Saturday, April 19, 2008

Former Pacemate Mentors Team 

Posted by Sasha at 2:03 PM ET

By Brennan Ude
Staff Reporter
The Purdue Exponent

Mallori Walker has been a dancer, a cheerleader and a coach.

She is the coach of the Purdue dance team but her passion for dance started well before that. Walker was once a Pacers' Pacemate for five years, where she had the opportunity to do things such as visit U.S. troops overseas.

"It was a dream come true for me," Walker said.

Her desire to dance started as a Chicago Bulls fan when most kids just wanted to "be like Mike."

"I grew up being a Bulls fan," Walker said. "We would always get tickets for Bulls games and I loved Michael Jordan and (Scottie) Pippen, but I went to see the dance team."

Before her stint as a Pacemate, she danced at Purdue from 1997 to 2001. During her time on the team, she gathered the most improved and most valuable awards.

"We did not have a coach," she said. "It was just run by our captains. I was working at Purdue and everything just worked out for me to be the coach and I have loved every minute of it."

She stresses hard work for her 16 dancers and does not accept mediocrity.

"I grew up in a very sports-oriented family and my dad always said there is no substitute for hard work," she said. "That is the mentality I bring as the coach. The girls know when you come to practice you are going to work your butt off; then we are going to be done and you're going to go home."

But her most important job is not to act like a drill sergeant for the team.

"What I apply the most is being an example for them. I want to be a good role model for them," Walker said. "Aside from dancers they are young women."

Labels: , , ,