Indiana Pacemates Audition Showcase Video

The Indiana Pacers have posted a video from their 2018-2019 Pacemates Audition Showcase.   Let’s take a look at the proceedings.

Indiana Pacemate Photos

Our tour of NBA dance teams continues with a look at the Indiana Pacemates.  Click here to view some recent Pacemates galleries.

 

Indiana Pacemates Photos From January

The Indiana Pacers have posted several Pacemate galleries on their website.  Click here to view the galleries.

 

Indiana Pacemates Photos

More NBA dance teams are publishing galleries of images as the season gets underway. Up next is the Indiana Pacemates, who have posted a few galleries from October. Click here, here, and here to view the galleries.

 

 

Meet The 2016-17 Indiana Pacemates

With the NBA season about to tip off, let’s take a look at the 2016 – 2017 Indiana Pacemates.

Pacemate Alexis

Alexis

Pacemate Arbara

Arbara

Pacemate Bridget

Bridget

Pacemate Brooke O.

Brooke O.

Pacemate Brooke R.

Brooke R.

Pacemate Ciara

Ciara

Pacemate Erika

Erika

Pacemate Jayzhia

Jayzhia

Pacemate Jessi

Jessi

Pacemate Jordan

Jordan

Pacemate Kayla

Kayla

Pacemate Kendra

Kendra

Pacemate Kimberly

Kimberly

Pacemate Lauren

Lauren

Pacemate Nici

Nici

Pacemate Shelby

Shelby

Pacemate Tai

Tai

Pacemate Shea Wastes Little Time Adding a Little Memphis “Flava” to Indy’s Sports Scene

Shea prior to the March 8th Pacers-Sixers game

Shea prior to the March 8th Pacers-Sixers game

It takes a quite a bit of drive to become an NBA dancer. How much? About 41,000 miles. Last season, that is how many miles Shea of the Indiana Pacemates put on her new car, driving to and fro, cheering for the Indianapolis-based Pacers while still living in Ohio. See, Indianapolis is not exactly a couple miles from Ohio, so being a Pacemate from the Buckeye State not only meant extreme dedication, but miles and miles of, well, not exactly the most scenically scintillating drives one will ever encounter.

But her drive and dedication definitely paid off for both Shea and Indiana’s sports fans. As a rookie Pacemate, the broadcast journalism grad and PR grad student was also prominently visible as a Pacer game emcee, and this lead Shea to fill the same role for baseball’s Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Now in her second season as both a Pacemate and Indians emcee, Shea is like the Bo Jackson of game entertainment (could have said “the Michael Jordan,” but, sorry MJ, Shea is better in her baseball role than you were). How does a dancer from Ohio decide to try-out for the Pacemates, then become an NBA game host during her rookie season, which then turns into a baseball gig?  Shea shared with UltimateCheerleaders.com the steps in her journey, so far.

Shea and Pacemate captain Melanie greeted fans before the game at "Legends" within Conseco Fieldhouse

Shea is originally from Memphis, where she lived until she was 15. Memphis provided a foundation for Shea’s love of both dance and basketball. Shea recalls, “My parents started me in dance class at the age of three. Every Saturday morning I would take tap, jazz, and ballet, followed with a Happy Meal from McDonald’s and some time in the play area. I remember my mom and dad asking me after practice every week where I wanted to go, and it never failed, the answer was always McDonald’s. I was never a fan of ballet, too serious and boring for me, but I loved tap and the noise I could make with my feet. I love dance. Everywhere we went, and I do mean EVERYWHERE, I would practice the steps I learned that week. My mom’s favorite phrase to say to me in the grocery store, while getting me dressed, or in the mall, was always, ‘Shea, there is a time and a place.’ She eventually gave up and just let me practice.”

Of her first dance performances in Memphis, Shea remembers, “The one thing that stands out to me the most about any performance I have ever had, is my mom yelling, “SHAKE IT SHEA!” at the top of her lungs. I have to come to expect it and I giggle a little when I hear it.”

Dance has become such a love for Shea that she has a dream of opening a free dance studio for underprivileged children who maintain good grades. What does Shea think dance adds uniquely to young lives that can lead to future success? “Dance to me gave me something that no one could ever take away,” Shea responds, “There is this rush that happens every time I step out on that stage, field, or court. It’s the desire to learn the next routine or next step, and perfect it, and then throw a little of my ‘flava’ onto it. I think the number one thing kids are told when they are younger is that they can be and do anything they want, and around age 12, it’s like we stop telling them that and to think more ‘realistically’ and that everyone can’t be the next Oprah, Kobe Bryant or Tom Cruise. Dance is the only sport that one can be anything they want. It’s a world of make-believe through performance that can transform a child to be the next James Brown, Usher, Debbie Allen or Michael Jackson. To give that to a child, and watch them grow through dance and love every minute of it is something immeasurable.”

