Posts Tagged ‘Dance’
April 14, 2014
Good Afternoon! I realize I am posting a bit later than normal, but I promise that there is a very good reason for it.
Last night not only marked the end of an NBA season for Scott and I, but also a closing to a chapter in our lives together.
(Also, linking this marvelous milestone up with Katie!)
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while already know that NBA Entertainment is what brought Scott and I together.
Back in the summer of 2007, I tried out for the Orlando Magic Dancers, and to this day we still have the professional sports entertainment itch in our bones. Last night marked six seasons performing in the league together, and today I am scratching my head at how in the world it all went by so fast.
My Last NBA Game
This year has proved to be a challenging one for me, both mentally and physically. Going into auditions this year, I had no idea what to expect and can without a doubt say that I was a part of a one of a kind experience.
Coming from another team, I did my best not to compare this to that, and took the opportunity to experience being a part of a different team in a different city. The 2013-14 season proved to be just that!
Without much time to reflect right now, I wanted to quickly highlight the game last night… but I will be sure to check back in the next couple of weeks with more posts and pictures.
Just like all games, I arrived at the arena hours before the doors opened for practice on the court with my team. We spent the next few hours getting ready in the locker room for Power Hour, appearances on the concourse to interact with fans before tip-off.
As I changed from my sequin dress and into our first half outfit, I couldn’t help but think that really was the last time I will be donning sequins, with the exception of the occasional fun birthday or New Years dress. The feeling of turning that along with the rest of my uniforms in was truly surreal.
Into our cut up tees, I made sure to snap a few photos with some of my teammates.
Unlike my closing game with Orlando, I knew ahead of time that this would be my last time dancing with these ladies on court and did my best to soak every little thing in.
Ready for intros, we grabbed our white hoodies and team chiropractor, Dr. Chad McKernan for a thank you photo.
As we made our way back stage, we spent a little more time getting to our spots, knowing that was the last time we would all be experiencing intros together.
With the dimming of the lights, we took the court for one last hurrah as the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Dancers.
Even though we didn’t end up getting a win, we finished the season on a good note with an amazing and loud crowd cheering us on.
While changing out of our uniforms for the last time, the reality of turning in more than costumes set in. For a lot of us, we would also be turning a page and embarking into a completely new chapter in our lives.
After saying many goodbyes, we stopped for dinner at Trattoria Da Luigi in Royal Oak before arriving to our entertainment teams wrap up party.
(Unpictured spaghetti dishes as well as multiple baskets of bread!)
Everything was delicious, and Scott and I made a note to revisit more this summer.
One hundred percent content after a couple of glasses of celebratory wine and a good Italian meal, the group of us walked over to Fifth Avenue to say our goodbyes one last time.
There, we caught up with fellow entertainment teams and wrapped up the end of our season with lots of laughs and hugs.
After a full day of smiles and tears, we each parted our ways and only hope to see each other again over the summer.
It’s crazy going from seeing the same group of people multiple times a week (sometimes even every day!) for eight months to nothing. Each year, I take what I can from the experience and feel blessed to leave with a handful of friendships I know will last much longer than our time on the team together.
This morning, I woke up feeling good. A little sad, but overall happy with my decisions over the past few years. Through the good times and the bad, I made my way through six seasons getting the most I could out of every opportunity, and took in everything I possibly could without any regrets.
I am looking forward to sharing more about my time as a professional NBA dancer, but at the moment I must hurry out the door to my post-season treat to myself: a massage!
Thank you for following this journey with me, and I promise to have much more to share coming up!
March 25, 2014
My mind is running all over the place today. I woke up in a weird mood and have just felt out of it ever since. As usual, I blame the weather. Ha.
Speaking of weather, I am so very excited to get a break from the winter and head down to Florida this weekend! I will be flying into Jacksonville and spending a couple of days in St. Augustine to attend my friend’s wedding, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the weekend of nuptials and celebrations with old friends. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it when I return!
Anyways, before I wander off too much, I have a super random blog post filled with things I have been wanting to share with you. Here’s hoping you find it somewhat entertaining!
10 Random Thoughts and Things
• There are only five more home games left of the NBA season.
