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January 18 - Green Lady

Interview courtesy of Cape Cod Today

Boston Celtic dancer and Wareham native Cherie Blier was nice enough
to do an interview with Cape Cod's nastiest sports page yesterday. It
might be "Bleier," but sometimes we don't do that fact-check thing really
well here at the sports section. We did nail down the "Cherie" part,
though.... but we have a pretty French background here at EOB.

She was driving from Boston to Rhode Izzy when my people talked to her
people, so no wine was poured.  There won't be some story like "We
closed a bunch of bars, fought a couple of waitresses, drove home on
back roads at 110 mph, ended up smoking crack in bed with some Foxy
Lady waitress and a Cuban guy named 'Renaldo,' etc..."

No, Cherie actually seems like a pretty nice girl. Besides, her dad's a
cop, and- while I don't personally have anything against cops- I'm
generally happier when they're not around... especially when they're
asking me stuff like "Why can't my daughter stop laughing?" or "Who talked her into a  Bourne To Kill
tattoo?"

No... life's too good for that sort of thing, and I'm not even a #1 stunner like Cherie Blier. She has a
perky alto voice that belies a seriously impressive resume. She's a college student, owns and
operates a cheesecake company, she dances 41 times a year in front of 15,000 people, and most
likely spends the other 324 days going "That's very nice, but I have a boyfriend already."

Rather than reading my ramblings, just check out the detailed Q&A. I'm sort of working from some
hastily scribbled notes when I put her answers in, so don't anybody get really mad at Cherie if she
says something that sounds Monponsettish.

*****************************************************************************

CCToday:  How did you get to become a Celtic dancer?
Cherie: I've been dancing since I was three. My grandmother owns  Baker School Of Dance, and I
have training in styles such as Classical, Ballet, Tap, Jazz,etc... The Celtics announced tryouts for
their dance squad, and I was lucky enough to be selected from hundreds of girls.

CCToday: What's the biggest difference between the cheers one sees at a high school game and the
Celtics dancer routine?
Cherie: We're not cheerleaders. The differences are technical. We don't do lifts, flips, pyramids, or
even actual cheers. I've never actually been a cheerleader, even at Wareham High.

CCToday: No pyramids? That kills like 4 of my prepared questions... "Can you dunk off the pyramid, is
the really tall girl there to catch the girls who do flips, etc..."
Cherie: Oh well... smiles

CCToday: Do you hate it when someone calls you a cheerleader?
Cherie: Hate, no... but I'd point out that we're dancers, all of whom have a lifetime of experience in
various forms and styles of dance. Our routines are also entirely different from the routines
cheerleaders do.

CCToday: How so?
Cherie: Cheerleaders try to draw cheers from a crowd, and are positioned on the sidelines. They do
simpler routines, with very little in the way of synchronized group movement. They are also constantly
doing something during the games- often to the distraction of fans who came to watch the game.

The Celtic dancers perform once between quarters, and during the official timeouts. Other than that,
we're off the court entirely.

CCToday: You aren't kneeling by the side of the court during play?
Cherie: We stay in our dressing room when we're not dancing, and we just mass in the runway
before the quarter ends.We used to be courtside, but someone complained.

CCToday: Wow... what a loser. Was it because he/she hated the concept of Celtic dancers?
Cherie: No... we were just in the way of the fans and players. I can understand. No one was upset
about it.

CCToday: What do you think about people who felt that a dance squad was an unwelcome presence
at Celtics games?
Cherie: No one ever says anything like that to us, personally. We'd read stuff about it in the papers,
but there's always going to be someone who doesn't like something. All of us seem to agree that
after 20 games or so, everyone (fans/media/players/refs/security) was pretty much used to us.

We're right out there in front of them, and he have a certain degree of intimacy with those who watch
us perform. Even those who thought we were like strippers coming in have seen that we're just a
dance squad. I've never personally been heckled, and the crowd itself seems to police those who yell
something at us. Kids love us, too.

