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Ali Dee Releases New Single – It Ain’t

One of the only independent female country acts in history to break into the Top 15 on the iTunes country music chart,  Ali Dee’s  a whole lotta country, and a little bit rock and roll.

In a former life, she cheered for the Seahawks and danced for the Sonics.

[It Ain’t on iTunes]

[It’ Ain’t on Amazon]

[Ali Dee on Twitter]

[Alidee.com]

Goodbye Kings…Hello Sonics?

The Sacramento Kings are moving to Seattle. [Details here]. You know what that means…it’s the end of the road for the Sacramento Kings Dancers. However, it’s an ill wind that blows no good, and Sacramento’s loss is Seattle’s (re)gain. That’s right folks, the Sonics Dancers are back. At least, I assume they’ll be back. So all you Seattle girls keep a lookout for an audition announcement some time this summer.

Former Dancers Help Former Troops

From KXL.com

The group Vets 4 Vets started last year, after the Blazer Dancers were getting dozens of requests to visit troops and military vets. They were in such demand that a group of former Blazer dancers decided to start their own group. The 14 women represent several professional sports teams in addition to the Blazers, including the Seattle Sonics and Seahawks, even the old Portland Lumberjacks. The group has visited several V.A. centers in Oregon and has been to Joint Base Lewis McChord a few times. At Christmas they send cards to the troops serving overseas. Vets 4 Vets Secretary Desiree Goode, Blazer Dancer from 2001-2006, says the goal is just to show vets and troops some appreciation. Vets 4 Vets has applied for non-profit status, which means until then, they can’t accept donations. The members currently pay for all expenses out of pocket. If non-profit status is granted, the group plans to do more outings and put together a calender they can send to troops every year.

[Vets 4 Vets on Facebook]

Ali Dee Needs Your Help to Produce Her First CD!

Former Sea Gal and Sonics Dancer Ali Dee makes her case:

Hi its me, Ali Dee, a singer/songwriter from Texas and CMT’s Texas Women 🙂 I am ready to share my new music with the world!!! Only one little teensy weensy problem… I need your help to raise to moola to make it happen!! Record labels can spend upwards of $80,000-$500,000 smackers to get their artists albums made, I am asking for a tiny portion of that because I have folks that believe in me and are willing to knock off some change here and there to make it happen. I’ve got some of the best people lined up to make incredible music, I just want to be able to pay them what they deserve to help me make my dreams come true…

HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have the best fans in the entire universe and if you look to your right you will see lots of cool REWARDS I have set up to give away in order to collect the dollars to make this thing a go. Browse, pick, and then donate whatever you can and know you are a part of helping this gal get to where she wants to be, the top of the charts!!

A few quick notes: We only have 30 short days to meet our goal of $15,000 so PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!!! NONE of the funding goes through unless we raise the entire $15,000. If each of my facebook (16,000+) fans donate a small amount we can do this in no time! Any money raised over the $15,000 will go directly to the cost of printing/touring/marketing the record.

So DEE TEAM: Dig into your pocketbooks (or man purses) and LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

XOXO

Ali Dee

[Ali Dee on Kickstarter]

Ali Dee on Texas Women

Former Seattle Sea Gal and Sonics Dancer Ali Dee is starring in a new reality series from CMT called Texas Women. The show started last week. New episodes air Thursdays at 10/9c.

[Official Ali Dee Website]

Ali D

Former Sea Gal and Sonics Dancer Ali D’s new website www.alidee.com just went live. She’s asking folks to come check it out. Sign-up and you can hear the latest song she just recorded.

[AliDee.com]

Inspired Dancing to Find a Cure for Cancer

By Kris Hill
The Covington Reporter

triciaTricia Grove-Johnson told her sister to go find a cure for cancer.

So, in 2002, Elizabeth Lanning took the suggestion literally and came up with a fundraiser called Dance for a Cure that is now in its eighth year with the event slated for 7 p.m., May 1 at the Bagley Wright Theater in Seattle.

“I was very sick,” said Grove-Johnson, a Ravensdale resident. “I had been diagnosed with stage four uterine sarcoma. My survival chances weren’t great.”

In fact, her chances of survival were less than 1 percent, but she “didn’t really take that to heart because that’s just not me.”