Time sure flew this year! Mid-April, I will be wrapping up my sixth season of dancing in the NBA.
It will be a very bittersweet time in my life, and I can’t wait to share more about my experiences with you when it’s over.
• Justin Timberlake tends to drag out the end of his songs.
No? I love the (ridiculously good looking) man and his music, but I have noticed myself skipping over his songs when they come on my Pandora stations lately. There’s just only so many times I can hear “you are, you are, are the love, of my life” in a row before I go crazy. Sorry. I still love you JT!
• Per request, I am filming a tutorial on how I scrunch and tight curl my hair this afternoon.
Assuming it goes well, keep a look out for it on the blog later this week!
I am also planning a post all about spray on and self tanners to help answer some questions I have been getting!
• Currently, I am driving nothing.
Since turning in my lease to the dealership late January, Scott and I have been car shopping. We seriously looked at purchasing vehicles for a few weeks, then decided to put the process on hold.
When I am not working at home, we either share his Jeep or coordinate rides to get to our commitments. It’s not the most convenient thing in the world, but we have been able to save a considerable amount of money on an extra car and insurance payment for two months now! (Ching ching.)
The fact that I have been traveling a lot has also slowed down the process. I have handled not having a car at my disposal pretty well, but am starting to get ancy at the same time. We are hoping to make a move before my birthday at the end of next month!
• I am becoming quite the at-home workout fiend.
I guess I can blame the point above for most of this one. I used to have a set schedule of my trips to the gym that included a handful of group fitness classes and workouts on the cardio equipment every week.
These days, it is just easier for me to take care of fitness business at home. Thank goodness for great workout DVDs that help mix them up!
• I am unusually excited about getting “dressed up.”
Since moving up to Michigan, I have become the ultimate definition of a homebody. I work, work out, eat and entertain myself at home more than anywhere else.
With the exception of practice, home games, and events, I spend my days working in my basement and my nights straightening up and hanging in the house. Either I’m officially
a grandma growing up, or the cold winter season gives this feeling of hibernation to everyone.
Anyways, tonight I am looking forward to getting dressed in something other than gym or dance clothes and enjoying a dinner date!
• I am getting the itch to sign up for races again.
This upcoming October, I am planning on running my second half marathon with a few friends!
The main motivation of me also updating my location information for deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Amazon Local last weekend was to receive discounts and info on upcoming fun runs in our area.
Just the other day, Scott mentioned it would be fun to sign up for a few over the summer and I couldn’t agree more.
• I might just turn into “chips and salsa”.
Seriously. I need some sort of intervention over here. At the moment, I can recall eating a version of the snack every single day over the past few weeks. Nothing about that is okay…
• Sunshine makes me happy. So does this song!
While most people are sick of Pharrell’s “Happy” by now, I still find myself rocking out to it every time it comes on. I mean… how can you not shimmy and dance around a little to that beat?
• I adore you guys!
Really. I have been feeling the blog love from you guys a lot over the past few months and it isn’t going unnoticed.
I owe a big shout out and THANK YOU to all of you who participate in Friday Favorites and a big WELCOME to those of you who just started following.
Looking towards the future, I am really excited to see where this blog takes me and greatly appreciate the support I receive from you via comments, shares, and emails. More than you know!
And I guess that just about wraps things up here.
How about you?
What is one Random Thought or Thing of yours today?
March 4, 2014
Hello everyone! Today I am coming to you still on a complete high from an incredible weekend home in Orlando, Florida.
While I am not physically down south, I feel like I am still so surrounded by friends, family, and an amazing group of sisters I met dancing four seasons with the Orlando Magic. Over the weekend, twenty five years worth of Magic Dancers reunited for a special halftime performance and I will be sure to share that experience with you!
First, I wanted to highlight the start of my trip and include my favorite moments of the weekend off the court.
Since Scott already had his own traveling plans last weekend, my short trip home was officially deemed a girls weekend when my friend and teammate, Alex, flew down with me!
Alex is born and raised in Michigan, so I was anxious to show her as much of Orlando as I possibly could in two days. We were so excited to get down there and enjoy the warm weather!
