By Sarah Tressler
August 10, 2013
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.