Saturday, May 05, 2007

Luvabulls Blog - Erin M. 

Posted by Sasha at 11:36 PM ET

Chicago Bulls
April 23, 2007

My love for dancing and performing began at the early age of three and continues to this day. Whether it was dancing in recitals, the Nutcracker Ballet, High School Pom Pons or my college’s competitive team, I have managed to incorporate dance into my life. Upon graduation from Illinois State University I wanted to be able to continue to dance while pursuing my career. The Luvabulls has been a great opportunity to do just that.

I am fortunate enough to dance among 26 of the most talented and beautiful dancers representing one of the best teams in the NBA. With these exceptional women, I have had the opportunity to travel to Japan and Greece as well as perform in front of sold out crowds at the United Center.

This year has been an amazing journey thus far and I can only imagine what an amazing experience the playoffs will hold.

Friday April 6th
I wake up full of excitement at 5 a.m. Today is the day we are performing our Diva Half Time Show. The last two weeks were filled with late night practices but all the hard work will pay off as our fans enjoy our final half time show of the season.

I arrive at work in the city, where it is hard to concentrate. I work as an underwriter at a fortune 500 company, where I price and market large commercial accounts. I want to practice my routines again and again to ensure that they are at perfection. Finally after the long anticipation, 4:00 p.m. rolls around and I leave work early in order to make it to the United Center on time. Before every game, we arrive at the United Center two hours early in order to have an opportunity to practice on court. Today, like most practices is difficult. You are trying to stand in position on court, perform the dance, and change costumes all while the Bulls player’s are practicing. Every so often a basketball escapes from the ball boys, rolling right at you, attempting to trip you.

The on court goes smoothly and we head back to our locker room to practice and prepare ourselves for the game. The United Center is packed and the crowd is already full of excitement. Chicago really does have the greatest fans. Finally, it is half time and we all huddle out on court with costumes in hand. Our music starts and everything goes by so quickly. Formation changes, costume changes and music changes and then it comes to an end. As we wave to our fans and run off the court, the amazing feeling of excitement, adrenaline and the love of dancing flows through my body. You can never get enough!

Monday, April 9th
At 5 a.m. my alarm blares as I wake up and get ready for work. I hop in my car and drive the congested commute to the city. At work, I keep thinking, “today we have audition for tomorrow’s games.” The practice before each game auditions are held for the five different squads that comprise the Luvabulls. You always have to be prepared because you never know when you get the opportunity to dance at a game. Each week is unpredictable and you can never guarantee what your schedule will hold. During my lunch break I run through the routines in order to mentally prepare myself for tonight’s endeavors.

Our warm up begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. After warming up we immediately begin tryout for the upcoming games. I am so nervous, my heart is racing and my palms are sweaty. Even though we were at practice, every moment counts and you want to shine on every move. I have been through this a hundred times, but all the experience still does not calm my nerves. The music plays and it seems like only seconds and the routine is over. We all huddled around the water cooler after our tryouts, awaiting the news as to who would be dancing at Thursday’s game. Kim, our very talented and inspiring choreographer calls us over and informs us who will be dancing at Tuesday’s game. At last, I am finally able to get some much needed sleep just as the clock hits 12:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 10th
Today my mind is racing. Not only am I having an extremely busy day at work, I also have to worry about tonight’s game. At 4:15 p.m. I leave work early to ensure that I am at our on court practice on time.

Our first routine comes during the second quarter when the first time out is called. We hit our pose just in time for the music to start. Our routine tonight is Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man.” I give it my all and so does the rest of the team. The routine comes together just as we had practiced. Tonight’s game is exciting and the Bulls are dominating the New York Knicks. It is the end of the fourth quarter and the crowd is going crazy. Every timeout we were called on to the court to dance and lead the crowd in cheering on the Bulls. The game ends with a victory for the Bulls. It is times like this when being a Luvabull seems so surreal. All the practices and hard work shine through and I am so thankful to be in the position that I am.

Friday, April 13th
Today marks the last home game of the season before playoffs begin. However, today, 10 girls, including myself, are taking a road trip to Indiana. We are performing at the Genesis center in Gary, IN as part of the Gary Steelheads entertainment for their home opener. It is always exciting to perform for the Bulls and it is great that we are offered this experience to dance for another basketball team. One of the many great aspects about being a Luvabull is the opportunity we are given to participate in a wide variety of community events. We get to represent the Chicago Bulls organization across the greater Chicago land region. This was another one of the many special events we attend, and it was really fun to help the Gary Steelheads start their season out with a bang.

Sunday, April 15th
I am one of the five Luvabulls who are instructors for our Junior Luvabulls program. Every Sunday I drive an hour each way to teach 14 wonderful little ladies dance. It is such an enjoyment to see the girls’ progress throughout the year. I had the pleasure of teaching some of the same girls last year as well and it is fulfilling to see them grow not only as a person but as a dancer. Sunday night comes to an end and I am ready to start my week all again over consisting of work, practices and games, and hopefully some sleep.

The regular season has ended with the Bulls finishing with a record of 49-33, which landed them as the 5th seed of the Eastern Conference playoffs. This is a stressful yet exciting time of the year. With the playoffs beginning the games will be more intense, and we definitely want to be at our best. I was fortunate enough to be able to dance at the first playoff game at home against the defending World Champion Miami Heat. It is like deja vu from last year, but hopefully with the Bulls coming out in victory and heading into the second round.

This is my second year dancing for Cathy Core as a Luvabull, and it seems to get more exciting with each passing month.

In the end, I am proud to be a Chicago Luvabull!

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