Knicks City Dancers Auditions

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Knicks City Dancers Audition Photos

The New York Knicks have posted a few galleries from their recent audition. To view the galleries, click here, here, here and here.

Knicks City Dancers Auditions – June 17

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For more information, click here.

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Kimberlee Garris Moving on From The Brooklyn Nets

 

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Good friend of UC, Kimberlee Garris is moving on after 10 seasons in the NBA, first as a Knicks City Dancer and then as Director of Entertainment for the New Jersey and then later Brooklyn Nets.


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Kim was approached with the exciting opportunity to consult on a show coming to Broadway next spring called “Gotta Dance” that is based on the Nets senior (over 60) dance team she created.


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She will be consulting on that Broadway project, in addition to offering her consulting services to dance teams in the U.S. and abroad.

Good Luck, Kim!

2014-15 Knicks City Dancers Auditions in One Week

Open Call Audition: Saturday, June 21 @ the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers

Callbacks: Monday June 23, Tuesday June 24 and Wednesday June 25

Just 2 remaining audition clinics next week where dancers can learn the actual choreography that will be taught at the open call. Those clinics are:

DATE 1: Wednesday 6/18/14

TIME: 6-8pm

LOCATION: City Center Studios/ Studio 5

DETAILS: Learn the “KCD Pop Jazz” Combination that will be taught at the audition

Guest Speaker: Jaclyn Alterwein, Director of Entertainment Marketing, NY Knicks

DATE 2: Thursday 6/19/14

TIME: 6-8pm

LOCATION: City Center Studios/ Studio 5

DETAILS: Learn “Jazz Funk #3” – Same style as the 2nd round of the audition!

Guest Speaker: Melissa Unterstein, Coach of the Knicks City Dancers

[Complete KCD Audition Info]

Black (and Blue) Swan: Going a Few Dance Rounds With the Knicks City Dancers

By Randi Newton
New York Observer

“I’ve wanted to be a Knicks City Dancer since attending my first game as a young girl,” rookie dancer Courtney Chung told me when I recently crashed a series of practice sessions at Madison Square Garden.

Author Randi Newton, center, tries to keep up with the real Knicks City Dancers

Author Randi Newton, center, tries to keep up with the real Knicks City Dancers

Unlike Ms. Chung, and the hundreds of other hopefuls who descended on NYC this past June to try out for one of the team’s coveted 20 spots, each woman must be at least 18 years old, have eight-plus years of dance experience and was told to supply her own knee pads, water and snacks for the audition—I had simply placed an email to a Knicks PR rep, and now I was getting ready see if I could hang with the ladies of the dance squad.

How hard could it be, I figured?

The answer: Very hard.

The halftime and time-out moves that look so effortless from the stands are damn near impossible for any novice to pull off. I learned this the embarrassing way, as I was placed front and center. I am an experienced dancer, trained since kindergarten in ballet and was committed to succeeding—I even wore team colors—but within five minutes, I was panting and writhing in pain, and we were only halfway through the first 10-minute routine, which consisted of a combination of pilates, stretching and core strength training. I lost my balance a few times and almost pulled my hamstrings.

The Knicks City Dancers reach for the top.

The Knicks City Dancers reach for the top.

The official tryouts, this past June, saw more than 500 hopefuls showing up to audition from many states and even other countries. One aspiring dancer came from Japan arriving literally five minutes late. The audition room doors at Chelsea Piers had been shut. Crying hysterically and frantically, she was allowed to enter despite her tardiness. She danced her little tush off and advanced to the third cut before she was sent home. Everything came full circle; she left in tears.

Four cuts are made over the weeklong process, winnowing the 500 down to 23 hopefuls. Then the 20 members of the team find out on the spot that they’ve made it. It was a dream come true for rookie Courtney Chung.

“When I made it, I was immediately overwhelmed with tears of joy and disbelief. I’ve wanted to be a Knicks City Dancer since attending my first game as a young girl. So I couldn’t believe that I achieved what had seemed like such an impossible dream.” There’s not much time for starry eyes. Contracts are signed, media training is completed, and measurements are taken for the 11 different uniforms the dancers will sport over the season. Then biweekly rehearsals start in August and continue throughout the season.

This year’s co-captain, Alyssa Quezada, is a University of Delaware grad. She originally planned to participate on the team for only a year, but three years later, she’s still here, presiding over rehearsal from the back of the room, noticing every misstep. “I actually believe that it’s harder to make the team again than it is it the first year,” Ms. Quezada said.

