Former Dancers Help Former Troops

From KXL.com

The group Vets 4 Vets started last year, after the Blazer Dancers were getting dozens of requests to visit troops and military vets. They were in such demand that a group of former Blazer dancers decided to start their own group. The 14 women represent several professional sports teams in addition to the Blazers, including the Seattle Sonics and Seahawks, even the old Portland Lumberjacks. The group has visited several V.A. centers in Oregon and has been to Joint Base Lewis McChord a few times. At Christmas they send cards to the troops serving overseas. Vets 4 Vets Secretary Desiree Goode, Blazer Dancer from 2001-2006, says the goal is just to show vets and troops some appreciation. Vets 4 Vets has applied for non-profit status, which means until then, they can’t accept donations. The members currently pay for all expenses out of pocket. If non-profit status is granted, the group plans to do more outings and put together a calender they can send to troops every year.

[Vets 4 Vets on Facebook]

Finalists Selected For 2012-13 BlazerDancers

Sarah Hecht
Portland Trailblazers
July 18, 2012

Last Saturday and Sunday eager dancers converged on the Trail Blazers’ Tualatin practice facility to put their skills to work for a chance to earn one of 16 coveted spots as a 2012-13 BlazerDancer.

Day one saw the field of new hopefuls learn multiple routines and perform them for the judges of the day—the panel was composed of Trail Blazers broadcasters, local media members and former dancers. The group was narrowed through two rounds of cuts and the remaining dancers learned yet another routine to practice and perform the next day.

[Check out this video of all the day one action.]

The Sunday returners danced before another panel of judges for one more round of cuts. After the morning of auditions the finalists were announced and veterans, who are automatically included in the finals, joined the narrowed field to learn the routines for the finals.

Now, the talented finalists have a week to practice their finals routines and prepare solos before the final audition takes place this Saturday. With every spot up for grabs each year even the veteran dancers are hard at work.

You can watch the entire Finals via a live stream on Trailblazers.tv starting at 12pm this Saturday, July 21st.

[Enjoy a full photo gallery of the first weekend of auditions.]

Former BlazerDancer Raising Funds for Solo Album

Shannon Bex grew up in Bend and graduated from Mt View High School. She returned 5 years ago with her husband Ron Basada. Shannon was a Blazer Dancer for 5 years. She then went on the show Fame in which she got runner up. Later Shannon was featured on MTV’s show Making The Band in which P.Diddy selected her as one of the 5 members to make up the music group Danity Kane. The group went Double Platinum. After it’s final episode on MTV, Shannon started pursuing her solo career in country soul.

Shannon is currently working with Pledge EP to launch her solo album. The EP album will only go through if Shannon reaches 100% of the money needed. So far with the pledges made by fans she is at 67%. She has only 4 more days with approximately $6,000 left to raise. If she does not reach the goal, EP will not complete the album and those who donated will be refunded their money. If she does reach her goal, 8% will go to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and her Solo Album will be produced.

This is a life long dream for Shannon and she has worked hard to achieve it. Shannon really needs the support of her home town at this late hour to help reach this goal. She is loved by all of her fans as she is a sweet, humble, and amazing women. Shannon is also known in Oregon from the years she spent as a BlazerDancer and singing the national anthem at Blazer games. Please help Shannon raise sufficient funds in time by going to her website today and pledging money for any of the packages offered.

[Shannon's Project at PledgeMusic.com]

[Shannon Bex Official Website]

Aloha Stories

Aloha High School teacher and former Blazers dancer says Aloha High crowd was better than any Blazers game

By Casey Parks
The Oregonian

For about 10 years, Aloha High School health teacher Marlene Kanehailua pulled double-duty as a dancer for the Portland Trailblazers. In 2000, her worlds collided when the Blazer Dancers performed at the first Aloha High School Jam the Gym. In her “Aloha Story,” she talks about how much better the Aloha crowd was than a typical basketball fan crowd.

“The crowd went crazy,” she said. “For me, it was like wow.”

