Scenes from Mavs Dancers Training Camp

DFW Times gives us a look back at this year’s auditions for the Dallas Mavericks dance team. (Lots of hi-res pics here, folks.) Day One | Day Two | Training Camp

Vote for your favorite Magic Dancer finalists

The first rounds of auditions for the Orlando Magic Dancers are in the books and finals are right around the corner. Between now and then, the Orlando Magic are asking fans to vote for their favorite dancers to make the team. They’ve narrowed it down to 30. Help them pick the final squad. Click here to see who is in the running and cast your vote!

Dallas Stars Ice Girls 2014-15 auditions

By Jay Betsill
Special to DFW.com
July 28, 2014

[Photo Gallery]

FRISCO — The Dallas Stars returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs last season following five years of no postseasons for the 1999 Stanley Cup champions. While the Stars eventually fell to the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the quarterfinals round of the Western Conference playoffs, they brought the familiar energy back to North Texas that made Stars games the hottest ticket in DFW in the late 90s and into the early 2000s.

The Dallas Stars Ice Girls also enjoyed a renaissance under director Christina Swanson in her first year at the helm. The Ice Girls had over 100 ladies on hand for their auditions at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco on Saturday, nearly double the amount of ladies who tried out last summer.

Since there are multiple ways to audition for the Ice Girls — dancer, skater or both — the day is split into a first round of skating and dancing. The skating took place on the arena’s practice ice rink while the dance portion was on an elevated stage inside the arena. Those who opted to skate did freestyle as well as skating drills while those dancing learned choreography and then performed for the seven judges that included Swanson and other Ice Girls personnel.

“I have a strong cheerleading, gymnastics and ballet background,” said rookie candidate Courtney C. “Since I can pull on my gracefulness from ballet into skating and my sharpness from cheerleading into the dance, I am hopeful that it will be the winning combination for this audition.”

Following the first round of judges deliberations and an initial cut, the returning veterans arrived for the semi-final round. The semi-finals followed the same format of skating and dance, only this time the arena’s overhead lights were lowered with only the direct lights shining on the stage. This gave it the effect of what the performance will look like during Stars home games at American Airlines Center.

“I feel more confident going into my third audition process because I know what to expect,” said Melissa, auditioning for what would be her third season with the Stars. “That being said, it may actually be more nerve racking because now I know what is at stake and how amazing it is to be a Dallas Stars Ice Girl.”

The deliberation following the semi-final round ran about an hour longer than originally planned due to the extremely high level of talent demonstrated by the candidates. For those who would advance there is a week-long final round followed by a week of training camp after which the final team will be announced.

Swanson returned with the names of 32 ladies (12 veterans and 20 rookies) who would be advancing to the final round. The veterans are Stephanie, Jade, Rachel, Cheri, Jessica, Melissa, Ashley, Cassie, Belinda, Kendall, Lauren and Emma. The rookie candidates are Katie, Taylor, Olivia, Brooke, Brittany, Shelby, Kelsey, Callie, Alex, Julia, Courtney J., Taryn, Whitney, Madison, Christen, Courtni W., Nicole, Amanda, Mariyah and Courtney C.

“I’m so blessed and honored to be going into my second season as the Dallas Stars Ice Girls director,” Swanson said. “I know this is going to be an exciting year and the excitement started on Saturday with the announcement of my new assistant director, Kamwin Dietz, and taking 32 very talented young ladies to finals.”

Dallas Stars Ice Girls Finalists

Auditions for the Dallas Stars Ice Girls kicked off last weekend in Frisco, TX. The field of candidates has been narrowed down to 32 finalists who will duke it out tonight to see who makes the team. Good luck, ladies. Werq it out!

Top Row: Madison, Courtni W., Belinda*, Emma*, Whitney, Courtney J., Olivia, Nicole, Brooke, Brittany, Lauren, Christen
Middle Row: Jessica*, Jade*, Cheri*, Kendall*, Alex, Taryn, Taylor, Katie, Callie, Julia, Kelsey
Bottom Row: Rachel*, Mariyah, Shelby, Ashley*, Cassie*, Amanda, Stephanie*, Melissa*, Courtney C.

*veteran

Local college student named to Pelicans dance team

Daily Comet
July 25, 2014

Houma native Jennifer Kazusky said it was all worth it when she got the news mid-day Thursday.

