Get Your Dance On: Sixers To Hold Auditions For 2015-16 Sixers Dancers

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced audition details for the 2015-16 Sixers Dancers, which include auditions in both Philadelphia and New York City.

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The team will host an open call audition in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 17 at the Sixers’ home arena (3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19148) beginning at 6:30 p.m. (media encouraged to attend between 8:00 and 8:45 p.m.). Walk-ups are welcome, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

The team will also host an audition in New York City on Monday, June 15 at Broadway Dance Center (322 W. 45thSt., 3rd floor, New York, NY 10036) at 8:00 a.m. (Dancers in the Philadelphia region are encouraged to try out at the local audition on June 17.)

Individuals interested in trying out for the Sixers Dancers must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2015 and should have prior experience in dance. They must also fill out the application form linked HERE and pay a $20 audition fee.

Dancers are also encouraged to register for one of the upcoming Sixers Dancers Pre-Audition Workshops. The Sixers will hold workshop sessions at Touch of Class Dance Studio (483 Park Way, Broomall, PA 19008) onSaturday, May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Attendees will learn the necessary choreography for auditions and get inside tips from current members of the team. Those interested in attending the Pre-Audition Workshops must email Derrick Hayes, Sixers Live Events Manager, atderrickhayes@sixers.com.

The Sixers Dancers are entering their 19th season as an integral part of the Sixers’ game night entertainment, performing multiple times and visiting fans at every home game. Off the court, the careers, educational accomplishments and community involvement of the Sixers Dancers will empower young girls in the Philadelphia region to pursue their goals, while also inspiring them to be beautiful inside and out.

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.

NBA Auditions Dates Updated!

Attention all aspiring NBA dancers!  The auditions page has been updated with several NBA dance team auditions dates.

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NBA Dance Teams (2015)
Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders: Friday, june 19. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (Boston Audition): Saturday, June 13. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (NYC Audition): Wednesday, June 10. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (L. A. Audition): Wednesday, May 13. [Details]
Brooklynettes: TBD. [Details]
Charlotte Hornets Honey Bees: Saturday, June 13. [Details]
Chicago Bulls Luvabulls: TBD. [Details]
Cleveland Cavaliers Cavalier Girls: TBD. [Details]
Dallas Mavericks Dancers: Saturday, July 11. [Details]
Denver Nuggets Dancers: Friday, July 10. [Details]
Detroit Pistons Dancers: TBD. [Details]
Detroit Pistons Cheer Team: TBD. [Details]
Golden State Warrior Girls: TBD. [Details]
Houston Rockets Power Dancers: Saturday, June 20. [Details]
Indiana Pacers Pacemates: TBD. [Details]
Los Angeles Clippers Spirit: Sunday, July 19. [Details]
Los Angeles Lakers Laker Girls: Saturday, July 11. [Details]
Memphis Grizzlies Grizz Girls: TBD. [Details]
Miami Heat Dancers: TBD. [Details]
Milwaukee Bucks Dancers: TBD. [Details]
Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers: Saturday, July 18. [Details]
New York Knicks City Dancers: Saturday, June 13. [Details]
New Orleans Pelicans Dance Team: Saturday, June 13. [Details]
Oklahoma City Thunder Girls: TBD [Details]
Orlando Magic Dancers: Saturday, June 6. [Details]
Philadelphia 76ers Dream Team (Philadelphia Audition): Wednesday, June 17. [Details]
Philadelphia 76ers Dream Team (NYC Audition): Monday, June 15. [Details]
Phoenix Suns Dancers: Saturday, Aug 1. [Details]
Portland Trailblazers BlazerDancers: Sunday, July 12. [Details]
Sacramento Kings Dance Team: TBD. [Details]
San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers: Saturday, July 18. [Details]
Toronto Raptors Dance Pak: Saturday, July 11. [Details]
Utah Jazz Dancers: Saturday, July 11. [Details]
Washington Wizards Wizard Girls: Saturday, July 18. [Details]

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The auditions page will be updated with additional audition dates as they become available.

Houston Rockets Power Dancers in the Playoffs

I snapped a few photos of the RPD during the Rockets playoff run.

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[RPD Gallery]

Larger Than Life Suns Dancers

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The Phoenix Suns Dancers on a billboard outside US Airways Arena

“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]

SI.com Roundup

Lots of great stuff on Sports Illustrated!

