miss Barbara Dance School . Following the Miss Barbara Dance School she went over to The Dance camp, where she learned Tap, Jazz and Ballet. Her favorite dance genre is Jazz. She was a member of McKinley High School dance, cheer, and drill team.

Growing up in Buffalo, Loren started dancing at the age of three. After transitioning to Eugenia's Dance Studio at nine years old, Loren became a part of the studio's competition team and travel dance company, the Talent Express. Her love of dancing helped her attain assistant teaching and teaching roles at the studio until leaving in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming an NFL Cheerleader where she spent 4 seasons, including 2 as a co-captain.

Buffalo born and raised, Arlisha started dancing when she was 12 years old at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. She has been dancing ever since! Arlisha also likes to read and shop.

From the Bandettes comes another photo from last month's Bandits Open Practice. There is a total of 9 new faces on the squad that weren't there last year and pictured here are the rookies who are dancing on Stephanie's line. Shown posing for the camera are Karley, Deanna, Jessica, and Sarah.
Karley, Deanna, Jessica, and Sarah
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2006 game against the Jets. Before they went out to accompany Billy Buffalo around the field, these two beauties were signing calendars and posing for photos inside the Fieldhouse. Shown posing for the camera are Kelly and Danielle M.
Kelly and Danielle M

Friday, January 1, 2016

Meet the Lady 716ers-Part 2

We continue our look at the 2015-16 Lady 716ers by meeting Brittany and Shannon as well as getting to know coach/captain LaToya again.
Brittany, LaToya, and Shannon
Brittany is a dance teacher and student, studying dietics and nutrition.

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Latoya was destined to be a dancer. As a child she would record music videos on VHS and teach herself the choreography. During her teen and early twenties she danced with local dance groups such as Prestige and distrikt7. She has danced in several promotional videos for local choreographer Zeke Titus and also booked a gig as a backup dancer in an opening act for a Miguel Concert.

Shannon started cheerleading at the age of 7, and continued throughout high school. She graduated from Buffalo state College with her Bachelor's, and recently graduated from Medaille College with her Masters in Psychology. She loves to dance and hang out with her pets and family.

From the Bandettes comes a photo from the recent Bandits Open Practice and features 4 newcomers to the squad. Shown posing for the camera are members of Mandy's line, Amanda, Megan, Angela, and Rachel. If Amanda looks familiar to you, she should. Amanda is actually an alum who was on the squad in 2013.
Amanda, Megan, Angela, and Rachel
Since we're still in the holiday season still, from the Jills comes a photo from the 2007 Christmas game. The weather was extremely nasty that morning with rain and high winds so the girls who were to be at the 97Rock tailgate were inside the Fieldhouse with Kelly and Keisha. Shown posing for a photo are Jill R, Keisha, and Kaitlin in their Santa outfits.
Jill R, Keisha, and Kaitlin