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Posts Tagged ‘Dance’

September 15, 2014

Dancing Again + Paint Creek Trails

Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine flew by, just as I suspected it would. I only have a few minutes to chat, so let’s get straight to the highlights!

Friday was interesting. I woke up planning to be super productive and spend the day knocking out a handful of projects and such. I had forgotten, however, that I signed up to help out with an out-of-town Pistons event that would end up taking twelve hours out of the day. Whoops!

Scott woke me up in a hurry and before I knew it we were out the door and on the road to a school show in Addison, Michigan.

I felt a little bit better about it after I convinced him to make a Starbucks run on the way. I was pumped for my first pumpkin spice latte (non-fat milk, no whip) of the season!

pumpkin spice latte fall 2014

To make an incredibly long story short, the show went great but we had a scary experience getting to and from the school. Luckily, everyone is just fine but it was a bit awkward rolling out for our two hour drive home like this.

Hooper truck out of business

Hey, whatever works right?

Carless, we walked across the street from the arena to grab dinner and since we both hadn’t eaten since breakfast we wanted all the carbs and thoroughly enjoyed a batch of crazy bread, caprese salad, white sauce pizza with veggies, and a cookie and ice cream dessert.

ciccarellis dinner

Everything was great, but the dessert, sadly, disappointed.

Saturday kept me busy with a morning of running around with Scott so I could take the car to a CPR certification class at lunch. I needed to get certified for my CPT, but have been wanting to learn the procedures for years just in case.

Management Education Center

The class was scheduled to be two and a half hours long and we learned and got tested on everything we needed to know an hour early. It’s a very quick and painless process for anyone interested, and I am happy to now feel comfortable knowing what to do in emergency situations!

CPR class

CPR certification class

Now done early, I had about an hour to grab lunch at home and loved the break.

chicken and hard boiled egg salad

Around 2:30 p.m., I grabbed a pile of neon clothes and headed to church. My friends and former Pistons Dancers teammates Alex, Amanda and I choreographed and performed a fun little cutesy hip-hop number to a rendition of “Everything Is Awesome” at all of the services.

dancing at church everything is awesome

It was great to be dancing again and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I hope to get to dance more often in the future!

dancing at church backstage

After church, I spent the remainder of my Saturday night at grandma status. I got in some reading and spent a good amount of quality time with Roadie with a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood.

falling leaves on our walk

It felt incredible in sweats paired with the cool weather that has crept up on us.

roadie on a walk

Sunset walks in cozy clothes are the best!

I spent about half of my day at church on Sunday too! I arrived bright and early at 7:30 a.m. to rehearse for the services and left right after lunch time.

Since I didn’t get to complete my training run the day before, Alex agreed to run with me after a quick stop home. She is running the half with me, and we run about the same pace so she has been the perfect training buddy!

We hopped in the car and drove over to the Paint Creek Trail, which I have only heard great things about. It was nice to be on a trail other than the normal loop I make.

paint creek trail running

This one is absolutely beautiful!

paint creek trail water

About a mile into our run, she took me down a path to see this graffiti rock display. How cool is this?

graffiti rocks paint creek trail

graffiti rocks

Sticking to our plan, we ran 7 miles in just around 1 hour and 10 minutes. I’d say we are right on track!

running near rock graffiti

After our run, we ran by the grocery store and picked up a few goodies for dinner. Her boyfriend (also Alex) made us some delicious homemade guacamole we basically inhaled upon arrival and she whipped up a healthy batch of chicken fajitas. YUM!

healthy chicken fajitas

We all left to volunteer for our student ministry right after dinner. I am proud to share that I am now a small group leader and will be spending the remainder of my Sunday nights for the rest of the school year hanging and sharing the word with high school students. It’s been great so far!

Scott picked me up since he was just down the road at a team practice and the two of us arrived home tired at 9:30 p.m. Whew! It was one of our busier weekends for sure.

I am just about to get out the door for a doctor’s appointment, and have another scheduled day ahead! I have always said that it’s better to be busy than bored, though, so I can’t complain.

I will be back later this afternoon with a full breakdown of how my half marathon training is going. Have a marvelous start to your Monday!

Questions of the Morning

• What was your favorite highlight of the weekend?

• Starbucks beverage of choice?

July 10, 2014

Working with Pistons Entertainment

This summer has definitely been one for transition. After dancing in the NBA since 2007, this is the first time I know I am having to get used to being out of the spotlight and onto the sidelines for games and events.

But you know what? I’m pretty okay with it.

My last paid appearance as a dancer was getting to perform on stage and in concert with Big & Rich!

pistons dancers with big and rich

That’s an amazing way to close out my dancing years if you ask me!

