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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Luvabulls Blog: Erin 

Posted by Sasha at 12:02 PM ET

Erin makes the rookie transition
Nov 20, 2007

Chicago Bulls: Different members of the Luvabulls will be checking in to post blogs throughout the season. First off, hear from Erin as she describes her move to the Windy City, making the squad and becoming a role model.

Moving to Chicago in August

I am from St. Louis and have lived there until very recently. When I tried out for Luvabulls, I was hoping it would go well because I really wanted to send my acceptance letter to the graduate school I had applied for. Most people thought it was funny I was waiting to see if I made Luvabulls before I decided on grad school, but when you love dance, that’s the way it is. I figured I had several graduate school options, but there was only one NBA team I wanted to dance for, so the day after I made Luvabulls I mailed my acceptance letter!

I immediately started looking for apartments, and for almost two months traveled back and forth from St. Louis to Chicago for practices. Luckily I found a great apartment just in time for regular practices to start and to get familiar with the area before I started school. Transitioning has been relatively easy, due mostly in part to all the friends I have made on the team. Chicago is a great city, which I have not even begun to explore all it has to offer. While the weather was nice I spent most of my free time doing outdoor activities, so I’m looking forward to visiting the museums.

Photo shoot

Words cannot explain how exciting the photo shoot was!! Everyone had worked on perfecting their outfits for weeks, and we even spent time in practice learning how to pose—it sounds funny, but it was so helpful! When we arrived we immediately got dressed and headed to hair and make-up; it felt like I was on a movie set, if I had to guess what a movie set would be like. Wonderful make-up artists and hairdressers got us ready before we headed off to the actual photo shoot area, where the camera was just flashing non-stop and everyone was having a blast.

I had never experienced anything like it before, so I was a little scared getting on a stage and striking different poses, one after the other, while the camera never stopped. Afterwards everyone felt really good about the shoot, and I was sad it was over!

Jr. Luvabulls

The Jr. Luvabulls are a group of girls ages 7-17 who learn choreography from Luvabulls, and perform at several half-times throughout the season. They practice once a week, and I am fortunate enough to be an instructor, so I get to work with a group of these Jr. Luvabulls. I have had two Jr. Luvabull practices, and the kids amaze me every week! It is such a great feeling to have young girls look up to you for more then just your dancing ability. They look up to us as role models, and to be working with these girls every week as their instructor means a lot to me.

It is not only about teaching young girls dance technique, but a chance to reinforce all the good things their parents have been teaching them through example. I enjoy teaching the Jr. Luvabulls because it gives me a chance to feel like I am doing more in the community. Jr. Luvabulls has just gotten started and I can already tell it is going to be a rewarding experience.

Looking back at the first day of try-outs

As I pulled into the parking lot and saw the Michael Jordan statue, my stomach tightened and I tried to remind myself that this would be a good learning experience if nothing else. The line of qualified woman was beginning to form so I hurried over to secure my place at the beginning of the line. (I did not want to sweat my makeup off while waiting outside). In a matter of minutes I was given my number (74), and had my picture taken. Everyone was smiling and trying to make small talk in an effort to remain calm. Once we were placed in a large room to wait our turn and fix our hair and makeup, I looked around to see beautiful and undoubtedly talented woman that all had the same dream as me; to become a Luvabull.

It was at this time that I first met our choreographer, Kim, and our director, Cathy. One look at these women was all it took for me to see what they were looking for in their dancers; talent and class. We were then given makeup tips and taught a kick routine, before being broken down into groups of 20 to perform for the judges. As I stepped on the court, I realized what a wonderful moment this was in my life, regardless of what happened next. I was fortunate enough to make it to the second half of try-outs that also took place that day, and included a performance by the returning Luvabulls. After learning a dance with the returning Luvabulls, we all waited anxiously to hear who would make it to training camp, and it was during this time that I got to know some of the girls trying out. One girl made it to training camp with me, and the other did not, but we still talk to this day! I was so happy to be given the chance to dance with these girls for a few more days during training camp, but I quickly learned how demanding it was to be a Luvabull! I knew I looked like I was close to death at the end of every day and the returning veterans looked as fresh as a daisy. Everyday I told myself I wanted to get to their level and in order to do so I was going to have to work harder then I ever have in my life.

On the final day of training camp, the nervous energy was through the roof, and the room was filled with dancers going over dances and making any last minute touch ups to their hair and makeup. I on the other hand was regretting a hair decision I had made that very day. Cathy had suggested I consider bringing my platinum blond hair back to a natural blond and I happily agreed. So much so, I decided it would be a good idea to get it done before the final day of try-outs so Cathy could see how I looked with darker blonde hair. It was horrible! The end result was gray hair that could not be touched for weeks due to the amount of chemicals used on it. I prayed the gray hair would not affect my final audition, and proceeded to give it my all. When they added my number to those of the other girls whom had been chosen for the 2007.08 team, I could not believe it! I fought back tears as a realized I was experiencing a dream come true.

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