Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Energee! Boot Camp Blogs 

Posted by Sasha at 8:10 PM ET

Milwaukee Bucks: The Energee dance team finalists have been selected and are working out in the final phase of the audition process, Boot Camp. Ever wonder what it's like to audition for an NBA dance team? The girls let us know.

Amanda T's Blog
I am absolutely loving boot camp because I enjoy pushing myself to obtain goals and dreams. We are being challenged both physically and mentally as dancers and performers. I am definitely enjoying this test. This is a test that I do not want to end. I feel that Energee! dancers are tested all year long in and out of the season, not only as dancers, but as individuals and as teammates. This is something I can see myself fitting into and loving every moment of it whether it be performing center court at the Bradley Center or volunteering my time to help a local charity. The values Energee! holds as a team I think are very important to embrace. I was very pleased to hear the coaches speak about them at practice.

I’m extremely proud of myself for rising to the challenges boot camp has brought to the table. Frankly, I’d be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t giving as much dedication as I am. I normally keep a pretty committed workout schedule and eat fairly healthy for the most part, but my determination to be an Energee! dancer has brought both of those to a level I didn’t know existed. I haven’t even had a craving for any that might be the slight bit unhealthy. I thought this was very strange, but then I realized, it’s because I want it that bad. I’m willing to do what it takes to earn my spot on the court. I feel great and just hope the coaches and captains are able to see my dedication and full potential.

Dancing in the NBA has a been a dream of mine since age 10 when I started branching out from the traditional tap, jazz, and ballet into more hip hop, pom, and team routines and discovered what the future could hold for me as a dancer. It’s time to make my dreams come true and take my dancing and performing to the next level! Go Bucks!

Ashley L's Blog
It starts all over again: Sore muscles and a frazzled brain, but glad to be back. Boot camp is going well. We got off to a good start with a good "kick-in-the-butt" workout and followed with a challenging but fun dance that we brought back from ProDance.

It's a different world coming in as a veteran team member but nonetheless is still a very exciting, motivating and thrilling experience. I would love to be a part of Energee! again because I enjoyed myself way too much the previous year to let it go. I was given many great opportunities including performing at games, entertaining thousands of Bucks fans and meeting 19 beautiful, talented dancers who share the same passion as I do. It was a year of my life that I am very thankful for and wouldn't change it for the world. I want to be a part of Energee! so I can do it all over again!

Cassie's Blog
As for boot camp, so far so good! The first dance is awesome and I'm looking forward to seeing and learning more great material from Pro Dance! Working out with Ryan has been good, its a great reminder of what needs to be done to kick it into gear to be in awesome shape!

It's exciting to see all of the great prospects for the team, it's definitely going to be a competition this year! It's good to be vet in boot camp because I think it makes me work even harder to try and set a bar for the rookies. I've definitely tried to be an example to the rookies of what it takes to be a member of Energee. I think that I've done good so far in boot camp. Boot camp is great because it pushes you to your farthest every single day.

I would love to be on Energee again because an experience like dancing for the NBA only gets better and better every time you step foot on the court. Its a very proud feeling to be a member of this dance team!

Holly's Blog
I feel so privileged to have made it this far; and just as excited to continue on in these next couple weeks. Right now I'm trying to stay focused on myself. I feel I can accomplish anything that I feel is worth it. And, being a part of Energee! is worth it. Boot Camp is tough competition, but I know I have just as much potential as the other ladies that are looking to fill a spot on the Energee! Dance Team. In these past couple weeks I have seen a brightness to myself that I have not seen since high school. And, I know this is no high school poms team, but to be back in a similar situation with such a great group of girls who are not only talented but bring personality every night is comforting to know we are all in it to win it!

And, may the best ladies make it! I focus on myself first, because if everyone can focus on what they need to do as an individual we can all work together in the end. Energee! is something I can see myself enjoying. I can be confident in myself that I am here to do what I love and I can accomplish that at every game! I am here to give my best and be professional not only for you but for the Bucks organization. This is the time to step it up and show what I have to offer.