After a flight delay, a baggage fiasco, and a ridiculously long line for a rental car, we finally arrived in my hometown of Longwood around 8 p.m Friday night. We drove directly home to my parents house, only stopping for a quick sunset picture of our neighborhood beach.
(So many memories of fun boating weekends here!)
I made sure to spend my first night at home and enjoyed a relaxing night in with my parents, my sister and her family, and a couple of close family friends.
I really miss being able to just drive thirty minutes or so to see them, and felt so grateful they were able to spend the night home with me.
Barre54 and Brunch in Winter Park
Saturday morning started bright and early with a pre-planned barre class at my old studio in Winter Park. I always say “barre this and barre that” up here, and I was so happy we fit in a trip to my old stomping grounds to show Alex the place I used to teach group fitness.
I really do miss that sunny studio!
Just as I expected, Amanda did a great job challenging us in class (welcome back, barre shake and burn!) and we all left feeling great. Okay, we also felt more than a little sore too.
Amanda had to stay at the studio to continue teaching, so Alex, Missy (<- a life-long friend I just found out is expecting! Remember her Bachelorette cruise? Where does the time go?!) and I walked a quick ten minutes over to Park Avenue, one of my favorite shopping districts in Orlando.
One thing I truly miss about living in Florida is the ability to go for a walk or run outside year-round. Coming down from temperatures in the negative lows and high of teens this week, walking in a tank top and needing sunglasses on our way over felt like such a treat!
Past the garden, we found our destination of Briar Patch to meet another friend for brunch.
Around 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning it was packed to the rim, but very much worth the wait!
Alex and I split our meals and I made sure to include a couple of Southern staples like fried green tomatoes and grits.
I’m still dreaming about those blueberry fiber pancakes in the middle.
Briar Patch is also known for their desserts and ice cream parlor that I never have room for. One of these days I have to get a slice of their gigantic specialty cakes!
As brunch came to a close, I said goodbye to Missy and also to Suzanne and her adorable baby girl, Joy.
I wish I had more time to see everyone.
Next on the agenda was a group rehearsal for the halftime performance we would be dancing the next day. Before going to the fitness center, we stopped over to a friend’s condo to see a few of my old teammates and bask in the sun!
I had never been so thankful for a sunny Saturday afternoon in my entire life.
Alex dropped me off at rehearsal soon after and met up with a local friend of hers while I practiced and reunited with a lot of awesome familiar faces.
I spent the majority of my time during the 2007-2011 NBA seasons practicing and performing with these women and felt absolutely elated for the opportunity to catch up with with all of them.
Saturday was a great turn out and we were all looking forward to the performance the next day!
Dinner on Church Street
After a full day of in and outside activity, it was more than time for Alex and I to shower and get ready for a reunion outing that night. Before hitting up the night spot, we grabbed dinner at one of Scott and I’s favorite tapas bars in the city: Civeche.
We ordered a variety of popular dishes (including these amazing patatas bravas, or seasoned potatoes) and also shared a pitcher of red wine sangria.
It was so much fun to see familiar faces pop in and out the entire evening!
Post-dinner, we walked right next door to Don Jefe’s and had a blast dancing and reminiscing well into the early morning.
Today I have a handful of errands to run, laundry to catch up on, and dances to review before tonight’s practice at home in Michigan.
Also, if you get a chance, could you please take a second and vote for Alex in the AKD Sports Model Search? We both appreciate any and all of your support. Always. Thank you!
Stay tuned for Part II of the Orlando Magic Dancer Reunion Trip coming up!
February 27, 2014
Hey everyone! How is your day going? I am in a state of confusion on where the heck mine went.
Today is a very exciting one for me! You see, tomorrow I am leaving for Florida to take part in the Orlando Magic Dancers 25th Anniversary Reunion! That’s right… warm, sunny Florida where it is currently in the 60s. That’s slightly warmer than the 9 degrees surrounding me here.
I have spent my entire day preparing for the weekend. And when I say “preparing” I really mean getting a spray tan (yup… I already scrubbed off last week’s for a fresh coat) and reminiscing over old dancing days through pictures. Whoops.