Charo
Cheerleader of the Week: Charo

SI 2015 MDC audition
Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Auditions

SI 2014 blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew Girls

SI 2015 AZC audition
Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Auditions

SI 2015 Viz
Washington Wizard Girls

SI 2014 Bucs Cassie
Cheerleader of the Week: Cassie

SI 2015 Jags Sam
Cheerleader of the Week: Samantha

SI 2014 Grizz
Memphis Grizzlies Grizz Girls

2015-16 BlazerDancer Auditions

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Audition Dates & Times:

Saturday, June 20th, 12:30pm: Pre – Audition Workshop (optional) @ Lloyd Center LA Fitness
Sunday, July 12th, 8:30 a.m: Preliminary Auditions
Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th, TBD: Finalist Interviews
Sunday, July 19th, Noon: Final Auditions

Location:

Portland Community College (PCC) Sylvania Campus Health Technology (HT) Building
12000 SW 49th Avenue Portland, OR 97219

Requirements:

Must be 18 years of age by October 1, 2015
BlazerDancers must attend all practices, games, training camps and mandatory Portland Trail Blazers events. BlazerDancer duties include community service events, appearances and photo shoots.
Must be able to attend practices every Thursday and Sunday evening (beginning in mid-August; times TBD). Additional practices may be added throughout the season.
Must have reliable transportation to practices, games, appearances, etc.
Must meet and maintain personal appearance, fitness level, and dancing skill requirements throughout the season.
Must abide by the other Terms and Conditions included with application materials.

What to Wear:

A two-piece dance outfit (flesh-colored tights are permitted). Mid-section and legs must be exposed. No baggy clothing other than during the hip hop round. You may wear loose fitting pants or sweats for the hip hop routine during the pre lims. You may also wear any kind of dance shoe, sneakers or perform barefoot. Please make sure shoes have non-marking soles.

Game-night ready hair and make-up are expected. Hair must be down. No pony tails.

What to Bring:

In the interest of time, we encourage participants to bring their completed and signed application and waiver forms. Applicants under the age of 18 at the time of auditions must have a parent or guardian sign the forms.
A current head shot photo as well as full body photo of yourself (at least 4×6; does not need to be professional but must be clear and contain only the audition participant). Photos are used for identification purposes and will not be returned.
$15 registration fee (cash only).
Snacks, water, make-up or hair products for touch ups. Please note that there is no extended lunch break.

[BlazerDancers Auditions]

Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Pre-Audition Workshops Next Month!

Save the date!

The playoffs are on and the Clippers are on fire. Don’t you wish you were part of it? Well, maybe you can be next season. Auditions for the amazing, glamorous, talented Clippers Spirit dance team are coming up in July. The team is hosting two pre-audition workshops to help you put your best foot forward. This is your chance to talk to the director of the team and current members, learn about their dance style and choreography, learn a dance or two, and get some invaluable advice on how to prepare yourself for auditions.

Click here for details!

2015 LACS save the date2

Welcome Back, Seazun!

Seazun Clark was a rookie Ben-Gal back in 1999. That’s her rookie photo down below. During her time as a Ben-Gal she was a team captain and choreographer, and represented her teammates at the 2006 NFL Cheerleader Challenge and and the 2003 Pro Bowl. She accomplished a lot with the Bengals. Not too shabby for a midwestern girl with no formal dance training! She had been a cheerleader in middle school and high school and was on her college dance team and that experience had worked in her favor.

Seazun

After four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Seazun retired to focus on completing her undergraduate degree. She did consider auditioning for the Indianapolis Pacers Pacemates dance team, but backed off once she realized how time intensive the job would be. So she took 2004 off, and in 2005 auditioned for the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders. (The idea of joining the Colts had been brewing since she met Colts Cheerleader Joy at the Pro Bowl.) Seazun was a Colts cheerleader for 3 seasons, from 2005-2008. She was a team captain and cheered on the sidelines at Super Bowl XLI in 2007 when the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears.

After retiring from the Colts, Seazun knew she still had plenty of dancing to do and now that her schedule would allow it, she followed through on auditioning for the Pacemates. Once again, she made the team on her first try, and was was a Pacemate for two seasons before retiring.

