Carmen Butler to Manage Thunder Girls

From the OKC Thunder Website:

cbutler_300A former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Dallas Mavericks dancer and special education teacher has been named the new manager of the Thunder Girls, the Thunder announced today. Carmen Butler joins the team this week and her first order of business will be to help run Saturday’s open auditions for the 2010-11 Thunder Girls team. Butler takes over for Sabrina Ellison, who, after four years with the organization, is relocating to California to be with her family. .

“We are excited to welcome Carmen to the Thunder family,” said Thunder Director of Events and Entertainment John Leach. “She brings great experience and energy to the position. Having worked in a leadership role for an organization as well-known, highly valued and professional as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, she has a definite concept of what a major-league dance team should offer fans and the community. Also, having been a Mavs dancer, she has experience in NBA game and community environments.”

A Nebraska native, Butler earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska. In addition to her dancing, she has worked since 1997 as a special education teacher at school districts in Nebraska, Texas and Maryland.

She began her sports dance career in 2000 with the Omaha Beef indoor football team, where she rose to the level of co-captain. In 2005 she realized her dream of becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. “I always wanted to become a Cowboys Cheerleader. They represent the gold standard of pro sports entertainment, the very best. It was a challenge I wanted to undertake and I was successful. I hope to bring that same level of professionalism and prestige to the Thunder Girls,” Butler said. During her three years with the Cowboys Cheerleaders, she was selected as a group leader, was named veteran of the year and facilitated cheerleading camps and other community events. From 2008-09, Butler was a dancer for the Dallas Mavericks where she was selected best in appearances.

“With her experience and personality, we know Carmen will help build on the tremendous Thunder Girls’ foundation already in place, said Thunder Senior Vice President Brian Byrnes. “Under Sabrina’s leadership, the Thunder Girls became a proven favorite with our fans. Sabrina set a high standard of professionalism that we are confident Carmen will be able to uphold and build upon.” In addition to managing the Thunder Girls, Butler will also continue to develop the Thunder’s junior dance team, the Raindrops.

“It’s a great honor to join an organization like the Thunder. I’m excited at the opportunity to continue to develop the Thunder Girls’ profile within games and in the Oklahoma community.” Butler said. “This dance team is made up of talented, intelligent women who balance this experience with their full-time careers and do it with great skill and professionalism. I look forward to working with them.”

Thunder Girls Auditions are this Saturday!

Classes provide Mavs dancing preparation

Jessica Rush
Frisco Enterprise
June 11, 2010

It is not uncommon to find young women interested in learning dance routines, practicing glowing smiles and perfecting the hair flip at Power House of Dance. The dance studio has even expanded its number of locations from the one in Dallas to include opportunities for Frisco dance classes. These two locations have in common students with one goal in mind: to become a dancer for a professional sports team.

“We have a relationship with the Dallas Mavericks, so if you take a Mavs prep class, you’re taking a class from someone who has done choreography for or is a Mavs dancer,” said Amy Z., who is the manager and competition team director for the Frisco Power House location.

Kali Drake, 22, is one of the instructors for the Mavs prep class and a Mavs dancer for the past four years. She said she always knew she wanted to be a Mavs dancer, having an innate passion to perform.


“It’s about self-confidence,” Drake said. “My favorite thing about teaching dance is you inspire and motivate kids and adults, just to be the best person and dancer they can be. If it’s in your heart, it’s going to show in your dance.”

The prep classes are not just for women who want to be a Dallas Mavericks dancer. Classes in Dallas are geared to prepare dancers for auditions with professional dance teams such as the Desperado Dancers and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The classes alternate instructors and styles, depending on what the dancer needs to learn.

“It’s a jump-start into the audition process,” Amy said.

Frisco also offers pro-league prep classes for those interested in auditioning for other sports teams with dancers like FC Dallas or the newly-formed Mavs NBA Development League called Texas Legends. The Legends begin their season this fall and will play at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. Both dance teams are looking to grow in the number of dancers they accept for a season.

