Utah Jazz Dancers Auditions

Dancer Auditions

Schedule:

JULY 6 (SATURDAY)

  • First and second cuts
  • Registration opens at 8am, with auditions at 9am
  • All auditions are at Vivint Smart Home Arena—enter through the main doors (northeast corner)

JULY 8 (MONDAY)

  • Semifinalists will learn additional choreography and work out at Vivint Smart Home Arena from 6–9pm.

JULY 9 (TUESDAY)

  • 30 finalists will be selected and announced by 4pm
  • Finalists will learn additional choreography and work out at Vivint Smart Home Arena from 6–9pm

JULY 10 (WEDNESDAY)

  • Individual interviews will be scheduled and conducted at Vivint Smart Home Arena starting at 8am
  • The final round of auditions will begin at 1pm
  • Final members of the 2019-20 Zyia Active Jazz Dancers will be announced by 5pm

JULY 11 (THURSDAY)

  • Mandatory meeting for the new team at 10am. Location TBD.

Where:

Vivint Smart Home Arena
301 W. South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Note: Parking is available at the Park Place lot, directly northeast of the arena (east of the KSL building).

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old as of July 6, 2019.
  • High school graduate
  • Athletic physique
  • Physically fit

Attire:

  • Half-tops or sports bras
  • Non-marking dance or athletic shoes
  • Performance-ready hair and makeup
  • Attire for interviews is business professional

What to expect as a member of the Zyia Active Jazz Dance team:

The 2019-20 Zyia Active Jazz Dancers will perform at all Utah Jazz home games, in addition to select Salt Lake City Stars games. You’ll also be required to perform at special appearances throughout the NBA season and offseason. The primary styles of dance are hip-hop and jazz, with higher levels of technique required. Rehearsals will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as additional nights when necessary. Call time on gamedays is 3pm. THIS IS A MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT!

Audition Application:

Download 2019-20 Jazz Dancer Application (PDF)

Please complete the application—including a professional business resume and a 5×7 full-body picture—and submit to:

Ashley Kelson
Jazz Dancer Auditions
301 W. South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Preregistration is strongly recommended. However, you may apply during registration on the day of the audition. The 5×7 full-body photo will not be returned to you and must be of YOU ONLY.

Please click here for more information or to register for auditions.

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Utah Jazz Dancers Audition Information

Dancer Auditions

Schedule:

JULY 7, SATURDAY

  • First and second cuts
  • Registration opens at 8:00am, auditions start promptly at 9:00am
  • Takes place at Vivint Smart Home Arena

JULY 9, MONDAY

  • Semi-finalists will learn additional choreography and workout at Xcel Fitness from 6:00–9:00pm.

JULY 10, TUESDAY

  • 30 finalists will be selected and announced by 4:00pm
  • Finalists will learn additional choreography and workout at Xcel Fitness from 6:00-9:00pm

JULY 11, WEDNESDAY

  • Individual interviews will be scheduled and conducted at Vivint Smart Home Arena starting at 8:00am
  • Final round will begin at 1:00pm
  • Final members of the 2018-19 Utah Jazz Dancers will be announced by 5:00pm

Where:

Vivint Smart Home Arena
301 S Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Xcel Fitness
6151 Highland Dr.
Holladay, UT 84121

Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years of age by July 7th, 2018 NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • High school graduate
  • Bring a 5 X 7 full-body photo (this will not be returned to you and must be of YOU ONLY). Professional photos recommended. We do not require a photo for preregistration.
  • Athletic physique
  • Physically fit

Attire:

  • Half-tops or sports bras
  • Non-marking dance or athletic shoes
  • Performance-ready hair and make-up
  • Attire for interviews is business professional dress

What to expect as a member of the Utah Jazz Dance team:

The 2018-19 Utah Jazz Dancers will perform at all Utah Jazz home games. Performances at select Salt Lake City Stars games will be required. You will also be required to perform at special appearances throughout the NBA season & off season. The primary style of dance is hip hop and jazz with higher levels of technique required. Rehearsals will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as additional nights when necessary. Call time on game days is 3:00pm. THIS IS A MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT!

Audition Application:

Download 2018-19 Jazz Dancer Application (PDF)

Please complete the application and submit to:

Ashley Kelson
Jazz Dancer Auditions
301 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Pre-registration is strongly recommended. However, you may apply during registration on the day of the audition.

Please bring 5×7 picture on July 7th.

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

America First Jazz Dancers Auditions – July 8

America First Jazz Dancers

Audition Dates:

JULY 8, SATURDAY

  • Preliminary Round and first cut
  • Registration opens at 8:00am, auditions start promptly at 9:00am

JULY 10, MONDAY

  • Semi-finalists will learn additional choreography at West High School from 6:00-9:00pm.
  • Semi-finalists will also be required to submit a 2 minute video with one minute to introduce themselves and one minute of original choreography. Videos are due by midnight July 10th.