CCToday: Do the rich guys in the front row hit on you?
Cherie: It hasn't happened to me, but it has happened. They have to sort of work at it, though... we
usually run out, do our routine, and head back to the dressing room.

CCToday:  "All that dancing must make you tired... care to ride home in my Porsche?"
Cherie: They're not that creative.

CCToday: Ben Affleck behaves?
Cherie: I haven't seen him. I'm usually more into my routine than any crowd-watching.

CCToday: Who's the tallest guy who stomped on you accidentally?
Cherie: We were only courtside briefly, and nothing like that happened. They all look pretty tall to me...
I'm 5'4".

CCToday: Do you have to follow some sort of hardbody diet, or do you get to chow a steak now and
then?
Cherie: Some girls do, but I've always been able to eat whatever I want and not gain weight. I have a
huge appetite. The dancing is pretty intense, and I'm starving when I'm done.
It's actually quite different than people think it is. They were quite specific about the fact that they didn't
want certain body types, and the bone thin look was one of them. It's in our contract.

CCToday:  How do the Californian girls on the squad like this 8 degree weather we're enjoying?
Cherie: They're, umm, warming to it. They all bought winter clothes back when everyone local was
talking about how warm the winter was. It snowed through one of our practices once, and some of the
girls were like kids.

CCToday: They hadn't seen snow before?
Cherie: Most of us are locals. Some of the Californians had only seen it on TV, though. They ran out
into the snow after practice like kids, and had a snow fight.

CCToday: One more thing in this world that just had to happen when I'm not there with a camera....
can you make a living as a Celtic dancer, or do you need a side job/rich parents?
Cherie: Every girl I see there is doing it because she loves to dance and perform. I suppose it could
lead to other things, and this job would look good on a resume. A day job comes in handy, though.

I'm in college. This is actually my first real job.

CCToday: Did you know that Paula Abdul first rose to prominence as a Laker dancer?
Cherie: No, I didn't. I can see where it would further her career as a singer/ or a dancer. She sure
made it big, though.

CCToday: What advice would you give a kid who wanted to grow up to be a Celtic dancer?
Cherie: Take dance classes, preferably in multiple styles and forms. Work for as many
choreographers as possible. Get used to performing in front of a crowd.

CCToday: How does the floor at the Boston Garden compare to a dance floor?
Cherie: It's parquet, so it's very nice in that regard. There's also a lot more going on around you.

CCToday: Which Celtic player has the best car?
Cherie: We don't really interact with them. It's in our contract. I've seen some nice ones pulling out,
though.

CCToday: No dating the players? There go like 5 more questions. I was looking forward to "Would
you date a 7 footer?"
Cherie: Probably not. I don't want to break my neck to look at a guy. My boyfriend is my size, roughly.

CCToday: Which cheerleader won the fistfight over who gets to date that guy who runs around
dressed like a leprechaun?
Cherie: Oh, Lucky? He's great. He's not that "lucky" with the dancers, though.

CCToday: They should dress Lucky up so he looks like the dude from that "Leprechaun Goes To The
Hood" movie.....Which Celtic dresses the best?
Cherie: Paul Pierce was wearing a gorgeous chocolate brown velvet blazer. I think they look very nice
when they dress up. We get to see a lot of the player fashion, because they've all been injured so
much.

CCToday: Has Doc Rivers ever turned to you and been like "If I put you out there, could YOU box out
Emeka Okafor??"
Cherie: No, but he should. Melissa is 6'1".

CCToday: Could you jump up and kick, say, Danny Ainge in the teeth?
Cherie: How tall is he?

CCToday: Danny Ainge is 6'5"
Cherie: Most likely. I suppose I'd need a good reason to do that. I'm a nice girl, generally.

CCToday: What's the worst injury you ever saw a cheerleader suffer? I saw a cheerleader get hit in
the face with a puck once.
Cherie: Ow! If you include my time in dancing, I've seen hip flexor injuries, sprains, knee ligament
damage... it's a very physical job.

CCToday: Do you like basketball?
Cherie: I'd never been to a game before I took this job. I've sort of begun to follow them since, and I
find myself more and more into them each day. They've had a tough season, with a lot of injuries. I'm
quite a fan of theirs, now.

