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Dancers Dialogue: Season Recap

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
A new feature for, the Panthers Ice Dancers will be posting their thoughts throughout the year in their blog Dancers Dialogue. A different girl will fill everyone in on what's going on with the hottest dance team on the Ice.

Hey Panther Fans!

I'm Lola, a second year veteran and Co-Captain for the 2009-2010 Panthers Ice Dancers! Aside from being a Panthers Ice Dancer, I am also a proud teacher for students with special needs.

Juggling the two can sometimes be quite time consuming, but completely worth it. I actually got to take my entire class to one of the Panthers home games this season----just some of the perks of being an Ice Dancer! ;)

Today, I’m just dropping in to give you this season's wrap up and highlights, including my very own special moment on center ice.

The season started on a high note for me when I was named Co-Captain during our annual initiation dinner at BOVA Prime. I was so excited to receive this honor and from that point on, I knew the season would be an unforgettable one. As Co-Captain, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure that the team truly represented our title of being the "Hottest Dance Team in the NHL." (I'm not making this up, we really are!) Click here to check out our Dancer Bio pages

Jessica (Co-Captain), Judy (Captain), Lola (Co-Captain)

I must say, this has been one incredible season to be a part of, from our Rookie "baby" initiation, photo shoots, 2010 Swimsuit Calendar release, media interviews and appearances, the Ice Dancers really are in a league of their own. Not only do we have an impressive group of young ladies, but this was our very first year actually dancing on the ice. I know, I know---- You're all wondering how we do it! Why aren't we slipping on the ice? Well, I can't give away our secret, but just know this... we've all taken a tumble or two (or twenty) at our on-ice practices (I more than anyone!) but I am proud to say that no one has fallen during an actual game day performance. Although, it would probably be good entertainment if it did happen, but let's hope it never does!

The most memorable performance for me has always been our last game day performance. This year we performed a three minute on ice performance to close out the season with a bang! Three minutes may not seem like a long time but trust me……IT IS!  The average game day performance usually only last for a minute, so this dance was triple the length of the dances we are used to.

Preparing for the last dance of the season was a long process. Getting a group of almost 20 girls to move in perfect unison and hit several formation changes proved to be an enormous task that required practice, practice, practice!  Rehearsals for the final performance took place at Incredible Ice, the official training facility of the Florida Panthers. Practices would often last until very late into night (I’m talking 11:00pm!) A common phrase screamed throughout practice was “USE MORE HAIR!” (Special thanks to fellow Co-Captain, Jessica, as this is one of her biggest pet peeves)  A big part of the PID dance style is using your hair to add life and energy into the dance movements. The bigger the hair flips, the better the performance quality. (Sounds silly, but it's true) So not only do we have to worry about the way our body is moving and our facial expression, we also have to be mindful of our hair.

The worst part about practicing on ice was when it came time to rehearse the dreaded jump split! For those of you who don't already know, a jump split is when you jump into the air and land into a split---hence the name jump split. As if that’s not complicated enough, try doing it on ice! (No, seriously, just thinking about it is difficult) Despite the discomfort of jump splits on ice, they look fantastic and definitely WOW the fans every time! (SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR LOYAL PANTHERS FANS, WE REALLY FEED OFF YOUR ENERGY AND THAT'S PROBABLY WHY OUR PERFORMANCE WAS SO ON POINT THAT NIGHT!)

All of our hard work and practice really paid off in the end. Check out our game day performance below. Proof that practice makes perfect!

The last game of the season is always an eventful moment for the team but this year was especially memorable for me because the love of my life finally decided to pop the question. That’s right, I’M ENGAGED, and it all happened at center ice! It was a tearful moment of joy for me as I watched my boyfriend of five years stroll cautiously out on the ice and kneel down on one knee. Words cannot express how I felt in that moment, but luckily a picture is worth a thousand words and you can check out my special moment below. (I have to take this moment to sneak in a special message for my new fiancé, Matt, I LOVE YOU!)

Many of you may think that the last game means the end of the season for the PID as well; however, we are still performing for appearances and charity events. After the season we all get together for our end of the year dinner. (Thank you Carolina Ale House in Weston for sponsoring our night!) This dinner gives us all a chance to reflect on the season and express our appreciation for our fellow teammates and Directors. My favorite part is always the awards ceremony. Aside from the serious awards, everyone receives a sash with a funny or memorable quote from the season.  Below are some of my favorites....

Rookie Catherine received “Miss I Always Forgot Pieces of My Uniform”

Veteran Brittany received “Miss I Like to Randomly Break it Down”

Everyone always anxiously waits to see what title they will receive for the season.  It’s a fun way to end the year and a tradition that has been upheld throughout the PID’s existence. Another highlight was the presentation of the service awards. These awards are an honor because they are voted by the team. I was given an award for Best Team Work! 

Below are the three standout awards...

Veteran of the Year, Peggy

Rookie of the Year, Brianna

Jessica “Most Dedicated”

By far, the best part of the night is when the Rookies receive their Panthers necklace. This necklace signifies the end of their Rookie year and their dedication throughout the season.

Congratulations ladies! You have truly earned it! Wear it proudly because not just anyone gets to wear the necklace!

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of such a caring and talented group and I look forward to returning next year and continuing my journey with the Panthers Ice Dancers. 

Continue to ring those cow bells! Let’s Go Panthers!

See you next season, 


****Panthers Ice Dancers Auditions are being held on August 14th, 2010 at the Bank Atlantic Center. We are also offering Prep Classes before the Audition Date where you can learn similar choreography, meet and greet with the Panthers Ice Dancers and receive tips from the Directors. Hope to see you out there! Click here for more audition info!
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