Phoenix ladies, please note that auditions have be pushed back until after the Super Bowl!
Auditions for the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit dance team are scheduled for July 19! [Audition details]. Last weekend, the team offered two pre-audition workshops for ladies aspiring to join the Clippers Spirit. The sessions took place at Boogiezone Utopia, which is also where the team rehearses during the season.
For the hopeful candidates, it was an opportunity to meet a few members of the team, gain exposure to their performance style, and learn some of their choreography. They were also able to ask questions about the audition process itself, learn how to prepare themselves for tryouts, and how to maximize their chances to make the team.
It’s fun to watch prep class and see who turns up. These workshops aren’t only for women trying to make a pro team for the first time. This year’s group included veterans from a few other pro teams, as well as a couple alumni of other Clippers entertainment teams. (The dancers aren’t the only group that performs at the games. The Clippers also have the Fan Patrol, Junior Jam, Crowd Crew, Dunk Team, Drumline and one or two others I can’t recall off the top of my head. There’s a lot going on at these games!)
I think experienced dancers who attend a team’s pre-audition workshop are being really smart about it. I used to think these classes were just for total rookies with no experience whatsoever. But the women with pro experience on their resumes know you can’t underestimate the value of meeting the team’s director ahead of time, so she knows your face and has an idea of what you can do. When you think about the fact that you will be competing against 200-300 women at the audition, a little face time beforehand can only help your cause. Even if you’ve been on twelve other teams. Every little bit helps.
It’s also interesting to see who leaves. A couple of women ducked out of the first session before it really got going. It just reminds me that this whole process – workshops, dance audition, interview, etc, is a two-way street. The dancers have to impress the judges to get chosen. But this exercise is also for the dancers to determine if this is something they really want to do and are able to do. I’m not surprised when one or two women realize at the beginning of the session that they don’t have the dance ability for this kind of thing. The dance team makes it look so easy and fun. When you’re sitting in the stands, it’s easy to imagine yourself down there on the court. But then you get to the workshop and reality sets in.
But I think for those who make it through the class and have a good time doing it, the experience just makes them want it even more. I’m always interested to see which members of the class actually show up at the audition. There are a few I definitely hope to see there!
Juuuuust kidding. You should’ve seen their faces. That little trick really freaked everyone out in the morning session. They did it again in the afternoon session and when the class realized it was just a joke, the relief was palpable.
After scaring the hell out of everyone, they jumped right into the choreography. The first piece they learned was a portion of last season’s dance to “Let’s Get Loud.”
After learning the dance, the ladies watched each other perform in small groups (With the veterans marking it alongside).
Then Audrea spoke a little bit about the difference between dancing and really performing and selling it. She put her veterans on the spot and had them perform for the group to illustrate her point.
Afterward, the dancers performed in small groups again, and this time they were encouraged to really put some “wow” into it. This time the veterans got to watch, and the second time around, made a real difference!
Then the group moved on to hip hop. Everyone put on their baggies, changed their shoes, and learned part of the combination for “Bubble Butt.” (Gotta love that. Booty so smooth, can’t believe it’s not butta!) They followed the same format, first learning the routine…
…and performing it in small groups…
…then watching the veterans do it…
…and then performing it again. The ladies in the afternoon session in particular were really feeling the hip hop. It was obvious they were having a lot of fun. This year’s prep class was full of talent. I don’t think it was entirely my imagination, but the women this year seemed to pick up choreography incredibly fast.
After all the dancing was over, everyone gathered around for Q&A.
Questions ranged from the rehearsal schedule (Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings), to how many veterans are retiring this year (7 or 8 out of 17), to what to expect during the interview (questions to get to know you and how you expect to fit the busy schedule into your life), to what to wear for auditions (trunks are better than boy shorts unless your legs are 9 feet long, swimsuit tops are only a good idea if you are smaller on top, wear pantyhose, not shiny dance tights), to how to do your makeup (eyelashes and red lipstick. LipSTICK. Not gloss.) Audrea also gave her annual “save your money” speech. She is a firm believer in spending wisely when it comes to audition prep. If you have the money to spend, go hog wild. But if you don’t – and most people don’t – put your money where it matters most. Dance classes. A great color and cut. More dance classes. You don’t need a pricey outfit or expensive makeup. Your shine comes from your talent and ability.
When all was said and done, the dancers walked away with a fun experience and a lot to think about. One of the functions of prep class is to debunk the myth that any of this is “easy” and impress upon everyone that this is fun, but it is still a J.O.B. And a major time commitment. So now these women have a few weeks to think about whether they have the ambition, time, and talent to devote to the team.
I can’t wait to see see who decides to really go for it at auditions next month!
Last weekend Sideline Prep held its DMV Workshop…
and as you can see the turnout was tremendous.
Sideline Prep co-founder GeNienne with coaches Suzanne, Jeanette and Kristie.
GeNienne with the day’s instructors: Jamilla (Redskins), Derric (Wizards), Kelly (Richmond Raiders) and Liz (Baltimore Blast)
Washington Wizard Girls
Bay Area Shuckers Dance Team
Richmond Lady Raiders
Metropolitan Lady All-Stars
Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
Chesapeake Bayhawks Hawkettes
Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassadors
Beltway Bombers Dance Team
Baltimore Blast Cheerleaders
ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHERS
Jamilla Keene is currently in her first season as the Assistant Director for the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. She recently retired after her 10th seasons with eight of them as a line captain. As a Redskins Cheerleader, Jamilla has traveled the world performing for our military, as well she has danced with artists such as Wale, MC Hammer, Billy Cyrus, Chuck Brown, La Chic, and for the Radio One 25th Anniversary with likes of stars such as Beyonce, P.Diddy & Aretha Franklin in attendance. She had the honor of representing the “First Ladies of Football” at the 2005 NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, HI and received numerous WRC awards during her 10 year tenure as a dedicated team member and Captain. Jamilla also is a current company member of Capitol Movement, Inc., a nonprofit dance organization based in Washington DC. Prior to her professional cheerleading career, Jamilla cheered on the nationally ranked George Mason University Coed squad for five years, and then coached the George Mason University All-girl squad for four years. Jamilla is also a former Universal Cheerleaders Association instructor of seven years, and also worked for All-American Cheer and Dance.
