NBA Dance Team Audition Dates Updated

I’ve finally gotten around to updating the audition dates page with the most recent NBA Dance Team auditions dates.  We will be updating this page on a regular basis, so stay tuned for the latest audition news.

Update: Philadelphia 76ers Dancers & Los Angeles Clippers Spirit auditions dates added

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NBA Dance Teams (2016)
Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders: TBD. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (Boston Audition): Friday, July 8th. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (NYC Audition): Wednesday June 16th. [Details]
Boston Celtics Dancers (L. A. Audition): Wednesday, May 18th. [Details]
Brooklynettes: Saturday, June 4th. [Details]
Charlotte Hornets Honey Bees: Saturday June 25th. [Details]
Chicago Bulls Luvabulls: Saturday, July 23rd. [Details]
Cleveland Cavaliers Cavalier Girls: TBD. [Details]
Dallas Mavericks Dancers: Saturday, July 9th. [Details]
Denver Nuggets Dancers: Friday, July 15th. [Details]
Detroit Pistons Dancers: TBD. [Details]
Detroit Pistons Cheer Team: TBD. [Details]
Golden State Warrior Girls: TBD. [Details]
Houston Rockets Power Dancers: Saturday, July 9th. [Details]
Indiana Pacers Pacemates: TBD. [Details]
Los Angeles Clippers Spirit: Saturday, June 25th. [Details]
Los Angeles Lakers Laker Girls: Saturday, July 9. [Details]
Memphis Grizzlies Grizz Girls: TBD. [Details]
Miami Heat Dancers:TBD.[Details]
Milwaukee Bucks Dancers: Friday, July 15th. [Details]
Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers: TBD. [Details]
New York Knicks City Dancers: Saturday, June 11th. [Details]
New Orleans Pelicans Dance Team: Saturday, July 16th. [Details]
Oklahoma City Thunder Girls: TBD [Details]
Orlando Magic Dancers: Saturday, July 23rd. [Details]
Philadelphia 76ers Dancers: Sunday, June 26th. [Details]
Phoenix Suns Dancers:TBD. [Details]
Portland Trailblazers BlazerDancers: Sunday, July 10th. [Details]
Sacramento Kings Dance Team: Friday, June 3rd. [Details]
San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers: Saturday, July 16th.[Details]
Toronto Raptors Dance Pak: TBD. [Details]
Utah Jazz Dancers: Monday, June 6th. [Details]
Washington Wizards Wizard Girls: TBD. [Details]

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Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Announce Open Call Audition and Pre-Audition Workshop Dates

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To register for either the pre-audition workshops or the open call auditions, please visit the Clippers web site at: Clippers.com/spirit.

SI.com’s Coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls

We are catching up on Sports Illustrated’s coverage of professional dance teams and they recently posted a photo gallery of the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls.  Click on the image below to view the gallery.

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SI.com’s Coverage of the Miami Heat Dancers

Sports Illustrated has posted a large gallery of images of the Miami Heat Dancers.  Click on the image below to view the gallery.

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Kings/Cowboys Alum in the running for cover of Redbook

Redbook magazine is running it’s 3rd annual “Real Women Style Awards” contest. Readers were asked to submit their best, most stylish photo for the chance to be on the cover of the magazine. Six women will front the September issue, as a homage to real women (not celebrities, not models) who are stylish in their everyday lives. Redbook narrowed the entries down to 25 finalists, and has opened the competition up for public voting.

One of the ladies in the running is wife, mother, educator, former Sacramento Kings Dancer and former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Sasha Agent. With almost 17,500 votes (as of right now), she is on the leader board, but every last vote helps. Click here to see the finalists and vote for your favorite. Voting is open until May 10. You can vote once each day.

WARNING: There are TWO Sasha in the running. This is Sasha Agent:
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Sasha was a Sacramento Kings Dancer for four seasons (2001-2005)

Sasha was a Sacramento Kings Dancer for four seasons (2001-2005)

Sasha was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for two seasons (2010-12)

Sasha was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for two seasons (2010-12)

SI.com’s Coverage of the Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders

Sports Illustrated has a nice gallery of the Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders on SI.com.  Click on the image below to view the gallery.

