Meet The BlazerDancers: Kelly
BlazerDancer Kelly, the half Colombian stunner, has been twirling on her toes for almost her entire life. Born in Hermiston, Oregon, she began her dance journey taking tap and jazz classes at the young age of three. And if you attended any Trail Blazers games in the Rose Garden last year you know she hasn’t missed a beat since.
When Kelly was nine her family moved to Vancouver, Washington and the next step on her dance journey began. She added ballet to her ever-expanding repertoire and joined the Claudette Walker School of Dance.
“Claudette,” as many studio dancers call the school, opened up countless doors for Kelly and led to one of her most influential and exciting dance memories. Traveling halfway around the world with her studio crew—at the ripe old age of 12—Kelly embarked on a 2-week Grecian cruise dancing on the ship and different islands along the way. This experience invigorated Kelly who was able to share her passion for dance in a unique forum while abroad.
The next big step in Kelly’s dancing career was the Mountain View High School Dance Team. A 4-year member of the squad—and a captain her senior year—she was part of an elite group of dancers who garnered two state championships during her tenure.
Another interesting piece of Kelly’s high school adventure was her introduction to Performance Teams Manager Michelle Woodard, who choreographed and coached at Mountain View for three of the years Kelly was on the team.
“I grew up with Michelle in my dance career,” Kelly said. “Learning from her at Thunderbird [Dance Camp] as well as being coached by her since I was 15 years old.”
After graduation, Kelly’s love of dance kept her searching for a performance outlet. While attending Western Washington University she found it with the Bellingham Slam Dance Team, a group similar to the Vancouver Volcanoes who perform during IBL basketball games. She danced and choreographed for the Slam for four years.
Kelly returned to the Portland area after college and danced as a Rosebud for the Portland Winterhawks before realizing her dream to become a BlazerDancer. Earning her red and black pom-poms on her second audition opened up the door to what Kelly calls one of the best experiences of her life, being a BlazerDancer.
As a rookie last season Kelly strutted her stuff in the Rose Garden for the very first time on opening night against the Phoenix Suns. For many Trail Blazers fans this night also stands out in their memories. It was the night the Kabuki Curtain was dropped from the jumbotron like a giant projection screen and “I’m Not Afraid” became a Trail Blazers anthem. Kelly struggles to put that moment into words saying simply, “It was the best feeling ever.”
Over the last year Kelly has done her best to enjoy every second of being a BlazerDancer. For her, one of the most important parts of her experience is sharing her happiness with her family. Her parents and her sister Kacie—who she hopes will audition for the BlazerDancers next season—are her biggest fans.
“I try to live it up. I know I can’t do this forever and I want to cherish every moment,” Kelly said of her time as a Blazer Dancer.
Watch for Kelly’s lustrous brown hair and electric personality and you’ll be sure to share her passion as she turns, leaps and cheers for the Trail Blazers and fans from the Rose Garden floor.