Michelle’s Dancer Diary
July 8, 2008 - The End
A diary entry can't adequately describe the whirlwind that has been the past couple weeks. I started writing this entry the evening after the parade, but I had to shelf it for some time because everything seemed surreal and I needed to take it all in. In less than a week, emotions fluxed from high to low and back again; and though I did manage to sleep, I feel like just yesterday we were hearing Midnight Train to Georgia blaring in the arena.
Despite the short break, I'm still not convinced that what I've been a part of has truly sunk in. Don't get me wrong, I realize the gravity of all that is going on, but I'm still on Cloud 20. I need to come down to Cloud 17 before it all hits home. I realized something at that parade, as we dance partied our way through the crowds atop a flatbed truck: This is home. I've never felt so overwhelmed with pride for anywhere I've lived or any organization of which I've been a part. The way that you all filled the streets from Causeway Street to Copley Square made me understand what it means to bleed green. It's not just the basketball team that holds this title -- it's all of Boston.
June 16, 2008 - NBA Finals - Celtics Dancers vs. Laker Girls
After returning from my trek out to Los Angeles, I'm feeling somewhat in a daze. Jet-lagged and grateful for whoever invented the triple latte, I'm trying to recap my NBA Finals experience thus far.
The media frenzy started before Game 1, not only focusing on the players but even on the Celtics Dancers vs. Laker Girls match-ups. I find it unique that not only are we pairing the two teams of, arguably, the most intense rivalry in sports history, but also two teams with significant gamenight components -- the first and last dance teams in the NBA.
May 22, 2008 - She's Got a Ticket to Playoff Ride
People know me.
No, my apartment doesn't smell of rich mahogany, and I don't have many leather-bound books; but I do go to the same place for lunch four out of five days a work week.
They've got me pretty well figured out there, too. While they may not know that a few nights a week I'm out on the parquet busting a move to classics like Welcome to the Jungle and Give It Away, they do know the essentials--my name is Michelle and I have an unhealthy obsession with Greek salad.
Given the frequency with which I am there, it's not unusual for one of the managers to strike up a conversation with me while I place my order. When I went in the other day, decked out in business suit and C's playoff jacket, I was asked if I was going to the game that night. I smiled and responded, "Sure am!" and as I walked away I realized that my "ticket" to the game would be the envy of many a Bostonian, if only they knew.
April 10, 2008 - A Record-Setting Year
With the Celtics exceeding 60 wins, I got to thinking: As a Celtics Dancer, what have I done 60 times this season?
This was a more difficult question than I anticipated. Despite what seems like a great deal of repetition (game-practice-game-practice-appearance-practice-game), there's actually a good deal of diversity in what we do that keeps things moving.
I gave it some thought, and here is my short list:
March 11, 2008 - Getting To Know Each Other
One of the best parts of the season is getting to know your teammates--quirks and all. Over the past year or so, I've been learning a great deal about these girls, and they've taught me a thing or two about life on and off the court.
I arrived to the Celtics Dancers as a relatively shy girl--soft spoken, yet with an extremely sarcastic sense of humor. Interesting side note: I also had very long, very curly hair, no major clue on how to do my makeup, and while I wasn't out of shape, I certainly wasn't in Celtics Dancers shape either. I like to call this "pre-Celtics me."
That said, I arrived at Logan around 5 a.m. one day in August of 2006 to fly out to California with our inaugural team. Some girls were dressed in professional attire (at five in the morning, Ali?!), some in jeans. I think I opted for a skirt.
February 5, 2008 - Wardrobe Malfunction
I've been having so many issues with my costumes this season, I feel compelled to provide somewhat of a rant, which I'd like to think will give you a deeper insight into the stresses of being a Celtics Dancer.
This is wicked deep stuff right here. Get ready, folks.