Memphis also provided Shea a fanaticism for hoops. Shea says, “I love basketball. Memphis is such a basketball city (Shea interjects a ‘GO TIGERS!’). I played as a young child, but always seemed to stare over at the cheerleaders. Let’s just say dance and cheer is my better sport.”

Mascot Boomer skates over to Shea before tip-off

So there is no taking the Memphis out of Shea and her family. Even her little brother’s beagle is named “Memphis” (after all, he ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog). When asked to fill in the blank, “What Indianapolis needs is ____ just like Memphis,” Shea immediately responds, “BARBEQUE! The North’s version of barbeque is everything that it is not. Neely’s and Interstate are the best places to get a taste of what real barbeque should taste like. I also hate when people refer to a ‘cookout’ as chicken and hamburgers. Chicken and hamburgers are a small piece of a cookout. A cookout in Memphis includes hamburgers, ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, smoked sausages, good music, and maybe some pig’s feet.” (insert Homer Simpson-ish drooling here)

But Shea’s Memphis life was uprooted when she learned her family was moving to Ohio when she was 15. Shea recounts, “I remember hearing the news like it was yesterday. A few months earlier I had just lost my granddad to cancer, and at the time was in a relationship that I thought would last ‘forever.’ I hated my dad, and couldn’t believe he would consider moving me from my family and friends. I left behind aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that I knew since I was little. The hardest times were the holidays. I was so used to getting dressed to go eat at my aunt’s house, or being able to visit them when I wanted to. It was hard to transition to another state knowing no one but the people I lived with.”

In addition to missing her Memphis extended family, the change was also compounded by a very different cultural atmosphere for Shea to adjust to. “To top it all off, I moved to a new state and was completely out of my comfort zone,” Shea explains, “Memphis is a diverse city. I had always attended schools that were 50/50 race-wise, and my new school was 95% white and 5% minority. I cried every day. I just didn’t feel comfortable. I remember my second day of school seeing the rebel flag on the outside of a boy’s planner. In Memphis, this was grounds for a fight, but I remember telling one of my black friends about the flag, and he had no clue why it was such a big deal. It wasn’t until after making the cheerleading squad my junior year that I started to open up and accept my new environment. If I could give advice to anyone who is new in a school it would be to be yourself and be open to change.”


Continue reading Pacemate Shea Wastes Little Time Adding a Little Memphis “Flava” to Indy’s Sports Scene

Pacemates Meet and Entertain Fans As Season Tips-Off

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Pacemates (lower row) Sarrah, Joanna, Jessica P, Melanie, (upper row), Shea, Desiree, Meredith, and Erin

The annual Indiana Pacers FanJam took place last Sunday at downtown’s Conseco Fieldhouse, and fans took the opportunity to enjoy a fun afternoon of, not only free entertainment, but free food! 

As usual, the Pacemates were part of the festivities to get us psyched for a new season of NBA action.  Two groups of Pacemates posed for photos with fans on the concourses from the start of FanJam until an hour passed and it was time for everyone to head to the court to see the team. 

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(Lower row) Megan, Jessica R, (top row) Kayla, Tamara, Ashley, Jarin, and Courtney pose with a FanJam fan

Many our favorite Pacemates are back plus some talented rookies, including Desiree, who is a “rookie” Pacemate, but a former Colts Cheerleader.  Way to go, doing it two-sport Bo Jackson style, Desiree!

The Pacers didn’t scrimmage on the court but competed in events like “chocolate unicorn” (i.e., stacking ho-ho’s on your forehead).  In a “Name That Tune” type of competition, players tried to guess what Danny Granger was “singing” (yes, we admire his, um, bravery to sing in a large, amplified building).  The Pacemates also took center court for a performance. Yeah, it is fun to see the Pacers play some birthday party games, but the Pacemates gave the crowd a real performance.

Pacemates perform to help us forget about Danny's singing

Pacemates perform to help us forget about Danny's singing

Then the Pacers participated in the tradition of the rookies getting to show their dance moves.  The Pacemates lined up to give it a Soul Train vibe.

A young fan helps show the Pacers how it is done on the dance floor, and if there are kids around, Tamara (right) will be making it fun for all

A young fan helps show the Pacers how it is done on the dance floor, and if there are kids around, Tamara (right) will be making it fun for all

So how about next year Pacers, let’s get the Pacemates in the fun.  How about a Pacer/Pacemate “Dancing with the Stars” competition?  Or a competition between Pacers and Pacemates in some of the fun games?  Bet the Pacemates emerge victorious!

Have a great season Pacemates!

Ashley is back for her third season as Pacemate, and her bio says she has Roxette and Def Leppard on her iPod.  Well, "She's Got the Look" alright!

