Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ex-Suns dancer on her toes 

Posted by Sasha at 5:56 PM ET

Beth Duckett
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 15, 2007 12:00 AM

A former Phoenix Suns dancer has found her place teaching others to follow step.

Kerri Bauer opened the All About Dance studio in Scottsdale seven years ago, coaching students young and old how to shimmy, spin, tap and generally get down to the music.

This year's classes, beginning Aug. 27, include jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, cheer and Zumba - a combo of fitness moves and Latin dance for adults.

Bauer, 31, of north Scottsdale, began her eight-year stint with the Suns in 1994, making the switch from the Arizona Rattlers dance team, where she started when she was still a senior in high school.

Bauer was "star struck" with the leading men on court.

"I love NBA basketball and knew more about the game and players than most of my dance-team friends," she said. "Dancing for the Phoenix Suns was an unforgettable moment for me."

Bauer's relationship with the fellow dancers was "like our own sorority."

"We were together all of the time for rehearsals, game days and appearances," she said. "We got to travel to many great places such as Mexico City, Toronto, Miami and Munich."

Bauer became co-choreographer for the team before her 2001 departure.

Now, she has swapped the spotlight for a behind-the-scenes view. She enjoys watching her students perform, she said.

"I stand backstage and I'm always amazed the show is so successful and the dancers are performing what they've worked so hard for on stage," Bauer said. "I try to offer an environment where children are challenged and nurtured at the same time."

Recently her dancers walked away with awards at the Showstopper Nationals Dance Competition in California, she said. "The Junior Company made it to the top 10 dance finals."

Watching the students develop their skills is great, Bauer said.

"(They) are now teaching at All About Dance and dancing for college and professional dance teams," she said.

Bauer recently built a third dance room to accommodate her business.

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