The Texas Legends dance team, which is still accepting suggestions for the dance team’s name, held their first audition earlier in the spring. They have picked about six dancers, but Frisco Power House has not announced when this summer another audition will take place.

Auditions for the FC Dallas Dancers in February also went through Power House of Dance in Frisco. Those who made the official dance team were announced in March, so no new dancers will be added until the next season; however, Mavs auditions are July 30. Finals will be July 31, after dancers make it past three preliminary rounds of freestyle, choreography and extended choreography.

Michelle Hulsey, who performed last season as an Ice Angel for the Allen Americans, is hoping to get a head start with the next round of auditions since there are only a limited number of spots.

“You have to learn (routines) in 15 minutes,” Hulsey said. “The whole thing is a big competition.”

Hulsey had one piece of advice for other dancers trying to win a coveted spot on a team.

“Get in front,” Hulsey said. “Get noticed.”

Although the prep classes are generally reserved for women 18 and older, Power House in Frisco is expecting more than 100 children and teens to show up for their Summer Jam workshop this Saturday, June 12. There will be classes for juniors ages 5-10, intermediates ages 10-14, advanced dancers ages 14-18 and an adult room for those over 18. Nicole Clark, hip hop company director of Dallas Power House, is in charge of the program, which will bring choreographers Marty Kudelka, Kim McSwain and Lil C.

“We are the only workshop that’s going to offer these specific instructors,” Clark said. “It’s going to be a great fun day, more like a one-day convention.”

The names mean something to those familiar with the dance world as combined the choreographers have worked with such famous names in the industry as Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Pink, Missy Elliot and Ciara. Lil C is a regular choreographer on the hit dance competition show “So, You Think You can Dance?” and it is his first time to guest teach in Texas.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the workshop will end with a performance by the choreographers as well as an awards ceremony. Three of the top Mavs Dancers, who are also teaching a class during the day, will perform as well.

Information about class schedules and the Summer Jam Workshop are available at the Power House of Dance website at

Summer Jam 2010 at Power House of Dance in Frisco


Featuring Lil C, Kim Mcswain and Marty Kudelka

Intermediate: ages 10-14
Advanced: ages 14-18
Adult ages: 18 and up

Special Junior Room taught by the Dallas Maverick Dancers!!
Junior: ages 5-10

Intermediate/Advanced/ Adult- $125
Early Registration Fee $100 ends May 23
$150 at the door

Junior- $65
Early Registration Fee $50 ends May 23
$80 at the door

ADULTS: you can take one class from your favorite choreographer for only $35!

What to Expect:

*Three Dynamic Classes
*Lunch will be provided for all participants
*Performance & Awards Ceremony

Please contact Power House for more information.
(972) 960-2484 or (214) 387-0193

[Power House of]

Former DCC, Mavs Dancer on ABC’s True Beauty

mavsmichelle“True Beauty” will premiere on MONDAY, MAY 31 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC, following the regular time period premiere of “The Bachelorette”.

Executive producers Tyra Banks (“The Tyra Banks Show,” “America’s Next Top Model”) and Ashton Kutcher (executive producer of “Punk’d” and “Beauty and the Geek”) team up again to put their spin on beauty in Sin City. Five gorgeous females and five hot men will live together at Planet Hollywood Hotel while they compete (they think) to become the “Face of Vegas.” Unbeknownst to them, they’ll be deliberately challenged by moral situations to see if they really are kind, generous and compassionate and have what it takes to be truly beautiful inside and out.

The women contestants are Amy Schmoldt, a 22-year-old bartender from New Brunswick, New Jersey; Erika Othen, a 25-year-old singer/cocktail waitress from Long Island, New York; Liz Parada, a 31-year-old model from Hollywood, Florida; Michelle Mozek, a 21-year-old dancer from Dallas, Texas; and Regina Villano, a 22-year-old teen pageant queen from Tabernacle, New Jersey. The men are Craig Francyzk, a 29-year-old retail manager from Winnipeg, Canada; David Palmer, a 24-year-old DJ/astrologer from Huntington Beach, California; JD Scott a 26-year-old real estate agent from Los Angeles, California; Michael Allen, a 25-year-old actor/model from Miami, Florida; and Taylor Bills, a 24-year-old former professional athlete from Irvine, California.

