DANCING TO A DIFFERENT TUNE

 Uncategorized
Oct 232003
 
Authors: Justin Goldman

When Colleen Miller and the Colorado Eagles contacted recent CSU

graduate Amber Pointer to choreograph the new “Eagles Chicks” dance

team for the Colorado Eagles hockey team, she had no clue a hockey

team could even use dancers during games.

“I was very excited right away to hear from Colleen and the

Eagles, but then I started worrying about operations,” Pointer

said. “I had no idea how it would work or what I was expected to

create.”

Miller, director of media and public relations for the Eagles,

was given the opportunity to create one of the first dance squads

for an ice hockey team.

“My major was interdisciplinary communications and I have always

wanted to work in sports,” Miller said about her job with the

Eagles. “So this was a perfect and lucky match for me.”

Co-owners Ralph Backstrom and Bill Stewart expressed interest in

a dance team when they noticed Northern Colorado’s affinity for

hockey. They wanted fans to have an experience completely unique to

any other sporting event in Colorado.

Stewart is a graduate of the University of Denver and a former

player under Backstrom, creating a tandem of Eagles owners who love

the game and have left nothing behind in creating an exciting

experience for everyone attending an Eagles home game.

The New York Islanders, the Dallas Stars and the Florida

Panthers of the National Hockey League use dance squads at home

games, but only the Eagles actually allows the dance team to

perform on the ice, instead of in the aisles of the stands. A huge

rubber mat is rolled out onto center ice for the Eagles Chicks to

perform on.

“Lisa and Amber have done a terrific job already,” Backstrom

said after the Eagles’ inaugural home game. “They really had the

crowd going after that first period.”

Colleen Miller’s first step in assembling the squad was to hire

Lisa Kennedy, the dance team manager who boasts more than 15 years

of dance experience and was also part of the National Basketball

Associations’ New Jersey Nets drill team for three years.

Then Miller hired Pointer as head choreographer. Pointer has 20

years of dance experience and has been a part of the Denver Nuggets

dance team since 2002. She also graduated from CSU with a degree in

psychology in 2002.

“The Eagles Chicks will bring another degree of entertainment

and excitement to every Colorado Eagles home game,” Pointer

said.

Kennedy and Pointer worked together throughout the summer and

held tryouts for the team on Aug.13 at Highland Motors, one of the

team sponsors. Now the team practices on Thursdays at The Pulse in

Fort Collins.

The Eagles Chicks dance team consists of Kennedy, Pointer and 12

dancers, eight of whom will perform at every Eagles home game. Six

of the Eagles Chicks currently attend CSU: Nicole Knight, Lindsey

Kovacevich, Kelly Reindel, Charleen Ryszkowski, Chanel Winter and

Jessica Lukon.

Lukon, who came to CSU from southern California, thanked her

school and the new professional hockey team in Colorado for her

spot on the Eagles Chicks.

“I just practiced hard and waited for the opportunity,” Lukon

said. “I love school and I love dancing for the Eagles so I

consider myself pretty lucky.”

The first appearance by the Eagles Chicks in front of their new

home crowd was a quick routine to the AC/DC track, “You Shook Me

All Night Long.” The one-minute dance performance answered all the

questions about operations and left the entire crowd hollering and

pointing and wanting more.

Then came the free shirts. All eight Eagles Chicks left the ice

then returned before the second period began to pepper the stands

with Eagles T-shirts. After the game they went outside the

Budweiser Events Center and handed out glass mugs, thanking and

talking to season-ticket holders and fans.

“We just want to help out as much as possible and make this a

fun experience for everyone,” said Kovacevich, Eagle Chick and CSU

student. “That is why we are here.”

 

 

 

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