Red Rocker Auditions 2016-17 Day 1

Posted July 16, 2016

(Photos by Caps Outsider)

If you’ve ever been to a Washington Capitals home game, you have seen the members of the Red Rockers spirit squad welcoming fans and spreading enthusiasm throughout Verizon Center.  They cheer, but they’re not merely cheerleaders.  The Red Rockers are ambassadors for the Washington Capitals organization.  They exude pride in the Caps, the fans and themselves.

Each summer, the Washington Capitals hold auditions to choose the new squad for the next hockey season.  Saturday was Day 1 and 80 excited young ladies turned out at Verizon Center to audition to be a member of the elite spirit squad.

Nisa D. from Washington, D.C. was thrilled to audition for the Red Rockers for the first time.  She loves the Caps and is from a Caps family.

“The Red Rockers look like so much fun and they give back to the community. What better way to give back than with the organization you love,” said Nisa.

Sierah T. is originally from New Jersey.  She is a graduate of Georgetown University and now resides in D.C.

“I want to be a Red Rocker because they are ambassadors and an extension of the players and the Capitals organization.  It’s important to give back to the community,” said Sierah.  “I’d love to pump up the crowd and change the atmosphere at Verizon Center.”

Just because someone was on the squad the previous year doesn’t mean they automatically keep their spot.  Everyone has to try out again.

Britt B. has been a Red Rocker for the past four years and is auditioning for her fifth year in a row.

“I love being a Red Rocker and I am such a big Caps fan.  Every year it’s changing.  It’s fun to see where it’s going year after year,” said Britt.  “I’ve done a lot of charity work through the years.  My favorite was a dance marathon at Children’s National Medical Center.  It was very touching to hear the stories of the patients and their families.  The Red Rockers and the Caps always reach out to the community.”

Meghan Y. has been a Red Rocker for the last two years and is going for three.  She has absolutely loved her time on the squad.

“I love the Caps organization,” Meghan said during a break at the audition. “I have made some great friends and had some great experiences I would not have had otherwise.  It was great to participate in the Make-A-Wish events and the recent Pride Parade was awesome.  I was with Slapshot and Braden Holtby.  I had chills and goosebumps the whole time.”

Former Red Rocker, Michelle Dee, continues as the coach, and former mascot coordinator, Kevin Giambi, joins the team as their manager and the new Manager of Game Entertainment.  Tyler Hines, Director of Game Entertainment for the Caps, and Caps in-game host, Erin Magee, were also on hand to welcome the Red Rocker hopefuls and judge the event.

“The position opened up and I really wanted to go for it,” said Giambi of his new title in the organization. ” I started as a Slapshot mascot eight years ago.  Coincidentally, that was the first year for the Red Rockers.  It’s great to see how the squad has evolved over the years.  I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

The day started with the ladies introducing themselves.  The diverse field of participants included a dental hygienist, a research fellow at NIH, a criminal investigator and a U.S. Air Force pilot.  After the introductions, they were divided into teams to participate in a series of fun games and drills to display cooperation and teamwork.  Coach Dee also taught them two dance routines that they would perform for the judges to select the finalists.  For the fifth year in a row, DJ Jarrod Wronski, owner of Metro DC DJs, was also on hand to provide music and audio support for the event.

Day 1 ended with the group being narrowed down to 29 final participants. Giambi announced the finalists. Through smiles and tears, the girls congratulated those chosen with the others being encouraged to try out again next year. The finalists will practice on July 19 and return for formal interviews and a subsequent group performance on July 23 at VIDA Fitness.  The much anticipated 2016-17 squad will be announced at that time.

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Kathleen's group knows how to hold a pose #Caps ????

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Oh, the concentration… #Caps

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Day 1 is underway at Verizon Center #Caps

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