Jamie's Blog
When I came to tryouts two weeks ago, I was so excited and so nervous at the same time, I didn't think I could make it to the middle of that gym where I would have to perform a dance I learned just that night. I was shaky, but I got through it and just prayed I would make it to the next night. Well I did, and when I performed it, that was the best feeling in the world to know that I did my best and didn't even mess up once! I made it into boot camp and this has been an awesome experience so far. I have wanted to be apart of Energee! ever since a few years ago, when I came to my first Bucks game with my dad and saw them performing at halftime. I have loved to dance ever since I was little and the sense of accomplishment I have felt so far has been amazing and I feel like I'm living my dream! Boot camp has been very hard, but very fun at the same time. You work your butt off for a good hour or so, but then it is so rewarding to come back to the WAC and get to dance the rest of the night. The routines are a lot of fun and I love the choreography. You really have to stay on your toes though, to learn routines so fast! It's going to be a lot of work to be as good as the vets but I'm going to do it. I'll be setting more goals as the season goes on and I'm looking forward to it.

Katherine's Blog
Boot camp is an exciting but stressful time for me. I feel that it is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. We have strenuous workouts but we get to learn a lot of fun new routines. I love challenging my self to perfect and really perform all the routines that we learn and strive to whip myself into the best shape of my life. I feel that I am doing a good job at boot camp by not only trying my hardest at practice but on days that we do not have practice I am working out, eating healthy, and running through the routines so that I can really show the coaches what I have to offer. I want to be on Energee again because I want to continue on with my dancing career and I absolutely love performing for all our fans. There is no better feeling then stepping out onto the court and working it in front of thousands of fans.

Kayla's Blog
Monday July 28th
The first day of boot camp is always the toughest it seems :) The workout was intense and definitely showed me some things I have to work on this year. Battling throughout boot camp is certainly a struggle, but proves to be well worth it. We began working on the audition routine and cleaning it up some more. We preformed it in smaller groups so the girls could eye each other up :) There seems to be a lot of talent this year and excited for more.

Monday August 4th
No group work out today because we had to get so many things packed into this practice. We went over group focus points then went straight into nailing out a couple routines. I felt a little rusty at first, but I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. We worked on the audition routine, a routine from Pro Dance, as well as a third new routine. It seems as though the panic button was hit because when I went to the WAC to workout I saw other girls practicing and working out as well. Everybody seems to want this pretty bad :)

Kim's Blog
Ah-Ah-Work it-Work it! So far, Energee! Auditions are going great. I am currently auditioning for my second year on the team and am a lot more comfortable with the audition process. It was hard the first year being thrown head first into hours of workouts, choreography, technique and interviews. Knowing what to expect takes the edge off a little, but now I have the added stress of earning my spot back on the team. Being a veteran team member I know the high expectations of Energee! and the Bucks organization. There is a lot of good, new and veteran talent auditioning this year and I am excited to be a part of the process.

After the first two days of auditions (end of July), I traveled with 9 other veteran team members down to Dallas, Texas for ProDance. ProDance is a three day dance conference for NBA, NFL and NHL dance team members. We learned choreography from some of the best choreographers in the nation, including Napoleon and Tabitha (So You Think You Can Dance) and Daren Henson (Stomp the Yard and Step Up). We were able to learn a lot of good choreography and technique exercises to bring back to the team. After long days of dancing and practicing until wee hours of the morning, we returned to Milwaukee on Saturday evening on a "rough" flight. After one day of well deserved rest and recuperation, we were back to boot camp on Monday!

Laurel's Blog
I feel great! Boot Camp is going very well. The workouts have been intense and challenging (in a good way) and the dancing has been awesome. Nerves are running a little high with the rookie group since we don't know what to expect each night. Every moment counts, so I've had to push myself to perform better each time I dance and to perform everything to its fullest.

