Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nets Dancers Open Call Auditions - NJ Edition 

Posted by James at 5:16 PM ET

For the first time the Nets Dancers held two Open Call Auditions. One was on Friday in New York City and the other on Saturday in New Jersey at the Nets Practice facility in East Rutherford. The goal according to Nets Entertainment Manager Kimberlee Garris was to cast a little wider Net and enable dancers in both New Jersey and New York an opportunity to audition. Kim said there were a surprising number of dancers from New England at the Friday auditions. (Perhaps they were in town for Wednesday's Celtics Dancers Auditions.)

The decision to hold two auditions appears to have been a big success. Of the over 125 dancers who turned out Friday, twenty-seven survived two rounds of cuts to advance to Monday night's Nets Dancers Finals.

Now a look at the NJ Open Call Auditions:

NJ Nets Dancers Auditions
Nets Dancers hopefuls line up outside the Nets Practice facility on Saturday morning.

NJ Nets Dancers Auditions
An aspiring Nets Dancer performs.

NJ Nets Dancers Auditions
(l-r): Nets Dancer Jaclyn, Nets Entertainment Manager Kimberlee Garris, Nets Vice President of Entertainment and Event Marketing Petra Pope, Nets Dancer Laura.

Yes that's THE Petra Pope. She built the Laker Girls into a national phenomenon. Then came East and created the Knicks City Dancers. Then she crossed the Hudson to come to the Nets where she now is responsible for the Nets in-game entertainment experience, including the Nets Dancers, NETSational Seniors, Nets Kids, Team Hype, the Nets DrumLine, music, video production, costumes, lighting, halftime and Sly, the mascot. She is also a black belt in karate!

NJ Nets Dancers Auditions
Laura provides some one-on-one instruction.

NJ Nets Dancers Auditions
In the end only 11 dancers qualified for Monday nights finals. Together with the 27 who qualified in NYC on Friday and 11 Nets Dancers veterans, there are a total of 49 who will compete tomorrow night for the 16 spots on the team.

More photos from auditions in the gallery.

A big thanks to the very cool and delightfully charming Nets Entertainment Manager Kimberlee Garris for allowing me access this week to Nets Dancers Boot Camp and Open Call Auditions.

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