“I was bound and determined to beat it. And to beat it by myself,” Grove-Johnson said. “My family wanted to help. I didn’t really want any help. I was a little stubborn. My sister, who is my best friend, was continually on me and said, ‘What can I do?’”

And that’s when, in an effort to get her sister to leave her alone, Grove-Johnson said to Lanning, “You can go out and find a cure.”

Lanning runs a dance studio in Bellevue and she decided to put on a dance performance with the proceeds going toward the Fred Hutchison Cancer Center.

Her dance students would deliver meals to Grove-Johnson’s front door and send “buckets and buckets of cards” telling her of their progress on preparations for the fundraiser.

“The first year was an incredible success,” Grove-Johnson said. “With three months preparation these kids raised $12,000.”

Grove-Johnson went to the first event, watched the show while trying not to identify herself, “then I cried through the whole thing.”

In 2003, Lanning’s students went to her and asked if they were going to do it again.

“It started out as a tribute to her sister and it has become a community event,” Grove-Johnson said. “It blows my mind the altruism of these kids. It’s more about who they’ve seen in their lives affected by cancer.”

Since that first year, Dance For A Cure has grown by leaps and bounds, with a vision statement and more partnerships with groups like Gilda’s Club, Locks of Love, Pete Gross House and others.

“It’s just getting bigger and bigger,” Grove-Johnson said. “Talking with the kids, they want it to continue on, they want it to continue making a difference.”

Dance For A Cure has gone beyond raising money during an annual event to, “the community coming together and helping every day of the year.”

These days the e-mails Grove-Johnson gets about the event “are just incredible” with people no longer asking how to get tickets, but instead asking how they can help.

“With the economy being the way it is, people may not be able to give the funds,” she said. “But, if they have the time and the will to serve (they can). And, it just puts more fire in (the student’s) bellies.”

There will be dozens of dancers involved, including Grove-Johnson, who will be performing with Amanda McAndrew who is an alumnus of Lanning’s business, Elizabeth’s Dance Dimensions.

“That’s where I grew up dancing and then taught,” McAndrew said. “I grew up admiring Trish because she was such a strong person. Her story now proves just how strong. Now here she is, still intense in everything she does.”

Dancers between the ages of 6 and 19 will perform as well as 15 members, including Grove-Johnson, of the MO-DAZZ alumni group that is made up of Lanning’s former students will perform. There are a number of other featured performers slated to take the stage.

A former University of Washington cheerleader, Grove-Johnson has done some dancing in her day, including performing with the Seattle Sonics dance team until she decided she wanted to be an attorney.

Grove-Johnson, 40, works in private practice in Renton and has continued her career and dancing while fighting through a myriad of aggressive and even experimental treatments to beat the cancer as well as the side effects of those treatments.

“Cancer sucks, I’m not going to paint a pretty picture,” she said. “I despise it. But, cancer has not beaten me.”

What has come out of it, all the negative, frustrating times during the battle against cancer, Grove-Johnson said, is a mission of service in Dance For A Cure and beyond.

Last year, she said, the event raised $75,000.

“We’re always hoping to do better than the last year,” she said. “We really believe $100,000 is not out of reach. If the kids sweat means anything, then, I think we can do it.”

dance1

Dancers lift Lexie Hewitt during rehearsals for Dance for a Cure set for May 1 at the Bagley Wright Theater in Seattle.

[Dance for A Cure]

Versatile Emcee for the Dallas Mavericks Shares Her Personal Success Story

Also working on a new album, Ali Dee says hard work got her to her current place in life.

by Zach Lewis
Pegasusnews.com

ali1Ali Dee, who is locally known as the “First Lady of the Dallas Mavericks,” is taking the entertainment world by storm. Dee is an on-camera personality and has been emcee for the Dallas Mavericks since 2007.

She’s often spotted in and around the American Airlines Center interacting with fans at Mavs games. But before fans see final product of what Dee and her co-hosts have put together each home game — which includes TV spots and live shots — she goes through rigorous preparation.

Dee arrives at the AAC on game nights at 5 p.m., where she grabs a pregame meal before doing interviews. By 6 p.m., she hosts the pregame show on the AT&T Plaza on the south side of the AAC. While she’s shooting the pregame show, she is also filming Mavs Insider for Fox Sports Southwest. Finally, she wraps up the evening with more interviews featuring other Mavs personalities, like the dancers.