CCToday: If a fight started on court during a Celtics/Knicks game, would you feel any Celtic-based
loyalty to run over and deck a Knicks cheerleader?
Cherie: It most likely wouldn't happen, as the dance teams don't travel with the basketball team. If it
came down to it, though....

CCToday: Yeah... (does best Bill Murray).. you're a Harbour Chick....- If I put $20 on it, could you hit a
free throw?
Cherie: I used to play in my driveway when I was a kid. I could probably do it if I practiced a bit.

CCToday: You went to Wareham High School, no?
Cherie: Class of 2005!

CCToday: Did you play basketball at WHS?
Cherie: No. I didn't even cheer. I was teaching dance at my grandmother's studio all through high
school.

CCToday: Were you like some fat kid who got out of high school and went all Swan?
Cherie: I was pretty normal in high school. I was friends with everyone.

CCToday: What is your favorite part of Wareham?
Cherie: I love Stony Point Bank. You couldn't get me off the water as a kid.

CCToday: I'm told that you love to fish.
Cherie: I used to go fishing every day with my mother...fluke, striper, bluefish, flounder.... we had a
commercial license, and we'd sell whatever we caught at the fish market.
Mom loves to fish. Dad would go sometimes, but Mom was the one in charge.

CCToday: What's your favorite seafood?
Cherie: Lobster, scallops, stuffed shrimp... I love the baked stuffed shrimp at Lindsay's.

CCToday: Do you consider Wareham to be the last town on the mainland or the first town on the
Cape?
Cherie: It's the Gateway!

CCToday: Do you support the establishment of an industrial wind farm on Nantucket Sound?
Cherie: That's a tough question. You're balancing the needs of property owners and
environmentalists with the need for clean power generation. It's not for me to say.

CCToday: Are you related to Rocky Bleier?
Cherie: Who's he?

CCToday: Played for the Pittsburgh Steelers... had a leg shot up in Vietnam.. came back to play
again.... big TV movie, I think.
Cherie: Sounds like quite a man. I'll have to look into it.

CCToday: Is it as much fun being a cheerlea.. umm, dancer if there aren't a bunch of band geeks to
make fun of?
Cherie: I'm pretty friendly... I had plenty of band friends in high school.

CCToday: Have you ever been like walking down the street, made eye contact with some guy, and he
then walks into a tree while gawking at you?
Cherie: Not a tree. I had a guy walk into a street sign, once. It's funny, because Iwanted him to stop
staring at me, and he walked into a STOP sign.

CCToday: The good Lord works in many a strange and wondrous way.... so, do guys hit on on you all
the time?
Cherie: Guys treat me fairly well. My father is a police sergeant, and I have several big brothers.

CCToday: Did guys show up to date you in high school, and there's this huge police sergeant sitting
in the living room,cleaning his revolver? "I'd be very disappointed if my daughter came home even a
little bit past her curfew, Son.... click-click!"
Cherie: Yeah, it was pretty much like that... then the brothers all make an appearance, as well. Was
your father a policeman?

CCToday: Mafia. Same thing, effectively.
Cherie: Oh... k...ummmm.... well, boys always were  extrordinarily polite when we were dating in high
school.

CCToday: What's next for Wareham's favorite (Geena me no Davises- this girl has caught a 50"
striper) daughter?
Cherie: I'm studying to be a baking and pastry arts dessert chef at Johnson and Wales. I'm also
studying Culinary Nutrition.

CCToday: What's your favorite thing to cook?
Cherie: Harvest apple cheesecake, graham cracker/walnut crust, apple streudel filling.. My mother
and I actually run Mom and Me Cheesecake Company.

CCToday: Cherie... you're a professional dancer and look like it.....you're also a Cape girl... expert
fisher... pastry chef... you have what must be top-notch sports connections...you're intelligent, friendly,
and polite; a very nice, absolutely charming young lady.....has someone asked you to marry them yet?
Cherie: No...

CCToday: They will.....
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