The Nicholls State University student was one of 22 girls named to the 2014-15 New Orleans Pelicans dance team.

The team announced auditions in late June to fill 20 vacant positions on the team. Preliminary auditions were held last weekend where 32 finalists were named. Throughout the week, team officials said, finalists attended workshops to learn new choreography and boot camp for further evaluation by a panel of judges.

The 22-year-old Vandebilt Catholic High School graduate decided to audition for the team several months ago.

She has studied dance her entire life, attending various dance schools throughout Terrebonne, including Gerald Dishman’s Academy of Dance. The general studies senior has attended dance camps throughout the country and teaches dancing at Dancer’s Edge, 4045 La. 311, Houma.

Team members perform professionally choreographed dance routines to a variety of music during home games, and make appearances at community and professional events throughout the year. The team has traveled to Spain, Germany, China Taiwan and the Balkans to perform and represent New Orleans and the organization.

2014 Clippers Spirit Final Auditions

It is Sunday afternoon, and somewhere about 20 miles south of here, the 33 finalists for the Clippers Spirit are sweating their buns off. It’s hard to believe that this year’s auditions have already come and gone. Final auditions always go by so quickly. All that build up and then it’s over. Each dancer only has about two minutes of performing to do in front of the judges. Everything you do in those two minutes has to be on point.

This year, finals were at the Clippers training facility in Culver City, which I was extremely happy about. Finals are usually at the dance studio where the team rehearses. I think the venue change had to do with the camera crew from Fox. There are some logistical challenges with filming in the studio, not the least of which is photographing dancers performing in front of an entire wall of mirrors without catching the crew and equipment in every single shot.

Whatever the reason for the location change, I was pleased because I got lots of great photos. [CLICK HERE] to check out my photo gallery.

I arrived at 4pm and about half of the dancers were already there. The first thing they had to do was check in and be photographed for the fan vote.


Tessa

One thing that seemed really strange that nobody was dancing. Everyone was just standing around. I found out that they’d been instructed not to rehearse until everyone had had their headshot taken. This was so (a) nobody would be sweaty and disheaveled in their photo, and (b) the ladies who arrived early and been photographed first wouldn’t have that extra time to rehearse, while the others were still waiting to be photographed. Makes sense, when you think about it.


Hannah


Jayda and Amber


Rina, Kellie, and Ena (rhymes with “Jenna”) are sorority sisters.


This is Brittany’s 8th audition for the team. Kinda makes her seem old doesn’t it? But she just turned 25 last month. Happy belated!


Choreographer Kristin with Spirit Director Audrea. Kristin was happy to be off-duty for the night.

But as always, any time spent waiting around turned into hijinks.


Brittany

When the last headshot had been taken, DJ Dense turned up the music and the dancers started running through the choreography.


Karissa


Kellie


Tatum, Tessa, Brianna, Brittany, and Natalie


Roxy

After that, it was time to line up and begin the audition

Hip hop was first


Rina


Jerzie


Brittany


Candance


Amber

Once everyone had been through hip hop in groups of three, the judges had them perform it again in larger groups.

After that, it was time to whip of the sweats and do the jazz routine


Kelsey


Gabrielle


Tatum


Brooke


Veronica

Then the ladies went through jazz again, in larger groups

And then it was time for the home stretch…solos!


Tyra


Michelle


Nina


Brianna


Sarah


Sharon

And then, bada boom, bada bing, it was over. Audrea and Marianne wrapped up, thanking everyone for their efforts, explaining a bit more about the fan vote, and advising them to enjoy the next couple of days off before the team’s work weekend.

The ladies are in the midst of that work weekend right now, and have probably learned 5 or 6 new dances in less than 48 hours. Whew! Lots of hard work, and lots of waiting. The fan vote will be open through August 2nd, and the team will be announced early next week. Vote, vote, vote, and watch this space. As soon as I know who made the team, so will you!

Dallas Mavericks Dancers 2014-15 roster announced

By Jay Betsill
Special to DFW.com
July 27, 2014

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks Dancers followed their weekend of preliminary auditions and final auditions at the Hilton Anatole with a four-day training camp at Elevation Fitness in downtown Dallas. When Thursday evening’s session came to a close, the Mavs Dancers had selected their team for the upcoming NBA season.

