Bring It! Lifetime Launches New Dance Show ‘Step It Up’

Victoria Leigh Miller
Yahoo TV
August 27, 2015

“Get right, or get all the way left.” That’s the mantra of Traci Young-Byron, former Miami Heat dancer/team captain, and current dance studio owner and star of the new eight-part Lifetime docu-series Step It Up. Based on the preview, it looks like Traci’s students better step it up – or step outta there. This outrageous dance studio owner makes Dance Moms’ Abby Lee Miller look like a wuss. For realz.

Lifetime’s latest fierce, fabulous (and feared) dance diva has a rival: Bring It’s Miss D and those Dancing Dolls, so she resorts to some unconventional methods to train her co-ed troupe at the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre in Miami. This dancing drill sergeant wields a purple baseball bat and pits her students against one another to earn a spot in weekly performances, which means students can get can get cut at any time. If you can’t take the heat…

Step It Up premieres Friday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.

Former Heat Dancer in New Lifetime Reality Show

StepItUp

MyLifetime.com
August 27, 2015

In the all-new Lifetime docu-series “Step It Up,” Traci Young-Byron, a former Miami Heat Dancer and longtime team captain, is the owner of the elite dance company, the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre (YCDT). Traci’s competitiveness, especially her fierce rivalry with “Bring It!’s” Miss D and her Dancing Dolls, leads her to use unconventional methods to motivate her co-ed dance team. For this company, the biggest competition isn’t other teams; it’s each other, as they must dance their hearts out to earn a coveted spot in a high-stakes performance each week. “Step It Up” (#StepItUp), premieres Friday, September 25, at 10pm ET/PT following the “Bring It!” season finale.

The following week, the series moves to its regular time period airing on Friday, October 2 at 9pm ET/PT. Over the course of eight hour-long episodes, the YCDT dancers push themselves to the limit to perform at high-profile events. Traci’s tough, no-nonsense attitude prepares her meticulously trained and always-on-point dancers, who vary in age, for the myriad dance genres they face, including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, West African and hip-hop.

“Step It Up” is produced by Pilgrim Studios. Executive producers for Pilgrim are Craig Piligian and Derek W. Wan. Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Colleen Conway Grogan executive produce the series for Lifetime.

Traci was a Heat Dancer for 8 seasons (2002-09 and, 2010-11)

Traci was a Heat Dancer for 8 seasons (2002-09 and, 2010-11)

Audrea is Phoenix-bound!

I have met a lot of great people through this blog. One of my favorites is Audrea Harris. I met Audrea through the Los Angeles Clippers years ago. She immediately struck me as such a class act and she became a wonderful friend. I was so incredibly jazzed a year or so after we met, when she took over direction of the Clippers entertainment teams and really put her stamp on the organization.


Audrea (at right) with her mom and sister Adrianne

Last month Audrea decided it was time to move on to new challenges and part ways with the Clippers.

WHAT????

sunsI will admit to being totally gutted by the news at first. It was bittersweet. You know how it is when you know your friend is making an important and right decision for herself, but your inner 7 year old is all “But whyyyyyyyy?????”

It is the end of an era, that’s for sure. Audrea had been with the Clippers organization for 16 years, including four as a member of the Spirit Dance Team. (Cue the vintage awesomeness.) It is difficult to imagine the Clippers in general, and the Spirit in particular, without her.

Well, c’est la vie! Off with the old and on with the new! I am pleased and proud to announce that the Clippers’ loss is the Phoenix Suns’ gain. Audrea is packing her bags and next month, will start her new job as Game Entertainment Coordinator for the Suns! It’s a big promotion, a big step up, and a very exciting new opportunity. I cannot wait to see the creativity, professionalism, and fun she will bring that that new role.

Game on, Suns fans! Please join me in saying congratulations!

BTW, I already checked Google Flights and I can get from Burbank to Phoenix in 90 minutes. Don’t think I won’t do it. Mwahahahahahaha….

Former Highlander Joins NBA Dance Team

By Nora Olabi
Chron.com

As recent Woodlands High graduates prepare to start their college careers, one former High Stepper has turned an extracurricular activity into her dream job.