(P.S. I also might be the only one currently this tan color up here.)
Since 10 a.m. I have done nothing but search for pictures online, make collages, and organize them into folders on the computer. Okay, attempt to organize them. I swear I will get them all settled and up one of these days!
And then there were these guys, just laying there luring me in for a quick few minutes of snuggling.
I have a feeling they all get the sense that I will be leaving them for a few days because the suitcase and piles of clothes are out. Last night, Roadie brought out his extra sad eyes when he saw Scott doing the same thing!
I mean, who has the kind of will power to just walk by that? Nobody.
Subway Footlong for the Win
On the way home from my appointment and errands this morning, I stopped into Subway to get an egg white breakfast sandwich. Somewhere between the front door and the ordering line, I decided on lunch instead. I ended up ordering my go-to turkey on wheat footlong loaded with veggies to enjoy half then for breakfast and half later.
It’s later right?
Excuse me while I devour this real quick. And we’re back!
I should be doing so much more with my time, and as soon as I publish this post I swear I’ll get to it. But, since it is Throwback (<- apparently an official “thing” now) Thursday and there is a reunion approaching, it only seems right to share a collection of some of my favorite Orlando Magic Dancer memories. Get ready for ‘em!
Orlando Magic Dancer Throwbacks
I could fill this post with countless stories and giggles, but for time’s sake I am just going to stick with the pictures accompanied by brief captioning.
I remember the exact feeling I had making the team for my 2007-08 Rookie Season. I felt on top of the world and had the utmost confidence.
Right away, I said yes to an opportunity to travel the world and formed a close bond with a group of women I would now call my sisters.
I dressed up as a zombie and performed in my own costume on Halloween!
I got to belay from the ceiling during the NBA Finals (!!!) and dunk basketballs on-court and all over the globe!
I was chosen to perform overseas a handful of times including trips to China (twice!), Indonesia, and Italy!
My first year was “the best.” But then again, I said that after the closing of every single season. I went into my first veteran season knowing I was in for a great year in 2008.
I put my heart and soul into this job, and got to dunk more basketballs and travel with the team to watch the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland and NBA Finals in L.A.!
I sat on the sidelines while my dad took the court over with the 3D Dancing Dads!
Yes, those are our “real” dads out there. The grey hair on the far right belongs to me! Check out one of their
hilarious fun routines!
Over the course of four seasons, I met so many great women and souls I still stay connected with to this day. I went through four(ish) different hair colors and styles and feel so grateful to be able to reconnect and relive all of it in just a couple of days.
While searching Google for at least an hour (don’t you hate when that happens? Sucks you right in!) I found the mother load. I remember one of our die hard Magic Fans named Jose who came to every single home game, documenting it all every time!
From intros and basketball plays to timeout routines and sidelines, he somehow captured it all. And did it very well!
While aimlessly searching for photos to share with you, I found all of his albums for every single game, starting in 2005. Can you imagine how many photos he has gone through and edited?
I thought it was great at the time, but never realized how appreciative I would be of this super fan today. He even created Magic Dancer albums, and organized them by each game, complete with captions.
I am so, so thankful I now have a place to find the photos he so lovingly took the time to take, edit, and upload for all of those years.
All of the following photos are from his albums. Thank you so much, Jose!
I finished my fourth season dancing for the Orlando Magic in 2011. I had every intention on trying out for one “final” season that summer, but there were other plans God had in store for Scott and I.
You all know the rest of the story. We moved up to Michigan for Scott’s job opportunity with the Detroit Pistons, and I am now close to finishing my second season dancing for them! I feel very fortunate and blessed to say I have danced in the NBA for six years and will always remember my twenties filled with these precious dancing memories.
Today, it is incredibly hard to stay focused on everything I need to get done to enjoy the weekend away! I keep finding more pictures, messaging friends, and can hardly contain my excitement to start the festivities already. Sadly, I must.
I know I will have many stories to share about the weekend when I return home Monday. I am looking forward to a very magical weekend and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Thank you for sharing these memories with me. See you bright and early tomorrow morning with this week’s Friday Favorites!