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NRL: Rogue Doll decision leaves 2013 Raiderettes cheerless

Date

Tom McIlroy and Matthew Raggatt

Members of the Raiderettes say the Raiders should not have hired a professional dance troupe such as the Rogue Dolls.

Members of the Raiderettes say the Raiders should not have hired a professional dance troupe such as the Rogue Dolls. Photo: Jay Cronan

Members of the Canberra Raiders' popular cheerleading group - the Raiderettes - say the club has mishandled its decision to hire a professional dance troupe to perform this season.

Dancers said the group was ''very disappointed'' at the decision, after club officials had sought more family-friendly entertainment as part of a review into game-day entertainment.

The comments call into question a new agreement with Rogue Dolls Australia, who promote themselves as the country's ''most marketable, sensational and stunning dance troupe''.

The group's choreography has included burlesque-style routines, with dancers wearing revealing costumes and offering themed performances.

Its website says the troupe has a ''signature Vegas/Pussycat Dolls/cabaret style''.

One veteran Raiderette said the existing group was better placed to provide family-friendly entertainment to Canberra fans.

''I heard that the Raiders wanted to be blown away at auditions and I guess that on the day that's what the Rogue Dolls did,'' said the performer, who asked not to be named.

''I think as long as the girls remember that it's not all about dancing and they still need to get involved with the fans on the day, that's the most important thing.

''We cared a lot about mingling with the children as they came through the gates and spending time with families, and then having time to dance on the field.''

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said cost and cold weather were factors in the decision to review entertainment.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the club said no commercial agreement had been finalised with Rogue Dolls Australia or other parties, despite the group's owner, Melissa Gelonese, confirming their selection this week. The spokesman said no decision had been made about the use of the Raiderettes name for the new performers.

Rogue Dolls was one of four dance groups auditioning alongside the 2013 Raiderettes in tryouts at the Belconnen Raiders Club last week.

On Monday, Ms Gelonese said the group would be made up of mostly Canberra dancers and junior and teen squads would perform at home games.

The Gungahlin company has offices in Sydney and the Gold Coast, and Ms Gelonese has provided cheerleading services for the Parramatta Eels.

Raiderettes members said they were not given sufficient notice of the audition schedule. ''We were kept out of the loop for too long,'' one member said.

''A lot of the girls didn't find out until that week when the auditions were going to be held and it wasn't enough notice for people who work full-time.

''They told us we would know by Christmas what was going on but we had to follow up with them in January because we hadn't heard anything.''

Ms Gelonese did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. Auditions for Rogue Dolls Australia are expected to be held on Sunday.

10 comments

  • I do watch the Raiderettes at half time because they're more interesting than the usual amateur-hour rubbish the club puts on. (Plus I bring my own refreshments so no cuing at the canteen). Looking at the Rogue Doll reminds me of the strippers who get hired as cheerleaders in the movie "The Replacements". There's a scene in that where a mother is forced to cover her son's eyes. Real family friiendly entertainment that.

    Commenter
    Disappointed 4 the Raiderettes
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    February 12, 2014, 7:59AM
    • The club shows no loyalty at all to its workers...its no surprise the likes of Dugan, Ferguson, Carney played up and now have chances to shine at other clubs...poor management all round lets just hope this Furner dynasty at the club ends promptly.

      While working for the Raiders, I also worked along side the Raiderettes to say that they are not family friendly/orientated is total BS. They were always so welcoming to families walking through the gates even away supporters and as for the cold they braved it every game...they never complained about it and always knew what they were in for, so for Don Furner and the club to say the even needed to review it shows a total lack of respect for the girls that performed week in week out for the team.

      It doesn't surprise me either that the club were slack and late in giving notice to the Raiderettes either...compared to some of the NRL's top clubs we have ametuers or even donkeys running the show

      I'd really like to know how this new group will go with the crowd..

      Commenter
      J
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 8:56AM
      • Agree....

        Commenter
        Shogunmatty
        Location
        Reality
        Date and time
        February 12, 2014, 9:40AM
    • Another bone-head Furner decision... "Lets get rid of the Raiderette's for something new, how about a dance troupe" Are you kidding?, At least the Raiderette's were local, they support the team and were/are LOVED by the kids as they walk around and get photo's etc..?? Is this still going to happen or will the new "Cheerleaders" just pop out for a quick routine at halftime?... What about when its -4 in the middle of July???, And being from Sydney they are going to LOVE the cold weather...

      Commenter
      Shogunmatty
      Location
      Reality
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 9:08AM
      • What about some junior juniors having a run around as per the AFL auskick dudes and dudettes.

        Commenter
        NITRO GANGSTER
        Date and time
        February 12, 2014, 12:20PM
      • They have them before the main game... been doing it for at least 30 years, its getting a bit boring...

        Commenter
        Shogunmatty
        Location
        Reality
        Date and time
        February 12, 2014, 1:40PM
    • If the raiders were serious about the entertainment value then there were 3 American style cheerleading groups which auditioned on Friday. The best out the 3 were Sirens who have won national titles. There audition was fantastic and they are all locals - the only downside is that with a lot of children being involved with the squad its also a big commitment from the parents.
      I find it funny that due to public pressure the rogue dolls are now holding local auditions to recruit members in attempt to avoid backlash. What they don't mention is that they were going to hold auditions last month but cancelled as there wasn't enough people to audition. They even personally asked the Raiderettes to audition - which begs the questions why did you even try out with a Sydney squad? I hope Raiders management understand that the squad that auditioned on Friday have been doing that routine for paid audiences for some time and the 'new' squad put together will not be to the standards that they saw.
      I don't have an issue with the Rogue Dolls style in general however I think there is a time and a place for this type of performance and the local footy matches are not that place. To have such an adult routine shoved down everybody's throat during such a popular sporting event is just an all round bad move on behalf of Raiders management.
      My vote stays with the Raiderettes who have been loved by all or if going with a new style Sirens. A collaboration between the Raiderettes and Sirens would be even better.

      Commenter
      hmm
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 9:52AM
      • Are you listening Furner.

        Commenter
        NITRO GANGSTER
        Date and time
        February 12, 2014, 3:29PM
    • Haven't we moved on from this? Just shows how behind League is in terms of the way it views women. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

      Commenter
      Anachronism
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 8:27PM
      • Disappointed for the Raiderettes, but will reserve judgement on the new group until after a couple of games or so.

        Commenter
        Geraint
        Date and time
        February 12, 2014, 9:10PM
        Comments are now closed
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