[Photo Gallery]

Related Articles
Dallas Mavericks Dancers 2014-15 preliminary auditions
Dallas Mavericks Dancers 2014-15 final auditions

The training camp featured the 37 ladies who had advanced through the weekend auditions and this gave the judges an opportunity for an up close look at each of the candidates. In addition to learning new choreography and showing the judges how quickly they could pick it up, each of the ladies had to go through a personal interview with Mavs personnel on why they should be a member of the dance team.

Of the 14 returning veterans, five of them are auditioning for their fifth season with the team and they know how important training camp is for the success of the team. It is also Mavs Dancers director Mallory Mills fifth season at the helm of the popular dance team.

“The first time I auditioned, I advanced to training camp and I didn’t really know anyone going in,” said returning veteran Lauren. “So I know how anxious the candidates are and I make sure that they know I am here to help them in any way I can. When the week is over, you realize that actually turns into a great team bonding experience because we are going through it together.”

When Thursday evening arrived, each of the ladies performed one of the routines they had learned during camp and the judges left for final deliberations. Mills returned with a handful of envelopes that she individually handed out to all 37 ladies. The main instruction she gave was that the envelopes were not to be opened until they had left the building as to avoid anyone celebrating in front of someone who had just seen their dream come to a sudden end.

Upon opening the envelopes, 20 of the 37 ladies discovered they had been summoned back to Elevation Fitness for instructions to yet another round of auditions. They returned and gathered around Mills to discover that they had made the team. A celebration ensued and tears of joy were wept among the ladies who had survived the audition process to perform at the Mavs home games at American Airlines Center and represent the team at corporate appearances and in the community.

The 2014-15 Dallas Mavericks Dancers are: Veterans Paige, Bonnie, Emily M., Lauren, Sequel, Ashley, Kathryn, Kennedy, Amy, Alexis, Amber and Kassandra and rookies Elise, Kelli, Jamie, Hayley, Jovann, Emily V., Dejanae and Hunter.

Congratulations 2014-15 Sacramento Kings Dancers!

The team has been announced! This year’s squad includes 15 veterans and 5 newbies. Click hereto learn more more about the ladies. And when you’re finished with that, check out the audition galleries here and here!

Vote for your favorite Clippers Spirit finalists!

The Clippers want your input. Click here to cast your votes!

2014 Clippers Spirit Auditions. The Story So Far…

The 4th of July is my most favorite holiday of the year. Friends, food, and fireworks, with no stress-inducing gifting or familial obligations. It is the best holiday of them all. But as great as July 4th is, it is only the second best thing about the month of July. The first best thing about July is Clippers Spirit auditions!

This year’s auditions took place last Saturday at Redondo Union High School, and as I pulled up in the parking lot, I marveled anew at what a nice school this is. Even the parking lot is nice. Like so many schools in the area, the lot boast brand new solar arrays that shade the cars but also save on energy costs. I got the last spot right up front. SCORE! It was gonna be a great day.

[Click here to check out the photo gallery!]

As I approached the entrance, the first thing I noticed was the film crew. Fox Sports did a series about Spirit auditions last year, and they were back to do it even better in 2014.

The first people I ran across were these two, twins Rina and Ena. I found out later that one of them is in a sorority with Clippers veteran Kellie, and is in fact her big sister. When you see these two in photos later, remember Rina is wearing green-a. Har har.

Inside, the ladies were already warming up and preparing for a long day of dance.

I found Spirit Dance Team Director Audrea Harris (left). Audrea keeps it in the family. Every year her mother and sister Adrianne help out with auditions.

I also discovered this year’s helper elves who would assists with teaching the choreography, Spirit Alumni Bianca, Justene, Shannon, Becca. Shannon had to choose between the team and spending the fall semester in the UK. She chose study abroad, and can you blame her? But maybe we’ll get lucky and have her back next year. You never know! I’m afriad the other three are retired for good, although there’s always hope!

The audition started right on time, with Game Entertainment Manager Marianne Bogoyevac introducing Audrea (Game Entertainment Teams Director) and the choreographer for the day, (and Spirit alumna) Kristin Hollowaty (née Egusa.)

Marianne gave a little speech which was both awesomely honest, and also terrifying.

