Being a BlazerDancer is no easy task. Countless hours of practice, performances and public appearances fill the hours not used working or going to school. With such a commitment, it’s a true passion for the art of dance and the joy it brings Trail Blazers fans that keeps BlazerDancers returning year after year.
This rings especially true with Taren, who many Trail Blazers fans will remember by her curly mane of flowing hair and her brilliant smile. A BlazerDancer during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, Taren is auditioning again after taking a short break from the team. She spent the 2010-2011 season finishing her dance degree at Western Oregon University. And now, with her college chapter complete, the adrenaline rush felt when performing for 20,000 plus has her back again with hopes of becoming a part of the 2011-2012 BlazerDancers.
Though Taren has two seasons of being a BlazerDancer on her resume, because she wasn’t a member of the 2010-2011 squad she’s participating in the audition process from the beginning, just like every other rookie hopeful.
“It’s really hard starting from the beginning,” Taren said. “My second year I got to start at finals like all the other veterans. Having that extra day of dancing really wears on your body, mentally it wears you out, so it’s challenging.”
Even having experience, Taren—along with all the other veteran BlazerDancers—still battle nerves. They know that every year they have to fight for their right to rock the house on game nights.
“I’m nervous. I feel like a rookie. Because I’ve been there before I feel more pressure,” Taren said.
Pressure and nerves aside, Taren is prepared. During her year off at Western, she spent every day dancing. From ballet and hip hop, to jazz, modern and even hula, she lived her passion for the art everyday.
There’s a pull and a joy that’s part of human nature, garnering enjoyment from a hobby. Loving life a little bit more because of something that makes you smile. For many of us it’s the Trail Blazers. For Taren it’s dancing.
“I love to perform. Even going to take dance class this week to prep myself for this I felt so alive going to take dance class,” Taren said. “It’s what I love to do, and when you love to do something, when you’re passionate about it, it’s so worth it.”
“So that’s why I’m back, I just love to do this.”