Kara Robinson started competitive dancing as a fifth grader at Mitchell Intermediate in The Woodlands. She kept dancing all the way through high school, when as a senior at The Woodlands High School she became captain of The Woodlands High Steppers.

octhAfter graduating, she took her dance skills on the road, attending college with acclaimed dance teams. She danced with the Kilgore College Rangerettes, the first women’s precision drill team in the country, and, a few years later, danced for the Dallas Cowboys for three years.

Earlier this month, Robinson signed her second season contract with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder to dance as a Thunder Girl.

“Performing for a crowd is one of my passions in life. I know that there’s only a short amount of time that I’m going to be able to do this, and I’m coming up on that time where I have to start focusing on a career,” Robinson said. “But for now, I have the most supportive parents in the world that have always wanted me to follow my dreams, and I was lucky enough to do that.”

The Thunder Girl auditions are rigorous. Before the auditions started, dance coaches held boot camps and prep classes for anyone interested in being a dancer.

On the big day, 60 new and returning dancers went through three audition phases over five days this summer. The prospective dancers learn three routines – pom, hip hop and jazz – go through a fitness bootcamp, and undergo business interviews all in full makeup. Those who make the first two rounds perform a final show at the Riverwind Casino in front of an audience of TV and radio personalities, some season ticket holders and the entertainment department of the OKC Thunder. In the end, seven new girls joined the Thunder Girls, and 12 returned, including Robinson, to dance in the upcoming season.

“She’s great; she’s made for this,” said Paige Carter, manager and dance choreographer for the Thunder. “She’s a wonderful person, and her big talent is how remarkable she is at learning choreography and retaining it.”

Once brought on, all 19 dancers train two to three nights a week, perform several dance routines during the games, and make about 200 public appearances throughout the season. And although it sounds like a full-time job, most of the women have part- or full-time jobs outside of the Thunder Girls.

When Robinson is not performing as a Thunder Girl, she works as a brand ambassador for the Austin-based designer jewelry store Kendra Scott. After transferring from Kilgore College, Robinson graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s in merchandising. Although she’s learned and grown as a professional dancer, she hopes to one day blaze her own trail in the fashion industry.

“There are a lot of different options I can take with fashion. Being in the fashion industry, I’ve always wanted to open my own store and sell my own merchandise there. That’s definitely in the far away future,” Robinson said.

In the meantime, Robinson will wield her pompoms and entertain fans for the 2015-16 NBA season.

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.

Congratulations 2015-16 BlazerDancers!

BlazerDancers 2015


Amy, Anna
Brittany, Candice, Charlotte
Ellie, Erika, Jackie
Jasmine, JennaLea, Jennifer
Jenny, Kate, Lindsay D.
Lindsey J., Royesha, Sharnelle

Golden State Warrior Girl Auditions

gsw

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.

Stillwater resident named a member of the Thunder Girls

By David Bitton
Stillwater News Press
August 19, 2015

She has been shaking her hips and dancing to choreographed moves most of her life, and come this fall Addie Corley will be performing at Oklahoma City Thunder games as one of 19 Thunder Girls.

“I’m super excited to be cheering on the Thunder,” the 22-year-old lifelong Stillwater resident and Oklahoma State University Strategic Communications senior said.

The weeklong finals included interviews and dance rehearsals before the final audition.

“I was a nervous wreck,” Corley said. “I don’t think I slept for two weeks straight.”

Corley admits that the on-stage question-and-answer portion of the audition was the most challenging aspect. She remembers the question was something like, “If I made the team, what would I bring as a Thunder Girl,” but she doesn’t remember how she answered it.

“I got nervous,” she said.

Which makes it that much sweeter where her name was called on July 30.

She was one of seven rookies to make the 2015-16 Thunder Girls dance team.

“I had self confidence in my dancing,” said Corley, who has been twirling since she was 4-years-old. “I knew that if I danced how I’ve always danced, I’d feel okay.”

