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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Heat dancer gets first look at Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread 

Posted by Sasha at 10:46 AM ET

By Madeleine Marr
The Miami Herald
02.16.09

Ashley Allen caused a scene at her local Barnes & Noble in Boca Raton on Thursday. That's when the rookie Miami Heat dancer, 20, got her first look at her spread in the 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

''I was jumping up and down with my mother,'' Allen said Friday on her way to Disney World. ``She is so proud -- she knows how hard I've worked to get here. And to be chosen as a rookie, wow!''

Last fall, after SI selected Allen -- who sent the magazine a picture of herself in a skimpy training outfit -- she and nine other NBA dancers were flown to New York for the one-day shoot. They posed at a downtown pier from 8 in the morning till 8 at night.

Though Allen, a double-major in communications and business at Florida Atlantic University, is thrilled, she realizes now the pressure is on to look good.

''I've got to continue watching my eating habits and training really hard,'' Allen says, adding, ``Our outfits are a little bit revealing.''

Also, such international exposure can be career-altering: the issue's cover gal, Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend Bar Refaeli, is really on the map now.

''I'm still trying to process it all,'' Allen says. ``I haven't gotten used to the idea.''

Are the other Heat dancers just a little bit jealous?

``Not at all. They know everyone has their moment in time to shine.''

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