Auditions for this year’s dance team already took place at the end of June, so when the day came and I didn’t attend, I knew my decision to retire was here to stay. Although the feeling is bittersweet, I can honestly say I am ready to move on and am really looking forward to what the next few years look like for me, and us, outside of the NBA.

While I’m not part of the performance crew anymore, I have been spending a lot of my time helping out with the entertainment teams this summer. Specifically a crazy horse mascot named HOOPER.

memorial day parade with HOOPER

(We’re buds.)

I tend to mention HOOPER and working events with the Pistons every now and then and I have a feeling some of you read those blurbs with a cocked head. (She’s doing what?) I guess it’s time to help you out and explain exactly what that job entails.

During the NBA season, you can find our entertainment teams on and off the court in community and sponsored events throughout the state, country and even world!

Remember our trip to Paris? I was fortunate enough to be hired as Scott’s assistant as he helped coordinate and oversee the mascot entertainment for the Paris All-Star Game!

all star game paris 2013 on court

While the basketball games stop in April (or June, if you’re lucky enough to go all the way to the NBA Finals) the off-season proves to stay active with events and performances throughout the summer. This one in particular hasn’t slowed down a bit!

Currently, my main job outside of blogging is being HOOPER’s assistant. Whenever he has a scheduled appearance or performance, there I am. That will probably change once the season starts, or if I get a job in the fitness industry (<- I miss teaching group fitness so much!), but for now, that’s what pays my part of the bills.

I came into this unique position through Scott. He is a Director of Pistons Entertainment, the manager and coach/performer with the Flight Crew (oh hey, SkyKing!) and works very closely with all of the entertainment teams.

Even this furry one!

hanging with HOOPER

As HOOPER’s assistant, I get to work a lot of the same events Scott is already on which is great for carpooling. ;)

Basically, my job is to follow him everywhere, hand him props from his ridiculous bag of tricks, keep the rowdy kids that try to bully him away, and be his voice. (Mascots don’t speak!)

I’ve only run into a few instances where having a small girl as his assistant hasn’t worked out very well. Lucky for me, those times people tried to gang up on him, I had reinforcement around to yell and enforce the “no touching” rule. People are crazy, I tell you!

Anyways, hanging with HOOP is never boring, and always keeps me entertained and on my toes.

Yesterday, I was hired to help with Metro Detroit Youth Day at Belle Isle. The Pistons and Sprite came together to donate a full sized basketball court to the park and last year I worked the same event as a dancer, when the court officially opened.

On the schedule was a couple of dunk shows, appearances from players and former Pistons legends, and a performance from the Pistons Hip Hop dance team, D-Town.

My specific job is to stay with HOOPER, who happened to be dunking with the boys in one of their shows. Check it out!

Bub dunking with Flight Crew

Flight Crew dunk show

Flight Crew dunk

Even HOOP’s got some ups!

HOOPER dunking with Flight Crew

I’m trying not to be biased when I say that the Pistons have one of the best sports entertainment dunk teams in the league. They truly blow my mind with the things they come up with and accomplish, and were even featured on America’s Got Talent in 2012!

Just in case you’re wondering, the guy speaking in the clip is the former coach of the crew and is also a close friend of Scott’s. Essentially, we moved up here for Scott to fill his shoes!

They’re incredible to watch and it’s always fun to see the new tricks and shows they put together.

After their first dunk show, I spent the next thirty minutes or so roaming the crowd and helping people take pictures with HOOPER. Next, it was time for autographs and meet and greets.

Pistons Flight Crew signing autographs

While the Flight Crew put on another dunk show, HOOPER and I made our rounds through the field and pulled all sorts of shenanigans.

HOOPER acting silly

Or, at least he did.

When we got back to the court, we found D-town free-styling, which is never out of the ordinary.

It always amazes me how they can just come up with whatever to showcase on the fly. D-town and even random spectators like this guy!

D-town dancing with youth

While the Dancers (<- hey look, I’m still up there!) or other entertainment teams like Cheer Team, Drumline, and the Mob Squad (junior dancers) weren’t at this event, I think the three teams held down the Pistons Entertainment name very well!

D-town Hip Hop Dance Team

Not all events are like this, but most of them are. Occasionally we are brought in for school shows, camps, and community events, but most of our work is sponsored Pistons events like this one.

Whatever the case, I usually come home with some interesting memories and usually a smile!

On average, I work between two to three events a week during the summer, but that is always changing. Some weeks go by without any, but a couple of weeks ago I worked six! It all depends on what is going on, and what they need help with.

So I guess when I mention “I was working an event” you now have somewhat of an idea of what I’m talking about.


Have a great rest of your Thursday!

I’ll see you back in the morning with Friday Favorites!

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