Wednesday, February 11, 2009
KHOU.com staff report
February 9, 2009
HOUSTON -- Over 150 girls showed up Saturday at 24Hour Fitness with one goal in mind. They wanted to be a member of the 2009 Dynamo Girls dance team.
This is the third consecutive year the Dynamo have held open tryouts for the squad. Last year, only 100 girls tried out. This year, over 150 girls showed up to test their luck at making a dancing dream come true.
Click here for audition photos!
Dynamo dance director Shelby Alexander attributes the increased number of girls trying out to the Dynamo’s success and growing fan base.
Besides cheering for Houston’s most successful sports team, the Dynamo Girls are known for their close work in the community. They made 200 appearances last year, taking part in everything from charity functions to fan activities.
The expectations of a Dynamo dancer are high, but the rewards make up for it.
When the girls make the squad, not only will they be cheering on the Dynamo, but they get a bunch of perks like free hair and makeup, free 24Hour Fitness memberships, free photo shoots, free Dynamo games and the notoriety of being a Dynamo Girl.
On Saturday, judges narrowed the group down from 150 girls to 40. The final 20 will be selected on Sunday, February 15.
The Dynamo offered a two-hour dance clinic on January 27 and 28 to prep the girls for their real tryout. At the clinic, they were taught specific dance techniques, what the judges are looking for and how to present themselves. Makeup artists were also there to advise the girls on how to best enhance their natural appearances.
The ideal Dynamo Girl is a great dancer with poise, commitment, high energy and a fun-loving personality.
Aviana Hightower, a returning Dynamo dancer, was celebrating her 19 th birthday at the tryout and hoping to make the squad for a second straight year. Hightower noticed the increased number of girls and talent from last year to this year, and even she was nervous with so much competition.
“It’s the best job ever. I love the Dynamo and their fans, plus I get to dance and have fun,” Hightower said.
Kayla Clark, an architecture student at U of H, was there to try out, too. She said she showed up for last year’s tryouts, but chickened out before it started. This year, she was ready to give it another shot and brought a friend along for support.
Maria Delgato, who has both cheer and dance experience from middle and high school, figured she would try her skills and see if she still had it.
Clark and Delgato said they felt optimistic coming into the competition, but felt intimidated by the number of girls who were all vying for the same 20 spots.
With the Dynamo only keeping 20 girls on the team, over 100 girls will go home empty-handed.
“The hardest part is really letting all these girls go, especially when it's their dream. I don’t want these girls to see it as hard work for nothing, but instead as a way to get more prepared for next year. I want to encourage them to continue to follow their dream,” Alexander said.