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P-R-O Convention Now Open For Reservations

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Reservations are now open for the premiere professional cheerleading and dance convention, the P-R-O Convention in Atlanta.  This year, the convention will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel Downtown on June 18th & 19th.  Learn from professional sports leading dance instructors.  Guest instructors for this year include:

  • Tracy Rutledge – Former NBA Atlanta Hawks, AFL2 Georgia Wildcats
  • Tara Battiato – NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
  • Coach Alto Gary – NFL Houston Texans Cheerleaders, WCW Nitrogirls, Former NBA Atlanta Hawks & Charlotte Hornets Choreographer
  • Jakene Ashford – NFL Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders
  • Derric Whitfield – NBA Washington Wizards, Wizard Girls
  • Stephanie Jojokian – NFL Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
  • Katie Gibbons – NBA San Antonio-Spurs Silver Dancers and AHL Rampage
  • Tami Krause – NFL Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
  • Stacie Kinder – NFL Nashville Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders
  • Brandii McCoy – NBA Charlotte Hornets Honeybees and AHL Charlotte Checkers CheckMates
  • Courtney Moore – NFL Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals
  • Denise Garvey – NFL New York Jets Flight Crew
  • Kristina Ferdig – NFL Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders

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If you want to experience an exciting weekend of dance, team building and networking, click on the logo below to register for the 2016 P-R-O Convention.
PRO

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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Thornhill Native Excited About NBA All-Star Weekend

Cotton Candy firm involved with fun weekend events

By David Li
YorkRegion.com

Like many basketball enthusiasts, Thornhill’s Nicole Pollock is excited about the National Basketball Association hosting its All-Star game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto this weekend.

rap2The 29-year-old former member of the Toronto Raptors’ Dance Pak is the co-owner of Cotton Candy Events Staffing and very involved with various events linked to the NBA All-Star weekend.

Just some of the key, fun events running from Friday to Sunday include a celebrity basketball game, a skills challenge, and a rising stars basketball game, to name just a few.

It all culminates in the 65th annual NBA All-Star game at the Air Canada Centre Sunday evening, Feb. 14, featuring the best players from the NBA’s Western conference against the best from the Eastern Conference.

“Cotton Candy has lots on the go, as we will be providing brand ambassadors for events including fashion shows and charity functions,” said the Westmount Collegiate and York University graduate.

One of the high-profile functions her firm is backing is an NBA superstar’s charitable foundation.

“Cotton Candy staff will support and raise awareness at Dwayne Wade’s private charity event in support of Wade’s World Foundation and the ONEXONE charity organization,” she revealed.

rap1Cotton Candy Events is a regular at the Air Canada Centre, with promotional staff on site for all of the Toronto Raptors’ home games.

“We’re working with Canada Goose, who will be having the Cotton Candy team on site at all games as an extension of their brand to connect with the fans,” Pollock added of her company’s connection to both the Toronto Raptors and the NBA.

On Sunday, the Toronto Raptors will have two All-Stars — DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry — taking part in the big game, joined by some of the NBA’s brightest stars such as Steph Curry, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

With the game’s best players coming to Toronto in just days, the longtime basketball enthusiast says the buzz and excitement in the city is undeniable.

“Hosting the game here is an opportunity to show just how unique, diverse and passionate this city is,” said Pollock. “I’m so excited for the energy, enthusiasm and talent NBA All-Star Weekend will bring to our city.”

Denver Nuggets Dancer Sporlight: Sabrina

From Nuggets.com

sabSabrina joined the team last year for her first season as a 2015-16 Denver Nuggets Dancer.

As the youngest of six children, she has a variety of nicknames; Sab, Sabs, Sabrinas, Sabe, Sabey, Sabre, Sabretooth, Brina, Sabribri, but to her Dad, she’s known as Orange.

The Temecula, California native made her way to the Rocky Mountains to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Sociology.

“I have always been really adventurous and love going out of my comfort zone,” said Sabrina. “I am extremely close to my family and relied on them, but I knew I needed to grow as a person and be independent. After high school, I decided I wanted to go to college out of state, I ended up attending Colorado State University. After I visited the school, it automatically felt like home.”

Sabrina, or Orange, was a member of the CSU Golden Poms team for four years. As an undergraduate, her leadership and positive energy earned her the honorable “Mood Changer Award” her sophomore year and the team captain title her senior year.

“The coach recognizes a team member who brightens the mood of the team when times can get stressful, or discouraging. I love being positive and encouraging my teammates, it’s always been normal for me to do, so when I received the award it was a sweet surprise,” Sabrina said. “Knowing that my coach and teammates saw me as a leader on the team meant a lot to me.”
Her ambitious spirit has been dancing since she was barely able to walk (even dancing down grocery store aisles with her Mom!), but performing in front of a large crowd wasn’t always as seamless as it is now.

“I have been dancing since the age of two. All my older sisters did it so my mom stuck me in it, too! My earliest memory of dance is actually my first dance recital when I was three.” Sabrina jokingly recalled, “I cried for my mom the entire time I was on stage.”

