Friday, November 09, 2007

Utah Jazz Dancer Diaries - 1 

Posted by Sasha at 8:22 PM ET

Utah Jazz: Ever wonder what it's like to be a Jazz Dancer? Get an inside look at the life and times of Arial and Jocelyn in our exclusive Jazz Dancer Diaries.

Read about the challenges they face, the successes they have and how exciting it is to be front and center on the EnergySolutions Arena floor. You will also see exclusive videos and photos.

Click here to see Arial and Jocelyn's photos and tryout videos.

Nov. 4 2007

Hi Jazz Fans! Our names are Arial and Jocelyn, and this is our first year as Nu Skin Jazz Dancers. Yes, we are two of those so called Rookies!

I’m Arial and some things I love to do is boating, snowboarding, reading, working out, DANCING (of course!) and teaching dance. I love the outdoors; hiking, river rafting and camping. I love to travel (lived in Hawaii for a year) and hang out with my friends and family. I’m a big UTAH football fan (GO UTES!) and I attend school full time and teach dance twice a week. I’m working on a degree in special education and love working with kids.

And I’m Jocelyn and some things I love include my family and friends, food - especially sushi, vacationing, the beach, Lake Powell, boating, roller coasters, holidays, any kind of music unless it screams. I also love the TV shows “The Office, Heroes, Who’s Line is it Anyway and Friends. I’m into Cosmetology and Esthetics, Tumbling, and obviously being a NUSKIN JAZZ DANCER for The UTAH JAZZ!

It has been such an amazing experience to be a Jazz Dancer! Aside from the adrenalin of being of the floor with all you WONDERFUL JAZZ FANS, it’s great camaraderie and fun to make public appearances and get to know people.

Before we made Jazz Dancers, we had to go through Tryouts which was physically and emotionally exhausting! All kinds of things go through your head … “am I good enough”, how could I “stand out” and show how much I wanted to be a Jazz Dancer? And butterflies – millions! Anyway, the tryouts consisted of three cuts. The first one was freestyle. The judges watched about 200 dancers in the freestyle portion and then cut it down to apx. 75 girls.

After that we learned a routine from Jan (our coach). It was very up beat and fast, and we danced in groups of four for this cut. After the routine tryout we waited around for what seemed forever! Then top thirty were picked and announced and amazingly enough both of us were in the top 30!!! We can’t explain to you the feelings that went through our bodies while we sat and waited for our numbers to be called. Once the top 30 were picked, we came back a second day for the interview segment and a last dance tryout. This was a little nerve racking, because your in a room with all the judges and your trying your best to have them get to know you in a short amount of time, all while feeling REALLY nervous!

After interviews we had one more dance tryout and then our tryouts were over. They announced to us at the end, that later that day (what seemed like hours if not weeks) we could check on the website or call in on a phone number in which you heard a recorded message with all the names and numbers of the girls that had made the team. For me, (Arial) I was so nervous I just couldn’t bring myself to call in. We couldn’t find anything on the internet either. While we frantically searched the Jazz website, I started to receive some text messages from my friends saying “Congratulations Arial” and then my stomach starting turning upside down! Finally, I settled down and called the number and heard for myself the AMAZING news!!! When it finally sunk in I couldn’t stop jumping around and crying and I just felt so honored, and excited!

As for me (Jocelyn), I was exhausted - not saying I wouldn't do it again but I was glad when it was all over! The night before the interviews and the last part of the dancing auditions, I probably did the try-out dance like 100 times at home because the first day in front of the judges I kind of froze up and I was not going to let that happen again! Thankfully it didn't, and everything went well! So then, as Arial said the results were posted on the web later that day or you could call in for the message. Well, I couldn't find the number anywhere and our internet was having troubles. I was freaking out! Finally, at 5:45, we got the site up and my picture was the first thing I saw! But, there's one more thing that had happened that day. I guess before I got to the computer my dad saw that I had made it! Right after that my internet started struggling. And of course he didn't tell me! He knew all along! He's such a dork! ya gotta love dads. Anyway, seeing that I had made it was awesome! Growing up in a Jazz fan family, it was the best feeling ever to know that I had accomplished something that I have wanted since I was a little girl! Well, ever since then, we’ve been in heaven, but certainly working hard!, and LOVING it!

Our practices can be pretty hard. After our conditioning (which is hard but awesome) we do some intense workouts like running the track, Indian runs, “snaking the hill”, sprinting or running the bleachers. After that we do lunges half way around the track, and then high knee skipping and squats. After our run we do a number of sit ups and push ups to help us get in the best shape possible. We then set our dances for the upcoming games. We may learn one or two new dances as well as cleaning others we already know. But our team is so great that we get it all done! J The girls on the team are so fun to be with and amazing to be around. The veterans, and even the other rookies, help you so much with everything you need to know down to critiquing you in the routines. We can tell we are creating some life long friends and memories! As part of prepping for our season we have the opportunity for our hair and makeup to be done by the professionals! Many of us have some different “do’s” -Arial is now a brunette – check it out! and Jocelyn, well still a beautiful blonde! We have to say it’s really fun to have our hair and makeup done by the pro’s!

The first pre-season game and the opener has come and gone. We didn’t know what to expect when we got into that arena. It’s huge – especially from down on the floor!! Being on the floor and looking up at the crowd gives you a rush of adrenaline. It’s so fun to perform for that many people – especially the loud & supportive Jazz Fans! We have about four dances we do for each game and they are all different; a few that are only a minute long, a few hot time outs, and then some free style dancing as well. You Jazz fans make it more fun for us when we hear you cheer or see smiles on your faces!

We have to say opening night was crazy! They had huge bags of balloons drop along with amazing fireworks booming throughout the arena! The game was sold out, and the crowd was so loud! It was awesome (except for the disappointing outcome) BUT it’s ok because we kicked it against Golden State – YAY! ….. And the season has just started.

Along with all the dancing we get to do we have the opportunity to go out in the community for certain events as well as do some service. So far, we’ve made appearances at golf tournaments and. Jocelyn and I did a performance at the special Olympic opening ceremonies. We also did an appearance for the PARC. It’s so fun to see what we can do for our community and how much others appreciate you. You get the greatest feeling after helping others and being, hopefully, a fun part of their day!

We look forward to many more WINNING games, and dancing and entertaining our hearts out, so be watching for us, you can’t miss us girls down there dancing away, rallying the crowd! We’ll keep you posted on different things we are doing and our journey as UTAH JAZZ DANCERS!! See you all at the games! And . . . GO JAZZ!

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