Keeping my costumes clean may be the death of me. Granted, I'm no laundry guru, and I relied heavily on the drop off service in Andrew Square last year; but I'd like to think somewhere in me is that feminine "I can do laundry" gene. You know, sandwiched between the "I make a mean French toast" gene and "I change my clothes five times before I leave in the morning." But no matter how many times Alison explains to me the exact process that will keep each uniform in tip-top condition, I still end up with green dye bleeding into white fabric and bronzing powder that I swear is not water soluble.
January 18, 2008 - Street Smarts and Pig Roasts
Western Massachusetts is a whole different world than Boston. I grew up in Western Mass, but sometimes I forget the cultural differences, until I find myself at a pig roast on an alpaca farm in December.
Immediate reaction from most of the city-dwelling Celtics Dancers: "People actually do that?!"
Second reaction: "What's an alpaca?"
January 7, 2008 - The Photo Shoot
After a hectic Friday at the office, I ran out the door to go overload on makeup and hair spray. No, it wasn't a game night; rather, I was off to our group photo shoot.
In addition to my usual schedule, the few weeks before the photo shoot looked a little like this: making salon appointments, tanning, a few extra crunches and a few less hamburgers. In the end, though, all I could hope for was a good hair day and one click of the camera where no eyes were closed.
Of those hopes, I managed one out of two. My hair and I were at a standoff -- it was doing this funky flip in the back that made me feel like Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. Luckily the final picture is taken from above and I don't think it's too noticeable. At least all of our eyes are open.
December 20, 2007 - Christmas Wish List
I wanted to write you a letter this year, but I couldn't think of what to ask for from you. Thankfully, I got some help from the girls, and well, we have a great deal to ask of you; but don't worry, I know you can come through for us--after all, you're Santa Claus!
To start, Stacy would like a 2008 Acura TL, black on black and fully loaded. Oh, and a mansion with a bowling alley, too!
Cherie's request is a little simpler. She would like a day at the spa--and for her student loans to be paid off.
December 13, 2007 - Signs of the Season
Everywhere I look, there's a girl wearing Uggs. My teammates live in them. I will wear stilettos 'til I die and am determined to be buried in a pair of Jimmy Choos.
Seeing those Eskimo-inspired boots on a daily basis does, however, bring back memories. In college, I didn't need a thermometer. I had a foolproof method of predicting the first snow: freshman girls walking to class in Uggs and denim miniskirts. Don't get me wrong, I hear Uggs are a fairly warm choice for wintry weather, but miniskirts? Ladies, it's winter in New England, and you're on a campus that doubles as a cow farm.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), this method of predicting snowfall is fairly irrelevant in Boston. Perhaps Boston's college students are a little less quirky, or perhaps it's because I don't live near any of the colleges. Either way, I've resorted to watching the Weather Channel. No worries, though, I've found other ways to amuse myself (I know you were worried). I've instead turned my focus toward discovering the clue-ins that the holidays are fast approaching in Boston, and this is what I've found:
#1: Horse and carriage rides through the Common. Adorable, romantic, classic... freezing! (California girls be warned) After those first few minutes, cold sets in and I can't help but feel bad every time I see a woman wrapped up like a mummy in a blanket, while her date looks on with confusion, wondering if her shivering will negate any brownie points a carriage ride might otherwise earn.
December 6, 2007 - Introducing Michelle...
What a season to be a part of the Boston Celtics franchise!
Let me start by introducing myself. I'm Michelle (yes, you probably guessed this already), and this is my second year with the Celtics Dancers. I grew up in Massachusetts, but before last year had never been to a Celtics game. And here's what I discovered last season--Celtics fans give all other fans a run for their money. Not only are they devoted, but they're Bostonians, and what better breed is there?
With fans, of course, come questions. There are a number of questions that, being a Celtics Dancer, I get asked quite frequently. Some of the perhaps less original questions have come to include, "How old are you," "Are you on MySpace," and "What's you're sign?"
To those who ask our age, I have to believe that your mother taught you better than to ask a woman her age. To those who ask about MySpace--this may be the new age "What's your sign"--no, I'm not; the news articles scared me off. And, yes, my apologies to the gentleman who thought he was being refreshingly witty by asking me my sign; you're actually not the first person to ask.