Soulmates Semi-finals (2nd Time)

Last Thursday the second round of Soulmates Semi-Finals took place at Valley Brook Golfy Club in Blackwood, NJ

The judge (l-r): Soul Vice President / COO John Adams, Choreographer Cassie Russo, Director Melissa Demyan

The judge (l-r): Soul Vice President / COO John Adams, Choreographer Cassie Russo, Director Melissa Demyan

Vets Kristan and Erin

Vets Kristan and Erin

AJ on the DL :(

AJ on the DL :(

Erica

Erica

Lucy

Lucy

Leah

Leah

Finals (closed to the public) at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Philly on Monday Night. But come out for a live performance during half-time of Monday Night Football.

[Soulmates Gallery]

Soulmates Finalists – Part Two

Congrats to the Finalists from the second round of Philadelphia Soulmate Auditions. The selections were made last Thursday after a week of boot camp.

The finals are next Monday night at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Philly. While not open to the public, the plan is for the Soulmates to perform for the public during halftime of Monday Night Football. So you may want to stop by wand watch the show.

Shock Announce Dance Team Tryouts

The Spokane Shock announced today that the team will hold an open try-out for its 2012 Dance Team on Saturday, January 7th at 12 PM.

The first-round of the tryouts will be held at the Spokane Shock Center, 3212 North Eden Road, with registration at 11 AM and instruction beginning at noon. After a brief orientation, Dance Team Director Maggie Kazemba will teach the applicants a routine that will be performed in front of a small panel of judges. This round will be closed to the general public.

Those who are selected to advance will be called back for an interview round that will begin on January 8th. The tryouts will conclude with a final round on January 18th.
Preregistration forms are available on spokaneshock.com. Applicants who preregister will be charged $25. Registration will also be accepted on January 7th for $35 at the door. Dancers must be at least 18 years of age by the start of the 2012 season. Previous dance experience and or cheer background is suggested but not required.
Kazemba will be in her fifth season as the Shock’s Dance Team Director and has consistently put together one of the top dance teams in the AFL.

“Each year I try to make the team better and better,” Kazemba explained. “We are looking for girls who have the whole package – not only are they good dancers, but they are excellent performers and are role models.”

[Shock Dance team Tryouts]

Shock Dancer Alum – Chantel

Kevin Maloney
SpokaneShock.com

She has heard it all before: “Dance is NOT a sport,” “Anybody can do that,” “It’s not a real sport – how hard can it be?”

Former Spokane Shock Dancer and current Dallas Mavs Dancer, Chantel begs to differ.

“Whether people think so or not, dancing is a sport,” Chantel explained. “When most people think of dancing I think they picture ‘club style dancing.’ We simply learn a routine, perform it at a game, and that’s it. They don’t realize the preparation and training dancers go through behind the scenes before a performance or competition.”
As a member of the Dallas Mavs Dancers, at least 15 hours/week (not including games) are dedicated to being a part one of the NBA’s elite Dance Teams. From boot camp training days, to practice, and practice outside of practice, all of it is expected to be a part of a professional dance team that makes it “basically a part-time job,” as Chantel explained.

Armed with a Marketing Degree from Washington State University, Chantel also has a full time job working for a firm that specializes in financial planning for athletes entering the world of professional sports. While a schedule like this might be overwhelming for some, it is normal for most dance team veterans.

With 12 years of dance experience under her belt, Chantel is living the life that she once dreamed of.

“I have always wanted to dance in Dallas whether it was for the Cowboys or the Mavericks, they have always been my favorite professional teams,” Chantel explained. “I already had a friend from college living down here (in Dallas) and she really encouraged me to move down with her. I started taking (prep) classes to get a feel for the teams and decide which one I would enjoy the most.”

While it might be a life that she has dreamed of, the audition process could be a nightmare for the timid. The first round of the Mavericks’ tryout was an open call that yielded nearly 300 applicants.

“It was a great experience but it was definetly nerve-racking,” Chantel said. “You compare yourself to everyone else, but confidence is key.“

The 300 applicants were paired down with three preliminary rounds: prelims, semi-finals and finals. From there, 50 finalists were selected for a week-long training camp that included work-outs with three songs worth of choreography each night. After each piece of choreography is taught, the finalists had to perform it on the spot for Dallas’ Dance Team Director, Mallory Mills. At the end of the camp, 20 of the finalists made the team’s final roster, including only five rookies.

But, the competition doesn’t end there. Of the 20 dancers, only 10-12 actually get to perform during the games. The night before each game, girls have to “audition” for each routine that will be performed at the next game. As a two-year veteran of the Shock Dance Team, this type of competition is nothing new for Chantel.

“I know that Maggie (Kazemba, Shock Dance Team Director) really made it a point for us to come to practice knowing the routines,” Chantel said. “A lot of times she would upload routines online and it was our responsibility to learn the routines and come to practice knowing the material.”

While Chantel and the rest of her teammates have not been able to perform at a game, yet, they have still kept a busy schedule since the team was announced in July.
In addition to making regular appearances throughout the Dallas community, the Mavs Dancers were also flown to Barbados to shoot its annual calendar.

