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