The San Antonio Spurs have unveiled a brand new design for their dance team pages. Click here to check it out and learn more about the ladies on the team!
From the Twitter Feed of The Spurs Coyote:
Apparently, the Coyote was shooting a video with the Blaze The Trail Cat. Looking forward to seeing the results.
By Clara Sandoval
SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs have a large following in Laredo as Spurs Nation stands strong and tall when they hit the floor every season.
Laredoan Clarissa Pena is vying to become part of the San Antonio Silver Dancers that entertain the crowds at all the Spurs home games with their choreographed dance moves.
Pena, a 2008 graduate of Nixon, is putting her best foot forward as she is one of six finalists for the last three spots with the Silver Dancers.
She is vying for the dance gig, but she needs Laredo’s help to make the team as online voting will determine who earns the last three spots.
The online voting starts today and finishes on Thursday as people can log on to Spurs.com and click on Clarissa Pena to vote for her.
Pena battled 93 other dancers in the two-day audition and 16 have already been named to the team.
“I feel a whole mixture of emotions,” shes said.
“Imagine being nervous, excited, happy, and anxious all in one moment, every hour of the day. I had so much energy that I didn’t want to sleep.
Most of all, I feel really blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to make it this far.
“No matter what happens, I know that God has a plan, and I will be happy with whatever he deems is best.
It’s not over, so I’m keeping my faith strong and am going to need Laredo’s help to make this dream a reality.
I’m also extremely happy to be able to go out there and represent Laredo.
I’ve lived in San Antonio for the last five years, so it does have a big piece of my heart, but Laredo will always be right there next to it.
Laredo made me who I am today, and I will never forget that.”
Pena recently graduated with Cum Laude honors from St. Mary’s University with a double major in psychology and marketing and currently works for Teach for America in San Antonio.
She is also a dance instructor for the St. Mary’s dance team.
Pena has an extensive dancing background that started at Diana Rendon’s Dance Academy for 16 years before she moved on to the Nixon cheerleading team and ended with the St. Mary’s dance team for the past four years.
This is not the first time that Pena has flirted with the Silver Dancers.
For the past five years, she toyed with the notion of auditioning before trying out last year.
Pena’s hopes of becoming part of the Silver Dancers stopped in the auditions but that only fueled her fire as she vowed to come back stronger this year.
“I’ve known about tryouts for the last five years but finally got the courage to tryout last year,” Pena said.
“Although my journey in the audition process last summer was short lived, I knew I couldn’t give up.
I spent the rest of the year coaching a dance team as well as practicing my technique whenever I had free time. I wanted to be ready and come back stronger for this year’s tryout process.”
Pena went to work since the day she was cut from the auditions and in a year went from not making the team to to being in the running for the last three spots.
“I feel like I’ve really been preparing all year long,” she said.
“Whenever I had some free time, I would work on different technique elements and focused on building on my strengths and improving my weaknesses.
Then in late March, I auditioned for the San Antonio Silver Stars Star Squad and made the team.
“I was so excited to be dancing for a crowd again.
This was the best preparation because the choreographer was always helping push the dancers, myself included, to be the best dancers we could be.
I also met some great friends, one of which who just made it to the Silver Dancers team, who really helped me improve on my dancing ability.”
SAN ANTONIO — Six contestants remain with only three spots left to fill as the Silver Dancers hammer out their squad for the upcoming 2013-14 Spurs season.
Sixteen dancers were already selected last week. The three additional Silver Dancers will be determined by online votes. Spurs fans can visit the team’s website to watch video interviews and dance performances from all six candidates before voting for their favorite. Voting ends Thursday.
Meet the ladies below!
Brianna, is a 19-year-old UTSA student who loves working with kids. She said she loves dancing,and could bring personality and dedication, plus she loves volunteering.
Brittany, is a Houston native who loves San Antonio. She said she loves to entertain and perform and enjoys the camaraderie of the city.