Here are just a few reasons why I want to be a part of Energee!:
  • The Excitement! Picture this: you're standing at center court at the Bradley Center, surrounded by thousands of cheering fans, dancing your heart out. What dancer wouldn't want that opportunity?

  • The spandex uniforms. No seriously, when else can a person get away with wearing that much spandex in public?

  • The dancing! The dances we've learned have been intricate, visual, fast, and sassy. I've been very impressed with the choreography and can't wait to learn more.

  • The Community. I’m excited to give back to the community and meet fans from different walks of life at events and games.

  • The opportunity to defy stereotypes. I want to be part of a team that is helping to change the stereotype of NBA dancers. The girls on this team are all different. We all have interesting and impressive backgrounds, in dancing and in life. We are NOT just ditsy blondes. We all wear different "hats" in life. I'm a sister, a daughter, a closet Star Wars fan, a student, a professional, a book worm, a Grammy-winning artist (ok, maybe just in front of my mirror on that one), and hopefully, soon, an Energee! dancer—in essence, I'm not just one thing and neither are the girls I've met in Boot Camp.

Megan's Blog
With any tryout comes the wide array of emotions: nervousness, anxiety, excitement, frustration, anticipation, happiness and being overwhelmed. I have been fortunate enough to experience all these emotions in two short weeks. But is it worth it? Absolutely. When I see the possible end result I know that all my sweat and tears would be well rewarded. I just have to remind my body that the punishment is well worth the reward that could come....

I am proud of myself for going through this experience again. No one likes to be cut from a tryout when you are so close to the finish line, but you can't win every time right? I know that I still need to work on my performance faces. That is a big thing for me. Some will say that you can't teach someone to smile, but you can train someone better dance technique. I disagree. In my case I think I can be taught just about anything because I am that dedicated to getting better and improving myself in all aspects of dance. I believe you can teach anyone anything if they have a strong willingness to learn. Do I know how to smile? Of course I do. My Dad loves my smile. I just have to remember that other people might want to see it too.....

And then there is the little tiny factor of picking up the routines at a lightening fast pace. Is it a little overwhelming and daunting? You betcha. But can I do it? Absolutely. That's what taking it upon yourself to practice during the off hours is all about. I will admit I am a little rusty at the picking up choreography thing, seeing how I have been out of the game for a bit. But I have every bit of confidence in myself that in time I will be a pro at it.

Because I miss dancing!!!!!! Being out of the dance world for three years can show you if you really have the desire and heart to want to do it again. And boy do I have all that and then some. I miss the feeling you get right before a performance.....really, really, really nervous, but excited at the same time. And nothing can beat the high of performing in front of a crowd. Whether it's five people or 5,000. Not to mention dancing for THE Milwaukee Bucks. What dancer wouldn't want to do that?

It would be so much fun to teach the younger dancers too. I think it would be such an awesome and enjoyable opportunity. Growing up I wasn't able to be involved on dance teams and go to dance clinics. I didn't start dancing until I was a Sophomore in High School. Being a role model and someone to look up to for the younger dancers would mean a lot to me and I wouldn't take the job lightly.

And lastly, I know that I would fit in with the team. You get such an amazing feeling when you pull off a performance with a bunch of other dancers who are all perfectly in sync and choreographed. Being a part of a team should be necessary at some point in everyone's life. There is so much to learn and the opportunities are endless. It's being a part of a team where you learn compassion, sportsmanship, respect, drive and communication. But the best part, you learn more about yourself and improve upon your ability to handle anything life throws at you.

