Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sonics Dancers Blog: Asia Tour 

Posted by Sasha at 7:00 PM ET

Seattle Supersonics: The Sonics Dance Team spent a week in Japan representing the league at NBA Madness events in Tokyo and Nagoya. Check out their blog from an ocean away.

Entry #1
July 25th, 2007

12:41pm in Seattle and we have lift off…this plane is headed for Tokyo for the NBA’s Madness Asia Tour 2007 in Japan.
The SuperSonics Dance Team has been selected by the NBA to be the Dance Team of choice to perform at all the NBA Madness events taking place in Tokyo and Nagoya. Ten hours later and we pass through customs and meet our NBA representatives in the warm air of Tokyo, Japan. From the airport we head straight for the Westin, Tokyo. This hotel is A+ in my book and all seven of us feel like Princesses as we’re welcomed by the Westin staff. After a quick shower, un-packing and a change of clothes we head out to grab some dinner. Walking down the streets of Tokyo is such a different experience than being in the United States. The shops are smaller, the streets SUPER tidy and everyone drives on the wrong side of the street compared to the United States. We continue down the streets of downtown and head to a Mexican restraint (yes, Mexican food in Japan). Just like their small shops, everything is served in tiny portions. It’s such an amazing experience to be in another country and I’m honored the NBA has sent the Seattle SuperSonics Dance Team to represent our organization and the NBA in Tokyo. It’s been a long day of traveling and we’ve been up for 24-hours straight. Time to get some sleep and I can’t wait for what the next day has in store.

~ Sabrina

Sabrina Chaudhry
Dance Team Manager

Entry #2
July 26th, 2007

“Costumes packed, dances polished, the seven of us embark on the trip of a lifetime.”
Konnichiwa (Kon-ee-chee-wa) from Staci and Denee’

After a long ten- hour flight, we were greeted to the county of Japan with a warm welcome (in a language we couldn’t decipher). We experienced the hustle and bustle of the airport, while maneuvering through crowds to obtain our belongings. Thankfully, we made it through customs with a breeze and once outside the airport, took in the charm of Tokyo.

As were journeyed to our hotel, we experienced scenic views and the surprisingly Westernized cityscape. All the while we were thankful for our trusted driver who got us to our hotel safely, because we would have been lost driving on the opposite side of the road.

Finally, in the heart of Tokyo we were introduced to the fascinating culture. We couldn’t hide the fact that we were foreigners, fingers pressed up to the windows, taking it all in.

We arrived at our five star accommodations, and shook off fatigue, excited to a get a hands on perspective of the city. Our NBA Japan Madness representatives guided us through the streets, showcasing their city and all it had to offer.

Our night drew to a close. Planning for the next days breakfast, Staci proclaims, “the ultimate in eel,” and I’m thinking this is going to get interesting!!!

“Oyasuminasai-Good Night” (Oi!-ya-sue-me-naa-sa-eye)

~ Stacy & Denee’

Entry #3
July 27th, 2007

Our first full day in Tokyo, here’s what went down……
We started with a buffet breakfast with everything from miniature waffles and French toast to pasta and mashed potatoes. From there we, along with our interpreter Mario, took the public rail system to the shopping district of Harajuku. We spent the next few hours shopping and taking in the culture, which was very fast paced, colorful, and cutting edge. We then enjoyed lunch at an authentic Japanese restaurant. After buying some souvenirs in another shopping district called Shibuya we headed back to our hotel. Next on the agenda was our informational dinner meeting with the NBA Asia at a nearby French restaurant. There, we had our first taste of raw fish, sea urchin, and pork pate. It was quite the cultural experience!

Following dinner, we made our way back downtown to experience the Tokyo nightlife. After learning that the party’s don’t start until well after 2 am, our jet lag got the best of us and we headed back to the hotel. We soon fell into a deep slumber and got rested up for our next fun filled day in Tokyo.


~ Abby and Kelly

Entry #4
July 28th, 2007

Day #3
Jillian and Sheena here! Its day 3 in Tokyo and we are happy to report that we have finally shaken our jet lag! After a good night of sleep we woke up early this morning anticipating our first NBA Madness Event in Tokyo. We boarded the bus around 8:45am (5:45pm Seattle time) and headed to J Sports to meet one of the proud sponsors of the tour. We made a quick appearance with NBA icon Allan Houston, took some photos and met some great people.