At every audition, someone stands up at the beginning and gives the candidates a little pep talk. Thanks for coming, glad you’re here, do your best, we’re all rooting for you. But Marianne added something that everyone knows but nobody ever says: listen, there are a lot of you in the room and most of you aren’t going to make the team. So why not just have fun with the experience and enjoys yourselves? She said it in a much nicer, more uplifting way, but that was the gist. And she’s right. 16 spots on the team means the odds are astronomical. Marianne keeps it real.

And it was time to get down to business. Kristen stepped up front and got it started. Kristin choreographs a lot of fun pieces for the Spirit, who there’s no one better to put the dancers through their paces on audition day. (Although she has been known to whip out a hip hop combination so intricate, dancers start crying in teh middle of the audition. No wait, that was me crying, last time around.)

The first combination was a technical piece designed to sort out those who have the goods from those who don’t. Battement, battement, tilt, double piroutte, another double, a couple of leaps, and we’re done. The music was Pharrell’s “Come Get It Bae.”

Dancers had just about 35 minutes to learn the combination.

It seemed like just a hot minute later, it was time to line up for the first round of auditions.

These were the judges.

They seem like nice people, don’t they? Not like they hold your fate in their hands or anything. But after the first round, they sent more than half of the dancers packing. Hey, somebody has to do it.

While the judges were off deliberating, I snuck off and found the helper elves going over the jazz combination in the schools fitness facility. Did your high school have one of these. Mine sure didn’t. But this one had elliptical machines as far as the eye could see.

The other thing that happened at that point was last year’s veterans arrived. Most of them haven’t seen each other in a few months, so it was a big love fest.

So here they are. Come on newbies, they don’t look that intimidating, do they? A few of them were in your shoes last year. And a year from now a couple of you reading this right now will be the ones making kissy faces in the photo.


Standing: Natalie, Kelsey, Brianna, Brittany, Brooke, Tatum
Seated: Karissa, Kellie, and Candace.

And check it out – another pair of sisters. Gosh, I love when this happens.


On the left, we have Tatum, a Spirit veteran. And on the right, lil sis Tyra.

This was Tyra in 2009, repping the Clippers Jr. Jam squad in the back row

Tyra is quite a little dancer. I sure hope they both make it.

Every year Audrea pulls the veterans aside for a little talk. I’m not rude enough to bust up in there, but I imagine it’s something along the lines of “go out there and show the judges why they picked you for this team last year.” I call this the “please don’t embarrass me” speech.

Kelsey is wearing flirty briefs from The Line Up! How cool is that?

The first cut was announced around 11:45, and when the dust settled, it was time to learn the jazz combination. The music was “Problem” by Ariana Grande. If you’ve never heard it, you must not listen to the radio, like ever.

I have a love/hate relationship with this song. I do like it a lot, but Miss Ariana tends to get a little screechy. Amiright?

“Head in the clouds, got no weight on my shoulders. I should be wiser and And realize that I’ve got…” by the time she gets to the end of that line, she is absolutely shrieking, and I swear I can hear every chihuahua in the neighborhood barking.

Kristin gets to work teaching the combination.

I think they only had about 40 minutes to learn this combination, then they had a few minutes to put the glam on.

And off we go with the second cut.

An hour later, the second cut was announced. THe 51 dancers left put on their big girl pants and prepred for the final combination of the day: hip hop. (insert ominous sounding music.)
Hip hop is always so interesting to watch. You can tell some of the girls have been dreading it. Hip hop doesn’t just require getting the moves right, you have to have the right attitude. Both a required. And if you aren’t solid on both, hip hop can make you look like a jackass in a way that jazz can’t.

On the other hand, you can tell there are other girls who have been waiting for this alllll day. This is their element. They turn it on, turn it up, and throw themselves into the choreography.

With only 50 something ladies left, round 3 went fast. This time, the song was Jason Derulo’s “Bubblegum.”

While the judges were off deliberating, the helper elves found ways to amuse themselves…

This is also when The Wobble happened. Because The Wobble is now A Thing. A Thing People Do At Dance Auditions. I can’t help but wonder if this is what happened in the 80s when the Electric Slide came out.

When the judges returned, they announced 34 finalists.

But that wasn’t all of the news. Things will be different this year. Finals are in a different location, solos will be longer, music will be provided ahead of time, and ah yes…the fan vote.

This is how the veterans reacted to the news that the fan vote would delay announcement of the team. Instead of finding out if they make the team two days after finals, it would be at least a week. Maybe longer. That went over like a lead balloon. Waiting with one finger on the refresh button, hoping everyone you know votes for you like 50 times. Stress!!!