“Within less than a month of making the team, our Coach announced that we were all being flown to Barbados for a four-day photo shoot,” Chantel explained. This exotic location was chosen as a reward for helping the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA Championship. “It was hard work but it was worth it. We had to be up at 2:30-3 AM in order to be at our location site by sunrise.”

(The 12-month calendar is available for pre-sale now on mavs.com by clicking here.)

During this short time, Chantel has quickly developed a tight bond with her teammates.

“Everyone has been really helpful and all of the girls are super nice,” Chantel said. “We always try to go out and do stuff together. In the beginning, it was a little tough because there are 15 veterans with just five rookies. The rookies did stick together. Now that we have gone to Barbados and have had quite a few practices and appearances, we are starting to blend in as a team.”

For Chantel, her experience on the Shock Dance Team helped her get where she is today and helped make her dreams a reality.

“I think that dancing on the Shock team was a huge stepping stone to dance in the NBA now. Maggie is really tough on those girls. She knows what it takes to be a good dancer and a performer. Even her choreography is similar to what we do now. It’s very high-energy and she is very precise with her routines,” Chantel said. “The Shock is definetly a great stepping stone to get to the next level.”

Solumates Second Open Call

Rehearsing the routine prior to the audition

Rehearsing the routine prior to the audition

Soulmates Choreographer Cassie Russo (right) and Ashley, who assisted Cassie throughout the day.

Soulmates Choreographer Cassie Russo (right) and Ashley, who assisted Cassie throughout the day.

Also assisting was Soulmate Christina

Also assisting was Soulmate Christina

You may recognize Lucy from the Philadelphia Fight Vixens Dance Team

You may recognize Lucy from the Philadelphia Fight Vixens Dance Team

Erica warms up

Erica warms up

Lots of leaps

Lots of leaps

[Soulmates Gallery]

Cassie Russo Named Soulmates Choreographer

The Philadelphia Soul named Cassie Russo as the Soulmates Dance Team Choreographer for the 2012 season. Her first official duty was overseeing the second open call event at Philadelphia Airport Hilton on Sunday, November 27.

“With passion, dedication and a true love for the sports and entertainment industry, it is a distinct honor to represent the Philadelphia Soul organization,” said Russo. “I am beyond thrilled and excited to get started, we are ready to work to our highest potential and beyond.”

Russo is the owner of CaRu Entertainment (www.caruentertainment.com), a dance studio and performance center in Pennington, NJ where she is a professional choreographer, performer and dance instructor.

Her previous sports dance team experience includes: co-founder and choreographer of the Unofficial Dancers of the New York Giants, co-founder and choreographer for the Fight Vixens Dance Team for the Philadelphia Fight Rugby League, dancer for the Philadelphia Angels Dance Team for the Philadelphia Wings and a dancer on the New York Titans Dance Team for the Titans Lacrosse team.

In addition to sports dance team choreography, she has choreographed for competition teams, musicals, the East Coast Pro Dance Convention and the New York Columbus Day Parade. As an Angels Dance Team member she appeared on Good Day Philadelphia and as a Titans Dancer, she appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show and Live with Regis and Kelly. Russo is a graduate of DeSales University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Liberal Arts.

San Jose SaberKittens Auditions Are Set

Want to join the Bay Area’s hottest dance team? The three-time AFL champion San Jose SaberCats are holding auditions for a chance to earn a spot on the 2011 San Jose SaberKittens dance team. Auditions will be held on January 7th & 8th, 2012 at the Fry’s Electronics Gym in Palo Alto.

WHAT: 2011 San Jose SaberKittens Auditions
WHEN: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. Callbacks are Sunday, January 8, 2012.
WHERE: Gym at Fry’s Electronics in Palo Alto. Address is 380 Portage Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94306.

[SaberKittens Auditions Registration]

Soulmates Semi-Finals

After a week of bootcamp, Soulmate Semi-Finals took place last Thursday in the ballroom of the Valley Brook Golf Club.

Stretching and Warm-ups

Stretching and Warm-ups

Christina with a sign made for her by a fan

Christina with a sign made for her by a fan

Ashley

Ashley

Choreographer Andrea Mychaels and Director Melissa Demyan

Choreographer Andrea Mychaels and Director Melissa Demyan

We're going to miss Soulmate Brett on the field. She's getting her Masters from Drexel next month. But you may still see her helping out on game day.

We're going to miss Soulmate Brett on the field. She's getting her Masters from Drexel next month. But you may still see her helping out on game day.

Deonna

Deonna

Reviewing the Candidates

Reviewing the Candidates

First Group of Finalists - Three veterans and fourteen rookie hopefuls

First Group of Finalists - Three veterans and fourteen rookie hopefuls

There’s a second open call coming up Sunday, November 27th. Details here. Finals will be sometime next month.

[Philadelphia Soulmates Semi-Finals Gallery]

Philadelphia Soulmates 2nd Open Call Audition

[Soulmate Audition Registration]

Soulmate Finalists

Congratulations to the 2012 Philadelphia Soulmates Finalists.

After an intense week of boot camp, the semi-finals were held last night in the ballroom of the Valley Brook Golf Club in Blackwood, NJ.

Finals will be held next month.

The Soulmates will take the field at the Soul home opener against the Cleveland Gladiators on 4/1/12.

2012 Philadelphia Soulmate Finalists

2012 Philadelphia Soulmate Finalists