JULY 11, TUESDAY

  • 30 finalists will be selected and announced by 4:00pm
  • Open practice at West High School from 6:00 – 8:00pm

JULY 13, THURSDAY

  • Individual interviews will be scheduled and conducted at West High School starting at 8:00am
  • Final round will begin at 1:00pm
  • Final members of the 2017-18 America First Jazz Dancers will be announced by 5:00pm.

Where:

West High School
241 N 300 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years of age by July 8th, 2017 NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • High school graduate
  • Bring a 5 X 7 full-body photo (this will not be returned to you and must be of YOU ONLY). Professional photos recommended. We do not require a photo for preregistration.
  • Athletic physique
  • Physically fit

Attire:

  • Half-tops or sports bras
  • Non-marking dance or athletic shoes
  • Performance-ready hair and make-up
  • Attire for interviews is business professional dress

For more information, click here.

Random NBA Dance Team Pic of the Day

Introducing the 2016-2017 America First Jazz Dancers

It’s that time of the year…NBA dance teams have held their auditions and are beginning to announce their new squads on their web sites.  Up next, the 2016-2017 America First Jazz Dancers.

Alex

Alexia

Alisha

Janessa

Jess

Josi

Julie

Katelyn

Kendal

Lexie

McKenna

Morgan H.

Morgan T.

Sabrina

Samentha

Star

Utah Jazz Stunt Team Moves Don’t Look Easy

By Andy Larsen
KSL.com

I walked into the Zions Bank Basketball Center this weekend to a group of about 25 men and women in formation, each of them pulling a backflip from a standstill, and landing it.

Whoa.

That wasn’t the only amazing trick I was in for as I watched warmups and then the tryouts for the Utah Jazz Stunt Team. Throughout, I saw a veritable smorgasbord of flips, twists, throws and feats of strength from the stunt team hopefuls.

The Utah Jazz Stunt Team is one of three rotating groups that perform at EnergySolutions Arena during a Jazz season, along with the Dunk Team and the Junior Jazz Dancers. These groups are assigned to the 41 home games, meaning that the Stunt Team will get 13 or 14 dates on which to perform per year. At each of those games, they’ll perform at least once in a quarter break, but usually at a timeout or halftime too. Occasionally, they’ll let the Jazz Bear, a capable stuntman, in on the act.

Saturday was the tryouts for the Stunt Team. The goal of program director Summer Willis was to get the roster down to a group of about 10 women and 12 men who could perform at the games next season. Given that there were about 25 people at the tryouts, and another five submitting videos to show off their skills, tryouts were relatively laid back compared to, say, Jazz Dancer tryouts, in which hundreds of potential dancers are rejected.

jazz

But the relatively high acceptance rate doesn’t mean stunting is easy. It’s not just throwing a flier into the air and having them stand on a pedestal. The initial throw has important steps of technique, especially when flips or twists are involved. The idea, generally, is to throw the top person so that the thrower doesn’t have to bend in order to catch her at her peak: that takes ridiculous strength.

Then, balance comes into play on both parties. A sturdy base is important, then the top person’s balance is critical, or else the whole apparatus moves all over the floor. The center of balance has to be right over the thrower’s grip.

That grip has points of technique, too. It’s not a pedestal, but actually a very real grabbing of the foot that means the dancer can do stretches and stunts from high up in the air. And the dismount is tricky too: getting down safely at all is often a concern, then there’s sometimes flips and twists added as well. It’s all actually pretty complicated.

Willis admits that the crowd doesn’t see all of this. “You wouldn’t know that from the outside looking in,” she says. “You just see the end result, if she falls or if she doesn’t.”

Willis, though, is a master teacher of the hidden technique — she’s led the Weber State University Spirit Squad for 17 years. Upon taking the opening, she rebuilt the program for five years and turned it into the nationally competitive outfit it is today. The Wildcats have won three national championships, in 2009, 2012, and 2013, and haven’t ever finished worse than third at nationals.

So when the Utah Jazz were looking for a way to diversify their in-game entertainment four years ago, Willis was a natural call to make, and the team knew it could count on her, with the Weber State squad as a base, to make a group that had enough quality for professional entertainment. While the Jazz aren’t the only NBA team with a stunt team, it’s a relative rarity for NBA franchises.

For those who are on both the Weber State team and the Jazz’s team, performances at Jazz games are “a little bit more laid back,” according to Chelsi Lee, an early childhood/special education major who performs stunts for both teams. “At college, it’s everyday practicing.”

