(Somewhat belated) Click here to learn more about the ladies chosen for the team!
(Somewhat belated) Click here to learn more about the ladies chosen for the team!
By Jay Betsill
It took a while. At the tail end of a cooler-than-usual summer, August made up for lost time: The sweltering heat and humidity that we have all come to expect finally arrived and put some sizzle in our summer. Since DFW has a well-deserved reputation for being so hot, this is when we celebrate all things that go along with summertime here, including some of the hottest people in the area at some of the coolest locations the Metroplex has to offer.
This year’s bevy of “it” women and men is a nod to the sports-obsessed nature of North Texas: You’ll meet a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, an NBA dancer, an Ice Angel, a former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader and a former Dallas Stars Ice Girl. We even have a beautiful woman who once played football herself and now owns her own business that specializes in helping DFW residents join “Team Sexy.”
By Autria Godfrey
LEESBURG, Va. (WJLA) – We’ve all heard about the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Now, a local woman is seeking to raise awareness for another cause, after a harrowing battle of her own.
Lindsey Murray had a life many young women only dream of—she was a Wizards dancer and then a Redskins cheerleader, all while maintaining a professional sales career. Then, she heard the words that changed it all.
“I was not expecting to hear the word ‘tumor’ and ‘chemo’ to come out of my specialist’s mouth,” Murray said. “To be honest, I was in a state of shock.”
Doctors told Murray not to worry about the lump she found in her breast, that it was just an enlarged rib or inflammation. She went undiagnosed for six months until, finally, an oncologist classified her grapefruit-sized lump as a desmoid tumor. It was benign but rare, aggressive and difficult for surgery.
“It’s typically seen in young patients, so most patients are actually fairly healthy with a good lifestyle,” said Dr. Alex Spira. “Nothing we know can cause this.”
Murray underwent five months of chemotherapy, only to discover the tumor had grown by 25 percent. Dr. Spira tried something new—nearly a year of an oral chemotherapy typically only given to liver and kidney cancer patients.
“At that point, every phone call I was getting from him was, ‘It’s growing a little bit,’” Murray said. “My phone rang and I was shaking. And he goes, ‘Lindsey, good news!’ And I literally just, like, fell to the ground.”
The tumor had shrunk by 82 percent, then 99 percent as of April. So grateful, Murray has joined a “Dizzy for Desmoids” Challenge, inspired by the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. She hopes to raise both awareness and funds for a cure, and has nominated the current Washington Redskins cheerleading squad to participate.
Because desmoid tumors often re-occur, Murray must now be closely monitored. But she says she wants to turn a negative into a positive and help others with the disease.
Murray’s dancing days aren’t over just yet—she’s just hung up the professional pom poms for now.
The ladies of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit dance team recently completed their photo shoot for the upcoming NBA season. Here’s a little sneak peek at how the day went. [photo gallery here]
It took place at the Clippers training facility in Culver City, which is south of Los Angeles proper. This is the same place where they had final auditions in July.
(I tried to get a photo of the outside, but there’s a tree in the way)
As everyone who has been through it knows, on photo shoot day, there’s a lot of this going on.
It starts with hair and makeup to get everyone glamorized
Veronica looking lovely even half done with curlers in her hair
Kellie’s all glammed up from the neck up. (Not so much from the ankles down.)
This was the outfit for the individual shots:
This one has just a slight shimmer under the lights. This team wears a lot of red. More than white. Much much more so than blue. Now that I think about it, Clippers blue may be a hard color to match. And I doubt the boots come in that color.
Lights! Camera! Action!
Once it’s time to get started, some of the rookies were a bit nervous, but the team’s director Audrea Harris was there to make sure everyone looked her absolute best, from head to toe.
In between shoots, the crew from Fox was also filming for this year’s “Making the Team” special.
After all of the individual shoots were over, the ladies changed costumes. This was the costume for the group photo.
Karissa and Brianna after the wardrobe change.
And this happened:
Audrea also took a turn on camera…
…and that was when we noticed the tinsel wall, and its many possibilities.
Sharon and Kellie started it.
The tv crew’s lighting set up was excellent, so we took advantage.
Yay! Sister photo with Tatum and Tyra!
Text thing I knew, it turned into this and this and this.
Just the vets for now. Nina was still shooting, so we didn’t get to to a rookie shot until after:
The group photo went really quickly. Ten minutes. Fifteen max.
They lined everyone up by height, made a few adjustments, and click-click-click it was over.
