by Mike Martinez on May 10, 2013 • 10:35 am
She wanted them prepared. If George Karl’s boys were going to bring the playoffs back to the Pepsi Center, her girls were going to give a damn good show. By now the wound from the Nuggets early postseason exit has scabbed over, but when Denver Nuggets dance manager Amy Jo Wagner welcomed 303 Magazine to her team’s (then unknown) final practice, she had her girls rehearsing as if their performance was imminent.
The wood floor in the studio room at Forza Fitness rumbled with steps completely in-sync. Blonde, brown and black locks of hair whooshed through the air in the same direction, hands slapped thighs simultaneously and all to the perfect synchronization of Amy Jo’s counting. Well, perfect at least to a novice.
“I have a feeling we should do this on more time. So turn your brain on girls,I want to get home and watch the game” Amy Jo said as her team finished a routine that fell short of her approval.
I couldn’t spot a single flaw–perhaps because I was slightly mesmerized by the array of powder blue and yellow– but Amy Jo demands a great deal from her girls and knows exactly what she wants.
From the top- She turns the music on to cue game speed- her team snaps into formation and begins the routine. Crouched down with calculated concentration, her hands folded in front of her and somehow watching every move of every dancer, Amy Jo reminds me of a coach I had who terrified me. He saw everything. Nothing slips past Amy Jo either. After a routine she was finally happy with, Amy stepped away from practice for a moment to sit down with 303.
Dance wasn’t always in the cards. Amy Jo didn’t even start until she was 15 years old, and from her own recollection, had a bad attitude. At first she wouldn’t let coaches tell her anything without some sass. But she kept on dancing and soon fell in love with the performance aspect and dance and discipline became second nature.
She is everything you might come to expect from a dance manager in the NBA- precise, punctual and yes, very pretty. Though one thing that might catch you by surprise is her love for math. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus; nauseating terms for a writer, comforting words for Amy Jo Wagner.
“I have two passions in life. Music and math,” she said. “ I’ve just always liked having one right answer.”
Before moving to Denver to start this dream job with the Nuggets, Amy Jo was living out another fantasy as a high school math teacher in Arizona. I know, I know, I wish she was my math teacher too. She was in a comfy spot in life, albeit hectic. Dancing simultaneously for three different Arizona teams, (Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers) teaching high school math and having just bought a new home, Amy Jo thought her fairy-tale would play out in the desert. A job opening with the Denver Nuggets would change all that.
In 2008, on her birthday, Amy Jo quit her job as a math teacher and swapped it for dance life in the NBA. After a heartfelt goodbye from her school, she still gets emotional reminiscing about her time as a teacher. She received nothing but support from her staff and students, yet at times can’t help but feel that she ‘let them down.’ After turning down the job initially, Amy Jo wasn’t going to let the Nuggets down.
With Denver as her adoptive home, this Kerkhoven, Minn. native has settled in quite nicely. Amy Jo has a 1 year old daughter with a loving boyfriend. Though coming from a small town, she admits there is some pressure from home to get married, which she says is not in the works any time soon. ”All that matters is we have a happy household,” she said with a smile.
Balancing out her busy schedule, Amy Jo spends her leisure practicing yoga and being with her daughter. And though free-time is not something in great abundance, she tries to make as much time as she can for each of her dancers and get to know them on a more personal level.
“I consider them a family, and building a personal relationship with them makes the season that much easier,” she said.
She makes it a point to sit down over coffee and just talk with each of her girls, and from an onlookers perspective her team is a very cohesive unit–her coffee dates must be working. Amy Jo is far from that terrifying coach I knew, her standards are high, but she is only there to help her team reach them. She leaves her ego at the door and explains that her job is not a “look at me” position. She is not there to run a tyrannical campaign either, she just wants to be a part of the team and earn the girls’ respect by being a good role model.
“It’s as much their team as it is mine,” she said.
Friday, May 10, 2013
by Mike Martinez on May 10, 2013 • 10:35 am
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Meet your 2013 Denver Broncos Cheerleaders:
Front Row (Left to Right):
Katie B, Emily M, Emily G, Kendal, Ashley, Toni G, Patricia, Lauren
Middle Row (left to right):
Heather, Kate, Michelle, Lindsey, Toni D, Lelanna, Angela, Brittany, Kisato
Back Row (left to right):
Margaret, Tara, Christina, Liz, Candace, Eboni, Tristan, Sam, Lindy
To see photos from the finals, click here for part one and here for part two.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Vote for your 2013-2014 Denver Broncos Cheerleader Finalists by visiting here.
* Denotes returning veteran.
Be sure to reserve your spot for the
2013 Denver Broncos Cheerleader Audition Finals!
Sunday, April 21
Doors open at 5:00pm, show begins at 6:00pm
Colorado Heights University Theater
3001 S. Federal Blvd.,
Denver, CO 80236
General admission tickets are $20 each.
100 VIP tickets are available for $40 each and includes a 2013 Calendar upon arrival, VIP seating in the first 6 rows and a photo-op with the 2013 team after selection!
For more information, and to purchase tickets please visit here today!