Sabrina is an incredibly well-rounded dancer. She is not only trained in hip-hop and tap, but also in jazz, contemporary, modern, ballet, lyrical and even musical theater. Her diverse set of footwork matched by her adept leadership skills makes this performer an integral member of the DND.

“I love so many things about being a DND!” She exclaims. “I love the opportunity to learn from my teammates and to have the ability to push myself to not only be a better dancer, but to be a better person. I also love that I am able to fulfill my dreams of becoming a professional dancer and the opportunity to dance for the best fans in the NBA! Lastly, I love the friendships and individual relationships I’ve built with each one of my beautiful teammates!”

Although she has been dancing for nearly her entire life, she will never forget performing in front of the Denver Nuggets fans for the first time.

“My favorite memory thus far being a DND is without a doubt the Home Opener, which was my first game representing the Denver Nuggets. I just remember standing there with my hand over my heart during the National Anthem thinking, I can’t believe I’m here, my dream has come true. I felt very emotional, but was in front of thousands of fans so I had to keep it together!”

[Sabrina on Twitter]

[Sabrina’s Photo Gallery]

KCD Gallery: “Dear Future Husband”

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The Knicks City Dancers wow the crowd with performances of “Dear Future Husband” and “Manhattan Dolls” at MSG.

[KCD Gallery]

Denver Nuggets Dancer Spotlight: Alisha

From Nuggets.com

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This Salt Lake City, UT native has made Denver, Colorado her home for the second year in a row as a Denver Nuggets Dancer.
Alisha, or Lecie Bug, has been dancing since a very young age, showcasing her natural talent since she was a mere 8-years old.

“My first day of dance class my teacher asked if I could do the splits, I remember being so excited because I could! I dropped right down into my center splits with a giant smile on my face.”

Her life has revolved around dance, earning her many impressive awards and recognitions over the years. Several of her outstanding achievements include Utah Valley University Dance and Leadership Scholarship, Utah Valley University- 2nd place at NDA Nationals 2011, Urban Talents best dancer award at Miss Utah Pageant 2011, Several Queen titles, Stars Regional and National Champion 2000-2010, AFL Dream Team Finalist 2012, Angela King Designs Model Search top 10 finalist 2015, Duke of Edinburgh Life Style Award 2015, and Miss Colorado 2nd runner up 2015.

Outside of her skills during Nuggets home games, you can find this accomplished performer teaching jazz, jazz funk, a sassy heels class for adults, hip hop to ages 10-12 year olds and even assisting Coloradans to find new homes as a leasing agent.

Although Alisha’s days are jam-packed with activities, she still saves time to spend with her comical kitty, Prince Reginald.

“Prince Reginald (my cat) used to sit on my shoulder like a parrot when he was a kitten. I could walk around with him just sitting up there; he is much, much bigger now.”

Through thick and thin, this dancer stays true to her passions and lives by the quote, “Remember who you are and what you stand for!”

[Alisha on Twitter]

[Alisha’s Gallery]

Swaggy P weighs in on dancing for the NFL vs the NBA

laurenDancing in the NBA…and the NFL
by Mike Trudell
Los Angeles Lakers
January 24, 2016

What’s the difference between dancing for an NBA team, and cheering for an NFL squad?

Well, Nick Young doesn’t really know, but that didn’t stop him from speculating extensively and randomly on the topic!

To balance things out with some actual insight, we enlisted first year Laker Girl Lauren, who used to cheer for the New Orleans Saints.

Below is a transcription of separate interviews with Swaggy P and Lauren:

Q: How does the audition process compare for NBA team vs. NFL teams?
Swaggy: I think they all find fliers and stuff on Instagram and Twitter to find out. It’s probably harder to be a Laker Girl because there’s more variety in L.A. and it’s a different stage. There are just more ladies, you know what I’m saying!
Lauren: The auditions were actually very similar, I must say, with some slight differences. There were a lot more girls auditioning for the Lakers Girls, which made it more competitive. With the Saints, it was a little longer of a process, lasting a full week, but it still had the preliminary round, with cuts through the day. We had to take a football test to make sure we knew the game, including naming all 32 teams. I did get all of them (after studying), but I’d known nothing about football before I cheered for the Saints. That did make me gain a love for it.

