Season Presented by


ALBANY, NY - The Albany Empire hosted their Dance Team Finals event on Thursday night at Jupiter Hall inside of Lucky Strike Social at Crossgates Mall.  Of the 40 dancers who participated in open call auditions, 28 were selected and worked out in a three-day bootcamp to prepare for the final event.  At the conclusion of the night, 20 dancers were selected to the 2019 Albany Empresses.

The dancers performed on stage in front of Empire partners, season ticket members, and a panel of celebrity guest judges.  The judge’s conglomerate was comprised of: Chris Onorato and Ashley Miller of WNYT News Channel 13; Tatiana LaPlante of Q103 Albany; Steven Cantara of PYX 106; Sean McMaster and Chad O’Hara of B95.5; Christy Whitaker of Fly 92.3; and Bill Monthie of Jamz 96.3.

Dancing in pairs, the dancers performed a hip-hop routine they had been practicing throughout the audition process and bootcamp with Empress Head Choreographer, Megan Grabowski.  These women are all from the Capital Region, spanning from towns such as; Albany, Amsterdam, Ballston Spa, Schenectady, etc.

“These women have worked so hard throughout the audition process to earn their spot on this team,” said Grabowski.  “I am extremely excited to help each one of the dancers grow individually and as a team and choreograph energetic dances to entertain fans at Empire home games!”

The Empresses will not only perform at every Empire home game throughout the 2019 season, but they will serve as ambassadors to the team with their presence within the Capital Region community.  They will represent the organization through appearances at team, community, and partner events throughout the entire Empire season as well as the offseason.  Aside from their work in the community, the Empresses will be mentors to the Junior Empresses, a dance program geared to provide young dancers ages 6-18 with a professional experience.

“In our inaugural season, we set the bar high for what it takes to be a member of The Albany Empire dance team,” said George Manias, Chief Operating Officer of the Albany Empire.  “Our focus is not only entertaining our fans on game night, but also being an active part of our community.  The Empresses really helped our cause in the offseason, as they became the face of our organization.  We have doubled the size of our team for the 2019 season, which gives us the ability to be even more visible out in the community this year.  We have a great array of talent on this year’s team and I look forward to getting them acclimated into our organization.”

Interested in season tickets for the 2019 season?  Fans can secure season tickets for the Albany Empire by calling 518-533-2200 or by going to  A limited number of great seats are still available!  Want to bring your organization to a game, fundraise, or perform on the field? Group experiences are now on sale.  Call 518-533-2200 for additional information.

Albany Empire 2019 Season Presented By CDPHP.

About Albany Empire

Season memberships for the 2019 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Albany Empire sales department at (518) 533-2200 or by going to . Follow the team on Facebook at  and Twitter at

About Arena Football League

The Arena Football League will enter its 32nd Season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. Teams slated for 2018 include: Albany, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. CBS Sports Network nationally broadcasts AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl. The AFL launched AFLNow, the League’s streaming “Over-the-Top” network to give fans even more access to the League on . For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball) 

About Times Union Center

Albany’s Times Union Center, formerly Pepsi Arena, continues to have great success. Renamed in January 2007, the Times Union Center is “Upstate New York’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Facility. Owned by Albany County and operated by SMG, the world’s largest private management firm for public assembly facilities, the Times Union Center has an adaptable seating capacity between 6,000 and 17,500. Since Frank Sinatra christened the building on January 30, 1990, more than seven million patrons have walked through the turnstiles. As a multi-purpose facility, the Times Union Center has hosted a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and sporting events, averaging 165 events each year. 

About CDPHP®

Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 26 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest , and Instagram .

About Transfinder

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Schenectady, New York, Transfinder is a national leader in intelligent transportation systems, providing transportation management systems and services to school districts, municipalities and adult care facilities. Transfinder, an Inc. magazine “fastest-growing company” for the past eleven straight years, has offices in Austin, Texas, and Shanghai, China. The software company develops and supports routing and scheduling solutions for optimal transportation logistics.

Albany Empire Partners

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