Clarissa said she wants to be a role model for people to show them that hard work and dedication can help people achieve their dreams.
Halle is a 21-years-old who is close to her family and loves basketball. She said she can bring her positive attitude to the squad.
Mariyah, is a 21-year-old UTSA student majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. She said she’s wanted to be a Silver Dancer since she was 11 and can bring energy, excitement and positive energy to the squad.
Michelle, comes from a military family and has lived extensively oversees. She said she wants be to a Silver dancer because of her passion for dance and to interact with people but also be a part community service of the squad.
By Sarah Tressler
This is one of those bad news/good news posts. The bad news is Raquel Garcia, who has been Chief Chick in Charge of the Silver Dancers for a decade or more is moving on to other things. By all reports, she is a super nice lady, and I know the veterans will miss her terribly. On the other hand, that means there’s a job opportunity out there.
POSITION: Choreographer (Independent Contractor)
REPORTS TO: Game Operations & Special Events Manager
KEY RESPONSIBILITY AREAS
Click here to check out the Spurs’ photo gallery from this year’s open call. One thing you will notice straight away is the new dress code.
I thought at first this was a mix up and these were photos from prep class. Nope. So is this a new conservative move for the team? I have no idea. But it is so interesting that the tank top has become The Great Equalizer. Not only is the tank top more conservative by virtue of the fact that it covers the midsection, but it means almost no cleavage, and way less razzle-dazzle. There goes the advantage of that custom made, uber-sparkly two piece.
This is one of the few who still managed a cute, coordinated ensemble.
Most of the other girls look like the tank top was an afterthought.
By Sarah Tressler
More than 100 young women showed up at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall early Saturday for the chance to snag one of 13 to 19 spots on the Silver Dancers, the squad that performs in front of tens of thousands of fans at Spurs home games.
For the first portion of the tryouts, Silver Dancers choreographer Raquel Garcia taught routines to aspirants of all sizes, shapes and skill levels.
“We have a lot of amazing dancers showing up — a lot of technical dancers, a lot of diverse dancers. It’s really exciting to see all of the talent,” said Katarina Harding, who was on the squad last year. Dancers have to re-audition each year if they want to hold their spot.
A handful of women evidently got cold feet before their turn to audition — nowhere to be found when they were called to perform for the panel of six judges.
“There are a number of different scenarios where ladies will show up, and either before advancing or after advancing, they’ll be a no-show,” said Chris Garcia, Spurs director of game operations and special events.
Each of the young women on the judges’ list had registered on-site Saturday morning, and Garcia chalks the disappearances up to “a combination of nerves and people that might not have thought they could get to the next round.”
In addition to the day of performance, the audition process includes three days of interviewing for those who make the first cut.
“We look for quality, well-rounded ladies,” Garcia said. “Not just people who look good on the outside, but truly for people who have that same character and value on the inside as well.”
Hopefuls had to learn a fast-paced, rigorous dance routine in just an hour. The pirouettes, high kicks and step-ball-changes had heads spinning, but for some of the chosen, the interview may be the hardest part.
“Dancing in general just comes naturally to me from the start, and performing is just taking on a whole other character and step outside yourself to perform for people,” said Kelsey Wildman, who made the day’s cut.
“When you have to be yourself, like in an interview where you have to talk about yourself, it just gets a little bit more difficult, for me at least,” Wildman said.
The interviews are set for Wednesday through Friday. Glory awaits.
Wow, that’s a mouthful! Final auditions for the 2013 Rhythm & Blue took place last week during Draft Day festivities at Cowboys Stadium. (Check out the team’s facebook page for pics). The field of candidates has been narrowed to 22 dancers, who will participate in training camp over the next several weeks. The 2013-14 team will be announced in about a month.
