Allen Americans Ice Angels
By JAY BETSILL
DALLAS -- The defending Central Hockey League championAllen Americans held the final auditions for its dance team, theAllen Americans Ice Angels, Friday evening at the Power House of Dance studios in Dallas.
The Ice Angels auditions are a week-long process that began last Saturday with over 50 ladies on hand to chase their dream of being a part of the exclusive sisterhood that comes with making a professional sports franchise's dance team. Following cuts on Saturday and Wednesday evening's semi-final round, the 19 remaining ladies and the five returning veterans were competing for the 12 spots on this year's team.
"I think being on this team would be an amazing experience" said Brieana, a former Charger Girl who moved to the DFW area in January and is trying out for the first time to join the Ice Angels. "To have the sisterhood bond along with the dance and performance experience that comes along with it would be great."
While the Americans were busy shining on the ice as they captured the President's Cup championship, the Ice Angels were excelling in front of the big crowds at the Allen Events Center. Under third-year director Stephanie Di Biase-Wheat's leadership, the Ice Angels quality has been raised up to the level enjoyed by DFW's major sports organizations. After last year's squad was named the CHL's top dance team, two of the dancers made this year's Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers while another advanced to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Training Camp. In addition, dancers with a wide variety of experience ranging from tenures with the NFL's San Diego Chargers' Charger Girls, the NBA's Denver Nuggets Dancers and the SMU Pom Squad were on hand to tryout for this year's team.
"Last season, I was coming from an NHL team and had moved to Dallas a month before the auditions and did not know what to expect," said veteran Ice Angel Brooklyn, who had previously danced for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. "Our director Stephanie coaches us and encourages us to be the very best we can be and with the Americans winning the championship last year, it's not hard to cheer."
Friday evening's judges panel led by Di Biase-Wheat and including former Dallas Stars player and current Americans assistant coach Richard Matvichuk welcomed the 24 finalists. The ladies arrived in groups of four to answer individual questions and perform the routine they had learned in Wednesday's round.
Following the final group, the judges convened to deliberate which of the talented ladies would be chosen to represent the organization that is a Dallas Stars affiliate and has an ownership group that includes Stars legends Mike Modano, Craig Ludwig and Ed Belfour. Once the verdict was in, the ladies all gathered in one studio with the ones who heard their number called moving to the studio next door to celebrate with their new teammates. Those who did not hear their number were encouraged to take the team's prep classes and re-audition next season.
The 2013-14 Allen Americans Ice Angels are veterans Brooklyn, Rachel, Amy, Brittney and Casey and rookies Brieana, Yijiao, Rose, Alexandra, Julia, Vivian and Amanda. The Americans season begins on October 19 with their first home game set for October 20 at 4:05 p.m.
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