Molly's Blog
I am very excited that it is the second week of Boot Camp for Energee! All of our nerves have eased a bit and now we can just do what we love- Dance! We also know more about what areas we need to work on. It is always difficult to get dancers from different backgrounds to perform in perfect unison, but I feel more confident after each practice that the new Energee! team will be able to perform as a group in no time! I am also excited to learn the creative new choreography at each practice and look forward to perfecting the routines in the weeks to come. I am having a great experience in boot camp. I love to challenge myself and reach out of my comfort zone. I have ALWAYS dreamed of becoming a dancer for a professional organization. I have been a dancer my entire life, and after being a member of the UWSP dance team in college, I feel that becoming a part of Energee! is the next step in my dancing career and will open endless doors of possibilities. I have also always taken great pride in being a role model and feel that becoming a part of Energee! is a wonderful opportunity to have a positive influence in people's lives through their generous work with charity events and children in the Milwaukee area. I am hoping that my experience and positive attitude can be a great addition to Energee!

Ryann's Blog
Energee and me…

I have learned a lot about myself already in my 3 days of boot camp!!! First off, I am a horrible runner! Well fine, I guess I shouldn't say horrible, but let's just say that running is not my strong suit (I have to practice for sure).

Other than that issue, I feel great about boot camp. I really like being pushed to my limits and so many ways, whether is running…ah, or doing as many push-ups as I can or learning an entire dance and almost perfecting it in 45 min; boot camp makes me really see my strengthens and what I can do along with the parts of myself I need to work on. That is why I want to be on Energee. I want to be pushed and challenge to limits that I thought that I may not be able to reach before…and come on, I of course I want to show that and what all my teammates can do on the court for all the Bucks fans!

Stephanie's Blog
This will be my third boot camp with Energee! I am one of 27 talented girls battling for a spot as an NBA dancer and entertainer. As a hopeful returning veteran Energee! member, I've seen a variety of girls make the dance team and unfortunately not make the Energee! dance team. But one major difference this season is the outstanding talent, looks and personalities of the "rookie" boot campers. Now, more than ever, it is very important to make sure I earn my spot back, once again, as an Energee! dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Boot camp is definitely not a cake walk. It is a rigorous month-long process full of interviews, choreography, strength training and endurance. It is in every way both mentally and physically challenging and should not be taken lightly. Every single girl in boot camp has to fight for their spot on the Energee! dance team. With this in mind, as a veteran member, my biggest advantage is that I know how to audition during boot camp smartly. I understand the process, how to conserve my energy for when needed most and the dance style of our team. However, because I need to earn my spot back, it is mandatory for myself and other hopeful veteran team members to set the example and expectations higher every year by constantly developing and maintaining our technical dance skills. The mindset for myself is "do not let a rookie boot camper take your spot!" No veteran team member is guaranteed their spot back on the team every year.

As tough as boot camp is, it is also a lot of fun! You really get to learn a lot about yourself and others during these 3-4 weeks. You learn to trust your potential teammates, what it means to be a good team member (accountability) and how much time and effort this job takes both in and out of season.

Becoming an NBA dancer is like becoming an overnight celebrity. You are now in the spotlight. People recognize you. You become a role model to young children and young adults. You represent not only the dance team, but the Milwaukee Bucks organization and the city of Milwaukee as well. Your actions, both on and off the court, need to hold up to and exceed the values of Studio Energee! and the Milwaukee Bucks. You realize in boot camp, you may need to make some personal sacrifices (missing holidays, not being able to take vacations whenever you want and not having all your weekends free.) But if you love dancing and performing like I do, then none of that matters. I continue to audition for the Energee! dance team because I love to share my passion of dance and performing with everyone. I love to be in the spotlight with my best friends on the Bucks court showing our newest routines and looking for the crowd pleasing response. There's nothing like the feeling of performing! Milwaukee has the best fans around and an amazing line up of performers. To be included in that group for as many years as I can is a dream come true! I love being a role model and an ambassador for Energee! I love how involved in the community our organization is. There are so many positive aspects to this career, I can't even imagine what it would be like not auditioning!

I am excited to find out the results of the 2008-2009 Energee! dance team. Based on the selection of girls, it is very apparent how talented the upcoming team is going to be! Wish me luck! I'm working as hard as I can to defend my third year veteran spot as 1 of 20 sexy, hot, athletically dancing girls for the Milwaukee Bucks!

