The East Kentucky Miners last Sunday, (Aug. 26th) named the members of their first ever dance team, The Diamond Girls.
Jilleyn Brown Vickery – Coach/Choreographer is a native of Prestonsburg KY. She began her dance career at the age of 3 taking classes at her mother’s dance studio. She took classes at Dance Etc Studio of Dance and was a member of the PHS Dance Cats. She also studied dance at Louisburg College in North Carolina. Jilleyn began her professional career as an XFL Cheerleader and New Jersey Storm Dancer. She has appeared in music videos, print ads and worked as a back up dancer in New York and Florida. She spent 2 summers appearing in shows at Jenny Wiley Summer Music Theatre as lead dancer. She also choreographed and performed at the Stage Door Theatre in South Florida. Jilleyn moved home 3 years ago to raise her family with husband Andrew and sons Ethan and Brody. She is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor. “I am so excited to have this phenomenal opportunity to pursue my passion and I hope that all of Eastern Kentucky will come and support our East Kentucky Miners and Diamond Girls Dance Team. Can You Dig It???”
Tiffany Warrix - Campbell is a native of Prestonsburg, KY. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Accounting and is currently studying for the CPA exam. Tiffany has been involved with cheerleading and gymnastics since the age of 5 and was an NCA and UCA cheerleading All-American during her career. She had the privilege of performing at half-time of the 1995 Peach Bowl in Atlanta, GA. Tiffany has been coaching cheerleading and gymnastics for 7 years and led the Cheer Excite All-Stars to numerous national titles. She also conducts cheer camps for area teams in Eastern KY. Tiffany is honored to be a part of the inaugural season of the East KY Miners Diamond Girls. “Live it, Love it, DANCE!!”
Mandy Jay Walters recently moved back to her hometown of Pikeville Ky after getting married to Derick "Dirty" Walters in May of last year. She has several years of experience as a cheerleader and a gymnast. She has taught cheer camps and judged tryouts for many of the surrounding middle and high schools. Mandy received a cheerleading scholarship to Morehead State University where the squad competed and placed 1st at the UCA Division 1 College Nationals. Mandy enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends and her dog, Diesel Cage. "I am so excited to be able to perform with this group of talented ladies, and thrilled to be able to cheer on the East KY. Miners during their first season! Our choreography is hip and energetic! Dance is a language, so come see if you know what we're saying?!"
Haylee Combs began her dance career at age 5, along with gymnastic classes. She cheered seventh grade through high school, however her passion for dance grew as she studied in all areas of dance. Combs took classes through the Pikeville College Dance Program and studied at the Lexington School of Ballet. Combs graduated from Pikeville College with a BA in Communication. She was co-captain and choreographer captain for the Pikeville College dance team for three years and a member of the Pikeville College cheerleading squad. Haylee began as a dance instructor nine years ago at Pikeville College. She spent the summer of 2000 appearing in two shows at the Jenny Wiley Theatre as a dancer/performer. Also, she was selected by ESP Productions as an All-American Halftime dancer at the 2006 Capital-One Bowl in Orlando, Florida. She also is a cast member in entertainment at Walt Disney World, performing in parades and special events. Haylee is a professional member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). “I am so excited to have the opportunity to perform on a professional level right here at home with the East Kentucky Miners. High Coal, Let’s GO, One hoop at a time!”