Well, it’s been a few days and the dancers have been through interviews and lots of rehearsals at home in front of the mirror. Finals are tomorrow night, and we shall see who brings her “A” game to the show.

Ladies of Ontario Fury Dance Team Auditons

The Ladies of Ontario Fury, the hottest dance team in the Major Arena Soccer League, are holding auditions on Sunday, August 10th.

Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014
Time: Registration Starts at 9am (Auditions begin promptly at 9:30am)
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont (555 W. Foothill Blvd, Claremont CA 91711)

Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old by October 15, 2014. Applicants under the age of 18 at the time of auditions must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver form
  • All dancers must have flexible schedules for rehearsals, games, and appearances starting immediately
  • A total commitment is required to the Ontario Fury

What To Wear

  • 2-piece attire (crop top w/ briefs)
  • Skin colored nylons
  • Jazz, dance or athletic shoes (non-marking soles)
  • Hair must be worn down; Full hair and make-up
  • All tattoos must be covered up

For further information, contact Dance Team Director, Lynae de Leon at Ldeleon@ontariofury.com.

Vote for your favorite finalists for the Milwaukee Bucks Dancers

Auditions are underway for the 2014-15 Milwaukee Bucks Dance Team. Click here to read up on the candidates and cast your votes!

Congratulations 2014 Clippers Spirit Finalists!

After a loooong day of auditions yesterday, the field of candidates was narrowed down to these 34 lovely finalists. Congratulations, ladies!

Nine members of last year’s team auditioned to keep their spots on the team, and all are still in the running. WOOT!


Last year’s returners with Director Audrea Harris. From left: Kelsey, Kellie, Tatum, Brianna, Audrea, Brittany, Natalie, Brooke, Karissa, and Candace.

These dancers will now go through interviews, reference checks, and a final dance audition on Wednesday evening. Usually finals are at the team’s dance studio, the team is announced the following Friday, and the next two days are the team’s annual “work weekend” where they get to know each other, start to bond as a team, and learn a lot of new dances. But not this time around! This year, a fan vote will be a contributing factor to who makes the team. After finals, the finalists’ photos and bios will be posted on the Clippers website, and fans will have about a week to vote for their favorites. In the meantime, all of the finalists will participate in the work weekend. So there’s still a lot to do before the 2014-15 Clippers Spirit Dancers are chosen. Stay tuned, Spirit fans! Tons of photos and info coming soon.

2014 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

SPOILER ALERT!

Ok, I said I wasn’t going to bother with spoiler alerts this year, but I’m doing it just this one time because the squad was announced early and fans might not be on guard for spoilers in the interwebs yet. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, season 9 starts in a couple of weeks, and if you’re one of those who really really doesn’t want to know the outcome ahead of time, more power to you. Avert your eyes, and scroll on by the rest of this post.

The squad was announced a couple of days ago. Thank you to veteran DCC Jasmine who tweeted the photo below. Click on it to see the full-size version.


2014 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, in order by tenure and first name
Row 1 (top row): Sydney, Nicole, Angela, Brittney, Emma, Holly, Katy, Veronica, Ashley, Danielle
Row 2: Jacie, Jasmine, Jenna, Jennifer, Jessica, Jordan, Kelsey, Kinzie
Row 3: Abby, Ashley, Jennifer, Jessica, Jinelle, Paige, Rachel, Samantha
Row 4 (the rookies): Ashley, Breelan, Caila, Courtney, Erica, Lacey, Loren, Mary, Melissa, Victoria

These were the 16 rookie candidates selected to training camp. The stars indicate those who were ultimately chosen to the team. Congrats, ladies!

UPDATE! Post has been edited to include the correct Erica.

Note: Those who are huge fans of the show may notice there is one veteran missing. Hannah either withdrew or was released somewhere along the way. I have no idea whether her departure will be addressed on the show.

Brooklynettes Finals

Earlier this month, the Final Auditions for the 2014-15 Brooklynettes took place on the practice court at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Warmups

This might have been the quickest Final Audition that I’ve ever been to. The actual final performances took less than an hour…

But to be fair the dancers were worked really hard the previous night at bootcamp, so management had a good idea of what everyone had to offer.

Congratulated by Dance Coach Adar Wellington


The new squad!

[Brooklynettes Gallery]