“It can get a little crazy,” said Dee. “At tipoff, I have pretty much had a full day: I’ve hosted a show for an hour and a half outside; and I’ve hosted another half hour television show. … By the time the game starts, I can breathe a little. After that from there, it’s just a few timeouts.”

The job leaves no room for “off” days, both for Dee and for her coworkers. “Everyone I work with and work for is like the cream of the crop,” she said. “Everybody is on their game all the time.”

In February 2010, Dee emceed the 2010 All-Star Game at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. As one of the biggest events in NBA history, Dee feels nothing can stand in her way now. “It was probably one of the most busiest, craziest, most fun events of my life, all wrapped up into one,” said Dee. “Now I feel like I am prepared to do anything after going through All-Star weekend.”

This summer, Dee, will join the Lone Star Park broadcast team as its new entertainment host. She will provide entertainment news before and during live racing at Lone Star Park on Big Event Saturdays and on Friday nights.

ali2

Making a family with the Mavs

Before coming to Dallas, Dee was a Seattle Sonics on-camera personality. And before that, she was an intern for Fox Sports Northwest in Seattle – where she learned that being outspoken had its perks.

“I went into [the president of Fox Sports Northwest’s] office and said I want to learn how to do sports as an on-camera talent,” said Dee. “I think he was taken aback. … He also respected it, and he gave me an internship.” There, she ran the teleprompter, lugged cables across baseball fields, and learned the business of sports reporting.

After working with the Seattle Sonics, the team was sold and the future looked dim for the organization. Dee called the Mavs to see if it was looking for a “driven, people-oriented person.”

“The attendance was down (in Seattle), there was a lot of frustration in the city with the team … the Mavs are just a whole other level, coming from Seattle,” she said. “There’s so much support: 20,000 people every night. It’s been sold out for 300-something games!

“Everyone knows my name here, so it makes it feel like home. It’s a very comforting type, homey atmosphere because all the Mavs fans are like family,” she said.

Honkytonky-ing around Texas

Besides emceeing for the Mavs, Dee is an up and coming singer/songwriter. “Since I have been very young, I have always been involved in singing, musicals, cheerleading, and chorus. I was always one of those kids whose poor mom had to drive me everywhere,” she said laughing.

Dee started playing the guitar when she was in high school and then writing her own songs shortly thereafter. When she moved to Texas, she found great opportunities to perform live. “It’s really a place where I have gotten to dive into it wholeheartedly,” she said, “[I] get out to Texas honkytonks as much as possible to let people hear my music.”

Dee is currently recording a five-song EP, coming out this summer. It’s been a long road to get there, but Dee says the hard word has paid off. “Nothing is ever given to you; you have to work for it,” she said.


For those of you who may not remember Ali Dee, as Ali Dudek cheered for the Seattle Seahawks and Sonics.

[Ali Dee Official Website]

Seven Questions with Sheena Shive

sheena06_4Growing up Sheena Shive was a soccer player. A one year detour into cheerleading led her to discover she preferred the dance aspect of cheerleadering rather than cheer.

In high school she continued to play soccer and was certain she would continue in college. But when she could find, she would take hip hop classes at the local studio. In her senior year of high school, the studio asked her to start teaching hip hop classes. That’s when she started to decided she was looking forward to a future in dance, rather than playing soccer.

During Sheena’s freshmen year of college at Arizona State University, she danced for the ASU Hip Hop Coalition. The HHC would perform at various ASU events, basketball games, etc. She then decided to move back to Seattle to be closer to her family and transferred to Seattle University.

That spring Sheena auditioned for an adult hip hop group that performed at the WNBA Storm games. Susan Hovey, the Dance Director for the Storm and Sonics (and now director of the Golden State Warrior Girls), cut her. Susan told her that she would prefer to have Sheena come back and try out for the Sonics Dance Team.

Sheena had never been to a Sonics game before, but decided she wanted to try out. And Sheena was a bit nervous, because she had no formal training in jazz, only hip hop. But she made the squad the first year she auditioned, and danced for the Sonics her sophomore, junior and senior years of college.

