SI.com’s Coverage of the Golden State Warriors Dance Team

Check out SI.com’s wonderful coverage of the Golden State Warrior Dance Team here.

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Former Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Kaylee U. Selected For The Warrior Girls

Now that the NBA season is upon us, I can officially offer congratulations to former Ladies of Ontario Fury Dancer Kaylee U. for being selected to the 2015 – 2016 Golden State Warrior Girls.

Kaylee was a member of the Anaheim Bolts Dance Team and the Ladies of Ontario Fury Dance Team. Both squads were under the direction of Lynae de Leon, who has a history of developing local dance talent that have gone on to greater challenges with such squads as the Clippers Spirit, Charger Girls, Laker Girls and now the Warrior Girls.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph her for three years before she made the jump to the NBA.

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Congratulations Kaylee!

Former Warrior Girl continues passion for dancing

Tara-Caprice Broadwater, owner/director of Love2Dance All-Stars, poses in her Novato studio. Broadwater is a former Golden State Warrior dancer with over 20 years of dance and performance experience.

Tara-Caprice Broadwater, owner/director of Love2Dance All-Stars, poses in her Novato studio. Broadwater is a former Golden State Warrior dancer with over 20 years of dance and performance experience.

By Stephanie Weldy
Marin Independent Journal
August 22, 2015

Novato resident Tara-Caprice Broadwater, 36, has a passion for dancing. And that love and her skills for all styles of dance propelled the Marin County native to NBA courts and around the globe as a dance teammate for the Golden State Warrior Girls from 2001 to 2004.

Novato’s Tara-Caprice Broadwater, right, performs during the 30th Warrior Girl Dance team reunion in April

Novato’s Tara-Caprice Broadwater, right, performs during the 30th Warrior Girl Dance team reunion in April

During that time, Broadwater opened up her first dance studio, Love2Dance, in Novato. She eventually left the basketball dance team to fully focus on her growing studio, which now has two Novato locations, where Broadwater and other instructors teach a variety of dance styles to all ages — from two to 65. The studio’s dance team, the All-Stars, has twice performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and each year performs during a Golden State Warriors halftime show.

2003-04 Warriors_Tara HowardQ: How was it being a Golden State Warrior Girl?

A: I had so many amazing experiences. We got to travel and meet exciting people and athletes and entertainers and that’s when I decided I wanted to be involved with teaching dance. That’s when I decided to open the studio. So I was trying to juggle that my last season and it became difficult and I decided I was going to focus on opening the dance studio.

Q: Why did you choose to focus on your dance studio over being a Warrior Girl?

A: I always felt this was my calling to help kids and help people just to find their way and their passion. I know for me, dance really saved me when I was young. It helped me in all areas of life. If you have something you’re passionate about, it helps you build confidence and find success. I love performing so much, but here I get to teach and we do two recitals as well, so I still get to perform. So I get the best of both worlds.

Q: What is one of your more interesting experiences from when you were a Warrior Girl?

A: My husband hates this story. We had a mascot named Thunder and he picked me up and brought me on the court to meet Jamie Foxx. It was right when he’d done all those movies, and the song, and he was doing this comedy show, and anyhow, I’m in the middle of the court talking to Jamie Foxx and he invites me to whatever show he was doing. And then he hugs me and kisses me on the shoulder. And my boyfriend, whose now my husband, he’s in the stands, and his friend said, ‘Isn’t that your girl Jamie Foxx is kissing?’ And he was so mad. I always told him I could’ve been with Jamie Foxx and I chose you. Which of course, he was probably just saying hi. Maybe that’s how he says hi to everybody.

Q: Any other interesting places dancing has taken you?

A: Last year I choreographed a dance for the Kalin and Myles video “Do My Step.” I also went to the Power 106 celebrity basketball game in (Los Angeles) and choreographed backup dancers for the Kalin and Myles half-time performance with Ariana Grande and Tinashe.

Q: What is dancing to you?

A: It’s my life. It’s my passion. It’s everything. It’s my world. If I don’t think of this as my job and career, it’s who I am. And I work really hard. I work 60 hours a weeks. And I’m bookkeeping, phone calls, and emails, and ordering costumes, and being a therapist to children and their parents, and cleaning, And then I teach dance. Not every single class. This semester I think I’m teaching 21 classes.

Golden State Warrior Girl Auditions

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Auditions for the 2015-16 Warriors dance team began on Saturday, August 15, with many aspiring dancers trying out at Las Positas College in Livermore.

More photos here.