That means the participants on the Utah Jazz team are excited that they’ve gotten the opportunity. Richie Stevenson, a junior at Weber State who is going into his second year on the Jazz stunt team, said, “It’s such a rush, there’s nothing better.”

“When you practice stuff for years and you get to go out and perform in front of tons of people? It’s the best.”

2 Utah Natives Make ‘So You Think You Can Dance Top 20

By Linsy Hunsaker
Deseret News

“So You Think You Can Dance” is back again with another set of top-20 dancers. As with most seasons of the show, Utah dancers are also back to shine; however, this year, the show is doing things differently.

Season 12 is pitting 10 stage dancers — those formally trained in things like ballroom, ballet and contemporary dance — against ten street dancers — those experienced in things like hip-hop, krump and animation. Each team has been given a SYTYCD alum to coach them — contemporary dancer Travis Wall for the stage team, and hip hop dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss for the street team — but only one dancer will win the title of “America’s favorite dancer.”

On Monday’s show, two Utah Jazz Dancers were picked for the stage team.

Hailee Payne, 20, of Roy, was selected on her third attempt at making the show’s top 20.

“(I) can’t believe that this is real life,” she wrote in response on Instagram.

“I think (Payne’s) going to be incredible all around,” Wall wrote at Entertainment Weekly. “At the same time, I think she has a very bright personality, and people are going to pick up on that.”

In her bio on Fox.com, Payne said her “dream dance partner” would be SYTYCD alum and Utah native Tanisha Belnap.

“It would be such a pleasure to share the SYTYCD stage with one of my best friends,” she said.

Alexia Meyer, 19, of Orem, will join Payne in the top 20 this season.

“(Meyer) is a little firecracker,” Wall wrote at Entertainment Weekly. “I’ve known (her) since she was 12 years old, and she’s always had that fire in her.”

Meyer said in her bio on Fox.com that she started dancing at three years old.

“I remember watching (Allison Holker) as a little girl at my studio, The Dance Club, and being so mesmerized by her passion,” she said. Holker — another Utah native — competed in season two of SYTYCD.

To find out how the Utah natives fare in the competition this year, check out “So You Think You Can Dance” on Fox on Mondays at 7 p.m.

Congratulations 2014-15 Utah Jazz Dancers!

Click here for larger versions of the individual photos.

Jodi and Cheer Love Apparel

Jodi has always loved cheer and tumbling from the early age of 4. She competed nationally for power tumbling and cheered throughout junior and senior high school. She continued on to collegiate cheer where she made her dreams come true by winning the NCA college nationals in 2009 in the Large Coed division with Weber State University.

After graduating from college, Jodi focused her time on building her real estate and home staging business. In 2012 she got an amazing opportunity to cheer at a professional level for Utah Jazz. The love she has for cheer developed into a second business, a cheerleading clothing line called Cheer Love Apparel. Cheer Love Apparel is an outward expression of the passion and love for cheerleading. They carry a variety of cheer tanks, tops, spankies, hoodies, and sweat pants. She is excited to see where the future is headed and hopes to spread the Cheer Love all across the globe.

[CheerLoveApparel.com]

2013-14 Utah Jazz Dancers

Well it’s about time! The Jazz have finally added individual profiles and photos of this season’s Jazz Dancers. Click here to see what they’re all about!

Utah Jazz Dancers Hold Auditions

The Nu Skin Jazz Dancers held their annual auditions Saturday, and FOX 13 News photojournalist Matt Sampson was there to capture the event. Check out the video for more on the tryouts.

Two Utah Jazz Dancers Accept Mormon Mission Calls

By Jerry Borrowman
The Deseret News

It was unusual when KyLee Washburn and Kelsey Anderson left EnergySolutions Arena by themselves following the last Utah Jazz home game before Christmas.

Normally they’d exit with all 20 members of the internationally renowned Nu Skin Jazz Dancers, but that night these two friends were in thoughtful moods, particularly when they entered the brightly lit plaza in front of the arena.

Not far in the distance were the illuminated spires of the Salt Lake Temple, framed by the millions of lights at Temple Square.

They began talking about the age change for missionaries announced at the October 2012 general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Anderson told her friend that she’d decided to serve and had already started the process.

Washburn was astonished to hear this because she had been thinking about the same thing for weeks, and in the moment that Anderson said she was going, Washburn said she realized, “I have to go, too.”

Kelsey Anderson has been called to serve in the California Ventura Mission.

Kelsey Anderson has been called to serve in the California Ventura Mission.

Washburn said they were thrilled when the realization struck that they had been on the same spiritual journey, even though it meant resigning from the Jazz Dancers at the pinnacle of their dancing careers.

