Friday, October 26, 2007

Storm dance director steps into promotions 

Posted by Sasha at 6:27 PM ET

By Alica P. Thiele
October 22, 2007

Tatum Keller has worked her way up from a dance team member to a full-time director of sponsor services for the Sioux Falls Storm.

Her degree in graphic arts from North Dakota State College of Science will help her coordinate promotions for the team's sponsors.

She remains involved with the Lightning Girls, though, and continues as the group's director, a position she's held since 2003.

QUESTION: What will you do as director of sponsor services?

ANSWER: I make sure we have their logos, program ads, banner ads ... anything we need to fulfill that contract.

Q: The team has three consecutive league championships. How does that feel?

A: It's pretty amazing. And to go undefeated for 38 games in a row, that's quite an accomplishment. After experiencing the first one, I'm like, "That's amazing." But to win two, that's like, "Omigosh, this is crazy," and to win three, that's like, "Omigod."

Q: Lightning Girls got Dance Team of the Year for the second time in a row this year. How do you feel about that?

A: It's definitely an accomplishment. That's a goal we set every year.

Q: Do you have a dance background?

A: My parents put me in dance class when I was in fifth grade. I was on a high school dance team, and I was a cheerleader for girls basketball.

Q: When are the next Lightning Girls auditions?

A: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, and we start practices in January. We have about 30 people try out every year. We practice two nights a week for 21/4 to three hours per practice.

Q: You were a Lightning Girl from 2000 to 2002. Has that made you a better director?

A: I know what it's like to be a performer, and I know what the girls want and how they want to be coached, so I think that makes me stronger.

Q: Do you come up with choreography and costumes? How much do the girls contribute?

A: I choreograph the routines. If they have a suggestion, I'm open, if they think it's going to make them look better. It's a team effort. The costumes are designed by me or with the help of the girls, too.

Q: Do the Lightning Girls make appearances?

A: We try and do as many nonprofit community appearances as we can throughout the season. We probably do three to five a month. Sometimes sponsors ... will have tailgaiters for their employees and the girls will go there and sign autographs and that kind of stuff.

Q: The Storm will hold its first charity hunt Thursday, with proceeds going to Paralyzed Veterans of America. Will you participate?

A: I won't be hunting, but I will be there. We'll be helping out with registration and the silent auction.

Q: Have you seen "Paper Moon" starring Tatum O'Neal?

A: I did. I was named after her. I bought it for my dad for Father's Day because he said the day I was born he was watching that movie and didn't get to finish it. And he finally did, 29 years later.

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