Listen to Marlene’s story or download the mp3 here.

2011-12 BlazerDancers

The Portland Trailblazers dance team is ready for action! Click here to check out their new photos.

2011-12 BlazerDancers

The Portland Trailblazers website has been updated with new photos of this year’s squad. Click here to go there now.

Rachel, Veronica, and Kelly

Video: NBA Madness in the Philippines

BlazerDancers In Manila: NBA Madness Ensues

By Sarah Hecht
Portland Trailblazers
9/30/2011

[Photo Gallery]

The BlazerDancers are in the midst of a whirlwind NBA Madness tour of the Philippines with NBA Legend Clyde Drexler . As one of two NBA dance teams—the other being the Magic Dancers—representing the league, they’re sharing hoops with the people of Manila on a non-stop adventure.

Sunday afternoon six BlazerDancers—Eri, Rea, Michelle, Stephanie, Kimberly and CaMicha—accompanied by Performance Teams Manager Michelle Woodard began their journey and hopped a 16-hour flight bound for the Philippines.

Day one saw the tour grind to a halt before even starting. What was supposed to be a well-oiled itinerary was thrown asunder by a visit from Typhoon Nesat. Racing winds coupled with drenching rains resulted in the cancellation of NBA Madness plans for the day.

A day later, after the storm cleared, activities resumed at a break-neck pace. St. Dominic College of Asia played host to the opening events of day two. Drexler instructed eager students at a hoops clinic and the BlazerDancers taught a routine during their time on stage.

Woodard called the enthusiasm at St. Dominic’s the highlight of the day. “It was the most incredible, overwhelmingly fun experience I think for any of us,” Woodard said. “We were shocked at how enthusiastic the kids were. It was insanity. They were excited before people got there and then they sustained that energy for two hours.”

With NBA mania in full swing in Manila the BlazerDancers moved into a third day jam-packed with events. BlazerDancer Eri engaged in a very special experience. Of Japanese descent, and fluent in the language, she held an interview with TV WOWOW of Tokyo and graciously posed for a small photo shoot—sure to result with her being marketed in Japan. The media session was followed by another school assembly and the NBA Madness crew rounded out the day at a pop-a-shot challenge hosted by Coors Light.

Reception for the NBA ambassadors has been through the roof. “They’re just excited about the NBA period. There have been some really good emcees so they get the crowd going and really amped up and we’ve been told everywhere that the Philippines, surprisingly, are huge basketball fans overall,” said Woodard.

As the NBA Madness marquee event draws nearer Drexler, the BlazerDancers and the Magic Dance team continue to promote the sport to an enthusiastic fan base halfway around the world.

Stay tuned for more from Clyde Drexler and the BlazerDancers at NBA Madness!

NBA Madness Stops in the Philippines

The NBA Madness 2011 tour stopped in Manilla this week to bring a dash of excitement to local fans. The tour is a traveling event that features famous NBA alumni, dance teams, the league’s outreach programs, and of course lots of basketball. This year the Portland Trail Blazers BlazerDancers and Orlando Magic Dancers are part of the fun.

Click here or here for photos.

BlazerDancers at the Pro Action Dance Intensive in Las Vegas

Portland TrailBlazers

[Watch the Video]

[photo gallery]

BlazerDancers Michelle and Veronica along with Performance Teams Manager Michelle attended the 2011 Pro Action Dance Intensive at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The conference brings together dancers from many pro teams such as the Celtics, Kings, 76’ers, Hawks and Nuggets as well as strong college dance programs like Ball State, USC and of course University of Oregon to name a few.

Dancers learned routines to songs like Sandman, Born This Way, Vertigo, Shake Senora and We Got The Beat with talented and renowned choreographers Mina Ortega, Tony Gonzales, Marina Ortega, Andy Vaca, John Peters and Shandon Kolberg. We were able to learn some really fantastic routines that we’ll be able to teach our teammates next month when practices begin.

We can’t wait to share our new routines with the fans in the Rose Garden!