And that was the last I knew about her…until this week when she showed up on Bengals.com as a finalist for the 2015-16 Ben-Gals.

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Yesssss girl! Get it! She looks better than ever and must be dancing better than ever, because she was chosen to join the team. It’s all very “full circle” isn’t it?

Congrats and best of luck Seazun! We’re looking forward to seeing more of you this season!

Save The Dates – Boston Celtics Dancers Auditions

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[Celtics Dancers]

Photo of the Day – May 7

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At the MDC Finals, Rachel is back for her 2nd season. She was also a Charlotte LadyCat for one season.

Put a Dancer and a Prof Together and You Just Might Come up With a Startup

By Cathy Proctor
Denver Business Journal

Many professional dancers have long needed slim, flexible, strong protective pads to protect their knees from repeated impacts on the dance floor.

Just ask a Denver Nuggets dancer.

That need has led to an innovation that, according to its inventors, could dramatically change all kinds of protective equipment, from steel-toed boots at the construction site to football helmets on the field.

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“It’s a hybrid material system, HMS, which can absorb four times more energy from impacts than any other competing product in the world,” said Terry Lowe, a research professor at Colorado School of Mines’ George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

The patented knee pad is made of conventional foam as well as an unusual metal mesh — think steel bridge trusses crossed with a spider’s web — and a fluid that thickens upon impact, Lowe said.

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And yet the pad is as soft as your cheek, flexible and thin — less than 2 millimeters in thickness, said Kady Zinke, a former professional dancer for the Nuggets who turned to Golden’s School of Mines for help inventing a pad to protect knees. She’s teamed with Lowe on the new product.

“There’s nothing else that touches it [in the protective padding world],” Lowe said.

The state last summer gave the project a $30,000 grant, via its Advanced Industries Accelerator Program, to test the concept behind the pad. Lowe says the project is close to getting another round of state funding to test whether the pad can be manufactured at one of eight potential sites in Colorado.

The two figure they’ll need a few million dollars to finish test-manufacturing runs and learn whether the pad can be manufactured profitably, but they’re not worried about coming up with that kind of money.

Lowe said he’s received calls from many potential investors, including parents whose children have been badly hurt playing sports asking if they can invest in the new pad immediately — in hopes that other children might avoid similar injuries.

The project started because Zinke and other dancers were tired of bruised, swollen knees — a routine part of a professional dancer’s life — that result from repeatedly landing on their knees on hard dance floors during practices and performances.

And the knee pads sold in sports stores or big-box stores are no help at all, Zinke said: They’re too big, too bulky, aren’t very good at absorbing the impact, and “you could barely dance in them, much less look cute.”

Zinke has her own line of dance and active wear via her company, Kadyluxe LLC, which has caught the attention of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ cheerleading squad. They asked Zinke to design new costumes for the 2014-15 football season. She also outfitted the University of Colorado Buffaloes’ dance team for the 2013-14 season.

But while the clothing line was taking off, Zinke still wanted to pursue her original vision of a protective knee pad.

So Zinke cold-called the School of Mines, and left a message for a member of Lowe’s engineering department. Her message was passed around, ultimately landing on Lowe’s desk. And he passed it off to a colleague in California.

“My first response was this is ridiculous, impossible, because they needed a designer and they wanted to be in production in a month or so,” Lowe said.

But Zinke didn’t give up.

“I was persistent and kept calling, then one day, I got a phone call back,” Zinke said.

Lowe said he’d had that “ah-hah” moment.

“I woke up one morning and said, ‘Wait, I know a way to do this.’ That was the moment of invention, figuring out that this concept would work,” Lowe said.

He’d figured out a basic problem with pads based on foams, that when they’re hit in one area the impact causes them to bulge in another area — like pushing on a balloon with a finger.

Lowe said he realized that adding a network of metal strands to the foam would allow the pad to absorb more energy and stiffen into a protective pad.

“Part of the reason they can be thin is that it doesn’t matter where you hit it, the entire pad works to absorb the energy,” he said.

“And it’s soft, as soft as your cheek if you push on it slowly. But it you push fast it stiffens,” Lowe said.

And this new pad isn’t limited to protecting dancer’s knees.

It can be used in a football helmet, making it smaller and lighter. Something as light and small as the old leather football helmets used decades ago could be as strong as modern-day helmets, Lowe said.

