Friday, April 25, 2008

Kings Performer Dances Her Way to Fame 

Posted by James at 10:57 AM ET

By Oneika Richardson
The State Hornet
The crowd, the lights, the screaming; for Ari Waller, it's just another night cheering the Sacramento Kings to victory. As a sophomore biology major at Sacramento State, Waller juggles the task of part-time entertainer and full-time student.

Born and raised in Fresno, Waller had no previous dance experience but you would never know it - dancing seems to run in her blood.

"My mother was previously a Raiderette," Waller said.

Waller didn't allow her inexperience to hinder her talent. She took her initiative and drive and tried out for the Sacramento Kings Dance Team. The dance team is filled with women from all different dance backgrounds, so Waller didn't feel intimidated.

Waller makes no qualms as to why she tried out for the Kings Dance Team.

"I've always loved to dance," Waller said

As a dancer, Waller lists her dance inspirations as Janet Jackson, Ciara and the late Aaliyah.

Being able to dance to anything is what has propelled Waller into her success, so much success that she took a shot and attended an audition for R&B singer Ciara's music video. Waller heard about the Ciara audition through a friend and headed out to Los Angels to try her hand at stardom.

Ari, Kings Dancer

She explained the tryouts as a series of eliminations that Ciara herself attended on the final day.

"I was nervous but that just made me want to dance even harder," Waller said.

Although she didn't snag a spot in Ciara's video, it didn't deter Waller. She still plans on dancing and attending more auditions.

As a student at Sac State, Waller keeps her heads in the books but cites being an NBA dance choreographer as one of her many ambitions.

Waller is actually enjoying the attention that choreographed dance is getting with such shows as "So You Think That You Can Dance?" "Dancing With The Stars," and most recently MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew."

She is even enlisting a few dancers from Sac State to participate in one of the upcoming seasons of "America's Best Dance Crew."

It isn't just dance for this biology major. Waller would like to explore a career in medicine as a pediatric orthodontist.

Waller also remains active within her church. When asked what she would do if she weren't dancing, Waller spoke about her love of working with children within youth ministries.

"I'm really into church events," Waller said.

Dancing remains a huge part of her life. Waller makes sure to keep her priorities in place but like any true artist, she knows that dancing is part of her everyday life.

"I don't know what I'd do without dancing," Waller said.

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