Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Luvabulls Blog: Teresa 

Posted by Sasha at 9:09 PM ET

Teresa keeps dancing
Nov 28, 2007
Chicago Bulls: Different members of the Chicago Luvabulls will be checking in all season long to post blog entries. This week, Teresa recalls her first visit to the United Center, making her preseason “debut,” and being on the floor at game time.

Last May, I thought I was retiring from dance and cheerleading. I started dancing when I was 3 years old, and danced and cheered in grade school, high school and in college. The cheerleading had taken a toll and I endured surgery to repair both shoulders. I was looking forward to being pain free again, but I knew I would miss the excitement of performing. My father saw the audition notice for the Luvabulls in the newspaper and suggested this might be a way to stay involved without the pain. I was apprehensive at first; I thought I had no chance of making the team. After pondering it for a couple of days I finally got up the nerve and sent in my application.

Two days before the audition I received a phone call inviting me to tryout. I was excited, confident, and apprehensive all at the same time. The next day was a nightmare! I ran around trying to find proper audition attire and had a terrible time finding sheer to the waist nylons. The audition was the same day as my cousin’s High School graduation party, but he told me I could miss the party as long as I made the team.

Prior to the audition, all my dance experience told me ‘stage hair’ meant all hair pulled back in a low bun. On the morning of the audition, I sat in the parking lot at the United Center and watched hundreds of tall, thin, gorgeous women waiting in line; I noticed none of them had their hair pulled back. I thought to myself, there is no way I am going to ever make the team; I’m only 5-foot-2 with a gymnastic build and I am the only one with my hair pulled back. I kept repeating to myself that I love to dance and that regardless of the outcome this would be a great experience.

After getting settled in and touching up my makeup I thought I was ready. One small problem; I was advised that my hair had to be down. Two minutes before going out in front of the judges I had to quickly take my soaking wet hair out of the bun, fluff it up, and spray it with as much hairspray as I could while filing into line.

As I walked into the United Center with my auditioning group I knew that I wanted this more than I thought. During the first round we were judged on personal presentation, our appearance, our kicks, and freestyle abilities. During the second round we were judged on a dance routine we learned.

At the graduation party, all my relatives were waiting for my phone calls and after each cut I called home for moral support. I could hear their excitement each time I called. After a long day, I was invited to the team’s minicamp the following week. I was ecstatic and yet at the same time in shock that I had made it that far.

Minicamp was a lot of hard work; we learned dance after dance, across the floor combinations, kicks, jumps, and turns. After practicing for about 3 and half hours each night, Wednesday was the true test. On Wednesday we stretched out as a group and the audition process began. I remember watching girls come in and out of the audition room and the looks on their faces which reflected their individual performances. To me I was just so excited to have made it that far; I had made new friends and learned quite a bit about myself during those days. If the outcome was not making the team I was going to be upset, but I knew I had given it my best shot. At the end of the night my number, 44, was called; I made the team! I was in shock—speechless. I was a Chicago Luvabull. I called home as soon as I could, and my mother was obviously waiting anxiously for the call because she answered before the first ring completed. My family was just as excited.

The hard work did not stop; juggling practice, work, and school during the summer was difficult. Commuting back and forth from the city was stressful, but once I got into practice it made everything worthwhile. I was making new friends and we were all working hard. We would go in early to practice the routines and work with the veteran Luvabulls on the squad.

The reality of being a Luvabull really hit me on July 11th and 12th. I made my first official appearance as a Luvabull at the Jr. Luvabull Camp. All these little girls were so in awe of us and I realized right or wrong, we were role models to them. I was humbled and vowed that I would not let this whole experience go to my head. The next night I made a promotional appearance with Alyssa for Bud Light at the NASCAR Fan Fest in Joliet for the race weekend. I was so excited that I would be making my first appearance in my hometown, I had a great time, it was fun meeting so many people and I also saw tons of my friends. It was quite a way to have them find out I am a Luvabull.

In September, after months of practicing, it was finally time for our poster shoot. I practiced at home for hours on different poses, I was a nervous wreck, and I had never done a photo shoot. Needless to say I had a blast. When I got to the United Center I was advised to change into my poster shoot outfit and then I was rushed to hair and makeup. Three girls were photographed at a time in front of a green screen. After the photographer took a couple dozen shots, we were hurried to change for our individual pictures. Finally after about six hours we completed the shoot.

The first preseason game all of the rookies went to watch the veterans perform, to see what we had gotten ourselves into. I remember watching from the press box and thinking to myself I cannot believe that I am a Chicago Luvabull. The following week we auditioned for the second preseason game; I was fortunate enough to be picked up to perform at the game. I was so excited and wanted to do my best, I practiced hour after hour everyday prior to the game wanting to make sure I did my best.

It was finally game day and I was so ready to perform that I was not even nervous. I tried to take in as much as I could, as well as learn when I am supposed to be ready and where to go. I remember getting goose bumps watching the starting lineup when I was younger on TV, but being down on the floor, looking up into the crowd and being a part of something so big, was inconceivable. Being down on the floor dancing is an amazing experience that I am so grateful for having the opportunity; I enjoyed every minute of the game from watching the Bulls beat the Wizards to performing. I just remember leaving the United Center and telling my parents that this is something I want to do every night.

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