She attributes much of her success to Encore Dance Studios in Stillwater, where Corley has been both learning and teaching dance for many years.

“Addie is probably in the top three dancers I have ever taught,” said owner Holly Belford-Davis, who has been teaching dance for more than 30 years. “Her dedication, drive and hard work set her apart.”

Corley graduated from Stillwater High School in 2011, and cheered on the Pom Squad at Oklahoma State University for four years before auditioning for the Thunder Girls.

Paige Carter, dance team manager and choreographer for the Thunder Girls, is looking forward to having Corley on the team.

“I am excited to enter a new season with this outstanding group,” Carter said in a press release. “Thunder Girls engage with our fans on and off the court, and sometimes even across the globe. These ladies will add excitement and energy to the Thunder experience at Chesapeake Energy Arena, as well as being excellent community ambassadors.”

Right now, Corley is busy learning dance routines while practicing twice a week so she is ready when the Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 28.

“Oklahoma City Thunder fans are like no other fans,” Corley said. “They are amazing and I’m ready to meet them, talk with them and cheer on the Thunder with them.”

Gateway grad set to sizzle as Miami Heat dancer

Kristina Mazzenga

By Gideon Bradshaw
Trib Live
August 19, 2015

Judy Rubino of Monroeville watched live online last year as her daughter was picked to dance for an NBA franchise in Miami.

It was a bittersweet moment for Rubino.

“It was intense and emotional. I wanted her to make it, but it means she was leaving me,” Rubino said.

Her daughter, Kristina Mazzenga, 22, a 2010 graduate of Gateway High School, earlier this month made it through the grueling tryouts for the Miami Heat’s dance team for the second year in a row.

Rubino said she was surprised her daughter made it through the cutthroat auditions.

Last year, about 400 women competed for nine spots on the team, which dances at games and other events for the basketball franchise.

“There’s a lot of beautiful girls who go down there to try out,” Rubino said.

Rubino said dancing with the team isn’t a full-time job for her daughter, whose degree is in communications and is looking for work “with communication, social media — that type of thing.”

Mazzenga, who started taking dance lessons when she was 2 or 3, performed with the Golden Triangles when she was in high school.

She later danced competitively when she attended St. Vincent College in Unity.

Before she started dancing in Miami, she danced at games for the Pittsburgh Power, a now-defunct indoor football team that played in the Consol Energy Center.

“I had previously danced in the (Arena Football League) for two years, and I wanted to challenge myself and take on a different style of dance,” Mazzenga said.

Pittsburgh doesn’t have a professional basketball team.

Living in a region that’s fiercely loyal to its hockey, baseball and football teams, Rubino said she never had followed basketball closely — let alone been a Miami fan — until her daughter made the team.

Now she follows the Heat.

“They don’t show the girls, though,” Rubino said.

“Now I watch the games because I want to see what she’s seeing.”

Willis Alum Nabs Spot on San Antonio Spurs Dance Squad

By Anthresia McWashington
YourHoustonNews.com

Alyssa Munson’s dream of dancing has been evident throughout her childhood and even into her collegiate years.

willis1

The University of Texas at Austin senior said she’s been heavily involved in different activities — including swim, gymnastics, soccer and tee ball — since she was a little girl.

Her most recent accomplishment, nabbing a spot on the San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers team in July, is a testament to the hard work and dedication that she’s developed and invested over time.

“I rekindled a passion for dance in middle school, where I was an inaugural member of Brabham Middle School’s Sophistikats,” Munson said.

willis2

While there and later as a Willis High School Sweetheart Munson learned the dancing and leadership fundamentals that have established her as a professional today.

The biology major and business minor also spent time as a dancer and later co-director for the Austin Vipers semi-pro football team, but a life-threatening incident in the spring of 2012 had the potential of putting her dancing career to a halt.

“I was in a car wreck and broke my cervical vertebrae,” Munson said. “It was pretty bad, and all I was thinking about was ‘I’m a dancer, how can my neck be broken.”

willis3

Pam Munson Jones, Munson’s mother, said that she was afraid her daughter may never walk again.

