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Saintsations


several different names including the Lousiannes in 1967 which was changed to the Saints Dancers after one pre-season game for that name had been copyrighted by a Louisiana-based high school, the Mademoiselles in 1968, and the Mam'selles from 1969-71. The roster size averaged 48 active dancers per year up to 12 "reserve" dancers.

Saints dancer Sandra Labourdette 1967–70 was the original dance team's captain and later became the first Saintsations choreographer 1987–93.

The second set of Saints dance teams were from 1975-77 called the Bonnes Amiees French term meaning "Good Friends". This dance team was very supportive of many charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association where they annually performed on the local TV affiliate's telethon in addition to having their own exclusive fundraiser for MDA. In 1978, the team was re-organized as the Angels. Unfortunately, this version of the team didn't last very long for in early October 1978 a person who was hired to be a staff assistant to the Angels was discovered to have been arrested for drug possession, but when the New Orleans Saints issued a press statement on this situation the club wouldn't specify that none of the dancers nor their choreographer were involved in the arrest. When the Saints organization refused to allow anyone on the Angels to speak to the press on this matter, the dance team's ties with the Saints ended. The disbanding was so noteworthy that a "radio cartoon" was produced by famed New Orleans broadcaster Ed Clancy called "Saints Angels" which was a parody of the 1950s hit "Earth Angel" by the Crew Cuts where Ed was able to get Crew Cuts lead singer John Perkins to sing lead on his parody as well.

The Bonnes Amiees averaged 16 dancers per year on their roster, the Angels 24.

In 1987, Saints General Manager Jim Finks suggested bringing back a dance team to the sidelines which would work in conjunction with the Saints cheerleaders acrobatic, which had been part of the team since 1967. Under further organizational thought from Saints entertainment director Barra Birrcher director from 1971-2007, a tryout was held in the spring of 1987. 27 dancers were chosen to be part of what was initially called "The Saints Dancers" before a contest was held where more fans chose the name "Saintsations". Ironically, the first year of the Saintsations the Saints had their first-ever winning season and first playoff appearance. The roster size would vary over the years from 30, 32, 36, 37, and as high as 40 dancers in 1997.

Original Saintsation Angie Waguespack took over as choreographer from 1994-1999. Another one-time Saintsation Lani Quaglino-Neil 1994–99 would follow as choreographer in 2000.

The greatest change in Saintsations history occurred in 2001 when American All-Star Inc., based on the North shore of Lake Ponchartrain north of New Orleans, took over the rights to the dance team and created new marketing, promotions, and costume designs that gave the fans a greater variety of dance routines and looks. American All-Star is operated by Lesslee Fitzmorris and Royce Mitchell. Saintsations choreographers since 2001 included Angie Waguespack, Elizabeth Portwood-Gibson, Steven Boss, and director Kristen Rapp. The average roster size under American All-Star has been in the low 30s 28 in 2008.


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