Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Celtics Dancers - Haley's Audition Blog 

Posted by Sasha at 5:36 PM ET

Boston Celtics
July 10, 2007

I am sitting on ice packs and frozen peas, contemplating the daily recommended limit of Advil. This can mean only one thing: day one of workshops for the 2007 Celtics Dancer Final Auditions has come to a close. Yes, after fifteen hours, countless bottles of water and millions of 'eight counts' of choreography, all 42 finalists have successfully made it through. (queue the pat-on-the-back, ladies...) Having been through auditions last year, I knew today was going to be quite a whirlwind. So, in the spirit of whirlwinds, let's review the past 24 hours...

It is about midnight now. This time last night, I was engaged in the small rituals that have become my routine on "audition eve". First, I went through my mental checklist: jazz shoes, high heels, iPod, snacks. Second, I pinned my good luck safety pins and ring into the front pouch of my favorite backpack. Third, I called my family in California and forced them to talk to me about my pre-auditions jitters. Lastly, I hopped into bed with a movie to distract me from any nerves that may otherwise have made it a restless night. Last night Old School was the movie of choice and I fell asleep to chants of "Frank the Tank!" and visions of a man named Blue.

Maybe this is why I had a dream that the Celtics started a sorority and I was pledging. Oh wait, I guess that may not have been a dream! After all, auditions for the Celtics Dancers could be likened to a type of pledging process. Hazing consists of dancing and more dancing. And to be quite honest, I can think of neither a better hazing process nor a better team to hope to be a part of when all is said and done.

When my alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, I felt it: a sense of anticipation and excitement that told me today was going to be an excellent day of audition preparation. I remember that I had this same feeling last year when the inaugural team held final auditions at Foxwoods. Today, similar to my Foxwoods experience, the feeling was right - it was a great day.

After a few wrong turns thanks to Alexis' GPS system (lovingly named "Gladys") we arrived at registration and studied the schedule for the next couple of days. We have long hours of rehearsal ahead in preparation for the show and team selection taking place at Avalon on Thursday night. Get your tickets now, because is it going to be one heck of a show!

Once we were settled in at our rehearsal space, we all stretched and engaged in slightly nervous small talk. In the process, I found that my fellow finalists definitely kick some booty. The 42 of us auditioning this year are composed of a broad range of national talent. Representing both the east and west coasts, these women are talented, educated, and well spoken. Whoever is selected on Thursday night is sure to make up a dynamic group that will carry the Celtics Dancers through their second season in the NBA.

After everyone had checked in, we jumped right into group work and choreography. Today we spent the better part of our time learning the opening number. From jazz to prop to fierce hip hop, this beginning number covers all the bases. The talent pool amongst the 42 finalists is amazing and seeing the pieces fit together is a really exciting thing. I won't give away the theme, but I will say we all danced so hard today that several of us have rug burns and I personally bore the embarrassment of a bloody toe. Not pretty, but well worth it.

Besides developing soreness in muscles we has long forgotten existed, we also spent the time reviewing the main audition routine, and working to choreograph solos that each finalist will perform on Thursday night. I am still working on mine, by the way, so if anyone out there has some choreography they'd like to suggest, please pass it along. Just throwing it out there...

Between learning, dancing, learning, and more dancing it quickly became 10:30 pm. After a quick recap of the day, Marina dismissed us all to get home, sit on ice packs, and hopefully get some sleep for another big day tomorrow.

Ah, sleep; something that I should probably get to myself. So good night for now, and Boston, you can rest assured that there are 42 women busting their butts over the next few days to make the team that has the privilege of carrying the Celtics name.

Wish us luck as we continue to endure the dance hazing with grace and style. Maybe instead of dreaming about Celtics "sororities" I'll have sweet dreams about a list of names being read as the curtain closes on Thursday night.

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