The day started around 8am and everyone was finished by 2. It goes so fast! In prior years, the team shoot has been at the dance studio, and it’s followed by several hours of rehearsal. This year, they got a break. Once the shoot was over, they were free to go.
These are the faces of women visualizing the Double-Double and fries they’re about to order over at the In-n-Out Burger. (Mmmm….burgers…)
I’m not sure how long it will be before the Clippers site is updated with the new photos, so I leave you with a hit of what to expect.
The newest members of the five time NBA Champions’ dance squad have been announced and we have your first look! Lori Gorry is a returning Silver Dancer and is here to tell us about the audition process and a little about what all of the members experienced!
This past Saturday, the Phoenix Suns held their preliminary auditions for their dance team at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over a hundred girls tried out for roughly 18 positions. With 13 veterans trying out again, in reality the 100 hopefuls were essentially auditioning for five open slots, give or take an unexpected vacancy or two.
It was clear that the returning veterans were clearly a cut above the majority of those trying out. A season’s worth of rehearsing and performing was evident in their technique, showmanship and ability to learn the audition routine quickly. From this person’s perspective, there was a clear difference between the veterans and the other girls at this audition.
That is not to say that there weren’t any qualified candidates in attendance. In fact, I saw many girls who had previously tried out for the Suns Dancers or the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders and many of them were quite talented and good looking. But with only a handful of openings in any given year, many talented dancers go wanting.
But I am getting ahead of myself…
Reader Max was the Bucks Dancers Finals and he shares a few photos with us:
The Howard Theatre was the place be on Monday night. Before a paced house the Washington Wizards Girls Finalists put on quite a show!
When Nathalie Couvillion went to her first Detroit Pistons game in Auburn Hills, Mich. last season, it wasn’t for the basketball players.
“It was the first NBA game I’d been to and I loved it,” she said. “Everyone was watching the game but I couldn’t stop watching the Pistons dancers. The whole time I kept thinking how much I wanted to do that.”
After the game, Couvillion, 18, jumped on the Pistons website and much to her surprise discovered they were already holding auditions for the dance team’s next season.
“I was really excited,” she said. “I signed up right away. I didn’t really know what to expect, but knew it was something I really wanted to do.”
Nervous, the Windsor teen attended the first tryout in July along with 150 other women ranging from 18 years old and up. She was thrilled when she made the first cut, becoming one of only 24 left for the 19 coveted spots. A week later, she was called back for another audition and wasn’t sure what to expect.
“When I walked in I noticed right away there seemed to be less than 24 of us,” she said. “The organizer said, “stand in line,” and told us to look to our left and look to our right because we were the members of this year’s Detroit Pistons Dance team. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited.”
The coaches had already made their decisions and made the final cuts through phone calls. Not only is Couvillion the only Canadian on the team, but she is also one of the youngest.
The former competitive gymnast and dancer said the auditions were challenging as the choreographer would quickly teach the routine and then have everyone perform it as a group.
“At the auditions, I knew I had to stand out so when I would see them looking at me I would do a crazy gymnastic or dance move that the other girls couldn’t do,” she said. “It was hard not to look at the other girls and compare yourself.”
Couvillion, who teaches dance at Edmund Towers School of Dance in Windsor, loves to perform and can’t wait to take the floor at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a Pistons’ game in October.
“I love to perform and I love to make people smile while they are watching me dance,” she said. “When people watch me dance they say it helps them to forget about things. I also love the dancers’ gear — it’s really cool and the colours are great.”
As important as dance skills were, the coaches also wanted their team members to have a strong personality, confidence and athleticsm. Dancers perform during games and at halftime as back-up dancers alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry. Dancers are also required to appear at various team events throughout Detroit.
“They were really big on your personality,” she said. “They really want you to be a good person and someone who will represent the team positively. In addition to the dance auditions, we also did a few interviews where they asked a bunch of questions. It was an important part since the dancers also do signings and take pictures with fans before the games.”
Couvillion has always known she wanted a future in dance, but besides coaching wasn’t sure where the path would lead.
“That night watching the dancers at the Palace, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “I’ve watched them on TV before and always thought how much I would love to do it. Once I was there and could feel the atmosphere and the audience going crazy I knew I wanted to do it. I’ve always wanted to do something big and make a name for myself. This feels like that chance.”
Practices will start for Couvillion the end of August and she won’t take the floor at the Palace for the first time as a Pistons Dancer until October.
“I’m really excited, this really feels like a dream,” she said. “The whole experience is going to be amazing and I can’t believe I get to do this. I can’t wait to take the floor as a Pistons Dancer.”
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