“She was at risk of being paralyzed,” Jones said. “It was a really scary time. She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t take care of herself — it truly is a miracle that she is alive and how far she’s come in three years. If you look at her now you’d never know, but we know.”

Munson spent the next few months regaining her strength, determined to get back on the Vipers field when she returned to school that fall.

Almost three years later, Munson said a group of her friends encouraged her to audition for the San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers team in July.

“Being a professional dancer for the NFL or NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I never had a timeline,” Munson said. “It was kind of a spontaneous decision.”

Munson attended the first day of tryouts in Austin competing against about 200 other dancers for a spot in the second round.

After a series of cuts, rigorous boot camps with tough choreography and one-on-one interviews with Spurs executives and the director of the Silver Dancers, Munson made it to the final round, a public performance at the Arneson River Theater, vying for one of 16 spots with 29 other women.

Munson was selected along with a handful of other rookies for a spot on the squad.

“I was really grateful because I got to have my friends, my boyfriend and my family,” Munson said. “It was definitely one of the greatest days that I’ve had so far.”

“She’s really living her dream,” Jones said. “The Spurs is a great organization and we’re extremely proud of her.”

Munson said her plans after graduating next spring aren’t yet set in stone, but she is considering medical school with no desires to put her dancing shoes down in the foreseeable future.

To young women and girls from small towns who also have big aspirations for large platforms, Munson said to use every opportunity as a stepping stone.

“Growing up in my small town, I loved it,” she said. “I definitely got all the preparation I needed to be successful with dancing and drill team. I was really involved with the community.

“The Silver Dancers are major ambassadors for the Spurs brand, and the face that people see out there giving back and being active. That sets a good example for girls to look up to even if they don’t want to be an NBA dancer, I hope they see that you can come from any background and make a dream come true.”

Utah Jazz Stunt Team Moves Don’t Look Easy

By Andy Larsen
KSL.com

I walked into the Zions Bank Basketball Center this weekend to a group of about 25 men and women in formation, each of them pulling a backflip from a standstill, and landing it.

Whoa.

That wasn’t the only amazing trick I was in for as I watched warmups and then the tryouts for the Utah Jazz Stunt Team. Throughout, I saw a veritable smorgasbord of flips, twists, throws and feats of strength from the stunt team hopefuls.

The Utah Jazz Stunt Team is one of three rotating groups that perform at EnergySolutions Arena during a Jazz season, along with the Dunk Team and the Junior Jazz Dancers. These groups are assigned to the 41 home games, meaning that the Stunt Team will get 13 or 14 dates on which to perform per year. At each of those games, they’ll perform at least once in a quarter break, but usually at a timeout or halftime too. Occasionally, they’ll let the Jazz Bear, a capable stuntman, in on the act.

Saturday was the tryouts for the Stunt Team. The goal of program director Summer Willis was to get the roster down to a group of about 10 women and 12 men who could perform at the games next season. Given that there were about 25 people at the tryouts, and another five submitting videos to show off their skills, tryouts were relatively laid back compared to, say, Jazz Dancer tryouts, in which hundreds of potential dancers are rejected.

jazz

But the relatively high acceptance rate doesn’t mean stunting is easy. It’s not just throwing a flier into the air and having them stand on a pedestal. The initial throw has important steps of technique, especially when flips or twists are involved. The idea, generally, is to throw the top person so that the thrower doesn’t have to bend in order to catch her at her peak: that takes ridiculous strength.

Then, balance comes into play on both parties. A sturdy base is important, then the top person’s balance is critical, or else the whole apparatus moves all over the floor. The center of balance has to be right over the thrower’s grip.

That grip has points of technique, too. It’s not a pedestal, but actually a very real grabbing of the foot that means the dancer can do stretches and stunts from high up in the air. And the dismount is tricky too: getting down safely at all is often a concern, then there’s sometimes flips and twists added as well. It’s all actually pretty complicated.

Willis admits that the crowd doesn’t see all of this. “You wouldn’t know that from the outside looking in,” she says. “You just see the end result, if she falls or if she doesn’t.”

