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July 21, 2013

Pistons Dancers Auditions: Day 1

This morning and afternoon, eighty eight girls showed up and competed for a spot on the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Dance Team.

One of them was me!

ready for NBA dancer auditions

Oh, and for those of you who missed yesterday’s post: that is, in fact, me… I just have a new hair color!

Thank you ALL who posted well wishes and sweet comments for auditions on the blog as well as on my other social media channels. You sure know how to make a girl feel all warm inside! I loved reading your comments, and enjoyed seeing the encouragement today!

My morning started extra early at 4:45 a.m. to say goodbye to Scott as he left for a work conference in Portland. Not wanting to chance falling asleep and sleeping past my alarm, I spent the next forty-five minutes or so drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and catching up on the latest NBA and Pistons related articles online. (Part of a dancer’s job is to stay updated on trades, coaches, player info, and to be able to talk basketball with fans!)

Going into my (hopefully) sixth season of dancing in the NBA, I felt ready. I have worked hard this summer preparing for auditions, both mentally and physically.

I have gone through a handful of professional dancer auditions before, and am no stranger to how the process works. I felt confident and ready to get the show on the road!

Aspen on audition clothes

Okay, fine. I actually woke up a complete ball of nerves. Auditions are always nerve wrecking!

ready for NBA dancer auditions 2

No matter how much time I allow myself to prepare, I always end up staying up super late the night before making sure everything is as ready to go as possible.

I try my hardest to get in bed at a reasonable hour, but for one reason or another I always end up keeping myself busy with little odds and ends. This year’s last minute night-before endeavors included tasks like sewing a bra into my top, getting an extra long workout in, getting a spray tan, and running to the mall for a few extra accessories.

dancer auditions outfit

Registration started at 8 a.m., but I wanted to make sure to walk in the arena doors by 7:30 a.m. I have always preferred to be one of the first groups to perform, which requires being one of the first in line for an audition number.

Second in line of the returning veterans auditioning, I grabbed lucky number 16. There were fourteen of us (two are not pictured), and we were all assigned to every eighth number in order to split up the group.

Detroit Pistons Vets at auditions 2013

Auditions were set to begin right at 9 a.m., so I didn’t waste any time to go to the bathroom, change into my bottoms, stretch out, and get ready to hit the floor.

Heather dancer auditions pistons 2013

Every team runs their dancer auditions differently, and this is the second team I have been a part of. Similar to my years of auditioning in Orlando, I was told to expect both jazz and hip hop styles of routines to learn and perform in front a panel of judges. To me, that also means bringing different types of dance shoes!

dance shoes for audition

My most comfortable style to perform in is jazz. I am a classically trained dancer, and enjoy the opportunity to display technique like kicks, turns and leaps whenever I can. For this reason, the first cut of a short jazz combination is something I actually look forward to on audition day. It loosens me up, and is easy for me to smile and perform with.

Also similar to my past auditions, this one made cuts directly after the jazz combo. After the numbers advancing to the next round were announced, we only took a minute to get back on the court and get ready for the next style.

Hip hop has always been tricky for me. The first time I had even really performed it was while dancing in college for the USF SunDolls. Back then, I would often make fun of myself for being “such a white girl” and somehow made it through three years without getting too criticized from my coach.

When I graduated college, my desire to dance sky rocketed and I knew I wanted to dance for a professional sports team, which meant I needed to learn how to make my body look good doing the moves.

After somehow picking up and hanging with the choreography of my first Orlando Magic Dancers audition, I made their team and improved on the style over the next four seasons.

When I moved up here, I had never done their groovy style of hip hop before. It was an adjustment I am still getting used to, but I do my best to blend into the moves and perform it as hard as I can.

For the second round, we learned a (crazy fast!) routine to “Can’t Hold Us.” We started on the first rap part (at about the :25 second mark), so you can imagine how intricate and fast the choreography that went with it was.

Over the years, I have learned to roll with it. I may not be perfect at it, but I sure do try my best. That’s all I can do, and it seems to be good enough for what they are looking for. It is a goal of mine, however, to feel completely comfortable performing hip hop on court without getting nervous about it. Maybe this is the season, (if they have me again?)

dancer auditions

After performing the routine in groups of eight twice, there was another cut and the semi-finalists were announce to advance to Pistons Dancers Auditions: Day 2. Lucky for me, I was one of them!

Tomorrow, auditions continue and we will perform the same routine in smaller groups, have an interview with the judges, and get ready for the third day of Boot Camp this Wednesday.

I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how everything is going! I already know I will be spending a good part of the night and afternoon tomorrow going over choreography and embedding it into my brain!

For now… I am going to enjoy some R&R time with sweat pants, fur babies, and a glass of wine on my couch for a bit.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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26 Responses

  1. Congrats! Good luck on the next round! :)

  2. Michelle says:

    Congrats on making it past Round1! Good luck tomorrow :)

  3. Good luck, beautiful Heather!! It sounds like auditions are going well so far and I’m sure you’ll rock it tomorrow! Loving the new hair, too! :)

  4. Danielle says:

    Congrats on making it through round one! I knew you would do amazing! I’m loving the audition recaps and info and look forward to hearing more about them! Best of luck :)

  5. Did you make your outfit? So cute,

    Yay for day one!

  6. Amanda says:

    I love the outfit! Too cute! Good luck on Day 2! I’m sure you will do awesome!!

  7. Congrats on day 1! Can’t wait to read more :) You look great!

  8. Congrats on getting through to the second round! Good luck tomorrow! I totally feel you on the hip hop thing. I was classically trained in ballet and found it easy to transition to jazz (I love the kicks and turns too!). Hip hop is hard! I find that I’m getting better at with Zumba and other cardio dance classes

  9. Kim Perry says:

    Congrats on making it through on auditions! Good luck this week! And I love your hair!!

  10. Olena says:

    Congratulations on getting through to the second round! Also good luck this week! I’m sure you’ll do great! You look top shape and deserve it more than anyone! xoxo

  11. Erin H says:

    It’s so cool to get in “inside look” into all this!! It’s all very exciting. Good luck in Day 2!! You look so beautiful!

  12. Lisa says:

    I absolutely love love love the dark locks on you! They look gorgeous.
    Good luck on the next round of auditions, I know you’ll do amazing!
    And by the sounds of it, it’s going great so far! :)

  13. You look gorgeous as a brunette!!! You actually pull off both looks very well! Isn’t it funny how the Directors somehow just “know” what looks good on each girl? I had a friend who tried out as a blonde and they asked her to go red. She was terrified, but now loves it and looks like a true, natural redhead!

    Congrats on making it through round 1 and good luck with the rest of auditions!

    P.S. Love your audition makeup and outfit! You definitely stand out. :)

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