Derric is the Dance Team Manager and choreographer for the NBA Washington Wizard Girls. He is in his third season with the team and has truly transformed the style, look, and attitude of the Wizard Girls. Prior to accepting the position with the Wizards, Derric coached the Houston Rockets Little Dippers and Space City Seniors for six seasons, as part of the Houston Rockets organization. Derric also coached the Houston Energy Code Red Dancers, the AFL2 Texas Copperheads dance team and the WNBA Houston Comets Team NRG. He is also an instructor at the P-R-O Convention held every year in Atlanta.
Elizabeth Guaraldo has been the Coach for the Major Indoor Soccer League’s (MISL) Baltimore Blast Cheerleaders for six years. The Blast Cheerleaders have released numerous swimsuit calendars, performed at the AST Dew Tour and traveled to Bermuda to participate in the Island Soccer League (ISL) All Star game. She is also the Coach for the North America Lacrosse League’s (NALL) Baltimore Bombers Cheerleaders. In addition, Liz coached the dance team for the Baltimore Mariners. Prior to taking on the role of being a Coach, Liz was a 2005-2006 Washington Redskins Cheerleader. She went to college at UMBC where she was on their dance team as both a member and a captain.
Kelly is the Coach for the Professional Indoor Football League’s (PIFL) Richmond Raiders Dance Team. Kelly recently hung up her pom poms where she was a Washington Redskins Cheerleaders for 7 years and a Wizard Girls Dancer for 3 years, holding the title of Captain for both teams. She choreographed for the Washington Wizard Junior Dancers and made several trips to the Middle East, Europe, the Balkans, Central America, and Greenland to entertain and boost the morale of our troops. Kelly is currently a member of the Capitol Movement Dance Company. In her “spare” time Kelly is also a singer with Kaleidoscope, a 10-piece band based in Maryland, and has done all types of performances ranging from NFL Football games to the Inaugural Balls for Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.
Former Director/Choreographer of the Miami Heat Dancers (2001-2011) Janine Thompson-Brown recently started a program to train dancers and cheerleaders for professional & semi-pro dance/cheer team auditions. The first workshop is scheduled next month in Miami, and she’s planning on having future workshops in various cities.
April 7th, join The Sideline Group in Lewisville, TX along with some of their friends – Stephanie Di Biase Wheat, Mallory Mills, Keith Clark, Danielle Hinson, Jenny Durbin Smith and Justine Phillips Orf – for an exclusive workshop that is sure to get you ready for this years audition season!
Click HERE to register today!
The Oakland Raiders are searching for enthusiastic and talented candidates for their renowned public relations and entertainment team – The Raiderettes. Auditions and an audition prep class to become a member of Football’s Fabulous Females are set for April. CNBC.com recently tabbed the Raiderettes as ‘The NFL’s Best Cheerleading Squad.”
The prep class to prepare candidates for the upcoming Raiderette auditions will be offered in Oakland at Bishop O’Dowd High School on Saturday, March 23 from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. with check-in beginning at 8:00 a.m. The cost for the class is $40.00 if pre-registered by March 21, 2013 or $50.00 for walk-in registration (cash only).
Fitness boot camp classes are also being offered at Core Dynamics Fitness in San Leandro on March 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 and April 2. The advance fee to register is $20.00 per class and the deadline is March 6, 2013. Walk-ins are welcome ($30/class, cash only), but space is limited.
Preliminary auditions will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at the Hilton – Oakland Airport. Check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m., with interviews immediately following.
There is no dance audition during preliminaries. Recommended attire includes daytime dresses, skirts or shorts, with appropriate hairstyle and makeup. Finalists will be announced at the end of the event. Auditions and rehearsals are closed to the general public.
Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old by the date of the preliminary audition, available to attend all home games, rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m., rehearsals Saturday mornings from 7:30-10:30 a.m., special public relations, charity and performance events, and a full-day Saturday mini-camp (date and time TBA). Eligible candidates must be able to provide authorized documents to work within the United States. Candidates may not cheer for both the Raiders and another professional or college team.
Pre-registration is strongly advised for participation in the audition process. The advance fee to register is $25.00 and the deadline is April 1 2013. Walk-ins are welcome on April 7, 2013 and the fee is $40.00 (cash only).
For more information and to download the full Raiderette application packet, please visit www.raiders.com/raiderettes/auditions.html.
On the last weekend in January, Sideline Prep held their DMV (District, Maryland & Virginia) Audition Prep Workshop.
Left to right: Kelly Allen, (Richmond Lady Raiders Director) Stephanie Jojokian (Washington Redskins Cheerleader Director), GeNienne Samuels (Sideline Prep Co-founder), Derric Whitfield (Washington Wizards Dance Team Manager) , Elizabeth “Liz” Guardalo (Baltimore Blast Cheerleader Director)
On Saturday attendees also had Q&A sessions with each of the instructing directors.
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