The Sonics was a place where Sheena could dance, learn, and perform all in one. She also secretly hoped to one day work for the team, possibly with their PR team or in Events and Entertainment, or perhaps Gameday Operations. She ended up doing her Senior Project in college on the Sonics and graduated in the Spring of 2008 from SU with a degree in Mass Communications and Journalism.

While dancing for the Sonics, Sheena began assisting the Sonics/Storm Director Sabrina Ellison with the Storm Dance Troupe (a kids hip hop dance team). She would choreograph and help out at auditions, practices, events and games. When Sabrina left with the Sonics for Oklahoma, Sheena was offered the director’s position.

Last year the National Lacrosse League San Jose Stealth moved to Washington state. Sheena received an email from the Audrea Harris, Director of the NBA Clippers Spirit Squad and former Sonics Dance Team Coach. She was trying to help her friend and former Stealth Bombshells Director, Teri Schafer, recruit for a new director for the Stealth’s Dance Team. Audrea had heard Sheena had danced in the NBA and was the current director for the Storm Dance Troupe. An e-mailed resume led to an interview, and eventually Sheena became the Bombshells’ new Director.

When she’s not directing the Stealth Bombshells or the Storm Troupe, Sheena works  for an internet advertising agency with demanding travel requirements.

calendar

1. What’s your fondest memory from the Sonics?

I have so many memories dancing for the Sonics. I think the one that sticks out the most for me is stepping onto the court for the first time on opening night, where the lights were out, and we were waiting for our music to turn on for intros and perform for the first time! To stare into a crowd of 17,000 people, was amazing. I think it hit me that night that I was dancing in the NBA. My other favorite memory is the girls I have met. A couple of the girls I have met from the Sonics are my best friends, without that experience I would be missing some amazing people in my life.

shennash
Sheena danced for the Seattle Sonics three seasons and has directed the Storm Troupe for 2 years and was the Assistant Director the prior 2 years. She is directing the Stealth Bombshells in their inaugural season.

2. How much do you miss dancing for the Sonics?

Oh man, you have no idea. I don’t really think you realize how much you loved something until its gone. Or how lucky you are to of had that opportunity. I miss practicing 3 times a week, I miss getting to the arena early to eat dinner with the girls, I miss getting ready in the locker room and singing along to our favorite pre-game music and most of all performing. I also miss interacting with our fans, the good people who worked within the organization and entertaining the crowds at Key Arena. I could go on forever….

3. What’s it like working with young dancers?

I love it! My kids teach me something new everyday. I have never met so many young, motivated and talented dancers. Most of my kids are studio trained, and dance the same or better as your average 18 year old.  I have been working with some of them for over 4 years, I just wrote one of them a letter of recommendation to a prestigious dance college program, to have the opportunity to teach these kids not only dance, but to help them mature into young adults has been an amazing experience.

4. What’s the toughest part of your job with the Stealth?

I don’t know if there is necessarily a tough part about my job with the Stealth. The owner and staff of the Stealth have been so amazing to work for. But if I had to choose I think the toughest part was marketing the new dance team for auditions. Its tough for talented dancers to take a chance on a new team. There were only 2 professional teams to dance for in the Seattle area, the Sonics and the Seahawks, so I had to make sure the Stealth would be put on that same level of professionalism. But fortunately for me, coming from the Sonics I was able to recruit many of the girls who were former Sonic’s dancers. Eventually after the word did get out, I had some great talent show at auditions. I have 2 former Sea Gals, 1 former Spokane Shock Dancer and 8 former Sonics Dancers! We have a pretty talented team.

