Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Luvabulls Blog: Catherine 

Posted by Sasha at 8:39 PM ET

Catherine’s hard work pays off
Dec 13, 2007
Chicago Bulls

This week, Catherine talks about the process of making the squad and preparing for the season.

I can’t believe that the Bulls season is finally here! It felt like just yesterday that I decided to tryout for the Chicago Luvabulls, and now I just finished my first preseason home game. It has been about five months since the tryouts for the Luvabulls. I remember receiving a call from my good friend Jackie telling me that the Chicago bulls were having tryouts for their Luvabulls. She knew how much I always wanted to be a Chicago Luvabull, so she called me the minute she heard they were having tryouts. Later that night, my roommate and a friend spent hours trying to get my perfect application photo, and I quickly mailed my application, hoping that it would get in on time and started preparing for my tryout. I worked out everyday and started practicing my turns and splits. The Thursday before the tryout, I received a call from Cathy Core, the director of the program, inviting me to the tryout on Saturday. I was so excited! This was really going to happen. Since a young age, I’ve wanted to be a Chicago Luvabull, and now I had actually landed a tryout. The rest of the week I was nervous and excited. I had no idea what to expect at the tryout but I was looking forward to it.

Finally it was tryout day. I got up extremely early and was one of the first people in line at the United Center. I was terrified. I was looking around at the competition and was becoming even more nervous. However, I was so quickly at ease when the two girls in line behind me were so nice. We talked for a long time before we got into the United Center, and then they waited for me inside and we helped each other get ready. For the first part of the tryout we were taught a few eight counts of a kick routine and had to go through an interview process. It felt like forever before my group went in. After we free style danced, did our routine and were asked some questions we were sent back into the room to wait. There was a lot of down time so I really got to get to know a lot of the girls.

Finally, someone came in and called off a list of numbers. We were then brought into the United Center and they told us we had made it to the second round. I was so excited, but now I was worried for the second part of the tryout. We had a break for lunch and then all sat down in the stadium and we were introduced to the Luvabulls that were on the team last year. They came out and did a few of their dances. It was at that moment when I realized how bad I really wanted this. I wanted to be one of those girls out there on the court dancing. Not only did I miss performing, but I also wanted to learn the choreography they were doing. It was a type of dance I always wanted to do but never got the chance to do. Now I was 110% determined to be on the team. After they performed, we learned an intense dance and performed it numerous times. When we were done they took us back to the room to wait some more. At the end of a long day they called my number and I was asked to continue with the audition process that would start on Monday with a mini-camp for three nights. I could not believe that I had made it this far.

For three long days, we continued with our tryout. We learned a few more dances and the skills we would need to be on the team. It was a grueling three days but I knew it was a test to see if we could endure the way their practices were run. I worked extremely hard through those three days and went home every night sore, but I knew in the end it would be worth it. On the final night they told us who would be invited to join the dance team for the 2007.08 season. I had one of the last numbers so the suspense was killing me. Then they finally called my number. I was shocked. I could feel tears filling up in my eyes because I had finally made it. I wanted this so bad and I got it, but I wasn’t going to cry. After all the hugs and a quick talk I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I wanted to run home and tell my family and roommates that I had made it.

After the excitement of making the team finally died down, it was time to start the real hard stuff: practice. The first few months were definitely the hardest. I never could have imaged how tough it was actually going to be. We would dance so much at practice that I though for sure I would pass out sometimes. I would go home every night exhausted and sore. But then there were times were we would discuss how the games would go and being out on court and I would fill with excitement that I would just want to burst. I couldn’t wait for the season to come, but I knew I needed all the practice I could get. I was not ready to go out on court and not look my best. We would practice twice a week and on the days that we weren’t practicing, I would move the furniture in my living room and work on it at home. I wanted to make all of my games and that meant I needed to persist. As the weeks flew by the season got closer and closer.

Finally preseason was here. I knew that since this was my first year I probably would not be in any of the preseason games. But I was wrong. Cathy, the director, and Kim, the choreographer, decided that the preseason games would be a great opportunity for some of us new girls to get a chance to see what it really is like to be on the court. For each game every girl has to audition to dance that. For the first preseason game, they left it up to the veteran Luvabulls to perform in that game. However, they opened up the auditions for the second preseason game to all girls on the team. When I found that out I wanted to be in that game so bad. I practiced all weekend all the dances we had learned over the course of our new season. Finally the tryouts for the second pre-season game came around and I was so nervous. We all had to perform the featured dance and wait for Cathy and Kim to discuss who was ready to go out on court. I was ecstatic when they called my name to be in the second pre-season game. As much as I was excited I was just as nervous. Was I really ready to do this? I just had to have faith in the fact that Cathy and Kim had confidence in me.

Nothing could prepare me for the excitement of performing at my first Bulls game. I was nervous all week and was shaking in the locker room as I got ready. This was it. I was about to step foot onto the same floor that all the famous legends had played on. In a blink of an eye they were calling us to head out to the court for starting line up. Walking on to the court I looked around at all the people that were there. It was still a preseason game but it was a packed house and their eyes were on us. They dimmed the lights and they played the music for the players to come out. The roar of the stadium and flashing of all the lights just filled my body with such energy and my anxiety was taken over by excitement. Words could not describe that moment when all the lights were dimmed and the reality set in. I was performing at the United Center as a Chicago Luvabull! My dreams of this day had come true and I wished that all my friends and family were there to share it with me. All my hours of practice, hard work, and nervous anticipation were worth it.

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