Friday, January 09, 2009
Raquel Garcia is entering her 6th season as the Choreographer for the San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers. She's also the Choreographer for the Spurs Junior Jammers, and Sterling Silver Dancers (Grooving Grannies), WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars Star Squad and the AHL San Antonio Rampage Ice Girls. She does all this while running her own precision dance studio in San Antonio, 5678 Danz, and she and her husband have a 22-month old son. Whew!
Raquel was born and and grew up in Houston and moved to San Antonio when she was thirteen. In high school she was on the Pep Squad in Freshman year, then cheered her Sophomore year. She was on the Dance Team for the next two years, including Captain during her Senior year.
Then it was on to Kilgore College, where she was a member of the world famous Kilgore Rangerettes from 1993-95. Raquel says being a Rangerette was the most amazing experience of her life and it taught her many life lessons and so much more how to become a better dancer.
From her time with the Rangerettes, Raquel learned not take anything for granted and to be the best role model and person she could be, and that you have to work hard to be the best.
After her time at Kilgore, she wanted to continue performing and dancing and take it to the "pro" level. Raquel had seen the Spurs Silver Dancers perform during Christmas break when she was still at Kilgore, and had enjoyed their performance they put on.
Figuring she had nothing to lose and that she should just "Go for it", Raquel tried about for and made the team. And for the next five seasons she was a Spurs Silver Dancer.
In 2000 Raquel was all set to audition for her 6th season, but was offered a job with a Hispanic advertising agency. The job was going to be very time consuming and require a bit of traveling. She decided to take the job and work in advertising to gain experience in the promotions department.
But she missed dancing so in 2002 Raquel and her parents opened up 5678 Danz Studio. The studio is bit different from others; they don't have recitals or show groups. Basically the studio is known for preparing young ladies for their dance and drill teams. (Dance and Drill teams are huge in Texas.)
Raquel enjoys spending time in the studio helping dancers reach their goals: working their turns, leaps and, of course those high kicks. She loves helping the young ladies who are committed to their dance and drill teams, and helping them perfect their craft become the best dancers they can be.
In March of 2003 Raquel was contacted by the Spurs and asked to come in for a meeting about the new WNBA team in San Antonio. It was Silver Stars first season and they were in need of a choreographer for a dance team. During our meeting they had asked Raquel if she could make an interactive co-ed team work. She guaranteed she could and she did! The Star Squad was a huge hit during the Silver Stars games and were even asked to perform at the 2003 NBA Finals.
In August of that year, the Spurs posted the position for the Spurs Silver Dancers Choreographer. Raquel was one of the six applicants who made it to interviews and got the job and she took over the team later that month, and six years later she's still going strong.
Raquel describes her dance style as very jazzy with a sassy flair. She loves all styles of dance, but is especially fond of jazz and hip hop. She'll choreograph about 45 routines for the Silver Dancers this season.
Raquel says the toughest part of running an NBA Dance team is balancing her time. It all requires excellent time management skills and she must stay very organized.
Dance has taken Raquel to many places. She has had the opportunity to perform at EuroDisney in Paris and the Carnival is Nice, France. After the Spurs won the NBA Championship, the Silver Dancers were the entertainment for the International Championship in Milan, Italy. She has also traveled with her dancers and watched them perform in Miami, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
She's has been a MADE coach on MTV. Raquel choreographed for the Farrelly Brother's movie The Ringer starring Johnny Knoxville, and for the dancers for Tony Parker's video Balance Toi. Tony wanted and got the Spurs Dancers to perform in the video.
And while all the team and studio responsibilities do demand so much of her time, she doesn't consider them jobs. She considers herself so blessed to have the teams and my studio. It's a dream come true and after 6 years, she still has to pinch herself.
[San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers]
[San Antonio Rampage Ice Girls]