Former Golden State Warrior Girl Lisa Murray on AB202

KTVU –

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS – Golden State Warriors Store Opening in Westfield Mall

With the incredible momentum and popularity of the NBA brand in SF Bay area, the Golden State Warriors have opened up a storefront on Market Street of 1800 sq ft of retail space to sell merchandise to new adoring hordes of fans. At 11am on Saturday May 23, fans lined up at the grand opening and had the chance to buy 2015 NBA Playoffs memorabilia and take advantage of other specials.

With a weekend trip planned to SF Bay for Memorial Day Weekend, I was happy to take advantage to checking out some fan events of the Golden State Warriors even if the team is in Texas for the duration of the time I am in town. Of course the highlight was a brief conversation with a few members of the Golden State Warriors Dance Team and get a free swimsuit calendar.

Fans who arrived early were able to grab an assortment of handouts from a car flag, MVP Stephen Curry poster, and a Strength In Numbers button.

GSW Dance Team Member Rachel

GSW Dance Team Member Yvonne

GSW Dance Team Member Danielle

Up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals vs Houston Rockets, hopes are high for the first NBA Championship to SF Bay since 1975.

“My Life: I’m An NBA Cheerleader”

Mode Studios’ GLAM channel’s new segment,”My Life: I’m An NBA Cheerleader,” shadows Amira, a captain for Golden State Warrior Girls, as she trains and prepares for performances during basketball’s most important games of the year. See how she navigates game day, from prepping meals at home to pregame practice to putting on a spectacular show for NBA fans.

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Watch the video here.

[Amira at the Warriors website]

More from the Warrior Girls Calendar Release Party

Warriors.com: On December 8, the Golden State Warriors Dance Team hosted their second-annual calendar release party for the 2015 Warriors Dance Team Swimsuit Calendar at Blu 42 Sports Lounge and Grill in Walnut Creek.

Click here to check out the photo gallery.

Golden State Warrior Girls Calendar Unveiling

Monday night at BLU 42 in Walnut Creek the Golden State Warrior Girls released their 2015 swimsuit calendar. Fans got a chance to cheer on the Warriors vs the Timberwolves at a viewing party and then things heated up as the calendar was unveiled.

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[Golden State Warrior Girls]

[Calendar Unveiling Gallery]

[Buy the Calendar]

Golden State Warrior Girls Finals

(This post got overlooked during the server issues we had during the summer)

 

The finals for the 2014-15 Golden State Warrior Girls were held at the Warriors Practice Facility back in July. Enjoy the photos.

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[Finals Gallery]

[Golden State Warrior Girls]

[Auditions Recap]

Scenes from Warrior Girls Auditions

Click here to check out the gallery on the Golden State Warriors site.

Almost 200 try out for Warriors Dance Team

Hamad Aleaziz
SF Gate
July 12, 2014

While most of the basketball world focused Saturday on the return of LeBron James to Cleveland, nearly 200 women – and one man – focused on impressing judges as they tried out for the Warriors Dance Team in Oakland.

The tryout meant a chance for the hopefuls not only to be a part of a team, but to achieve what many said was their lifelong dream of dancing in front of large crowds for the Golden State Warriors.

[Photo Gallery]

The competition was tougher than the rivalry between the Warriors and the Lakers.

By the end of Saturday’s preliminary audition at the Warriors’ practice facility in the downtown Oakland Marriott, hundreds of hopefuls were to be reduced to 40 to 50. And by the end of the audition process on Thursday, only 16 to 20 will be selected for the team. Even past members have to try out again.

The dancers learned jazz and hip-hop routines, getting a chance to practice each of them for just 10 minutes before their big audition. They teamed up in groups of four, spinning, dipping and shimmying in brightly colored skimpy outfits for the eight judges.

Most were in their 20s, yet many were left breathless – but excited.

“Should we do it again?” said the choreographer. In unison the women – and the man – shouted “Yes!”

Though they knew the odds of making the team weren’t high, many hopefuls expressed gratitude for the opportunity to dance for the chance.

“I love being part of a team and getting to share this experience with other girls who have the same passion as me,” said Danielle, a San Jose resident who will go into her third year with the team if she’s selected. Sabrina Ellison, the team director, told the dancers not to give their last names.
Hard to keep composure

Danielle, who works at a restaurant while attending school, said she has danced since she was 3. “I absolutely love doing live performing for an audience,” she said. Still, she noted, auditioning against so many other women can make it hard to stay calm.

“I’m very nervous – it never gets easier, even coming back as a veteran,” she said.

