By Kevin Maloney
It’s only January, but the Spokane Shock fans who attended last night’s Dance Team Finals at the Knitting Factory were in mid-season form.
In front of a standing room only crowd, 27 talented finalists performed three routines under the watchful eye of judges and adoring fans. The finalists were divided into nine groups of three to perform a hip-hop routine, a jazz routine and a pom-routine.
“We changed the format a little bit to allow the audience to see more performances from the dancers,” Dance Team Director Maggie Kazemba explained. “The audience really seemed to enjoy and it allowed the judges to evaluate the contestants on three primary forms of dance that we use in our choreography.”
KREM-2’s Jane McCarthy hosted the event and also interviewed the women to show their personalities.
After all the performances and interviews, the panel of four judges – led by Kazemba – had the difficult task of narrowing the field down.
“That’s always the hard part,” Kazemba said. “We saw a lot of dramatic improvement from people who made it from the first round. It was clear that they worked really hard to perfect the routines.”
After the results were tallied 18 women, including 13 returners, made the 2011 Shock Dance Team.
“I think this year’s team is one of the most talented we have ever assembled. I’m really going to push them this year so that we can continue to raise the bar.”
So, what’s next for Kazemba and her new team?
“Practice. We have our first practice on Sunday,” Kazemba said. “Now that the team is assembled, we need to get to work!”
The defending ArenaBowl Champion Shock open the season on the road in San Jose on March 11th against the SaberCats. The following weekend the Shock will host the Cleveland Gladiators on March 19th with the Dance Team and Shock fans ready to cheer them on.
Click here for some pictures from the first round and the Finals as captured by Gary Peterson and Randy Cahalan. More pictures will be added soon!