Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Grizzlies’ Dance Team Choreographer is on the Ball 

Posted by James at 7:23 PM ET

By Christi Hang
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

On the morning of the Fairbanks Grizzlies’ game against the Odessa Roughnecks, dance team choreographer Lacy Seagren was fielding phone calls from fans looking for tickets. At the same time, she was running the dance team through a new section in their routine for that evening.

“There’s only two of us in the office, so we take on a lot of responsibilities, especially since (team owner and Intense Football League president Chad Dittman) can’t be in town all of the time,” Seagren said. “Me and John Thies do all of it — we’re a pretty good little team.”

Seagren and her boyfriend, Tim Church, learned about the Grizzlies from a newspaper article talking about the new indoor football team coming to Fairbanks. As a joke, she suggested he should try out for the football team and she would try out for the dance team. Before too long, however, the joke became reality for Seagren. She originally approached Dittman about trying out for the dance team, only to find out he didn’t have a choreographer yet.

“The dance team tryout was also my tryout,” Seagren said. “If Chad didn’t like the choreography, we would have someone else.”

But she had nothing to worry about. Dittman said he was not only was he impressed with her choreography, but Seagren also did a great job organizing and running the tryouts.

Grizzlies Practice
Fairbanks Grizzlies Dance Team choreographer Lacy Seagren poses with the team after practice Saturday morning.

The only dancer in an artistic family, Seagren started tap dance lessons at 8 years old and quickly moved into other styles. Although her favorite style is lyrical, Seagren said her strong point is hip-hop. When it comes to her choreography, inspiration usually strikes while she’s driving or when she’s trying to fall asleep. But she doesn’t do it all herself — when she gets stuck, she often asks her dancers for input.

“We all get together and figure what comes next,” Seagren said.

Dance Team member Ashley Gardener said Seagren isn’t just her boss, she’s like a sister.

“We’re thankful to have her,” dance team member Mynoir Benson said.

The feelings are mutual. Seagren said the girls on her team are some of the kindest people she knows.

“They’re all real sweethearts,” she said.

In the week leading up to a home game, the dance team meets five times for practice and has a practice the morning of the game, Seagren said. When she’s not working with dancers, she’s in the office taking care of the dozens of ticket orders that come in by phone or through the Grizzlies’ Web site. She also arranges sponsorships, helps organize travel for the football team and takes care anything else that might need to be done for the Grizzlies. During games, she sits on the sideline, making sure everything goes smoothly.

“She’s the kind of person who will work as many hours as she needs to,” Dittman said. “She’ll do anything for anyone.”

In addition to wearing multiple hats for the Grizzlies, Seagren is also taking night and correspondence courses. With a course load that ranges from library sciences to women’s studies, Seagren isn’t sure what she wants to focus on, but if she stays on course, she’s on track to earn an associate’s degree in September.

“I think that would be a good place to take a break from school,” she said.

September will be a busy month for Seagren, who is pregnant and has a due date in that month. Seagren isn’t sure, but she thinks her newest guilty pleasure, Slim Jim beef jerky, is due to the pregnancy. One thing she is definitely sure about, however, is time management. In addition to her work with the Grizzlies, her school work and the expected new addition to her life, Seagren is careful to take care of herself and get enough food and sleep.

“Right now, sleep is the most enjoyment I get,” Seagren said.

Seagren said she has become a homebody as a way to balance out all of the hectic parts of her life, but her efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Dittman said even with all of her office duties, she is excelling with the dance team.

“She’s doing an unbelievable job here,” Dittman said.

See more photos and watch a video from the Grizzlies Dance Team rehearsal here.

Online home of the Grizzlies Dance Team here.

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