Friday, August 01, 2008

Lady Cats Audition Blog 

Posted by James at 12:30 PM ET

Charlotte Lady Cats Auditions are quickly approaching. And Lady Cats Director (and good friend of the blog) Brandii McCoy has her Lady Cats Audition Blog up and running. Her first post as some excellent advice not just for those trying out for the Lady Cats, but any pro dance team or cheerleading squad:

Lady Cats AuditionsIt’s that time again. NBA teams from all over the country are holding auditions and selecting members to become dancers for the upcoming season. Here in Bobcats Land, things are no different. We are busy preparing for auditions, booking a media tour to promote the auditions, and getting excited about having a new team.

The aspiring Lady Cats are emailing in with their pre-registration information, and also asking a ton of questions about tryouts. A few are very serious, and others make me smile. I thought I would share a few with everyone, so you can get a look behind the scenes.

The three biggest questions:”How many girls will make the team?”, “Do the current Lady Cats have to re-audition?” and ”What are you looking for in a Lady Cat?”

First, we will select approximately 20 dancers to be a part of our 08-09 team. Some of our beloved Lady Cats from last season are moving away to transfer colleges, some are not re-auditioning so they can take on more responsibilities in their full-time careers, and some are retiring. :( This should be a big year for us to get a lot of new talent on the squad.

Next…Yes, the current Lady Cats have to re-audition and NO they are not guaranteed a spot. It is MUCH harder on them to make it back because they have actually been “re-auditioning” all year long as they represented our organization. Unfortunately, in all my years coaching professional dancers and cheerleaders, there are times when veterans get cut because someone at auditions outshines them. But, the current Lady Cats that are re-auditioning will come into the tryout ready to claim their spot back. They will be fighting hard, because they know how exciting it is to be a part of the Bobcats organization. (Hint, Hint for the new girls trying out, MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION early on Sunday morning BEFORE THE VETS COME IN FOR ROUND 2. When they get there, they will have great costumes on, makeup will be flawless, and they will be well rested. At that point, you will be tired, sweaty, and hungry. Make yourself memorable for us BEFORE the vets come in.)

Finally, what are we looking for in a Lady Cat? Well, where do I start?

I’m looking for the PERFECT CANDIDATE! Four things are important to me.

Are you coachable? Can you come in and learn as a member of this team and continue to get better with the group? If you have reached your dancing peak and you are no longer coachable, I don’t need you. (Think of it this way, if a basketball player thought he was so great that he no longer needed to be coached…what good would he be to Larry Brown?)

Are you a well rounded dancer?
Let’s face it, this IS a dance team, and you have to be a good dancer. I am not expecting you to be Mia Michaels or Janet Jackson, but you should be able to dance a variety of styles and be entertaining while you do it. (Yes, we dance to pop, rock, hip-hop, oldies and even some country music at the games. You have to be able to at least pretend you like all of it! Ha!)

Next, Is your schedule flexible? So many girls want to be a part of this organization, and they come in with all intention of just dancing at practices and games, then they are the same girls that have to turn down appearance requests that I send out. I am looking for girls who have flexible schedules who will do community appearances and charitable events on behalf of the Bobcats. (Ladies, the guys in my department and I cannot put the cute costumes on for you and appear in the community on your behalf….haha.)

Finally, Will our fans like you? We hire girls who look the part of an NBA dancer. (This is the hardest part for dancers to hear...you may be the best dancer in the world, but your fitness or your look isn’t what we are looking for. It takes that extra special “something” to become a professional NBA dancer.)

One of the Lady Cat’s biggest fans, Robert, wrote me an email with a few things that he thought were important. “Attitude, not the fake smile, but genuine smiles that say each fan is important to us” is what he noted first. Then he went on to write “I think your girls excelled in this.” (Insert proud moment for me as a coach) He’s right; the genuine girls who have that indescribable desire to represent the Bobcats organization and connect with the fans are the one’s I am looking for. (So if you have that, I cannot wait to meet you on August 10th!)

I’ll check in again next week as the audition approaches…

More Brandii here.

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