When we moved on to a new routine, I almost believed that I was picking up the choreography as quickly as the others were—perhaps because the first steps of the routine were literally steps. But these steps quickly morphed into some hard-core kicks and spins, and I quit while I was ahead, though the girls showed no signs of slowing down. They’ve been practicing twice per week since August, and they have 13 routines nailed.

Five hundred will try out; only 20 will make it.

Five hundred will try out; only 20 will make it.

“I would say the biggest misconception is that we are cheerleaders,” said Kelly Volz, a fourth-year team member, whose full-time job is as a graphic productions associate for CBS This Morning.

Being an amazing dancer is important, but so is the ability to get along with others and even to speak well. These girls not only represent the Knicks; they also represent Madison Square Garden. It’s clear that they have some serious heads on their shoulders. Christine Barton, a fourth-year member, works for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Even though she resides in Maryland, she makes the four-hour commute to New York for every home game and rehearsal. When Hurricane Sandy hit last year, she was determined to get to the city as soon as possible. “Transportation was very limited getting in and out of New York because of flooding. I was able to get on the last bus from Washington, D.C., to New York the morning after the storm. It was amazing to see that the Garden still had a full house for that game.”

There are other misconceptions as well, like love connections between the dancers and the players. On the contrary, no foul play allowed, as every NBA team has a written rule against fraternization. (Hoops stars have to find their groupies elsewhere.)

As for weigh-ins and “fat lists,” some NBA dance teams do have requirements that a dancer’s weight must not deviate by five pounds, but every franchise is different. It was neither confirmed nor denied whether the Knicks City Dancers have such a clause, but I hope they don’t, because while I know now that I have zero chance of dancing on center court, I definitely brought a lot of snacks.
Knicks City Dancers

It's not easy.

It's not easy.

 

[Knicks City Dancers]

These Knicks Dancers Are Brainiacs By Day, Bootylicious By Night

By Kirsten Fleming
The New York Post

Knicks City Dancers Amy Trader (left) and Ana De Matos lead a double-life off the court.

Knicks City Dancers Amy Trader (left) and Ana De Matos lead a double-life off the court.

When the Knicks City Dancers take the floor for the Knicks home opener at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, they will gyrate, shimmy and shake their booties in skin-tight orange get ups. But two of the beautiful women rousing the crowd have a lot more than sexy moves and a barely-there dance outfit to brag about.

Amy Trader, 23, and Ana de Matos, 27, both boast engineering degrees and impressive academic resumes.

“I have a degree in biomedical engineering, and a minor in computational neuroscience,” says first-year dancer, Amy Trader, breaking out into a shy giggle. She admits most people look incredulous when she reveals her credentials: “Yeah, I kind of get that expression from most people when I say that.”

First-year dancer Amy Trader holds a degree in biomedical engineering.

First-year dancer Amy Trader holds a degree in biomedical engineering.

Trader graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri in May and, while there, she helped invent a device for the human back that now has a patent pending on it.

Her teammate de Matos, a Knicks City Dancer for four years now, holds a mechanical engineering degree from Duke and a full-time job as a management consultant working with government and academic institutions.

Occasionally her booty shaking collides with the buttoned-up world of business. “Sometimes clients will go to games and say, ‘I saw you on the Jumbotron.’ They had no idea. When I am at work, I am not putting myself out there. I am not walking around in my Knicks jersey. I try to keep it low key.”

When Trader was on her college dance team, she didn’t let her pirouettes push academics aside.

“I focused on school a lot, but dance was always there,” says Trader, who now lives in the Financial District. “My parents told me as long as I went to college and got a degree, I could pursue whatever I wanted when I graduated.”

Ana de Matos, graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Duke.

Ana de Matos, graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Duke.

The pretty blonde — who was known in her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as an “Enginerd”— developed a silicone bag to mimic a real back disc in her senior year with two other students. Her professor realized there was nothing else like it, and so they applied for a patent. “It was really cool,” says the single Missouri native. “[But] the end goal is to produce it and get it manufactured.”

She moved to the Big Apple to pursue her dance passion after graduation and landed a spot on the Knicks squad this summer.

In grade school, De Matos, who moved to the US when she was 10, taught herself Spanish and English along with her native Portuguese, then moved into advanced math and science classes — all while learning every type of dance, including ballet, samba, tap and jazz.

“I always loved to perform, but [teachers] started to notice my ability for math and sciences when I was about 10,” she says.

Later on, during the recession, she became one of only three graduates hired from Duke to work for her global consulting firm (during a normal year, the company, which she asked not to be named, typically hires 20 to 30 students).

“I got to New York because of my job, but once I got here, I was determined to pursue my passion and dreams of dancing,” says the single Upper East Sider.

As one of the few Knicks City Dancers with a full-time job, she uses a meticulous, color-coded calendar to keep herself on track.