“We think it’s possible to create something close to your head — 2 millimeters thick — that stiffens up like the shell of the helmet, maybe even stiffer,” he said.

Then there’s steel-toed boots, and other protective padding that workers need. And sheets of cloth that can protect priceless artwork from damage during transport.

Even ski jackets could incorporate the new pad, something Lowe — who said he was nursing his sixth cracked rib from a skiing injury — wishes was already on the market.

“The manufacturing is everything,” Lowe said.

“The concept works. The question is can you manufacture it cost-effectively and can you do it cost-effectively in Colorado? We’re not going to take this offshore. We don’t want to lose control of this,” he said.

Former Laker Girl to Represent California at Miss USA

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Natasha Martinez of Chino Hills will be departing June 27 for the national Miss USA® competition to be televised on NBC. Thousands watched as Martinez was crowned Miss California USA® 2015 on January 11 at the Long Beach Terrace Theater. Martinez is a graduate of Chapman University and is currently the on air host a KDOC-TV. She is a former Los Angeles Laker Girl and was previously a princess and parade performer at Disneyland. The Miss USA® competition will be held at in Baton Rouge, LA and will air live on NBC on Sunday, July 12, 2015. Fifty-one young women from across the country will travel to compete for the coveted title.

NBA Dancers Are More Than A Pretty Face – 1:1 with BlazerDancer Lisa

By Miriam Ludlow
SeattlePI.com

lisaI am a major NBA follower. I appreciate the players on the court, coaches on the sidelines, the fans, and the cheerleaders!

Even though most of the cheerleading performances last a couple of minutes or so, there is a lot behind each one of those. To give OSN’s readers an inside look, I sat down with BlazerDancer Lisa.

Lisa has been with the Portland Trail Blazers for four years. A dancer and gymnast since the age of four, Lisa has an extensive resume as a cheerleader, dancer and instructor. Born and raised in Portland, Lisa has been a Blazers fan all of her life. Having been exposed to the team’s dynamics through her older sister being a former BlazerDancer is no accident.

After hard work and preparation, not only did Lisa join the team when the time was right, she also got to experience dancing side by side with her sister for two years. To tell us about this journey, Lisa in her own words describes it all from day one in an audition to game night.

OSN: Where does one start to become a BlazerDancer?

Lisa: You have to audition.

OSN: What is an audition like?

Lisa: It’s intense. It’s usually in July. It’s a three-day event. The first day usually falls on a Saturday. You go and dance all day. From there the judges make their cuts. The second day the veterans join you and you get to learn three dances. On the final day the Blazers rent out the Newark Performing arts where friends and family join in to support you. Hundreds try out. They have you dance in groups of three and you also do a free style solo that you choreograph. After those they narrow it down to 35 for the finals and the final reveal takes place two days later.

OSN: How do you find out if you made the cut?

Lisa: We all meet at the Moda Center as a big event. You know you made it if your picture comes up on the screen. It’s a very emotional moment for all of us. We all cheer in support to those that made it.

OSN: Ok, your picture is up on the screen, you’ve made it. What happens next?

Lisa: It’s a major commitment for anyone selected. It’s a busy and fast pace job. We practice twice a week for three to four hours. In addition to practices if there is a game we attend and perform that night as well.

OSN: That does sound like a major commitment. Who are these women taking such a commitment on?

Lisa: We come from all backgrounds. We have dental school students, dance teachers anyone that loves to cheer and dance. Most work full time but some are still attending school. They have families, friends, etc.

OSN: What drives someone to become a BlazerDancer?

Lisa: Most of us have a busy and fast pace lifestyle and we enjoy being a BlazerDancer because is a way for us to break away from everyday stuff and get to do something that we enjoy that happens to be completely different than what we do in our every day life.

OSN: What do you do in your daily life?

Lisa: I am in the health insurance industry. It’s a stressful field! For me it’s nice to leave work and be part of the game when we arrive.

OSN: Do you guys dance at all games?

Lisa: Only the home games. But we do a lot of promotional activities on game night. They are very fun. Specially the ones that are for a good cause. Is nice to do something that is community oriented. We work with a lot of charities and support them in their efforts. We have raffles, take pictures, pass out posters, etc.

