Behind The Hardbody: Juliana Daniell Makes Atlanta Hawks Team

One of our favorite Hardbody women, Juliana Daniell has been keeping herself busy. She qualified for the 2012 Olympia at the end of the 2011 season but has been active on the competition scene this year. Juliana recently competed in a different competition and like the pro bikini stage, she more than held her own. Juliana recently made the Atlanta Hawk’s NBA Cheerleading team, for the third year in a row.

I caught up with JD to get the skinny on the tryouts, if she thinks cheerleaders are athletes, what’s next for her competition wise and more. Check it out.

How many years have you tried out for the team?
This was my third year trying out and the third year I made it!! =)

What’s the official name of the squad?

Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders; we used to be called the A-Town Dancers, but the owners wanted us to be called cheerleaders for some reason.

Are you considered dancers or cheerleaders?
Well, we are actually made up of both. We are all one team but divided in two sub groups, cheerleaders and dancers.The main difference is the dancers do more dance choreography and the cheer girls do more tumbling/gymnastics and stunts during the game. I am on the cheer side!

You’ve cheered/danced for other teams, right?
Yes, I have cheered for the Atlanta Braves (MLB); 2008 and 2009 seasons. And cheered/skated for the Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) 2010-2011 season.

Last year you were the captain, right?
Yes!! =) I was captain of the cheer side.

Juliana on the cover of FitnessRX for Women magazine.

How is that decided?

That is decide by our coach and bosses.

How many girls tried out this year?
There was about 225 girls that came to auditions.

Wow. How many make the team/squad?
A lucky 26 girls made the team which is the same number as we had last year. And we had 15 girls from last year’s team trying out again and we all made it back!!!!

What’s it referred to?

It’s referred to as a team. Well I guess it really could be both, but we are called a team but were like family!

Did you practice for it – if so what’s involved in practice?
We absolutely practice! We have practice two times a week; sometimes more depending on what we have to learn and how the games fall. We have to learn the different choreography for the dances as well as our sidelines that we perform during each game. We also have work outs (a combination of weights, cardio, and plyometrics) prior to our practices.

Do you have any restrictions while on the team?
It’s more like what is expected of us rather than what we can’t do. They wouldn’t tell us we couldn’t do something; we just wouldn’t be picked for the team to begin with. For example being an adult entertainer/dancer or a club dancer is not something the organization would want us to be doing. Not saying that those jobs are bad, it’s just not who they want representing the Atlanta Hawks or the Cheerleaders. And for the most part the members of the AHC (Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders) have very respectable outside careers and we are strongly supported. But we are required to have another job or be a student to even be considered for the team.

Does the team have a fitness plan?
Absolutely! We have trainers that work us out every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour prior to our practice. Its a combination of free weights, plyometrics, and cardio. We also have the option to set up private workouts with the trainers as well. Some girls do this on their own and some are told they have too.

Can you get kicked off for not “making weight”?
For us it’s not really about a number, it’s more of if you look the part. The AHC’s have a certain look we have to uphold; being healthy, fit, and in shape. We are all different shapes and sizes, but individually we know when we look our best and when we don’t. If there is ever a girl who is lacking or falling off the fit train, she will be suspended and asked to see the trainers. This is because we have to wear very tiny, revealing uniforms at times and if we don’t look good wearing it or it doesn’t fit it reflects negatively on the entire team.

Do you have to weigh in?

Yes, we have weigh-ins and body fat tests once a month.

Obviously you are in great shape – do girls ask you for advice?
Yes they do and I love it!! They usually ask me for certain exercises to get their booties in shape! 😉 But a lot of times they want to know what I eat and how they should eat!

You were a competitive swimmer in high school and college, so obviously an athlete. Do you think cheerleaders are athletes?
110% YES we are athletes!!!! I have to work just as hard now as I did in college to be good at what I do. Doing a standing back tuck, back-handspring, running tumbling, stunting, isn’t something the average person can do and I’m pretty sure you would be considered an athlete if you could; and I can!

Do you follow the Olympic Swimming?

Ya know, the past couple Olympics I really didn’t follow it as closely as I had previously, but this year has been different. I actually watched some of the trials and kind of missed swimming and being in the pool. And I plan to watch some of the Olympics as well.

Who will you be rooting for or following how they do?
Well I was, and will always be, a sprinter. And in college I mainly did freestyle, butterfly and the relays. So I will probably tune into the 50 and 100 freestyle, the 100 fly and all of the relays. And I mean I will obviously be rooting for all the Americans, but no one in particular! 😉

Juliana with her rose after being selected.

When will we see you on stage again?
SARASOTA PRO SEPTEMBER 8TH!!!! I am super excited about this show and can’t wait to get back on stage. After the New York Pro I knew I had some work to do and I’ve been working hard since. And of course I have the Olympia at the end of September!

Where can people stalk err find out more about you?

Hahaha!! In Atlanta!! 😉 Or you can just go to my fan page (Ifbb Bikini Pro Juliana Daniell) on facebook! I am planning to get a twitter account but can’t decide on a name! LOL any suggestions?? I am also in the process of putting together a personal website and blog; I just need more hours in the day to get it all done!

Any roses lately?
Baaahahaha! That’s funny! 😉 And the only “rose” I have gotten recently was from my Hawks coach Donni after she called out my name as a member of the 2012-2013 Atlanta Hawks Cheer-leading team!!

Thanks for your time JD and congratulations.

Thanks Isaac

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