Tamra's Blog
So far boot camp has been good. The work outs have at times been trying but none the less it has strengthened my will power. I'm trying to stay focused on the big picture for the long run. I think I am doing pretty well but you ever know. It's good to always be on your toes. I trying to perform everyday to do my best. I have met some wonderful girls as well as reuniting with some the veteran girls. It's really cool to see the passion that people have for dance and performing. I want to be an Energee! dancer because it has seriously always been a dream of mine to be a professional dancer. Performing is my passion and I have love for the game. I love sports, for as far as I can remember I have been cheering on Milwaukee's home teams. I am a home town girl born and raised here and it's apart of me.

Tiara's Blog
So far I feel like boot camp is going great! Of course boot camp is always a very challenging and stressful situation, but it is an awesome experience as well. It is not only a time when you have to shine and show others your abilities, but also for me it is a personal test to see how far I can push myself and how hard I can work. The coaches and captains are constantly throwing new routines at us in a short amount of time and although this is difficult, it is fun to see how fast you can learn something. It is a great sense of accomplishment to nail a dance the first time you perform it after just learning it.

As a previous member I definitely feel more pressure to stand out. It is important to be on top of my game all the time because I now have a standard to live up to. Looking back at my first year in boot camp there was only myself that I could let down, but now after being on the team before I have other people involved that I do not want to let down. Whether it be my coaches, captains, or previous team members I have a standard to live up to so there is lots of pressure from myself, wanting to make them proud.

The reason I want to be on Energee is because I love to dance. Dance is a way for me to express myself and truly is my biggest passion. I don't think I can picture my life without having dance involved in some way. If I were to make the team I would be doing what I love all the time. I know that if I were to become an Energee dancer this would be a great opportunity for me to grow as a dancer, performer, speaker, role model and so forth. It would be a dream come true.

Tiffany's Blog
The ladies in boot camp are doing very well. Boot camp is demanding in many ways. We have difficult work out sessions and rookies are quickly thrown into a fast-pace learning and performance environment. I am very proud of how all the girls are handling it. Some of the vets have also been pushed in a different way as they attended an intensive professional dance convention which pushes you to your limits. Both rookies and vets will not have it easy this year in boot camp, but I am pleased to see each dancer striving to meet the challenges as they come.

Tisiphani's Blog
The first thing we did in Energee! Boot Camp was have an intense workout with our trainer Ryan. It was a difficult day for me personally knowing that I was not in the best shape possible. I really wanted to give it my all and by the end of practice when my body was shaking I knew that I had. We trained outside by the lake which made it a little better, but my body was certainly screaming after our run. We also did sprints, lounges and these monkey walks type of exercises across a soccer field. A soccer field doesn't seem that big until you're doing sprints and lounges all the way across. When we returned I didn't think I had anything else, but I had just enough energy to run through our routine several times. And the famous dancers "one more time" which really means lets do this 3 more times. LOL

The next day several Veteran team members went to Dallas for ProDance; an intense 3 days of working with the best choreographers in the country. Tabitha & Napoleon, NuStylez, John Peters, Darrin Henson, Sean Bankhead, Marena & Mina Ortega and several others. This was the hardest I have worked in a while. Knowing we were among some of the best dancers in the world, and we wanted to represent The Bucks and our team to the best of our abilities. We worked very hard some days starting at 7am and not ending until 10:30pm. In my opinion my teammates did a BEAUTIFUL job, showing Energee's diversity, technique, training and diversity.

The next week Monday, Energee! Boot Camp was also intense but for different reasons. We didn't train but we did bang out a nice jazz routine. Doing an entire routine in one practice isn't new for Energee! but I could tell we all worried about making it the best it could. Watching everyone proved that because the first couple of times we did it everyone had the intense face people get when concentrating. By the end of the practice you would think we all learned the routine the week before. I was proud of everyone. By the end of practice Monday we knew 3 routines. (One routine for every practice so far.)

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