Thursday, July 26, 2007

2007 KCD Auditions 

Posted by Sasha at 6:28 PM ET

Live Blogging the Knicks City Dancers Auditions
Posted on July 16, 2007 by Ricky Vaughn
New York Knicks

There are certain events most men can only dream of attending. For me, there's the Super Bowl, followed closely by open auditions for the Knicks City Dancers (KCD). One down; one to go. Here's a running account of my day behind the scenes at the KCD auditions.

11:30am - About 400 girls are stretching along the floor at the WaMu Theater here at Madison Square Garden. Wow, are they limber. What's more shocking, the pose or the pink?

12:00pm - Alright folks, here we go. Dance Team Manager Michelle Harris, who today will be playing the role of a kinder Simon Cowell, takes the mike and gives a rousing speech to the hopefuls.

12:30pm - So I think the over/under on the amount of girls who have tattoos on their lower back is about 45%. Wasn't there something about that in the "Wedding Crashers"?

12:45pm - The amount of steps to learn for these auditions is insane. Forget talent, who even has the mental capacity to remember all these moves?

1:00pm - "New York Groove." I stopped counting after the 47th time I heard this song today. Next time I'm bringing earmuffs.

1:23pm – Michelle and KCD dance coach Lauren "Doctor" Trusty are about finished handing out pink wristbands for those who made it to the second cut. I found it nerve-racking and I wasn't even dancing. About 150 girls remain for 17 spots.

2:15pm - After two and a half hours we say bye-bye to "New York Groove" and hello to a new, more intricate dance number. The last combination is sick: the dancers all fall to the floor, slide around their backs, flip your heads like they are coming out of the ocean and then pose and hold on one knee. Of course, when a Knicks City Dancer does that, it looks like this:

3:35pm – Wow, the robot! Some girl just busted into the robot!

3:59pm - Under no circumstances should you wear jeans (no matter how good you look in them) to an audition that involves this much movement. I am getting chafed just watching her!

4:52pm - I join the judges upstairs while they deliberate. They have divided the score sheets up into "definites," "high maybes," "low maybes" and "nos." I don't envy them, but the process is very fair given the talent that's here.

5:20pm - Final announcement time: 73 lucky ladies are moving on to Monday's audition at Radio City Music Hall. As sad as it is to see the girls whose hearts are broken, it really is quite a thrill to see those who made it to the next round.

For more from the auditions, check out our photo gallery here.

Knicks City Dancers Auditions: Down To 26!
Posted on July 18, 2007 by Bobby Angel

Another day of the KCD auditions at Radio City Music Hall. I'm happy. My wife? Not so much.

6:12 pm - Today is a big day as the 36 remaining hopefuls are joined by the seven members of last year's team. Latrice, Kristen, Jessica, Michelle, Amy, Courtney and Danielle make a grand entrance to music, strutting, as the 36 other dancers look on. Since the stakes are raised, celebrity choreographers join us to put the dancers through the paces. Olisa and Cicely of "Nu Stylz" are here, with a dance set to Lil’ Mama’s ‘Lipgloss,’ and their presence cranks the energy in the room up to another level.

6:21 pm - They are already doing a walk-through of the first part of the routine. I can't believe they learned that already. It took me longer just to sign my name on the SAT's.

6:24 pm - Olisa says, "Flavor is the key, keep bouncing." I have no idea what that means, but every girl starts bouncing up-and-down on cue.

6:32 pm - Not to be rude, but it needs to be said: The dancers have milked more sartorial variety out of bra-tops and short-shorts than one would think mathematically viable.

6:44 pm - Quote from Cicely: "After boom boom, then boom...uhh, and uhh." You think that's weird? Figure this: They seem to know exactly what that means.

7:06 pm - I thought they were done, but now they just added a new move which calls for the dancers to fall back on one hand, switch to other hand and then get up. It's all about weight distribution, Olisa says. She doesn't want to hear the dancers' hands hit the floor. Are they training ninjas or dancers here?

7:19 pm - Now they are performing the whole thing to music. Some are clearly concentrating, but the better ones are smiling and connecting with the audience as they move. Imagine having to smile and flirt with your eyes during your most intense workout ... that's being a KCD.

7:36 pm - No water break? This is like football two-a-days (minus about 300-lbs per person).

7:40 pm - Water break!

7:48 pm - The first group performs the dance for the judges. The looks of concentration they had when learning the moves is now replaced by “game face” – some smile, some look sultry, some look kinda mad.

7:57 pm – Coach Lauren "Doc" Trusty asks the panting, out-of-breath dancers: "Are you guys alright? Can you do it one more time?" Everyone says yes. I have a feeling they would say yes if asked to do calculus, at this point in the competition.

8:03 pm – One sure way to tell the returning KCD team apart is how each uses her hair to communicate attitude, flair and general hotness. You can see the difference. They are so much better that they perform in the back of the room, lest they upstage the other auditioning dancers.

8:13 pm - Returning KCD Amy performs and almost loses her shorts in the process. I'm disappointed, but everyone else seems relieved. "This is the wrong show for that!" jokes Michelle Harris.

8:21 pm - The audition is over and now it's time for the judges. But first, the returning seven KCD get 90 seconds to "Shake Your Moneymaker" and show everyone in the room what the KCD are all about. They discuss strategy for a minute, plan out how they'll impress and then, boom, they do it. Yes, in the time it took me to write those sentences they organized an entire routine for an audience of over 40 people. And right there, folks, is why they’re in the bra-tops and I’m behind the computer.

8:54 pm - The dancers come back in to the room to find out their fate. 26 dancers, including all the returning KCD, make it to next round. Tomorrow the remaining dancers will all go together to get a makeover and then rehearse for the final event on Friday.

Want to see the 26 finalists? Check out our KCD Auditions Photo Gallery.

Knicks City Dancers Auditions: The Finalists
Posted on July 19, 2007 by Ricky Vaughn

For those of you keeping score at home, we’re down to the final 26 contestants for the Knicks City Dancers auditions. Without further ado … Here are the finalists!

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