Friday, February 08, 2008

Michelle's Celtics Dancer Diary 

Posted by Sasha at 6:01 PM ET

February 5, 2008
Boston Celtics

I've been having so many issues with my costumes this season, I feel compelled to provide somewhat of a rant, which I'd like to think will give you a deeper insight into the stresses of being a Celtics Dancer.

This is wicked deep stuff right here. Get ready, folks.

Keeping my costumes clean may be the death of me. Granted, I'm no laundry guru, and I relied heavily on the drop off service in Andrew Square last year; but I'd like to think somewhere in me is that feminine "I can do laundry" gene. You know, sandwiched between the "I make a mean French toast" gene and "I change my clothes five times before I leave in the morning." But no matter how many times Alison explains to me the exact process that will keep each uniform in tip-top condition, I still end up with green dye bleeding into white fabric and bronzing powder that I swear is not water soluble.

Wrinkles. Oh, yes, you ask, "Is there really enough fabric in those costumes for anything to wrinkle?" Touche. There is. Chantal discovered a wonderful wrinkle solution last year that involves pulling on the fabric while using a blow dryer to heat the wrinkles out. Magical! BUT (and this is a big "but") if you get heat too close to lycra fabric, it melts.

This scares me, because my luck is not very good, and I don't doubt my capability to melt a costume. In fact, to give you an indication of my luck, just a couple weeks ago I thought I won my first scratch ticket ever -- $2,000! Come to find out that after plotting another graduate class and sharing my excitement with all of the dancers, I actually read the directions wrong and didn't win a dime. That would be the epitome of my luck, and also why I refrain from Chantal's de-wrinkling method on any costume other than our jersey dresses.

But let's speak hypothetically for a moment and say that I manage to get my costumes pristine, both clean and wrinkle free. Now there's the matter of wearing the costumes. Ok, so putting them on isn't that difficult, but once they're on, it's all the little things -- the pinning, the pulling, the alignment...it's really quite the process.

Let me share my main issue. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm short. I know, I know, you never would've guessed this, since I obviously tower over Courtney on the parquet; but to the shock of many, I stand at a mere 5'2" (according to my license). While I've come to accept this, it does make certain pieces of our uniforms fit not-quite-right. Particularly, the halter tops. These tops are made for someone with a long torso, which I do not have. In order to keep my top from sagging down, I have to tie or pin the fabric that hooks around the neck.

Enter the scenario that instigated this rant: On one of our uniforms, the hook for the top doesn't clip completely, so I'm careful to make sure it's sufficiently pinned (no need for a Janet Jackson...). Last game, however, both the pin and the hook came undone while we were practicing, and I was left to finish our walk-through holding my costume on. Fearing on-court repeat, I had Marina re-pin the top, and she was kind enough to do this crazy tuck-and-tie thing with the straps as well. Thank goodness.

We took the court for our timeout and before the music even started -- POP! My immediate thoughts went something like this: "Oh crap. That was the pin, wasn't it...OW! Yes, that's the pin...Boy, I hope that hook holds up."

Fortunately, Marina's tuck-and-tie held up, because the hook didn't.

While I feel blessed to have been spared a very embarrassing upload to YouTube, I can't shake the feeling that my costumes are conspiring against me. Perhaps they're angry for not being as clean as others, maybe they're feeling vengeful because they're wrinkly. Either way, I've concluded that these uniforms absolutely have a mind of their own, and if you have any helpful hints on surviving the bitter uniform battle, I would love to hear them. Please.

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