Ellison – also a judge – said she senses the anxiety at the auditions. “There’s a lot of nervous energy. … When you’re being judged, it’s natural. We try to make it fun and energetic and like a dance class,” she said.

Beyond just dance ability, the judges were looking for well-rounded applicants who enjoy being out in the community, she said, adding that most team members have full-time jobs or are in school.

Ellison declined to say what the dancers earn but said they are paid hourly and “well above minimum wage.”

Newcomers like Lauren, a Hayward resident who works as a receptionist for Virgin America and has danced since she was 6, said that despite the competitive vibe at the tryout, she felt like those auditioning were a team. She reminisced about her three years on the 49ers’ cheerleading team, where she experienced a similar sense of camaraderie.

“You’re always helping each other out – you need help with a dance, you’re in a bind and can’t get to practice – everyone watches each other’s back,” she said. Lauren added that being a cheerleader gave her lifelong friends, including two former teammates that will be in her wedding next year.
Lone male contender

The 40 to 50 attendees who make it through Saturday’s preliminary audition will try out again Thursday. They’ll perform both routines, do an on-camera interview, and dance a 45-second individual freestyle routine.

If the man is one of the winners, he’ll be the first male dancer on the team once known as the Warrior Girls.

Golden State Warrior Girls Auditions and Prep Classes

PRELIMINARY AUDITIONS

Saturday, July 12
9 a.m. Registration | 10 a.m. Audition
Warriors Practice Facility
1011 Broadway (5th Floor)
Oakland, CA, 94607
Map/Directions

$15 Pre-Registration Fee
$25 For Walk-Ins On Day of Audition

 

PREP CLASSES

Touch up on your dance skills and learn
what it takes to be a Warrior Girl!

$30 per workshop
$100 for a workshop package

All classes are at ClubSport San Ramon
350 Bollinger Canyon Lane
San Ramon, CA 94582

Tuesday, July 1, 8-10 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8, 8-10 p.m.

[Complete Audition Information]

[Game Day with the Warrior Girls]

Game Day with the Golden State Warrior Girls

Warrior Girls Dance Team Director Sabrina Ellison grew up in Los Angeles and went to school at USF, where she danced for the Dons. She danced professionally in the NFL for eight years: six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush and two seasons with the Seattle Sea Gals.

Sabrina is in her seventh season as a dance team coach in the NBA. She started in Seattle with the SuperSonics, then moved to Oklahoma City and started the Thunder Girls dance team from scratch. This is her third season coaching the Warrior Girls.

“The Warriors were always my ideal team to coach. It is great how my career went full circle and I’m back in the Bay Area.”

Sabrina on Going From Dancing to Directing:

“It’s a night and day difference. When you’re ready to put your dance boots away, throw your poms away and take that leap to become a director, it’s 100% different. As a dancer, you’re a part of the team and it’s more about you. When you’re a director, it’s not only about getting the performers to look amazing on-court and dance as a team, but you’re influencing them in so many different ways. A director is the glue to the team that makes sure each girl feels like a part of a sisterhood and grows as a woman.
“I think as a dancer, you’re always going to miss performing. But I love coaching because it is a different skill set. You have to be selfless. You have to be there for your girls and help them grow as dancers and as women. You have to be supportive and be a teacher. You have to take all of these different personalities and make them into a team. And I love it. I love seeing them become good friends. I love seeing them dance out there and go from not being the strongest dancer to suddenly blossoming into an amazing performer.”

Sabrina on the Warrior Girls as Ambassadors to the Organization:

When Sabrina first started with the Warriors, a new ownership group purchased the team and set out to create a first class organization from the players to the front office to the Warrior Girls dance team.

“The Warrior Girls are really ambassadors for our team. Our team participates in over 100 appearances a year, interacting with fans and participating in various events and fundraisers. Last summer the team went to China as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative. I am really focused on preparing the girls to represent the team the best way possible. Learning how to interview well and engage fans of all ages and backgrounds. It’s important for each girl to become well-rounded, both as a dancer and as a person.”

Warrior Girls with Director Sabrina Ellison

Sabrina on the Warrior Girls Dancing Style:

“As a basketball team in an urban area in California, you have to be cutting edge. To entertain our fan base, we dance to hip-hop, but also do a lot of novelty routines to perform for older fans who are die-hard and have been going to Warrior games for years.”