Monday April 22nd 8:00pm
All dancers ages 18+
Wear black dance shorts and white top
Blush rehearses every Monday at 8pm
Team performs every third Thursday at the Electric Cowboy and 1-2 additional shows each month
Blush opens for touring hip hop artists, other concerts fashion shows, at local clubs and performance venues
2013 team will photograph the Blush 201o4 team calendar starting June 2013
Blush 2013 season: May 2013-October 2013
Team dues: $150/season
free tanning and hydration station (spray and uv tanning)
free classes at Studio 21 Dance
free videos and photos for dancers' portfolios
free use of Blush costumes and props
free hair services (just pay cost of product)
No burlesque experience necessary
Dance experience required
$10 audition fee (only $5 if you LIKE our facebook page)
Email email@example.com with any questions.
Video of those trying out to make this year's cheerleader squad after the preliminary round of auditions here.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Congratulations to Katee (Doland) Mink, the new Director of Junior Broncos Cheerleaders. Katee was a Denver Broncos Cheerleader for 7 years, the NFL Pro Bowl Representative in 2003, has her teaching credential specializing in Elementary Education and is a mother of two children.
She is very excited to work with the 600 Junior Broncos Cheerleaders, the Dare to Cheer Cheerleaders and the Denver Broncos All-Star Cheerleaders!
For more information on their Junior Cheer programs, please visit the website.
The NEW Pro Cheerleader Workout is sure to get you ready for that next audition or to
help you earn the body of a professional cheerleader!
Holly used her years as a Denver Bronco's Cheerleader to design this workout for the cheerleaders with all the aspects of dance, cheer, flexibility and endurance in mind...AND NOW SHE IS SHARING IT WITH YOU!
This 60 minute workout will slim & sculpt your body into swimsuit calendar shape!
This workout was designed for the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders with all the aspects of dance, cheerleading, flexibility and endurance in mind. The workout is like having 3 workouts in 1...cardio, toning and stretching! When done without resting you will stay in your fat burning zone and lose inches off your legs, hips, butt, abs and arms!
Best of all you will have fun while burning up to 500 calories!
But the DVD here.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Kelly Tilley: Colts cheerleading head talks about staying limber, choosing the best
Mar. 26, 2013
New Indianapolis Colts cheerleading manager Kelly Tilley, 29, is on a whirlwind audition for the next Colts Cheer Squad.
Since arriving here March 18, she has jumped right into three weeks of workshops for 49 hopefuls. Cheerleading hopefuls are being compared in the areas of football knowledge, dance technique and fitness.
Auditions conclude when the best of the applicants appear at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at the Hilbert Circle Theater in Downtown Indianapolis. Admission is $10 and fans at home can vote for their favorite cheerleaders via live video stream. The squad members will be announced at the end of the show.
Tilley won’t reveal yet how many women will make the cut.
“We’ll chose anywhere from 26 to 32. I’m looking for the entire package, so it will depend on who ends up with that,” she said.
We caught up with Tilley to learn more about this former Denver Broncos cheerleader, who grew up in Apple Valley, Minn. :
Question: What are your goals for the squad?
Answer: To create one of the most highly respected NFL cheerleading teams in the league. I want little girls to dream about becoming a Colts cheerleader, because we have developed a reputation of an elite group of women who are talented, educated, beautiful inside and out, and are committed to the community.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake a cheerleader (hopeful) can make when she gets in front of the judges?
A: To not be prepared. Applicants should be at the top of their game at auditions, especially when it comes to fitness, dance ability and creating a look that will make them stand out to the judges. Preparation is more important than talent.
Q: What does the Colts cheerleader of the future “look” like — different uniforms, guys and gals? What is your vision?
A: My vision is to look at each area — dance, fitness, uniforms, junior cheerleaders, calendar, community service, etc., and find a way to make it even better. My vision is to strengthen the Indianapolis Colts cheerleader brand. I’m not ready to make any drastic changes until I see what we have and what resonates well with our fans.
Q: You spent the last 10 years with the Denver Broncos — four as a cheerleader and six in the cheer department. Were you a high school/college cheerleader? What was the biggest thing you personally had to overcome? What was your greatest accomplishment?
Kelly was a Broncos Cheerleader from 2003 thru 2007
A: I was part of the Eastview Lightning State Champion High School Dance Team. I was also on the University of Colorado’s dance team, before I was an NFL cheerleader. I was trained as a dancer, not a cheerleader. I always struggled with flexibility because I was more athletic (I also played high school volleyball), therefore I needed to stretch daily to stay at the same ability level as the fellow dancers on the squad. My greatest accomplishment was developing a youth special needs cheerleading team and organizing their halftime performance at an NFL game.
Q: What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I love sports — I watch ESPN on a daily basis.
Q: You grew up in Minneapolis and lived in Denver — Your preference: Beach or Snow?
A: A beach sounds fantastic right now.
Q: What’s one of the craziest things that you experienced from the sidelines?
A: A blizzard. (The Denver Broncos’ home field is outdoors.)
Q: What’s the last good book you read or movie you saw?
A: “Wreck-It-Ralph.” With my busy schedule, I seem to only find time for kids movies with my son.
Q: Favorite Indy Restaurant (or one that you look forward to trying)?
A: A good sushi restaurant.
Q: What’s your favorite weekend ritual?
A: Watching my 5-year-old-son play hockey and watching football with my husband.