“Normally my days are from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m.,” De Matos says. With the little free time she has left, she is studying for the GMAT in the hopes of getting her masters and eventually starting her own business.

“People are surprised [at my double life] because it’s not the most typical combination, but it’s very definitely me,” says De Matos whose favorite book is “Psycho Cybernetics,” a self-help tome that, she says, has helped her visualize her success.

Trader, who saved up so she could put her career on hold while dancing, hopes to eventually return to biomedical engineering and develop implantable devices for people with knee injuries.

In the meantime, though, she’s happy to work it on the dance floor — and surprise people along the way.

“When people ask me what I do, I say I dance for the Knicks. And then somehow it comes around to them asking what I went to school for. They will say that it doesn’t match up,” Trader says, giggling again. “But I am proud of that. I love getting that reaction. I like breaking stereotypes.”

[Knicks City Dancers]

St. John’s Dancers Find Success Performing In The NBA

Four St. John’s dancers live out the dream of dancing professionally in the NBA.
From RedStormSports.com

Performing as a member of a collegiate dance team is a dream for many aspiring dancers, but for a quartet of St. John’s University dance team alumnae it was only the beginning.

“Being a member of the St. John’s dance team is an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” said Jackie Fowler, a 2013 graduate and current dancer with the Boston Celtics. “Dancing with St. John’s helped push me mentally and physically way further than I had ever done before. Because of my coaches at St. John’s, I learned how much hard work, determination and passion can transform someone.”

Wizard Girl Michaela

Wizard Girl Michaela

At St. John’s, Fowler served as a two-time captain, a moment she says was one of the “defining opportunities in my dancing career.” After graduating, Fowler was offered a job in June dancing with the Boston Celtics and moved up to Massachusetts to pursue her dream. Fowler plans to continue dancing in the NBA, but hopes to one day open a studio for low income families so that more aspiring dancers will be able to experience the beauty that being a dancer has to offer.

From taking second place in college nationals to a trip to the NCAA Tournament, being a member of the St. John’s University dance team meant the world to 2011 graduate Michaela Stanley. “Being on the team was by far the best part of college,” said Stanley. “Dancing is what I love and the St. John’s dance team allowed me to do that and even expand my horizons.”

Stanley has spent the past two seasons dancing professionally for the Washington Wizards as a Wizard Girl. With the Wizards, Stanley has traveled to China and Brazil and last summer even had the opportunity to dance for the USA Basketball Team in front of President Obama in Washington, D.C.

“I want to keep dancing until my body can’t live this lifestyle any longer,” said Stanley. “After that I would like to coach or work in the sports entertainment industry at least. We’ll see where the road takes me!”

For Kerrie Greene, performing with the St. John’s University dance team became the turning point in her young dancing career. “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Greene. “I feel that dancing really ‘clicked’ for me in college.”

Knicks City Dancer Kerrie

Knicks City Dancer Kerrie

After three seasons with the St. John’s dance team, Greene was offered a chance to dance with the New York Knicks and she is currently in her second season with the team. “It’s an amazing opportunity and I truly feel happy and honored to be a part of it. I believe that career and passion go hand-in-hand, you have to love your job and that is exactly why I do it,” said Greene. “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I’m overjoyed about what I’m doing right now.”

For most college dancers, the dream to go professional either begins or ends at graduation, but for one senior St. John’s dancer the dream began even earlier than expected. After being named a team captain her junior year, Julia Evans is living her dream as a New York Knicks City Dancer, with former teammate Kerrie Greene, while having the opportunity to finish her undergraduate degree at St. John’s.

“Being a member of the St. John’s University dance team has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Evans. “My passion for dance has only grown stronger while at St. John’s and I have my coaches and teammates to thank for that. I’ve grown so much not only as a dancer but as a person.”

With one year left before graduating in May, Evans plans on continuing her career as a professional dancer while trying to make her way into the marketing industry. “This is something I’ve dreamed about doing since I was a little girl and I’m so blessed and thankful to have this opportunity. I’ve always wanted to work in the marketing field for a professional sports team or entertainment business, but for now I’m just trying to enjoy my senior year and continue living my dream!”

New York Lizards Dance Team: New Look, New Director, New Name

Paula Sanders, Director

Paula Sanders

The 2013 Lizards Dance Team is brand new, consisting of 12 talented and professional dancers, led by Coach Paula Sanders, a former Knicks City Dancer. Lizards Dance Team members include a Miss New York contestant, former Jet’s Flight Crew dancer, All-American dancers, fitness models, college graduates, valedictorians, and girls who have danced in television commercials, on cruise ships, and in music videos.

