BlazerDancers Auditions: A Two-Day Road To The Finals
By sarahhecht Posted in: blazerdancers
The line outside the Trail Blazers practice facility wrapped around the parking lot. Sixty-nine new hopefuls for the 2011-2012 BlazerDancers were taking deep breaths to calm their nerves before entering the gym to participate in a grueling audition process for the major professional dance squad in the Rose City.
Day one was nine solid hours of learning choreography, practicing and performing for the judges. Three rounds of cuts narrowed the field as the day progressed. The first round, a technique routine, eased the girls into the speed of the day. The second round upped the ante in difficulty and the third round, an actual routine performed by BlazerDancers this season, pushed the girls even further.
The women fighting through the process, faced an extreme version of what many of them know as dancers. As athletes they experience tough workouts, fatigue and injuries. Band-aids and ice all made appearances on this day. The strength and endurance they’ve built over their tenures as artists were put to the test.
The audition process isn’t just a physical battle, but a mental one as well. For BlazerDancers, being an ambassador and performer for the organization isn’t their only job.
The search for BlazerDancers is an extensive process, and rightly so. Todd Bosma, Director of Game Operations, described a typical game day for a BlazerDancer, “You get to your real job, you do that from 9 to 4:30 or so and if you’re a BlazerDancer you come to the arena and then you start getting ready to be a dancer, that’s a long day. So you have to be physically able to handle that and then mentally you’re performing in front of 20,00 fans. I think the audition process is a good way for us to start seeing who physically and mentally can handle being out there.”
The search for BlazerDancers is an extensive process, and rightly so.
The next day the 25 girls who survived day one were joined by the 11 BlazerDancers veterans returning to audition for their spots on the team for the 2011-2012 season. There are no guarantees for the veterans, they have to earn their titles just like everyone else.
Looking forward, the finalists face a round of interviews and a final performance of the the three routines they learned on day two, as well as a solo of their own making.
After that... the promised land and a season spent as a BlazerDancer.
See the photo gallery of BlazerDancers auditions.