5. What was it like putting together a team from scratch?

It was so much fun! I have developed some great relationships through out the industry and was able to get a lot of them involved with the new team. I was able to develop a hair sponsor, gym/practice facility sponsor in a fairly quick amount of time. Dancing for the Sonics and coaching the Storm, I finally had the chance to take all the things I have learned, experienced and wanted and put them all into building this team. I think designing the uniforms was my favorite! My captain, Jillian, and I also flew down to the NBA Warriors Dance Clinic, to learn some fresh new choreography from our old director Susan Hovey and some choreographers we used to work with for the Sonics. I have learned from some amazing women, who have taught me how to become a great coach.

stealthauditions
Washington Stealth Bombshells Auditions

6. Your career requires you to travel. How does that affect your job as Director?

It’s been hard on me in the sense, that I am not able to be at the games to see all the hard work we have put into the team, as well as all the hard work my dancers have put into their performances. Luckily for me, one of my dearest friend dances for the Stealth. She and I made Sonics together as rookies and continued 3 seasons together. She has taken on the assistant director role for me on the Stealth. She is an amazing leader and talented dancer and choreographer. She has been great working with me and helping with practice and games.

jillianandi
Jillian and Sheena

7. What’s one thing you’d like fans to know about your squad?

That they are an extremely talented group of women and I am so thankful they took a chance with the Stealth Organization. They work so hard and everyone of them is special and unique. Not only are they talented dancers, but many are working professionals, college students and MBA students. I definitely think the Washington Stealth Bombshells are making a lasting impression in the NLL and professional dance community.

Bonus. Do you hope the NBA puts another team in Seattle?

I do hope the NBA puts another team in Seattle, but then I would face the challenge of deciding if I would want to dance for the team or go out for the director position. But I can tell you there is a very talented group of women just waiting for this to happen.

[Washington Stealth Bombshells]

[Seattle Storm Dance Troupe]

Where are they now?: Sonics Dancers

sonicsdancers2007-08sm

By Jayda Evans
Seattle Times
August 26, 2009

Another thing missed about not having a NBA team is having a dance group over the age of 20. sonicsdancers2007-08sm

Now the women have either completed degrees at Washington or moved to Yakima to open a dental practice and start families. One, Denne, joined the famed Sea Gals and became their calendar cover girl, a position she held with the Sonics.

Meanwhile Sheena Shive (pictured bottom left by NBAE) is working with the Storm Dance Troupe, getting the kids poppin’ and lockin’ like the pros. The Connecticut Sun, New York, and Sacramento either have a mix of youth and adult dance teams or just an adult team.

“We’re all still keeping pretty busy,” said Shive of her former Sonics dance teammates. Her day job is with an advertising agency but her passion remains in dancing.

In addition to directing the Storm’s troupe, Shive will head the new pro lacrosse team’s dancers. Called the Stealth Dance Team, they’ll have auditions at the Everett Comcast Event Center on Sept. 12.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the auditions for women 18 and older runs from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Checkout the website for more information. Opening night is Jan. 9, 2010 at the Everett Comcast Event Center.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity, I never thought I’d go into coaching,” Shive said.

Washington Stealth Announce New Director of the Stealth Bombshells

sheena1The Washington Stealth have announced that Sheena Shive has been hired as the Director of the Stealth Bombshells, the dance team for the National Lacrosse League franchise. Shive brings with her a wealth of dance and choreography experience, including multiple seasons with the Seattle Supersonics.

Shive is currently the Dance Troupe Manager and Choreographer for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, a position she has held since 2005. She spent three seasons as a member of the Supersonics Dance Team, where she was honored as one of six dancers to represent the NBA in Tokyo, Japan during the NBA Madness Tour.

Aside from her experience as a professional dancer and choreographer, Shive spent five years as a hip-hop and jazz dance instructor for The Performance Place and is in her third year as a choreographer and judge for High School Competition Routines. She was the choreographer for the Redmond High School Dance Team that finished sixth in Washington State last year. She also spent the 2007-08 Seahawks season as a Gameday Live host for FOX Q-13 in Seattle.

Shive grew up in Gig Harbor, Wash., and understands the impact a new professional sports franchise can have on the local community. “Having the Stealth here is an incredible opportunity for the greater Seattle area and its dancers,” said the Peninsula High School and Seattle University graduate. “I look forward to us being a presence in the community. I’m really excited to be a part of a new organization in our area.”

Shive’s new position as the Stealth Bombshells Director will begin immediately, with the auditions for the dance team taking place on September 12 at the Comcast Arena at Everett Events Center. Registration will start at 9am with auditions taking place from 10am to 4pm. For more information on the Stealth Bombshells tryouts, go to www.stealthlax.com or email Sheena Shive at sshive@stealthlax.com.

[Stealth Bombshells]

[Seattle Storm Dance Troupe]