Danielle Stepp began cheering at the age of 4, cheering all the way through high school. Danielle graduated from Shelby Valley High School in Pike County in 2001. She then went on to the University of Kentucky where she graduated with a degree in Secondary Education in 2005. Later, Danielle went on to graduate with a Masters degree in May 2007 in Secondary Education. She is currently working on her ED. S. degree to be able to teach college level courses. Danielle helped coach the Virgie Middle School cheer squad for four years. Danielle taught high school for one year, before she got a job at Morehead State University in Prestonsburg. Danielle was married to her wonderful husband, Travis, in July 2006. They are almost ready to move into their new home Danielle (formerly Pruitt) was born and raised in Pikeville, Ky. Danielle loves shopping, spending time with friends and family and her teacup yorkie, Pooh. She a certified coal miner - underground and surface (only appropriate, right?) “My dad works for the Federal Mine Safety Health Admin. (MSHA) and he told me I wouldn’t do it, so of course I did. I plopped myself right down in a room full of men and got the highest score on both tests!” She also was one of the finalists from Lexington to be on the Real World in 2005. “I am so excited to be able to fulfill my dream of performing at such a level as this ~ Let the games begin…. GO Miners!!!”
Carly Bingham is a graduate of Prestonsburg High School and has been involved with cheerleading and dance since she was a little girl. She started cheering on pee wee teams and took ballet since the age of 5. Carly continued her cheerleading career through high school. During her senior year she decided to tryout for the PHS Dance Cats and made the team. This is the first dance team she has been on since high school. "I'm really looking forward to supporting the East Kentucky Miners and being a Diamond Girl!!"
Brooke Hicks Nelson started dancing at a young age with Ballet. As a child, she was a Majorette and Cheerleader. During high school, Brooke began dancing for the PHS Dance Cats where they received several national titles. In college, Brooke helped with some local dance teams and was involved in competitions as a KAPOS judge. She enjoys spending time with her daughter Aliyah Grace and husband Sammy. “I am excited to give back to the community that has given me so much. So get ready for the Diamond Girls!!!”
Brittany Ritchie is 19 years old and a graduate from Allen Central High School. She started dancing when she was in Middle school. From the first time Brittany stepped onto the floor and in front of a crowd dance became a passion and has been ever since. She continued dancing through High School and cheered for one year due to the absence of a dance team. Either way, Brittany still enjoyed getting the crowd pumped! Her hobbies include dancing, cooking, baking, swimming and being with her two dogs, Yana and Sam. “I am very grateful that I have the chance to continue with dance and I thank Jilleyn so much for that. I'm really excited about the upcoming season and I just know that the Diamond Girls are going to rock! I'm so ready for this and like I always say, just go with it, fun is the one thing that never gets old! Go EK Miners!!!”
Britta Deneene Fraley is 20 years old and graduated from Allen Central High School in 2005. She is currently a college student. Britta has a total of ten years of dance experience however she has never taken one dance class. Britta taught herself everything she knows and has approximately 5 years of choreography experience. In her younger days she received several titles in individual competitions including: 1st place in East KY Cheer and Dance Competition for 2 consecutive years and both 1st and 2nd place in KY State Fair Cheer and Dance Competition. Hip Hop is her favorite style and she loves to perform. “My mom is my biggest fan, she taught me to dance like no one is watching and not to be afraid to take a chance. I took a chance... and now I'm a Diamond Girl! My step-father passed away in March, he would have been so happy for me. It’s hard but I know that God has given me this opportunity and I want to dedicate this season to my step-father, I know that I will make him proud. I’m fulfilling my dream… and no one can take that away”
Donna Williams is a native of Prestonsburg, KY. She started gymnastics and cheerleading in elementary school. Donna began taking ballet and jazz at the age of 14. She danced for the University of Kentucky Wildcat Danzers for 2 years. In 2001 Donna auditioned for the NFL Tennessee Titan Cheerleaders and danced in front of 67,000 fans! She has been coaching cheerleading and dance for 14 years. Aside from coaching Donna is also a hairstylist. “I can’t wait to get back to dancing.”
Sarah Gilliam is 19 years old and was born and raised in Letcher Co. She began dancing her senior year of high school at Letcher County Central High School, after several years of cheerleading. While in college in Lexington, Sarah was a Fillies Dancer for the Lexington Horsemen Arena Football Team. She has choreographed for various dance groups and is still involved with assisting the LCCHS Dance Team. "I cant wait to get out on the floor and sparkle as a Diamond Girl!"