Q: How did you find out you made both teams?
Swaggy: I always wanted them to put it up on a sign, and be able to see my name on a list somewhere. Probably outside the arena on a wall or something. You know?
Lauren: One sweet touch with the Lakers that was nice is that (Lakers Director, Game Operations and Entertainment) Lisa (Estrada) calls each girl individually to let them know if they made the team or not. I was at the beach at the time – because that’s my happy place – just hoping for the best. Lisa called, and she thanked me for my time and coming out and told me she had a position for me. I was very, very happy. The Saints posted it online. I was in school at the time, in class, refreshing the Saints website until I found out. I think I got a text from my dad letting me know that they’d updated it and I’d made it.

laurensaintsQ: Is there a difference between dancing and cheering?
Swaggy: Yes. Big difference. With cheering they have the permanent smile. It’s more nice. Make me happy, make you all happy. Dancing sometimes you just get your groove on. I can dance. I’m kinda like Michael Jackson. I’m the king of the dancing video games, actually. I’m good.
Lauren: They’re both dance teams that require technical training. I was a cheerleader in high school, where you have the tumbling and stunting and all that. We don’t do that here, where it’s more high-energy routines. One thing that’s completely different about the NFL is dancing with pom poms. I’m had to get used to my hand placement here with the Lakers, because you don’t think about it like that (with pom poms). The pom poms probably made us look more like cheerleaders, but since there are so many people in the dome, it was a visual for people especially sitting up high. But yes, you have choreographed routines for both the NFL and the NBA, though we dance more with the Lakers.

Q: What is the game day experience like in the respective sports?
Swaggy: They probably listen to some crunk music to get fired up to dance. But for cheering maybe it’s make up and hair first. But the dancers may have to get more, like, ready for game day. But the Laker Girls are also classy. They’re doing their thing!
Lauren: It’s a much longer season in the NBA, and a lot smaller of a team. There are 22 of us Laker Girls, and we had 36 on the Saints, which made it really, really different. I know when I first made the Lakers, it felt so much smaller and more close knit. You’re able to build relationships a little easier, being that it’s a smaller team. You get to know every girl on the team. Game day experience wise, Staples Center is also smaller and more intimate than the Superdome, because you’re much closer. In the Superdome, we were standing far away from the fans, and I could barely make out any faces in the crowd.

Q: Why did you want to become a Laker Girl?
Swaggy: (Editor’s note: Swag was not asked this question, but his response probably would have been: “I’m not a Laker Girl tho.”)
Lauren: I always wanted to move to L.A. and audition for the Laker Girls, and (current Laker Girl) Karla and I used to dance together in Atlanta, and I reached out to her and asked her about it. She told me about her experience, and it just seemed like a really good fit for me. There can be an image tied to a lot of professional teams, and it can be hard to find a team with class. There are very few teams I’d actually go out for, and the Saints and Lakers are two of them. There is something very traditional about the Laker Girls that hasn’t changed, and it’s very refreshing to have that class, and have girls that are so smart. All these girls are very driven and very smart with lives outside of this.* You’d be amazed: these girls have substance. I’m probably going to do it until I can’t do it anymore, because I love it and you only live once. *Lauren is an entertainment coordinator for L.A. Fashion Week.

Q: How do the practices to get ready for games go?
Swaggy: I think there’s a difference … don’t the NFL cheerleaders have to practice on the field so maybe they need cleats? It’s kinda tough to dance in cleats, so, yeah. But the NBA can be in the gym … but also, they probably practice more hours and they have more games.
Lauren: It’s very similar, as we actually practiced Tuesday and Thursday in New Orleans, and Tuesday and Thursday for the Lakers if we don’t have a game. They last around the same amount of time.

Q: What athletes are more impressive?
Swaggy: Basketball players obviously. You really have to be an athlete … football you just have to get buff and run. I think it’s harder to be in the NBA than the NFL … but I like people to see me. Faces out! In football, you’re covered by a helmet.
Lauren: Now that I’m getting more comfortable I’m able to watch a bit more of the action. In my first few games, I was thinking more about the next routine: the formation, the counts and everything. I was a nervous wreck my first few games. But now I’m able to actually watch and relax and enjoy it more.

Q: Difference in the fans?
Swaggy: Well, L.A. is L.A. They’re the best, obviously. I don’t know the Saints fans or NFL fans as much.
Lauren: The fans are equally as loyal. Lakers fans are great, and they really get into the game. If there’s a little girl, I can actually make eye contact with her and wave, and that’s a special kind of interaction that you don’t get as much in football.

Topekan on LA Clippers dance team to be featured on new docuseries

(Photo by Juan Ocampo/LA Clippers via Bernstein Associates, Inc.)

Taylor Clark, Washburn Rural High School graduate, moved to LA in 2013
By Katie Moore
The Topeka Capital-Journal
January 17, 2016

A native Topekan will be featured on a new docuseries premiering on E! network this spring.