Willis, though, is a master teacher of the hidden technique — she’s led the Weber State University Spirit Squad for 17 years. Upon taking the opening, she rebuilt the program for five years and turned it into the nationally competitive outfit it is today. The Wildcats have won three national championships, in 2009, 2012, and 2013, and haven’t ever finished worse than third at nationals.

So when the Utah Jazz were looking for a way to diversify their in-game entertainment four years ago, Willis was a natural call to make, and the team knew it could count on her, with the Weber State squad as a base, to make a group that had enough quality for professional entertainment. While the Jazz aren’t the only NBA team with a stunt team, it’s a relative rarity for NBA franchises.

For those who are on both the Weber State team and the Jazz’s team, performances at Jazz games are “a little bit more laid back,” according to Chelsi Lee, an early childhood/special education major who performs stunts for both teams. “At college, it’s everyday practicing.”

That means the participants on the Utah Jazz team are excited that they’ve gotten the opportunity. Richie Stevenson, a junior at Weber State who is going into his second year on the Jazz stunt team, said, “It’s such a rush, there’s nothing better.”

“When you practice stuff for years and you get to go out and perform in front of tons of people? It’s the best.”

Chickasha grad realizes Thunder Girls dream

Adam Troxtell
Chickasha News
August 13, 2015

When the lights go up at Chesapeake Energy Arena in October and the Oklahoma City Thunder take the court, Chickasha will be represented.

Kalyssa SingletonThere on the side of the court, and on it between quarters and timeouts, Kalyssa Singleton will be fulfilling a dream she’s had since about a year in to her Chickasha High School dance and pom journey. The newest member of the Thunder Girls is still adjusting to the thought that her ultimate goal is now a reality just months after graduating.

“I’m still trying to make sure, for myself, I’m still on the Thunder Girls,” Singleton said. “I wake up and have to remind myself that this is happening. Honestly, whenever they called my name, I had no words. I was overwhelmed with nerves and excitement.

“I’ve been working for it since I was a sophomore in high school, so I was really excited to know all of my hard work paid off.”

Months of bootcamps, Thunder Girls clinics and training on her own culminated in Singleton’s selection for the 2015-16 squad that will take to the court every home game this season. On top of her talent, it was Singleton’s dedication that Thunder Girls selectors said made her a clear choice.

“Kalyssa stood out from the beginning by attending optional boot camps and prep classes to prepare for the Thunder Girls audition,” Paige Carter, dance team manager and choreographer for the Thunder, said. “As a coach, this shows me that she is willing to go the extra mile to try to make this team and be successful. Kalyssa struck me as being a very well-spoken young lady, which is important because our Thunder Girls engage with so many fans at the arena and in the community throughout the season.”

It’s been a somewhat quick rise for Singleton, who only became involved in dance when she was a freshman. She said her cousin encouraged her to come along to a few classes.

“I fell in love with it,” Singleton said. “I think just expressing yourself. There’s a whole other side of dance that people don’t see outside of dance. It brought out a whole other side of me that I don’t show a whole lot.”

Singleton spent two years at Love to Dance in Chickasha, and she joined the CHS pom squad, performing at varsity level for all four years. For her junior and senior years, she attended Top Hat Talent in Moore.

“I’ve been in dance for about four years, but I think I’m just really blessed that I could catch up in a short amount of time and eventually make the team,” Singleton said.

In many ways, Chickasha pom was preparation for the Thunder Girls, Singleton said. There is an important team aspect to dance that she would have struggled to find anywhere else.

“Being a part of that team [pom] made me understand the togetherness,” she said. “You need to have a good relationship with the girls to perform better on the court or on the stage. Chickasha pom was a little glimpse of joining the Thunder. It made me develop a way of communicating better, and I think that’s going to help me now and for the rest of my life.”

When the time for auditions came, everything she had learned was thrown at participants at once. It was a fast paced environment, with dancers gathered from across the country required to learn routines and perform them perfectly in a matter of hours. All the while, elimination hung around the corner.