The attractive contestants assume they’re being judged solely on their physical attributes when, in fact, the episodes will showcase two sides of each person, one that displays outer beauty as well as one that exhibits inner beauty. One person will be eliminated each week based on their behavior and how well they ranked in each challenge, as they’re evaluated and critiqued by the judges. At the end of eight episodes, one winner will be declared who has successfully demonstrated both inner and outer beauty. That winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize and a feature article in People magazine.

For Mavericks Dancers Hopefuls, Making the Team Just Takes Three Things

2009-mavs-audition_3By Patrick Michels
The Dallas Observer
Jul. 27 2009
[Slide show]

It took talent and intensity just to make it past Saturday’s first round of auditions for the 2009-’10 Mavericks Dancers squad, but for Sunday afternoon’s finals, they’d have less than a minute to perform, competing with four other dancers for the judges’ attention.

Even a great performance couldn’t guarantee a spot on the team. The dancers’ longtime director, Shella Sattler, said she wasn’t looking for any number of rookies in particular — she’d invite back as many women as she felt were deserving. With a number of returning dancers in the mix, Sattler strolled through the ranks in downtown’s Elevation Fitness, calling out names and offering encouragement. Sattler said she’s looking for three things in new talent: “physical beauty, dance ability and personality.”

Danesha McGill was one of many who were hoping to make a return to the squad (she was a Mavs Dancer from 2003-2006), and when her turn came, she did seem to give a bigger performance than the first-timers beside her, looking more like she was playing to an arena of screaming fans than eight judges with notebooks.

As each group took a turn in front of the judges, the rest of the hopefuls looked on through glass doors, passing around mirrors and primping, following along with the routine, or sizing up the competition.

“Oh, yeah, she messed up,” one whispered to the woman next to her.

“As long as you do it fast with a smile,” the other dancer said, “they’re never gonna know.”

Mavs Audition Video and Photos


All weekend hundreds of ladies have been competing for a spot on the Dallas Mavericks dance team.
Aaron Smith
The 33 News

Basketball season will be here before you know it. All weekend hundreds of ladies have been competing for a spot on the Dallas Mavericks dance team.

They’re not cheerleaders, they’re dancers so please don’t confuse the two. The Dallas Mavericks dance team competition started with two hundred fifty women Saturday. Now just these seventy-five ladies are left.

Melody Denoia is competing and says, ” I danced for the Mavericks from ’02 to ’06 so that’s a total of four years.”

Hillary Bordeaux also has experience saying, ” I was a professional cheerleader last year for a different squad but this is also totally different.”

Different because the routines change quickly with no notice, sometimes they have freestyle.

Alyssa Sarasani says, ” Its pretty intense because they teach at a very fast pace but the routines have been at a style that I really enjoy.”

Groups of five perform in front of judges. For some the last minute routines spell mistakes.

Laura McKie says, ” I messed up on the end which we just learned but I kept a smile on my face so hopefully they keep me around.”

Jasmin Flores also messed up, but recovered saying, ” I bobbled a few times during the performance but I think I recovered it well, obviously I recovered it well because I’m still here so i’m just thanking jesus right now.”

Its pressure. but so is a schedule of forty games, sometimes three a week.

Just because you were a Mavericks dancer last year that doesn’t mean anything this year. Everybody got to try out every single year. It keeps them on their toes. While looks are nice directors say the chosen few will need more to wear the maverick logo.

About forty ladies remain after todays eliminations. The final team will be chosen on July 31st.

Make sure you check out The 33 picture gallery for pictures from the tryouts.