OSN: What is the time expectancy of a BlazerDancer? Is there an age limit?

Lisa: There isn’t an age limit, however as with any sport and athletic activity there is the risk of injuries that can make a dancer retire early. It’s a very demanding job on the body.

OSN: I imagine so. Do dancers get monetary compensation?

Lisa: Yes we do. It’s a commitment and the team takes care of us. But this really isn’t about the money. We all truly enjoy what we do. The compensation of course is good and a bonus. Getting it is important especially because you are getting paid to do something you love.

OSN: You’ve been a BlazerDancer for four years. What does the future hold for you?

Lisa: My family is local and I will probably be in Portland for a while. I do want to see other places but for now I will continue being a BlazerDancer for as long as I can, but I have to admit it is starting to catch up.

OSN: What do you mean? How so?

Lisa: I used to dance every day of the week for hours and hours. I now dance 2-3 hours and it’s not the same as it was years ago. My technique has improved with time, but is no longer the same.

OSN: Sounds like a major physical and time commitment.

Lisa: Yes it is. It’s a bigger commitment than what people think. Is tough because you have to train really hard as with any other sport. It takes a lot of practice to get better. Time management is key. You need to be organized and prepared. One thing I wasn’t used to was interviews. But I’ve gained the experience and enjoy being part of it all. It’s fun!

OSN: What are the rewards of being a BlazerDancer?

Lisa: That you get to be part of the game. We all have different backgrounds but at game night we all share the same passion, to be able to see our team win.

OSN: What is a game night like for a BlazerDancer?

Lisa: We perform twice during the game. It’s an amazing experience to be able to connect with people who are fans and with those who work with the organization as well. We get to greet those attending and also interact with the Blazers’ operations guest services and security team.

OSN: What drives a BlazerDancer?

Lisa: I think a big part is that you can be a different person. For example: I’m an introvert. Not a super outgoing person. But when I’m on the court dancing I’m someone else. I put it all out there and become a different person. But it really is part of my identity.

OSN: Do you fear not dancing anymore?

Lisa: I don’t fear it. But it would be weird to stop.

OSN: Having been a Blazer’s dancer is a major accomplishment. With that said. What is next for you and other dancers like yourself?

Lisa: To continue dancing. Get better. Now that I am older I am more comfortable with myself. It’s important to know your body. You know how it moves and as you get older you improve in technique. There are many things we learn not only to perform but that can be applied to other areas of your life as well.

OSN: Where do you see yourself in the future?

Lisa: Coaching or teaching. One day I would like to make the transition from athlete to business owner. One of the great things of being a BlazerDancer is that you learn a lot of choreography and you learn it fast. Is not always easy because everyone’s brain is different but I am so used to dancing and learning in a fast pace that I am thankful I have acquired that skill.

OSN: What would you tell all those young athletes/dancers who would like to become a NBA Dancer?

Lisa: To work hard, have discipline and to prepare yourself. There are great ways to learn and get better. And if you can’t make it to look at other options. There are great teams to be part of like the Portland Thunder. The Winterhawks etc.

Personally I found Lisa’s insight to be one of the most amazing learning experiences when it comes to sports.

There is no doubt that NBA cheerleaders/dancers (and in other sports as well) are often seen as just a pretty face. It is my hope that after having read this, our readers will be able to see that these are amazing athletes who have been working for this from a very early age.

The commitment and dedication from each one of them is an example for all of us who have a dream and want to follow it. Persistence, hard work, discipline and commitment are all keys to becoming part of the grand NBA dancing teams.

Lisa recommends that anyone interested on becoming one should check out their local public announcement sources for information.

Auditions are open to anyone over 18 and as per their website their requirements are as follow:

BlazerDancers must attend all practices, games, training camps and mandatory Portland Trail Blazers events. BlazerDancer duties include community service events, appearances and photo shoots.

Must be able to attend practices every Thursday and Sunday evening (beginning in mid-August; times TBD). Additional practices may be added throughout the season.

Must have reliable transportation to practices, games, appearances, etc.

Must meet and maintain personal appearance, fitness level, and dancing skill requirements throughout the season.

Must abide by the other Terms and Conditions included with application materials.

If you are a NBA follower, especially a Blazers one, don’t forget to cheer along with Lisa on the next game night!

[Lisa at the Blazers website]