The 2013 season will bring not only a new team, but new uniforms, and an energetic new urban vibe to Lizards games. Routines promise to be high energy and fun, bringing excitement to the sidelines this season.

The team attended the ICONS of Dance showcase at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City in February, where they were able to take a class from dance megastars Tabitha and Napoleon, and Mike Song. The convention tour was produced by the United States Tournament of Dance (USTD). One of the Lizards dancers, Christina, was even called out by Napoleon for her excellence in the class.

Look for the Lizards Dance Team at the Lizards home opener next Sunday, April 28th at James M. Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University.

The Lizards Dance Team is available for booking at private events and appearances. For more information about Lizards Dance Team appearances, contact team coach, Paula Sanders at PSanders@NYLizards.com.


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[Lizards Dance Team on Facebook]

[Lizards Dance Team on Twitter]

 

Former Knicks City Dancer Dances With Pacino In New Film

By Frank Lovece
Newsday

Call her a stand-up gal: At least that’s how Al Pacino saw Dix Hills’ Courtney Galiano when she danced with him in the comedy-drama “Stand Up Guys,” which opens tomorrow.

“He made me feel so comfortable,” says Galiano, 24, a former Knicks City Dancer and a finalist on “So You Think You Can Dance” season four in 2008. “I was flabbergasted that he made me feel like I’ve been doing this for a hundred years, because I was so nervous and this was my first movie, acting-wise. And he was in character the whole time,” she marvels. “He did not break character.”

And Pacino’s character is quite a character — aged wiseguy Val, who’s released from prison after 28 years of never ratting out his criminal confreres. He reunites with his best friend, Doc (Christopher Walken), and their old wheelman, Hirsch (Alan Arkin). But Doc has to kill Val, on orders from their old capo (Mark Margolis). In the meantime, Val wants to celebrate his freedom.

So he goes dancing, and in a sad, sweet scene, he meets Lisa, Galiano’s character. “He wants to party,” Galiano says of Val, “and at first he comes off a little bit harsh, but then we slow-dance and he’s like, ‘Wow, this is really nice, being with a woman again,’ and he thanks me at the end — a real gentleman.”

To Galiano’s surprise, part of the scene appears in film’s trailer. “When I saw it, I was freaking out!” she says.

The Commack High School alumna, now based in Los Angeles, will be back on Long Island this weekend with her dance troupe, The Beat, conducting classes and workshops at the Marriott in Uniondale Saturday and Sunday. Galiano, who went public with her diagnosis of MS last year, says a portion of every registration fee will be donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Then it’s back to L.A., where she appears in “Bounce,” a VH1 drama series about NBA dancers, premiering in May. And she adds that there’s a guy in her life, her MS seems to be under control, and now, with her first speaking movie role, “I don’t think I’ve been this happy in a really long time.”

NY Lizards Dance Team Auditions Are December 1st

Paula Sanders

Paula Sanders

Join the NY Lizards Dance Team for the 2013 Major League Lacrosse season…

Have you ever imagined yourself dancing in front of thousands of fans for a professional sports team? Now, could be your chance. The NY Lizards Dance Team, the professional dance team for the NY Lizards (formerly Long Island Lizards) will be holding auditions for their 2013 MLL season. The team will dance center field at Lizards home games and at various other public appearances.

The 2013 NY Lizards Dance Team will be under direction of Paula Sanders, a former Knicks City Dancer, professional dancer and choreographer. Her credits include Pitbull, Neyo, Melissa Gorga, Prince Royce and Wisin y Yandel. She is excited to be a part of the Lizards organization and can’t wait to bring some heat to the field this season with a new vibe and a totally new team.

We are looking for dancers who are talented, versatile, attractive, athletic, personable and poised to be great representatives of the NY Lizards Dance Team.

Auditions will be held on Saturday December 1st at 1:00PM. They will take place at Pearl Studios, 519 8th Ave. (between 35th and 36th street) New York, NY 10018. Please check in on the 12th floor in Studio A at 12:30 PM. Call backs will be held on Sunday December 2nd.

Requirements:

– Must be over 18- please bring valid ID

– Must have technical dance training (ballet, jazz, contemporary) as well as proficient hip hop skills

– Tumbling is a plus but not required

– Dress the part. Please wear body conscious dance/workout wear. Full hair and make-up.

– Bring Kneepads

– Bring headshots and resume

All candidates must be available to attend 7 home games and one or two weekly evening practices starting in February. Games begin in April and run through the end of August.

Professional compensation will be provided for all games, appearances and practices.

To register, candidates should email PSanders@NYLizards.com. Walk ups will take place 12:30PM on December 1st.