We headed back to the hotel to take a quick break before we prepared to experience a piece of fine Japanese culture… Well I don’t know if we would call it “a piece of fine Japanese culture” but it’s something that us girls love to do! We got to get our nails done! But this was not just any other manicure you can experience in the United States, we got our nails done by Naoko Mori, a well known nail artist. Naoko printed off a copy of the Supersonics logo, and within the hour all 6 of us girls had unique nail designs that showed our Sonics spirit.

After we left Naoko’s we began to prepare for the NBA Madness “VIP Party.” What a better place to rehearse than in the hotel hallway! When we arrived to the party we were a little a bit nervous considering it was our first performance in Japan. But when they called our names to the stage our adrenaline kicked in and we couldn’t wait to show Tokyo what the Sonics Dance Team was all about! Four routines, lots of pictures and a couple autographs later we found ourselves ready for some good Japanese food and a good nights sleep.

Tomorrow we head to Nagoya on the bullet train and 2 jam packed days of NBA Madness Events lie ahead! Off to bed for us!

Entry #5
July 28th, 2007

We are sad to say we left Tokyo, but are really excited to experience a new part of Japan in Nagoya. We left Tokyo on the Bullet Train, or “The Magic Bullet” as Denee’ calls it and arrived in Nagoya after a few hours. After settling into our hotel we really wanted to try a Japanese restaurant that we could sit on pillows on the floor, but we settled for a conference room. The waitresses were dressed in Kimonos and were very proper. They even covered our purses with a blanket….we guess it didn’t match the décor of the room. It was definitely authentic food. The brave tried octopus, eel, and fish egg sushi, but most of us stuck with Tempura and miso soup. We then rushed off to check out the NBA Madness 3 on 3 games at Oasis21. Dressed in our white sparkly costumes, we took the court and danced 5 routines back to back, in what felt like 100 degree weather. Each time we danced we drew more and more of a crowd. It was fun to see the Japanese people dance a long with us to Christina Agulerias “Candyman.” We are starting to realize how fast this trip has gone by and it has finally sunk in that we only have one more day here in Nagoya.

~ Staci, Denee’ and Kelly

Entry #6
July 29th, 2007

Day #5 - Sayonara Japan
Today we got a chance to sleep in! Yes, sleep is good! We boarded the bus and headed back to the NBA Madness site and got ready for our second performance. A little more prepared for the heat, we wore our skirts and half tops which were a hit with the crowd. After our performance we got a chance to go to the Nagoya Castle with Allan Houston from the New York Knicks, “Grizz”, the mascot from the Memphis Grizzlies (we still love you Squatch!) and a group of unexpected paparazzi! After a quick visit and a lot of pictures we made our way back to the NBA Madness site for the 3-on-3 finals and our final performance of the trip. The teams all did great and it gave us a chance to thank everyone from NBA Japan for being so hospitable. We later treated ourselves with massages back at our hotel and got ready for our NBA farewell dinner which had a very familiar menu… chicken! The restaurant we ate at specialized in every type of chicken you could imagine! We had a great time and especially enjoyed our waitress who was the cutest little Japanese lady we met all week! After dinner we all went out for our last night in Japan. We got a chance to sing and dance and listen to some live music by a group called “Hotbox.” What a great way to end our trip. All in all we had an amazing time in Tokyo and Nagoya, we’re ready to come home but we’ll never forget the friends we made and the memories we created in Japan!!!

Sayonara Japan!

~ Abby, Jillian, and Sheena

Entry #7
July 30th, 2007

Final Blog
4:45pm Tokyo time and we have lift off!!! Taking in the week we decided to view all the pictures and video footage from a very busy week at the NBA Madness Tour in Japan. What an AMAZING trip! Again, I can’t state what an honor it was to have the SuperSonics Dance Team work with the NBA on such a special event. After a week of cultural sightseeing, working hard to market the NBA and SuperSonics brand in Japan and new friendships with the NBA Asia staff, Allan Houston and Grizz I have to say this was a trip of a Lifetime!

~ Sabrina

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