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Rookie Rant: Hockey Fever - Winter In Florida

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Following the huge success of last season's Kelli's Korner, would like to introduce this season's BOVA Panthers Ice Dancer blogger, Yendi. A rookie this season, Yendi will be sharing her thoughts on this upcoming season from what's going on with the dancers to what's going on and off the ice, as well as anything else that she cares to discuss in her blog known as ROOKIE RANT.

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Winter has officially started and am I the only one feeling the heat from the Florida Panthers?

Today I will talk about Kayla, fellow Bova Panthers Ice Dancer. But before we get into the Rookie of the Week, let’s give the BOYZ a shout out and round of applause for the spectacular POUNDING of the Philadelphia Flyers. I really cannot wait to catch the team with David Booth back in action. 

This week I will be at the BankAtlantic Center for my rotation in the Ice Dancer catalog when we play against the Bruins on Sunday, December 27th and the Montreal Canadiens on New Years Eve. Oh yeah, it’s a Panther’s New Years alright and I have a feeling this is going to be a great 2010.

Each game, the girls are sent out in pairs during the periods to sell the 2010 Swimsuit Calendar shot in the Bahamas (aka the Big Ice Dancer Slumber Party). The last couple of games I was out with my fellow rookies in the Suite and Club levels. Selling calendars are fun because you get to chill with the fans and actually connect with people when the BOYZ get a goal. My personal favorite is when we are tied until the end and the shootout begins, I gather up the kids in the general 100 level area and have them cross their fingers as we sit on the edge of our seats every time someone else goes up. It's worked more times than not. 

Among my adventures with the fans; we ran into a birthday suite for a twelve year old boy. One of the Moms stood watch as we were coming up the hallway and ran up to us to make sure we did not miss her son’s birthday party. When the kids saw us, they got up from their seats, took pictures and bought a whole lot of calendars. I dedicate this blog to the Hot Hockey Moms who love their sons; this was one of the cutest moments of the night. Speaking of Hot Hockey Moms, I bumped into Tammy, Nathan Horton’s wife – she is such a sweetheart.

Yendi and Ayako with the Hot Hockey Moms (Some of these girls were cheerleaders)

So far my Rookie Season with the Panthers has been full of milestones. I have witnessed Bryan McCabe and Radek Dvorak skate in their thousandth NHL game. Nathan Horton’s and Stephen Weiss’ numbers are going through the roof for all-time career highs. The third jersey was premiered and I think they are a smash (more on the third jersey in another blog). 

Also among these NHL milestones, I have reached personal goals thanks to my being a part of the Bova Panthers Ice Dancers and working with an incredible staff.

As part of the Florida Panthers Foundation’s Commitment to the Community, I have been able to volunteer at many events, like the building of a new playground at the Boys and Girls Club in Lauderhill. That was a fun appearance. Peggy, Candra and I were on hand to get the crowd pumped for the assembly of the new playground. I lead a yoga stretch before the one hundred volunteers got to work digging holes and shoveling mulch. We shook our poms and danced to the music by MIA 93.9. The food was prepared by the Bravo Channel’s Top Chef Cast member Chef Ron, BJ, Jim and Tony. The new playground was sponsored by the Florida Panthers, JetBlue and Kaboom. Home Depot generously donated the supplies. 

Yendi with Chef Ron (Top Chef on Bravo) and fellow chefs BJ, Jim and Tony

Yendi, Candra, and Peggy at the Mulch Pile (lol) at the Boys and Girls Club in Lauderhill, FL

Last time NASCAR was in town, the Ice Dancers were right there at the Homestead Miami Speedway selling calendars. I am a big fan of NASCAR so this was an incredible experience and I witnessed yet another milestone in the world of professional sports – Jimmie Johnson’s fourth straight NASCAR Title (never has that happened in the sixty one years of NASCAR). Kayla and I got to walk around the pit selling calendars while the rest of the girls stationed themselves at the table. I think my eyeballs were falling out of their sockets as I was getting a view of the inventory of stock car heaven. Our co-Captain, Jessica, got to interview the drivers and we got the VIP treatment; they had a very well prepared spread in the white tent with A/C and earplugs. I think the most legendary part of my whole experience at the Homestead Miami Speedway NASCAR weekend was meeting Buzz Aldrin, an American Hero, and the guy I used to read about in my science books even when I didn’t have to.
Silvia, Peggy, Jessica, Krystal, Yendi, Kelli, Kayla, Jacqueline at the Homestead Miami Speedway for the Ford NASCAR Championship.

Buzz Aldrin, PhD and Yendi the Rookie


Rookie of the Week: KAYLA

I remember watching her dance at auditions; I mentioned to another girl that she was a very good technical dancer like the kind I love having in a dance class. I got to know her when we hung out in the Bahamas and she is so much fun. She is sweet and soft spoken yet trains like a little monster and performs like a diva. She’s part of our “Rock the Converse Crew” along with myself and Megan because we LOVE our Chuck Taylors and will wear them to practice. For as petite as she is, Kayla is strong and passionate about what she does. 

See you on the ice!

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