Until recently, the only cheerleaders in Pittsburgh cheered for the local high school and college teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of only six National Football League (NFL) teams to not have a cheerleading squad. This is a bit ironic since the Steelers were among the first NFL teams to introduce cheerleaders way back in 1961. They were called the Steelerettes and cheered from 1962 until 1969. But now a new professional football team other than the Steelers is in town and they have cheerleaders. The Pittsburgh Power is an Arena Football League team that began play in the spring of 2011, and they have a cheerleading/dance squad called the Pittsburgh Sparks Dance Team. Meet the best of the Pittsburgh Sparks.
- Taylor Popelas – Taylor is that rare breed of young woman – beautiful and brilliant. She’s a gorgeous blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty with a knockout body that could send any man’s heart a-flutter. She also happens to be an accomplished dancer and possesses an outstanding record of academic success. Taylor has been dancing for twenty years (since she was two), and was a member of the Duquesne University dance team in college. She has been a cheerleader for ten years. She is currently in grad school studying for her doctorate in physical therapy. Her hope for the future is that she can improve people’s lives with attention to wellness and physical therapy. She has traveled the world, studying abroad in Africa and Italy as well as taking a trip to the Dominican Republic where she ran a youth church camp. Taylor is also a former Miss Pennyslvania Teen USA contenstant.
- Veronica Buccilli – Veronica is an absolutely stunning raven-haired, olive-skinned beauty with a smile that makes you melt. A Pittsburgh native, she is studying radio and television at California University of Pennsylvania. Veronica has been dancing since the age of four and has received numerous awards for contemporary and classical dancing. She also is a great singer and has sung the national anthem before a Power game. The Sparks are very lucky to have her on their squad.
- Marissa Mechling – Marissa is a blonde-haired dazzler with piercing green eyes and a lithe body who bears a striking resemblance to pop singer Ke$ha. She, like most of the girls on the Sparks, has an extensive background in dance. She also is a fantastic singer. Marissa currently is a college student at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and works as a dance teacher at the American Gymnastics Academy. Some of her interests include photography, graphic design and drawing.
- Meghan Manning – Meghan is a totally smoking hot brunette member of the Sparks. She is attending Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts and majoring in jazz. A Pittsburgh native, she’s a big sports fan as well as a dance enthusiast.
- Shannon Windisch – Shannon is a graduate of West Virginia University with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Theatre and Dance. This sexy blonde was a captain of the WVU dance team and has been dancing since she was two. When not cheering on the Pittsburgh Power, she works as an administrative assistant and also teaches dance.