“We were so excited to find out that the other wanted to go that we literally started jumping up and down for joy, hugging each other with tears running down our cheeks,” she said.

Since then, Anderson has received her mission call to serve in Ventura, Calif., and Washburn to Resistencia, Argentina. They will finish the season with the Jazz and, as far as they know, they are the first Jazz dancers called to serve missions.

Both Anderson and Washburn remember what they were doing when they learned women could serve LDS missions at 19.

“I was at work when my brother texted me during general conference with the short message, ‘Boys can go at 18 and girls at 19,’” Anderson said. “I distinctly remember thinking, ‘That is so cool that they can go right out of high school.’ For a few days I didn’t think about it again, but then the thought came that maybe I should go, and before long I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had that ‘burning in the bosom’ feeling that just wouldn’t go away. I remember that when I finally said, ‘I’m going on a mission,’ I had an immediate and incredible feeling of peace.”

Washburn said she learned about the change “while getting my hair done.” It didn’t spark an immediate interest, but the seed was planted that “I could go right now if I want to. That started the thought process, and soon I was fasting and praying. I have always had this unshakable testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and I felt that after 19 wonderful years of being blessed I should share the knowledge of the gospel when and where I can. If I didn’t do it, I would almost feel guilty because I have been so blessed, and I need to share it with others. Eventually I accepted the idea that I should put my life on hold, knowing that things will work out when I get home.”

Anderson grew up in Holladay and is a sophomore majoring in political science at the University of Utah. She said she hopes to be a political commentator and writer “because I love our country so much, and I want to be involved in the political process that keeps us great.” She said she is putting her schooling and dancing on hold to serve a mission so she can help others.

KyLee Washburn has been called to serve in the Argentina Resistencia Mission.

KyLee Washburn has been called to serve in the Argentina Resistencia Mission.

“It would be so selfish of me to just sit here and go through my life and not share the knowledge I have that there is a God, that he loves you, and that his son came and atoned for our sins,” she said. “Most important for me is the knowledge we have that families can be together forever. I have this feeling of despair for people who think that death is an end; to me, that would fill one’s life with anxiety and depression, and so I want to share the feeling of peace that the gospel brings to me.”

Washburn, a Salt Lake City resident, is also a student, majoring in business management at Utah Valley University. She hopes to start her own business one day.

Before starting college or dreaming of serving missions, both women pursued their dreams of becoming Jazz dancers in high school.

Washburn was a member of the Bingham High School Minerettes drill team, which took first place at a state competition while she was on the team. Anderson danced for the Cottonwood High drill team, which took second place the same year, losing only to Bingham. After dancing in high school, both women decided to try out for the Jazz Dancers.

The tryouts started with a boot camp in which 120 girls competed. At the end of camp, 50 were selected for audition week. Neil Anderson, the Jazz fitness trainer, put the dancers through a physically challenging ordeal of jumping, running and dancing, including a routine similar to an exercise used to train U.S. Navy Seals, according to Anderson.

“It was unbelievably hard,” Washburn said. “We wanted to look our best, so everyone was wearing makeup, and there we were sweating like crazy because of the energy that was required to compete. Each time a drill was finished, we’d see girls giving up and walking off the course.”

After three days of conditioning, they performed three required dance routines, and then went home to wait for the appointed time when they could call a recorded message to see if their number had been selected.

Competitors in high school and even during Jazz Dancer tryouts, Anderson and Washburn became close friends when they were selected as part of the group of eight new dancers for the team.

Both have experienced many positive aspects by being associated with the Jazz Dancers.

“While our uniforms are extremely well styled, it’s clear that we have the most modest presentation in the NBA, and we like that,” Washburn said.

Anderson said she likes sharing information about staying healthy with the public.

“When we get to go out and meet with young girls and the public to increase excitement for the Jazz, we are able to talk about the benefits of good physical conditioning, and the fact that a person should eat well and stay in shape,” she said. “Dancing is just one way to do that.”

They both said they enjoy being part of the basketball games.

“I know I’d like to get back on the NuSkin Utah Jazz Dancers team when I get back, but who knows what will happen,” Washburn said. “I plan to stay in great shape while on my mission so I’ll be as well prepared as I can, but if I don’t make it that will be OK. At least I had this wonderful experience now.”

Anderson said her mission has become her focus.

“Three months ago I would never have thought I was going on a mission, and now it’s the most important thing in my life,” she said. “So I don’t know what will happen when I get home. I think I’ll try out for the team, but that’s not what’s important right now. Right now I’m really trying to treasure this experience while it lasts, doing my very best to enjoy each and every moment I’m on the team through the rest of this season. Then I’m off to the Missionary Training Center.”

[Utah Jazz Dancers]