“It was tough to keep focused on what I was doing,” Singleton said. “It was kind of overwhelming, but we all helped each other. There were three rounds in a full day, and each round was a different style of dance. Also, in each round, people got cut. We would learn a dance right before we would perform in groups of three in front of five or six judges.”

Singleton made the group of 34 finalists on July 30, and by the end of the weekend was one of seven newcomers named to the group of 18 Thunder Girls. Now, after about a week of everything sinking in, more work begins for the squad to prepare for the season.

The first official practice was Tuesday.

“We had a mini-camp over the weekend, and that was more about the girls getting to know each other,” Singleton said. “But the first preseason game for us is in October, so it’s coming up pretty quick. I’m just excited for the whole process.”

As for the future, Singleton said she plans to stay with the Thunder and the NBA as long as she can. Something she only really picked up four years ago looks to be taking her on a life-long journey.

“Maybe one day I’d like to become an instructor, or maybe even become a back-up dancer for someone famous,” she said.

Photo of the Day – August 13

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A Brooklynette

2013 Heights High grad chosen for Spurs’ dance team

Indey Whigham
by Lauren Dodd
KDH News
August 11, 2015

A Killeen-area resident recently was selected to join the Spurs Silver Dancers for the team’s 24th season as the official on-court dance team for the San Antonio Spurs.

Indey Whigham, a 2013 graduate of Harker Heights High School and a student at Texas State University, underwent a grueling audition process this summer to become one of the newest members of the Spurs Silver Dancers.

“It was very, very stressful,” Whigham said. “We started the first day with 133 girls. By the end of the second day, there were only 30 girls left.”

On July 26, 30 women auditioned at the Arneson River Theater in San Antonio in front of judges, retired Spurs basketball player George “The Iceman” Gervin, former Silver Dancer Alanna Sarabia and radio personality Geoff Sheen.

“We did our dance, and then performed a solo; (the judges) deliberated for 15 minutes and then they finally called out the girls who made the team. Only 16 were chosen,” Whigham said.

Whigham has danced all her life, but this latest accomplishment is the peak of her young career.

“I started dancing when I was 3. I’ve always been involved in dance,” Whigham said. “I did studio dance. In middle school, I was part of the Union Grove Golden Bells. Then at Harker Heights (High School), I was part of the Crimson Belles.”

Whigham will be back at Texas State University in the fall as a junior and said she has a busy year ahead.

“So far (my coach) told us we will be dancing up to 30 hours a week,” Whigham said.

“I think it’ll be stressful once basketball season starts, but I think it’s going to be really exciting. I’m going to be very busy, but I think I’ll like it and it’ll be worth it.”

Her mother, Melissa Adams, said her daughter was born ready to dance.

”She’s always been a little dancer — that’s why I put her in dance. She just loves dance,” Adams said.

The oldest of four children, Whigham said her three younger brothers have mixed feelings about her dancing career.

“I think they’re happy for me, but they just don’t care for dance,” Whigham said.

Her dad, Josh Adams, said this latest development in Whigham’s career will take some getting used to.

“It’s pretty exciting, I’m proud of her … to know that there’s going to be millions of people watching her dance at halftime, it’s pretty cool,” Adams said.

Whigham hopes her story will inspire young girls in the area to shoot for the stars.

“Keep going. I know when I was younger, I didn’t always want to go to practice. But it’s worth it … in the end you really do love it and appreciate it,” Whigham said. “Just keep on practicing.”

Former Sixers Dancer Kate is a Sexy Single All-Star

From The Philadelphia Daily News

Sexy Singles Reunion group shot in the studio. July 7, 2015. Jessica Griffin / Staff

Kate Beaver

Sexy Singles Class of 2009

The year Kate Beaver was featured in the Sexy Singles roundup, she posed in a red bikini and nearly broke the Internet. These days, she’s a brand ambassador for Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, which we think is fitting given her bright red hair. Listen to her Thursdays on 94WIP’s Mike and Ike show, which airs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Status: Dating but still no ring.

[Kate on Instagram]

[Kate is a 2009 Sexy Single]