During the Golden State Warriors-Brooklyn Nets game on Saturday, February 22, the Warrior Girls performed a hip-hop routine to “Can’t Hold Us,” and later performed to Janet Jackson’s 1989 single “Rhythm Nation,” connecting with older fans and allowing them to enjoy the team’s performances.

“My dancers love the art of dance and performing all styles of dance. Sometimes the girls dance to Bollywood, sometimes it’s jazz or country music, and sometimes it’s hip hop. But no matter what genre they perform, they want to be the best.”

 

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Warrior Girl Shonna

Shonna is a first-year Warrior Girl, and she admits it has been demanding to learn a new style of choreography that is unfamiliar to her. But she recognizes that the challenge has allowed her to grow as a dancer.

“I’m working hard, bonding with the other girls and really pushing myself to become a better dancer.”

Shonna also says the responsibilities of being a Warrior Girl is more than she was expecting.

“Having been a professional dancer previously, I knew it was going to be a big commitment to be a Warrior Girl. But I didn’t realize it was going to be such a physical and mental challenge for me.

“The veterans are helpful, making sure all the rookies know what they need to know and just pushing us along as we embark on this journey and really making sure we can be the best Warrior Girl possible.”

Shonna’s advice to those auditioning for the Warrior Girls?

“Go into the audition as who you really are and let the judges see that. It’s so much more than dancing. It’s who you are as a person and what you embody. It’s about being a classy woman and being a woman who can carry herself with poise and grace. You’re auditioning to be an ambassador for the Golden State Warriors. If you show up on audition day in tip-top shape, confident and dance to the best of your abilities, the judges will see that.”

Warrior Girl Casey

Casey is in her sixth season with the Warrior Girls, making her the longest-tenured member of the team. Just turning eighteen year old during her first season with the team, she felt intimidated when the other dancers were in their twenties with years of dancing experience.

She was the leader of her high school’s pom team and dance team, and now she was joining a team where every dancer had to be in unison. It was a difficult learning experience, but over the years Casey came to learn and embody the Warrior Girls style.

“I basically grew up on this team. It also helped me to develop into the woman I wanted to become by building confidence, skills when interacting with fans and learning how to be a brand ambassador for a professional organization. There’s a lot more to being a Warrior Girl than looking pretty and being able to dance. You have to have a good head on your shoulders, be humble and definitely be able to work hard.”

One of her biggest motivations for coming back every season and re-auditioning are the fans and the Bay Area community.

“I love that our team is committed to community outreach by working with schools and children to give back to the Bay Area. If our community didn’t love the team and come to our games, we would have no one to perform for. So every time I step on the court, I look at it as another opportunity to make somebody smile or to make somebody happy for that one minute and ten seconds. As a performer, that is your only job.”

Casey was honored to be voted by the team as a Warrior Girls captain for the second consecutive season.

“As a captain a lot of responsibilities are placed on you, but that also means that my teammates felt confident in me to lead them and help them achieve success. Going from a rookie on the team to a 6th year captain wasn’t easy. I’ve had to learn a lot.”

Casey went through some tough times when she didn’t think she could perform any longer with the team because of the time commitment and the energy need on a daily basis. But she stayed with it and tried to carry herself as a role model for the other girls.

“I really encourage the girls to keep pushing yourself in every practice and to stay with a positive mentality, because the more you stay with it the schedule and the time commitments, the training and everything else becomes easier. Everything gets easier with time and effort.”

“We all go through difficult times and hardships as women. This is a hard industry to be in, and a lot is expected of you.”

In her six seasons with the team, Casey has traveled to Italy, Japan and India as a member of the Warrior Girls. Her favorite experiences are her trips to China, where she has represented the team on three separate visits.

“The fans are so enthusiastic, they really love basketball. They have a basketball league over there too, NBA China. But they all watch Warriors games and Lakers games. Those are the most popular teams in China, so the fans really appreciate us and recognize us as a huge part of the organization. They travel hours to come watch us perform, so it’s heartfelt and meaningful when we get to dance for them.”

This year Casey was voted to the NBA All-Star Dance Team at the 2014 NBA All Star Weekend. She describes the experience as the most amazing week of her life. “I was able to dance on a team with 29 other women who each dance for an NBA team. We shared our dancing styles and blended them together. We went out and performed for a huge crowd of locals and celebrities. It was exhilarating, but it was definitely frightening, and we worked long hours practicing for the performances, but as soon as we stepped out on the court, it was all worth it.”

[All New Golden State Warrior Girls Wesbite Updated for 2014]

[Warriors-Nets  Gallery]

Photo of the Day – February 27


A Golden State Warrior Girl