Taylor Clark, a dancer for the Los Angeles Clippers, will be part of the show titled “L.A. Clippers Dance Squad.”

“I’m excited to see how (the show) will come out and how it will all be put together,” she said.

Clark graduated from Washburn Rural High School in 2012 and attended Kansas State University for a year. Though college was a positive experience, she opted to put school on hold and pursue her dancing dream. Her parents, Bruce and Cindy Clark, were supportive of the decision.

In July 2013, Clark headed to Los Angeles. Moving was “one of the greatest risks I’ve ever taken,” she said. However it’s been rewarding, Clark said, as she has gotten to learn a lot about herself and make new friends.

In California, she began seeking out opportunities, going on auditions and castings and finding some success in getting booked. Additionally, a dance agency picked her up.

In July 2015, she auditioned for the L.A. Clippers’ Spirit Dance Team. Filming for the docuseries began at the audition. The cameras followed the prospective dancers as they progressed through the process — from auditions, interviews, selection, practices and performances at games.

Clark said the show is an inside look of what it is like to be an NBA dancer, from the hard work that goes into the job to some of the members’ personal lives.

At first, Clark said, it was weird to have cameras around so much and to always be hooked up to a microphone. But it is something she has gotten more used to.

Being a dancer on the team has presented some challenges and special opportunities. The coach of the team has changed up the style of dancing — in the past, there were cheerleader-type routines. They now are incorporating “industrial dance,” which has more of an urban and hip-hop approach. Clark said the change hopefully will let fans see that they are “not just pretty cheerleaders,” but athletes.

The dancers practice on Sundays and Mondays and before each game, arriving before the basketball players on game day. It is more commitment than people assume, she said.

At times, extra rehearsals are necessary to ensure the team has the choreography down.

“There’s a great team atmosphere,” she said.

Clark has had the opportunity to travel on the squad, performing in many parts of the U.S. and in China and Taiwan.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” Clark said. “It’s so much fun.”

In February, Clark — who was named a co-captain — will travel to Toronto for the NBA All-Star Game. Only one dancer from each of the NBA’s basketball teams was chosen to participate.

A date for the debut of the eight-episode series hasn’t been set, but Clark said she expects it will be sometime in March.

Dallas Mavericks Dancers squad photo shoot

A couple of months old, but still worth posting…sasha

By Jay Betsill
Special to DFW.com
Nov. 2, 2015

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks Dancers held their squad photo and cameo shoot at a studio near the 2011 NBA champion’s headquarters in the shadows of downtown in Deep Ellum.

[Video and Photo Gallery]

This is an important day for the team as the squad photo is the picture that Mavs fans from around the world will see and the photo that the dancers will sign at all of their appearances throughout the NBA season and the next calendar year.

In addition to the squad photo, each of the 20 dancers did their individual cameo photos that will be used in promos on the video board at American Airlines Center and in printed materials including the official game day programs in the Inside Dish section.

2015 Mavs Shoot

Another significant part of the day comes when many of the rookies don their Mavs Dancers uniform for the very first time.

“Squad photo shoot day was an awesome experience,” said rookie Mavs Dancer Meredith. “When I put the uniform on for the first time, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had and I definitely felt like I was a part of the team. I had that ‘wow’ feeling that I really had accomplished my dream.”

There is also the subliminal bonding that goes on as veterans helped out the rookies, many of whom have never experienced a full-scale photo shoot. Whether it is lending a helpful suggestion while working on a pose or simply calming nerves prior to the individual shoots where all of the attention is focused solely on the particular dancer who was out on the seamless background.

“We have a good group of girls this year and I think the best part about squad photo shoot day was that we all got to know each a little more,” said six-year veteran Mavs Dancer Emily M. “My first year, I was definitely more nervous, wondering how my hair and makeup looked because I knew how many people were going to see the photo, but throughout the years, I have become much more accustomed to how things go on the photo shoot days.

“Part of being a veteran is actually making sure the rookies feel comfortable and if they need anything, I am here for them,” she continued. “We actually had former Mavs Dancer Sequel on hand to help with makeup and uniform fitting and it basically lets the new girls see that team is one big family.”

The Mavs Dancers first full team performance for the 2015-16 season took place at the Mavs Fan Jam on the court at American Airlines Center.

The 2015-16 Dallas Mavericks Dancers are: Veterans Emily M., Lauren, Ashley W., Kathryn, Alexis, Amber, Kassandra, Elise, Hayley, Emily V., and Hunter and rookies Ansley, Karielle, Janae, Katelyn, Raegan, Meredith, Lexie, Ashley H. and Sydney.

For more information on the Mavs Dancers, visit mavs.com.