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Lady Saints more than just a dance team
The newest addition to the West Sound Saints games this season, the Lady Saints Dance Team, has been a win-win-win situation. Having the team associated with the Saints has been good for the dancers, good for the football team, and definitely good for the fans in the stands.
The Lady Saints are the brainchild of CJ Manglona, one of the dancers and the team manager. Manglona has been a dancer and a dance team coach for many years. She once auditioned for the SeaGals, and attended a clinic with the Sonics dance team. She couldnt help but notice that although there was a semi-pro football team in the west sound community, there was no comparable avenue for dancers to continue to perform past high school or college. When she approached the Saints with the idea, they were all for it, but it took a couple of years to put things together.
When Manglona first pitched the idea, it was already mid-way through the 2005 season, and then 2006 saw the plan put on the back burner when Manglona was pregnant with her third child. This season Manglona and the team are putting on a professional-quality performance as an added bonus for the Saints fans.
Although slightly older than the general age range of 18 to 24 on the rest of the team, Manglona blends her youthfulness and experience into a strong player/coach type of position. Manglona was a member of the Washington State University dance team for two years and has also served as the coach of the dance team at Poulsbo Junior High.
Since Im not very big, and through good genetics, I looked like I was one of the girls, Manglona said. The girls finally had to buy me a sweatshirt that said, Coach.
Manglona is now the Lady Saints main choreographer, while her sister, Sher Bowman, is the team coordinator. Bowman is a former professional dance team member, having performed with the San Diego Sockettes in 1996, supporting the arena soccer team, the San Diego Sockers.
It was probably one of the best times of my life, Bowman said. I know what it was like to do something you love. So I was all for helping my sister start the dance team. We want to exhibit the talent we have locally, and give these girls the opportunity to have the same kind of fun I had.
The Lady Saints have their fun during every timeout and at halftime of all the Saints home games, with more than a dozen routines. The dancers also double as cheerleaders on occasion, getting the crowd fired up with chants and cheers. The T-shirt toss has also been a popular feature from the Lady Saints.
Ive been very impressed with the team, said Saints owner, Michael Murray. CJ and Sher have done a great job keeping the team at a professional level.
Murray said the team adds to the entertainment value of attending a Saints game, but he adds that the Lady Saints have been a benefit beyond game time. Theyve brought a lot of extra help, he said. The girls have been real good about attending functions and promoting the team. Its been great networking for the team.
The Lady Saints have marched in the Armed Forces Day parade in Bremerton, the Vikingfest parade in Poulsbo, and will be present at Whaling Days in Silverdale. The team will also serve as Trophy Girls later this summer at the Demolition Derby.
The Lady Saints will next take the field on July 28 when the Saints host the King County Jaguars at Silverdale Stadium. The team also performs on Aug. 11 and 18 as the Saints host the Renton Ravens and the Multnohmah County Buccaneers.