Monday, June 23, 2008
New York Daily News
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I'm not a good dancer.
I'm not an average dancer.
I don't think dancers would appreciate me even calling myself a dancer.
But when I heard the Nets basketball team was holding auditions for the 2008-09 dance team I thought: "Sure, I'll give it a go. Can't be that hard. All I have to do is flip my hair and shake my hips. Easy deal."
"It's like Survivor Island," said dance team hopeful Sarah Kaye, 22, of Freehold, N.J. "Survival of the fittest."
Huffing and puffing, I bruised my knee and banged my elbow in a sad attempt at the floor routine. Confused, I stood motionless.
And that was during the warmup.
It takes more dedication than that if you want to make the Nets dance team.
More than 100 women showed up yesterday to show off their skills at the Nets' practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. Most have been dancing since they were a little older than tots - with technical backgrounds in hip-hop, jazz, ballet, or all three.
"The Nets have one of the best professional dance teams in the world," said Nicole Thessen, 24, of Butler, N.J. "I would love to be a part of it."
Mai Ishida, 24, flew in from Tokyo. This was her third time making the trek. And even though she got eliminated after the second round, she wasn't discouraged.
"It's my dream to be a Nets dancer," she said. "It's my biggest goal. I'll be back."
The young women went through two rounds - a technical round and a short routine led by two members of the current team. Only 11 were chosen to return tomorrow, when the final selections will be made.
They'll compete against 27 women picked at an open call in Manhattan on Friday night and members of the current squad, who have to try out to keep their spots on the 16-member team.
With dance moves so evenly matched, it could come down to the superficial.
"Actually, it is about looking good," said Jessica Harris, 23, of Neptune, N.J. "The judges already know what they want before we even get in here."