Monday, September 01, 2008

Danville dancer wins a spot on pro basketball team's dance squad 

Posted by Sasha at 8:22 AM ET

By Kathy Hodson
Valley Times

High energy, amazing talent, and a competitive spirit — That's just a bit of what it takes to score a spot on one of the dance teams with the Golden State Warriors or the Sacramento Kings pro basketball organizations.

Danville's own Carly Steffensen, a 2006 Monte Vista graduate and dance aficionado, has been performing her way through life dancing since she was 2 years old.

Hoping to earn a spot on the Sacramento Kings dance team, Steffensen threw herself in the mix with approximately 100 other competitors at a recent audition at the Arco Arena.

"It was a grueling two-day experience of nonstop dancing," she said. Even with her previous experience as a performer with the Golden State Warriors a few years ago, Steffensen said, "It was the most rigorous audition."

The field of girls was narrowed to 40 after the first day of tryouts. After a second day of auditions and personal interviews, the Kings judges streamlined the group to 15.

Normally a squad of 16, the Sacramento franchise announced it was having difficulty selecting the final person for the team. With the popularity of reality shows and online voting, the franchise decided to open the final selection to a fan vote.

Steffensen said the online voting took place over a three-day weekend with close to 3,000 hits being logged. When the score was finally tallied, it was so close that the organization took both dancers, Carly Steffensen being one of them.

Currently residing in Sacramento and attending school at American River College, Steffensen is excited about the opportunity to once again perform and dance with a team.

Out of high school, Steffensen earned a position on Golden State's dance team. "You're a mini celebrity," Steffensen said. "I love to dance and the hype from the fans is exciting."

Dance lessons have been a way of life for her. At Monte Vista High School, Steffensen was a cheerleader and a participant on the school dance team. Steffensen said they worked year round putting on incredible dance shows.

"I loved being on the Monte Vista dance team because it opened my eyes to the choreographing aspect of dance," she said.

As a senior, Steffensen won the Sarah Edgren Memorial award, which is voted on by all the dance classes and given to the most inspirational senior dancer.

"It was such an honor to receive this award, and it felt like I was really making a difference in other dancers' lives with my hard work and love for dance," she said.

When dancing with the Golden State Warriors, Steffensen was selected as the cover model for their annual calendar in 2006. She continues to teach dance at Dance Fusion in San Ramon, at a center in Sacramento and she is also a member of Ronnie Reddick's LaFemme Panache, traveling and performing throughout the country.

Steffensen's boyfriend of four years, Nick Buchta, a 2004 San Ramon Valley High School graduate, currently attends and plays baseball for Sacramento State, but he's also a huge basketball fan. Steffensen said Nick enjoys the games and watching her and the dance team perform.

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