Q & A with Vandana Patel

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Coordinator-Choreographer Vandana Patel and her globe-trotting Girls begin their whirlwind tour on
September 15.
The Cavalier Girls have been entertaining sell-out crowds at The Q for years and now they'll be taking their show on the road as they make two historic trips this fall. The first junket takes them to the Middle East -- Kuwait and Iraq -- to entertain the troops on a 12-day visit to various bases.

Immediately following their return, they'll head to Chengdu, China to participate in the NBA Jam Van event.

Cavalier Girls Coordinator-Choreographer, Vandana Patel, took a moment from preparing and packing to talk with Cavs.com about the upcoming whirlwind tour ...


cavs.com: You and the Girls will be in Iraq/Kuwait for 12 days. What will the Tour entail?
Vandana Patel: While we are on tour, we will be visiting over 20 military bases throughout different areas within Iraq. During each visit, we will meet/greet, sign autographs, take pictures with the soldiers and visit hospitals on site.

The dancers will also perform a 30-minute show featuring individual introductions of each dancer with vocal and dance performances.

cavs.com: Do you have any trepidations about security when traveling through Iraq?
VP: No, we have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the dancers and myself. During our entire tour we will be accompanied by a tour manager from Pro Sports MVP who has been going on these tours for the past 12 years.

In addition to our tour manager, the moment we land in Kuwait, and throughout the entire trip, we will be escorted by Military Police. The Military Police will escort us from base to base in vehicles such as the C-130 planes and Black Hawk helicopters...which the dance team and I are very excited to experience.

Making the trip to Iraq are - bottom row (l to r): Meggan, Kristen, Melody
back row (l to r) Rhema, Hayley, Jennelle, Bethany, Suzanne.
cavs.com: How were the dancers chosen? Was it a selection or volunteer situation?
VP: The dancers were grouped into two teams for each trip, both teams featuring a mixture of veterans and rookies who will best represent the Cavaliers organization.

Our Team Captains -- Suzanne and Kristen -- and new to the team, Hayley, will be a part of both tours.

cavs.com: And how were the Cavalier Girls chosen for the trip to Chengdu?
VP: The trip to Chengdu China is a part of the NBA Global Jam Van Tour. For several years the NBA has sent select dance teams to be a part of the festivities. This year we were one of the selected teams.

cavs.com: What will the itinerary be like in China?
VP: We will be in China for nine days, six of which will be appearance days. During our appearance days we will take part in the Jam Van festivities. The Jam Van festivities include a full basketball court set up with various interactive games and NBA team memorabilia. The Cavalier Girls will assist in activities such as the fan three point shoot outs and interactive games while also performing six times a day and holding dance clinics.

Making the trip to China are - back row (l to r): Danielle, Suzanne, Amanda
middle row (l to r) Katie, Hayley
front row (l to r) Mannikka, Kristen, Heather
During our days off, traveling with us will be our translator and driver who will guide us through sight-seeing tours of China as well as market shopping. In addition to sight-seeing and shopping the dancers and I are very excited to visit parts of Chengdu which are known for their panda bears.

We will have plenty of pictures to share!

cavs.com: You're taking the "Show Team" overseas. How is the "Show Team" different than the actual Cavalier Girls?
VP: The Show Team group consists of eight to ten Cavalier Girls. The group not only features talented dancers but showcases their other skills such as singing and tumbling. The dance styles performed by the group include Latin, hip-hop, tap, and character.

A few of the previous show team appearances were Minor League Baseball and Basketball half times, car shows and performing at the nationally televised Gravity Games.

The NFL gives their cheerleading teams this experience, and it is something we are doing for our dance team that allows the fans to see the Cavalier Girls on a different stage.