Top Row: Kara, Maya, Danielle, Stevee, Mateya, Jessica S, Angelise, Callie, Brittani, Arianna
Middle Row: Antonese, Kendra, Ani, Melody
Bottom Row: Miranda, Bianca, Masayo, Brittani, Amy, Christen, Jessica T
Sammi (not pictured)
R&B Director Jenny Durbin Smth has her work cut out for her. It won’t be easy to cut this team down to size. Between them, they have a great deal of experience at the pro level.
There is the short version of Spurs Silver Dancer Anncell’s move from Los Angeles to San Antonio. Last year in LA, Anncell decided at the beginning of the week to try out in San Antonio for the Silver Dancers, and by Friday, Anncell was jetting to San Antonio, and by Tuesday she was a Silver Dancer. But the reality of Anncell’s back story is that this weeklong whirlwind only happened because of Anncell’s lifelong commitment, drive, and devotion to pro cheer, with hard work and determination to always improve every aspect of her skills. Her positive spirit opens up horizons that most others would not glimpse, much less pursue. Anncell shared with UltimateCheerleaders her path from aspiring pro dancer to ChivaGirl to Laker Girl to Silver Dancer, with a path that included auditions that ranged from disappointing to those with exhilarating conclusions. But like her NBA moves, no matter what, Anncell is in perpetual motion, and with an ever-present smile. And we just love love love any pro dancer who lists UltimateCheerleaders as their favorite website on their bio. You will see why everyone who encounters Anncell soon adds her to their own personal list of “Favorites.”
Anncell was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived there until she moved to San Antonio last year. When asked if from birth, she was ‘born to perform,’ Anncell laughs, “I’m not sure if I was ‘born to perform,’ but if you ask my family or friends I’m sure they would beg to differ. Let’s just say I’m very energetic.”
And from day one, Anncell’s relationship to her parents has been truly special. “I cannot even begin to say how truly AMAZING my parents are,” Anncell explains. “They have been so supportive in each and every area of my life and are my biggest cheerleaders. Although I thought they were too strict when I was younger, I now appreciate them and all the opportunities they’ve afforded me. I’m so thankful for their unconditional love, guidance, and support.”
“My favorite feature about my mom is her wisdom,” Anncell continues. “No matter what’s going on in my life, I know I can count on her to give me sound advice. My dad is very corny and goofy but that’s definitely what I love most about him.” So what traits from her amazing parents does the amazing Anncell attribute to them? “As far as my personality is concerned, I’m a mix of my mom’s sass and wisdom and my dad’s generosity and sense of humor,” Anncell answers.
Dancing was not always ‘love at first tap’ for Anncell. “My love for dance did not start in the typical way,” Anncell explains. “When my mom was growing up, she really wanted to be a dancer but her family couldn’t afford it. When she was a senior in high school, she finally was able to be a cheerleader, and went on to cheer in college and even joined a dance company. Because of her love for dance, she put me in dance classes at a very early age. To be completely honest I HATED it. I would cry on the way to Saturday morning dance classes because all I wanted to do was stay at home and watch cartoons, or go to the mall with my friends. I even went to a performing arts high school, so I had to dance at school, too. I really didn’t apply myself and didn’t realize at the time how much I loved dance because I was too focused on the fact that I didn’t want to do it.”
But once she could choose not to dance, Anncell made a surprising choice. “When I turned eighteen and started college, I had my way,” Anncell remembers. “I no longer had to dance. By the end of my first semester I felt like something was missing in my life, so I signed up for tap class as an elective. Taking the tap class is when it hit me. I knew what was missing. I missed the feeling of performing and expressing myself through movement! I missed it so much I ended up joining the cheerleading squad.”
The San Antonio Spurs recently profiled veteran Silver Dancers Lisa Colwell, an inspiration to her students, and no doubt to her teammates as well. Click here for a peek into what makes Lisa tick, and how much she has accomplished at Gervin in less than a year. I don’t know about you, but it kinda makes me feel I should be doing a lot more for my community.
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