By J.B. Spilker
SALT LAKE CITY - Becoming a member of the 2009 Intermountain Harley-Davidson Utah Blaze Dance Team fulfilled a childhood dream Mackenzie F. developed while following her football-minded father.
"I can remember as a kid not getting into as much traditional football, but just having such a great time with Arena Football, and, of course, watching the cheerleaders," she said. "I've just always thought I've wanted to be a part of that action."
Her father, Gordon Hudson, played tight end at BYU, and later professionally in the USFL and NFL, before coaching in the AFL for four seasons. Current Utah Blaze offensive coordinator Tony Kimbrough was a player for Hudson in San Jose, and Mackenzie recognized his name.
"I asked Tony if he played for the SaberCats, and he looked at me as if to say that it was way before my time, but I said, 'My dad coached the SaberCats'," said Mackenzie, who was a youngster when her father coached.
Along with a childhood surrounded with football, Mackenzie loved to dance and perform. She started at age 4 participating in dance and cheer in junior high, high school, and college. Now she can add the Blaze to her dancing resume.
She was a cheerleader at Bonneville Junior High and Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City.
After graduating from high school, Mackenzie continued dancing while pursuing her college education whenever she had free time. She participated in hip-hop clubs at Utah State University and the University of Utah.
"I've just been taking random dance workshops or drop-in dance classes, but nothing as sweet as a Blaze Dancer. I'm excited about it," she said. "I just love the opportunity to perform, and I'm excited to be around such talented girls and form great relationships. I have missed that feeling for a while, and I'm so excited to get that opportunity to provide entertainment for football fans in Utah."
While attending college she studied exercise science to become a personal trainer, but after taking a closer look into that profession she found certain certifications are weighted heavier than a college degree.
"I've gotten four different certifications and I'm working on my fifth right now," she said. "I only have about a year left of school to get my degree. I hope to go back and finish."
Mackenzie is in her third year of personal training and has obtained certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM); International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA); National Council of Sports and Fitness (NCSF) and a personal training certification through her company at 24 Hour Fitness.
She is currently working on being certified as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.
Outside of dancing and sports Mackenzie enjoys kicking back with her husband, family and friends.
ABOUT THE UTAH BLAZE
The Utah Blaze were recipients of the Best Support Staff Award for the 2006 and 2007 seasons as recognized by the Arena Football League. Tickets are available by logging onto www.utahblaze.com or by calling (801) 257-3111. The Blaze are owned and operated by the Ken Garff Automotive Group - www.kengarff.com.