Ashley is back for her third season as Pacemate, and her bio says she has Roxette and Def Leppard on her iPod. Well, "She's Got the Look" alright!

Polls are open to vote for the 2010-2011 Pacemates

From Pacers.com:

We need your help selecting the 2010-11 Indiana Pacemates. Check out their photos and videos before submitting your ballot. Your votes will be compiled along with those from the other judges to determine who makes the squad. Cast your vote prior to the audition showcase and squad announcement on Wednesday, July 21. Vote Now

Looks like a great set of candidates: some veterans, newcomers, and maybe even a former Colts cheerleader.

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Playoffs? Playoffs?! Nope, But Pacemates Will Make the Most of a Little Extra Time

There was a recent time when the events surrounding the Indianapolis 500 also were augmented by the Indiana Pacers still in the thick of NBA playoffs come Memorial Day weekend.  In those days, the crowd would get loud at the 500 Festival Parade, on the Saturday of the long weekend, when the Pacemates dance squad would pass by.  Enthusiasm for the team and the ability of the Pacemates to pump up the volume added to the excitement along the parade route.
 
But these days, the Pacers are in NBA limbo land: not good enough to make the playoffs and winning enough to have a no real shot at the draft lottery’s top prize.  This limbo can last a long time.  Season after season.  I have lived through it before. 
 
So during one of the final games of the year in April, I wondered what the busy Pacemates would do with the extra time afforded by a lack of playoff games.
Meredith and Brittany greet fans as they enter Conseco Fieldhouse

Meredith and Brittany greet fans as they enter Conseco Fieldhouse

 
Fans entering Conseco Fieldhouse were greeted by Meredith and Brittany who handed out programs.  Appropriately, the program cover featured the best performers in the organization, the Pacemates!
 
Now that's a program!

Now that's a program!

In the upper concourse, Jessica R and Jarin were signing the same photo (in souvenir card form) that graced the cover of program.   I asked Jessica what she would do with the extra time that no playoffs would provide.  Jessica laughed and responded, “It will be from one extreme to the other.  It will be short though, because we have auditions in July.  We’ll be right back into it before too long.  Just a little break, but I’ll take advantage of it. I am going to sleep, I know that.” 
Jessica R and Jarin

Jessica R and Jarin

 

Down near the club area “Legends” which is sponsored by Brighthouse, also the sponsor of the Pacemates, Tamara and Elizabeth met with fans.  Tamara shared with us all that this was Elizabeth’s birthday, and Elizabeth seemed thrilled about the sharing of this information. 
Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Tamara is about as fun and joyous as you can get.  If there is a little kid in sight range, Tamara will be making that child smile and giggle soon enough. I asked Tamara what she would do with the off season time, and she replied, “Some of the girls on the squad and I have some exciting trips planned.  We have a break, but the time is going to pass faster than you know it!  It’s definitely a break that we need, but once we get it, we are going to be ready to start right back up.”
Tamara

Tamara

On the main concourse, Ashley and Jessica L also were signing the souvenir cards.  It didn’t sound like the extra time would make much difference in their busy schedules.  “We will work and go to school,” they said, with an inflection that indicated busy days remained ahead as semesters wind down. 
Ashley and Jessica L

Ashley and Jessica L

Pulling double and triple duty with cheering, work and school is one thing, but on this game night, Shea would be pulling double duty as both a Pacemate and the on-court emcee during game breaks.  Shea not only performs these tasks, but also drives all the way from Ohio to be one of the Pacemates!  For those of you not from ’round here, that is over an hour drive (through some of the most exciting scenery, corn, you’ll ever see, too).   And this part of Indiana also gets its share of ice on the roads during the winter months, so a big THANK YOU to Shea for all the work and effort she puts into being on the squad and making the game breaks entertaining!
Shea I: The Pacemate

Shea I: The Pacemate

Shea II: Game emcee

Shea II: Game emcee

Jarin's fancy footwork avoids mascot Boomer's flag antics

Jarin's fancy footwork avoids mascot Boomer's flag antics

Tamara and Elizabeth amongst one of their many young fans

Tamara and Elizabeth amongst one of their many young fans

All of the Pacemates did their typical wonderful job, both greeting fans as gates opened to performing on the court, but the my Center Court Standout of the Game (drum roll please) is the amazing Tamara!  This Purdue grad is known as “Teyonce” to the rest of the squad because, according to Captain Melanie Tamara “can dance and sing just like the diva Beyonce!! Tamara is one of our best hip hop dancers on the team. She is known to serenade us at the games in the locker room and at practice as well. Teyonce can light up a room once she enters it!!” 
No doubt, Tamara is a joy to behold as a fan also!  Tamara also is head coach of the dance team at local Marian College.  So Tamara, and other Pacemates, enjoy this time off, recharge, and be back for try-outs in July!!  We need one star-laden team to see during basketball season!!