Welcome rookie BlazerDancer Erika!
Classically trained, Erika’s dance history began with an eight-year education at Ballet West Conservatory. The school trained young dancers to be a part of the Ballet West Company in Salt Lake City, her hometown.
Ballet West afforded Erika the opportunity to dance in some large productions for the company. “The largest ones that I did was Midsummer Night’s Dream, that was a huge production,” she said. “And The Nutcracker, I did The Nutcracker for three years running with them.”
Erika also danced outside the ballet world before her family moved to Portland. “I did folk dancing for a long time and did Oktoberfest in Salt Lake, my family is German so my mom was really eager to get me into something that was culturally related to our family.”
An Oregon City High School alum, Erika saw dancing in the Rose Garden with the BlazerDancers as her next big stage. On her journey to making the team she spent two years dancing with the Winterhawks Rosebuds and a stop in Los Angeles to dance with top choreographers on the TV show “Mobbed.”
Now, as an official BlazerDancer, Erika credits her success to hours of practice and all of the fellow dancers who supported her. “I had a lot of friends who were in the audition process this year,” she said. “I don’t think there was a day in that week before finals we weren’t practicing, so that was different. The first year I didn’t know a single person and went at it entirely on my own. The girls are a great support system.”
With three auditions under her belt and a coveted spot on the team Erika gets to look forward to the season, a thrill she describes as exciting at every turn.
“I’m excited to see the upper bowl of the Rose Garden open. With Winterhawks they don’t open the upper bowl so we have that much more audience to dance for which is really exciting,” Erika said. “And it’s a lot more intimate of a dance environment because you’re right there, courtside is right there!
“The Trail Blazers have such a mark on Portland, it’s such a familiar franchise that you have to live under a rock not to know who the Trail Blazers are so the opportunities are getting larger and I’m excited for that because of everything that we did for Rosebuds my favorite had to be on the charity events side and the promotional events, getting out into the public and spreading the word. I’m excited!”
Meet BlazerDancer JennaLea
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