Sasha likes to bestow the title of “Cool Chick” on deserving individuals. I’m not sure if I am comfortable calling anyone a “chick”, but one of the coolest people I’ve met while blogging is New Jersey Nets Entertainment Director Kimberlee Garris.
Kim is a Harvard Grad (BS in Cognitive Neuroscience), a dancer (Captain of the Harvard Dance Team and a two-time Knicks City Dancer) and in charge of the 80 or so entertainers at the Nets Games. The Dazzling Nets Dancers, the stunting Team Hype, the energetic Nets Kids, the Nets Mascot Sly, and more are all her responsibility.
So it was very cool of Kimberlee to arrange for me to get a pass to the March 1st Nets game. It was also Sly’s birthday, so Mascots from around the NBA came to help celebrate (and dunk). But even with that bit of madness going on, Kim made sure I was in the right place to get the best photos.
I had an Entertainment Pass, so I could shoot the performers, but not the game action, which was fine by me. But it meant I had to stay in the tunnel until it was time for performers hit the court. As the lined up I would kneel in front of the dancers (so as not to block the view of any fans). And as soon as the whistle blew, I’d race on to the court, trying to avoid the video camera guys their cables and the players (they are huge). I also didn’t want to trip and go face first on the floor in front of 15,00 fans. Fortunately, there were no incidents.
The next time I do a Wings Angels post, I’ll tell the story of how I almost was stuck out on the lacrosse field (court?) during play.
Let’s see some photos!
There are 16 Nets dancers, but there is a rotation system in place and only 12 perform at each game. But we will see a 13th dancer a little later.
Nets Entertainers all in a circle before the game. That’s Kimberlee on the far right with the headset.
Nets Dancers rehearsing before the game
Deb is the new coach of the Nets Dancers and is a former Nets Dancer herself. Prior to this season Kimberlee coached the team in addition to all her other responsibilities.
Jaclyn is four-year veteran of the Nets Dancers and has a BA in Journalism from rutgers. While she’s not dancing, she doesn’t have the night off. Tonight she’s wokring as ‘Jac of All Nets’ a web show, that she’s co-producing. Check out her show here.
This was quite a production/performance with dancers dancing and tumblers tumbling.
Getting ready to perform to a re-mix of Beat It. Notice the dancers are wearing just one glove.
At halftime the mascots were dunking. Here’s Grizz, the Memphis Mascot flying high.
Performances are scheduled to take place at certain time outs. One was scheduled for the first time out with 3 or less minutes to go in the first half. The problem was there were no stoppages of play! The clock counted all the way down to 54 seconds before a whistle. So what happens if there’s is no stoppage? Kim says it has never happened, but if it did, they’d just go on at the next timeout in the following quarter.
What keeps the Dancers and the rest powered through game day? Gatorade
If the game goes into the overtime, the Dancers have on additional performance at the end of regulation. Here they are rehearsing the routine in the tunnel.
More photos here.