Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Automotion Update 

Posted by Sasha at 11:31 AM ET

Last week, Automotion, Palace Patrol and Hooper & The Flight Crew had…
Fun in Fort Wayne

by Automotion’s Valerie
Detroit Pistons

Instead of parking my car and heading into The Palace for game night, it was onto a bus for a three-hour ride to Fort Wayne, Indiana with the rest of my ladies from Automotion, The Flight Crew, Palace Patrol, and Hooper! The bus ride was long, but we were all excited to perform for a new crowd and to bring a taste of the NBA to The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Arena to cheer on our affiliate team, the Mad Ants!

We arrived at the arena and were greeted by a terrific staff. Alicia Harrison, the Mad Ants director of game day operations, did an amazing job getting all of our performance teams on the same page! She worked closely with Rebecca, our dance team director, to put together a great show. It was interesting to see how the show is run at another arena. The Coliseum was significantly smaller, holding about half the number of fans as The Palace during Pistons games. We’re so spoiled being at The Palace! It was a nice change though, being up close and personal with just about every Mad Ants Fan.

During pregame, we had a chance to meet with the ladies from The Madame Ants Dance Team. We would be performing with them throughout the game and we pretty much tried to follow their lead. The Madame Ants Dance Team director and choreographer, Sheenah, also dances for the team. She did a great job making us feel welcome in their house and keeping us all going on the sidelines!

We also had the honor of meeting the owner of The Mad Ants, John Zeglis, before the game. He expressed to us how thankful he was that we were performing and how much the fans would appreciate us being there, too. I didn’t really realize the impact that we would make until then, and it really made me feel honored to be there! During our performances, the crowd was really lively and very involved in every bit of the game! I still think that the Pistons have the best fans in all of sports, but I think that the Mad Ants fans come in a close second!

The lights went down and the players were announced. We were right along side the Madame Ants getting the crowd pumped up for a great game! Our first dance got a great crowd response and I couldn't wait to perform again in the second half! The Flight Crew performed between the first and second quarter and the crowd loved them. I could see Hooper up in the seats getting cozy with some of the fans and on the sidelines and The Palace Patrol shouting, “Let’s go Mad Ants, let’s go!” That took some getting used to - they were so much louder in this crowd! The chants weren’t helping the team much since The Mad Ants were down at the half. As the players ran off to the locker room for a pep talk, Automotion was off to sign autographs for all the Mad Ants fans!

The second half was exciting since the Mad Ants came within four points in the last few minutes of the game. Our second dance was another crowd-pleaser, and then all we had to do was get the crowd ready for a win. Unfortunately, the Mad Ants let the win get away, but they definitely made it an exciting game!

It was finally time to get our stuff together, pack up the bus and settle in for another three-hour ride home. As we were about to head out, Jeff Potter, the Mad Ants team president, got on the bus to thank us and wish us a safe trip back to Detroit! The whole Mad Ants staff was incredible! They were amazing hosts to us, and I can only hope all our performance teams from The Palace met and exceeded their expectations! We really had a great time in Fort Wayne, but as the saying goes, “There’s no place like home!” I can’t wait to get back to The Palace! Go PISTONS!


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