Monday, December 17, 2007

NJ Nets Dancers Find Home in Union City 

Posted by James at 7:24 AM ET

by Nicolas Millan
The Hudson Reporter
The New Jersey Nets basketball team may play in the Meadowlands, but three of their dancers call Union City home. Laura Torres, Jaclyn Sabol, and Captain Adar Wellington are three local women that have developed a relationship over the last three years as colleagues, roommates, and most importantly, best friends.

Having moved to Union City in June, Torres and Sabol, both New York natives, embraced the new experience of the town.

"I lived in Long Island before and commuted for two years," said Torres who balances her dancing job with a position as a dental assistant. "It's my third year, [and being here] is like heaven now."

The commute isn't the only thing 24-year-old Torres enjoys about Union City. "I love the community," Torres said. "The neighborhood is great and everyone is really nice."

The three ladies weren't always separated by state lines though - Wellington, 25, who moved to Weehawken from Cherry Hill after she was hired by the Nets, would occasionally host her two friends for sleepovers when basketball games would run late into the night.

Torres said that when the women would have back-to-back games or early morning television appearances, they would stay there in order to avoid the commute.

Wellington, who is captain of the dance team, is the only New Jersey native of the bunch.

Adar, NJ Nets DancerLaura, NJ Nets DancerJaclyn, NJ Nets Dancer
Captain Adar, Laura and Jaclyn

Torres reflected on her move and the differences between her two homes.

"Union City is more urban, but it's also very family oriented," Torres said. "I love the view [of New York] from here and being that close to the city."

Word hard, play hard

Wellington does a lot of her work in New York including noteworthy performances with LL Cool J, Ciara, and Panic at the Disco!

Wellington remembers that when the three girls moved in together, she showed them the area.

"I showed them Bergenline and all the restaurants," recalls Wellington, noting the girls' guilty pleasures. "On every corner there's food; Chinese food, Dunkin' Donuts, health foods, Subway. It's always available and within walking distance."

Torres remembers that the three ladies ultimately decided to move in together when Wellington was seeking out bigger apartment space. Because the trio shared the same interests, the decision was made to move in together.

"We wanted to be more involved [in New Jersey] and it worked out perfectly," Torres said.

The three women practice nearly four hours each day two days a week to prepare for numerous dances. On a typical night, the ladies perform three set routine dances, not including opening or celebration dances. Mastering up to 40 different dances is tiring as Sabol describes.

Sabol, who celebrated her 25th birthday this past week, says occasionally, the girls sleep in late, however most days tend to be crazy.

"A typical day for us consists of everyone running around with a million things going on," said Sabol, who has danced for Britney Spears and fans at the 2007 All-Star Game.

Recuperating from an ankle sprain, Sabol notes that she's missed out on more games this season than in the last three years combined. However, Sabol has been finding solace in local restaurants.

"We don't have a lot of time [to dine], so we usually we try to find something quick," said Sabol. "We try to experiment with restaurants. There's this Cuban restaurant that has amazing food. Every time I go there, I fall in love."

Business and pleasure

The formula seems to be working great for the girls thus far.

Initially, the trio belonged to a group of nearly 300 girls that tried out for the Nets dancer position. Described as a "nerve-wracking," trying two-day process, the three girls succeeded and got the jobs.

After three years together on the team, Wellington, who choreographs dances for the team, said that the friendship between the girls hasn't been compromised as a result of work or living together.

"We're great friends," said Wellington. "I thought it might be different, but we go home and we're regular people. [As captain,] I enjoy their insight. It's fun!"

Sabol noted that moving in together raised some small doubts.

"You always hesitate; [but] they are two of my best friends, and if anything, it's brought us closer together," said Sabol. "Adar is our captain but when we go home, we'll discuss roommate stuff. We've never had an issue, and we respect each other a lot. I'm very proud to dance with them."

Online home of the New Jersey Nets Dancers here.

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