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Sunday, April 20, 2008

End of a Pacemate Era: Michelle's Last Dance 

Posted by James at 6:25 PM ET

This is a Special Guest Post from our friend Midwest Dave

The final home game of the Indiana Pacers season was Fan Appreciation Night, with lots of giveaways for fans. But for the Pacemates and the fans of the Pacemates, it was a bittersweet appreciation night for seven-year veteran Michelle, performing in her last game. Over the years, Michelle has been known for eye-catching dance moves and her stage presence. This has lead her to play a duel role as both part of the Pacemates dance squad and game night emcee during breaks in the action.

Michelle, Indiana Pacemates

In the final minutes of the game, she waited with the squad for her final appearances on the court. She said that it was sad, but that she had danced four years for Ball State and seven with the Pacemates, so eleven years with a pretty hectic schedule. Her seven years as a Pacemate is surpassed by Sherri Cork (11 years) and current Pacemate director Stacy Austin (9 years). She said her most memorable moments were during the Reggie Miller era and the exciting fourth quarters. Her most embarrassing moment was "one time I was back here (behind the stands) practicing and the girls were on the court ready to dance and I had to run out there, and they were all posed already and Stacy is saying 'Oh my gosh, better get out there,' but I made it."

Michelle, Indiana Pacemates

As the game finished, Michelle performed her final routines and blue and gold streamers fell from above celebrating the team and its fans. The Pacemates then had a final season group hug at center court with Michelle in the middle, followed by lots of hugs from her squad mates and director Stacy.

Michelle, Indiana Pacemates

Thanks to Michelle for all of her hard work and dedication through the years. Besides her work on the court, she has been an advocate for teaching people about and helping people with Multiple Sclerosis. She has also entertained troops throughout the world as part of the Pacemates. We truly appreciate Michelle and wish her best of luck in the future!

Michelle, Indiana Pacemates
Group Hug

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