A little Dirty Work… makes tonight a wonderful night.

Here are the 19 Finalists.  [Mollie Don’t Lose That Number]

Mollie and her Judges get back, Jack, and Do It Again, Reelin’ In The Year’s finest 19, who showed the Steely (Dance) resolve to survive UCLA Dance Team auditions

They got a name for the winners in the World… and that name is “Bruin fans.”  Because this year, as always, UCLA fans will get to reap the benefits of the hard work and extraordinary foresight of Mollie Vehling and her distinguished panel of Professionals, who select the winners of the annual UCLA Cheerleader and Dance Team auditions.

As opposed to to the suspicious, behind-closed-doors process at the University of Strictly Confidential that has yielded results publicly decried by their own fans, UCLA’s auditons are open to the public.  So anyone can walk in and listen to exactly for what Mollie has the Judges looking.

When you hear the meticulous details and obvious strategic planning that goes into that list of desired qualities, you start to realize why their process works, and why they have nothing to hide.  No one has a guaranteed spot — Nobody’s cousin, nobody’s sister — Not even a rich alumni’s daughter.  And that even applies to the members of last year’s squad.  Everyone has to re-apply, and re-audition.  Luckily, by virtue of having gone through the process in the past, the returnees are usually the best-prepared, and the least nervous, thus giving them a decided advantage in the target categories… Thank God.  Personally, I love the process, and I agree that it works (obviously), but I would HATE to see anyone from last year NOT make it this year, unless they graduated, or didn’t want to participate again.

For 5 years, I’ve been reluctant to use the girls’ real names, because I don’t want to mis-identify anyone, disrespect anyone with a mis-spelling, or invade anyone’s privacy (further), but I know you all want to know who’s coming back and who isn’t.  So, with the DISCLAIMER, that I may eff this up (accidentally):  Based on who I saw or spoke to in the (still sparse) crowd, it looks like Kara, Kristin and Kristle are all – by their own choice – moving on to bigger and better endeavors, while still in the running to return to the Dance Team appear to be Katie, Elise, Michelle, and yes, Brianna.  Okay, so a few of you can now resume normal breathing.  If you look at the 2nd photo at the top of this article, those are the 19 Finalists, so you can possibly double-check for accuracy.

And I don’t mean to neglect the Cheer Squad.  I know THEIR names with even LESS certainty, but I BELIEVE that Katie, Chantel, Caitlin, and Roxana all excelled in Sunday’s try-outs.  And I sincerely apologize, because I’m pretty sure I’m leaving some names out.

By the way, here’s a tiny, whiny, complaint about the evening:  When they narrow the Dance Team field from 39 to 19, many of the 20 who didn’t make it came up into the crowd.  HOW DEPRESSING!!  I felt SO bad for these poor girls, some of whom just had their fondest DREAM crushed, and ground into the Pauley hardwood.  I realize that the cut has to happen at that point because there is not enough time to interview all 39 candidates; I just wish they could all be “alternates” at that point, still in the running if natural attrition opens up a spot or two.

Speaking of which (and I hope this wasn’t supposed to be private info), I BELIEVE that the Dance Team MAY grow from 9 to 11 members, with no more than 9 performing at a time, but allowing for smaller event “splits” to get 5 or 6 Dance Teamers instead of 4 or 5.  Also, being two girls over the “limit” will create some motivation, and friendly competition, to stay in the rotation and off the “bench.”  [Mollie, please let me know if this info is not true or not fit for public consumption, and I will remove it immediately with a retraction if you like].

Now, as Mollie’s favorite saying goes:  “Let’s get this party started!!!”  And don’t forget:  All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them, and also, the photos all have (mostly irreverent) hidden captions that you can reveal by just placing your mouse (cursor) on the photo, without clicking.  And as John Lennon said, sort of:  “we hope you pass the audition” … on to anyone who wants to see why UCLA continues to dominate, year after year after year.

 The colorful tops make ‘em look like Skittles, says Mollie;  The black slacks allow you to see Kick Shots, says I.

I can’t BEGIN to explain how happy I am that 3 of the 4 (possibly) returning Dance Teamers are ones who have been super-nice to me, and extremely thankful for the support.

Can’t you just FEEL the energy?

The girls may be remarkably flexible, but when it comes to screwing up even once in auditons, Coach Brian is remarkably INflexible.

Despite monumental losses, the Dance Team is not in danger of slipping.

While the Football team suffers “peaks and valleys,” it seems to be all peaks for the Spirit Squad.

And, unlike the Basketball Team, the Spirit Squad never peaks too early.


For some, the experience is traumatic.  For others, it’s hair-raising.

Someone should grab all the girls that just missed the cut, and organize them into a killer free lance dance troupe.

Coincidentally or not, the two girls who performed while the a/c was apparently blowing colder, did not make the final 19.

I think holding her smile longer actually helped her make the Finals.

…and she could START at any other school, but the Bruins are just so loaded…

…but how despondent can you be when you lose “Best Actress” to Meryl Streep?

And now it looks like all YOU guys will be back, HERE, getting your kicks, for at least one more year.

The biggest surprise:  I mistakenly thought that Katie was a Senior this past year — and I haven’t been this happy to be wrong since 13-9.

In fact, I think I’ll jump for joy, just like that.  Well, maybe not JUST like that.


7 responses to “HEY NINETEEN”

  1. The Natural Avatar
    The Natural

    is their one more audition before the final cut. and when will that be is there is?

  2. jp Avatar

    Whew, I’m soooooooooo glad Katie, Elise, Brianna, and Michelle could possibly be back. If they expand the team to 11 members, I just hope the quality is kept up. I have always loved the Dance Team’s ‘leaner but meaner’ philosophy over other jumbo sized squads will lots of trailers.

    There are def. a few potential great girls. I trust Mollie that she’ll pick the best girls.

    T-H, do you know when they’ll post the results?

  3. jp Avatar

    Sorry for the double post T-H, but I just went on the Spirit Squad website and you were right…they chose 11 members.

    Michelle, Elise, Katie and Brianna made it…maybe you could post the pics of the new girls…their audition numbers are posted too.

  4. SCopper Avatar

    Good news! I’m excited about seeing old and new faces.

  5. ace Avatar

    I read that Kristin graduated early in March, majoring in communications. I think Kara is also graduating and can’t return. I’m not sure about Kristle – her Facebook does list her as Class of ’09.

    But I really just wanted to say, you forgot to mention Jamie! She’s also a senior and graduating this year, and I read that she majored in microbiology, immunology & molecular genetics. She’s also applying to law school.

    [T-H’s Note: Thanks. Any info on Lisa?]

  6. ace Avatar

    I checked on Lisa, but I didn’t see any info for her in the Spirit Squad newsletters we get from Jamie (she’s the program assistant). fwiw, Lisa’s facebook says she’s class of ’10.

  7. John Avatar

    Good luck to all the seniors graduating this year — Kara, Kristle, Kristin and Jamie. Thanks for an awesome season. We’ll miss you!