Lindsay’s Vegas All-Star Diary
All-Star Saturday Night
February 17, 2007
Good morning Clipper Nation!
I woke up feeling wonderful at 10:30 this morning. Just sleeping in a little bit made today a world of difference. All the girls received a text from Tamara (our director for the All-Star Dance Team) saying that we needed to be down in the lobby 10 minutes early because our choreographer Laurie Anne Gibson was giving us some gifts. Apparently she has a new deal with Capezio, which is a huge dance wear brand, and the company decided to give us a bunch of cute dance clothes as a treat for all of our hard work.
After we got our gifts we went to the Thomas & Mack arena and started preparing for the All-Star Saturday Night events. We had last minute costume details, hair and make up and lunch, then took our team photo on the court before the event started.
We then had about an hour before we headed down to the event level to start the contests. Mary J. Blige performed and after the Dunk Contest the All-Star Dance Team took the court. It was a wonderful feeling. Courtside was pack with fun celebrities, including Queen Latifa, Eva Longoria, P.Diddy, Ciara, Usher, Magic Johnson, Chris Tucker, Tony Parker, Michael Jordan, and Shaq O’Neal to name a few.
When the performance was over we sat on the court and judged more contests for the remainder of the game. It was fun to finally be able to do one of the actual events that we’ve been preparing for all this time. The entire game we wore our own team identified jerseys that were personally made for us. Everywhere we walked people cheered for the team they loved. It was a nice connection with the fans and all the girls really enjoyed that element of the game.
Of course no day is this easy. After the game we had a rehearsal on the court for the individual conference routines that we will be performing tomorrow at the game. Again after an entire game of walking around in heals we had to practice wearing the boots full out until the dances looked clean enough to put on the court for the All-Star game. We left the arena, got back to the hotel and a couple of us just went out on the town for a few hours. Traffic here is insane! People are stuck in taxis on the strip for two hours just trying to get from one place to another. The clubs are packed and private parties are being held in parking lots with tents over them. The line to get out of hotels is just as bad; the Palms hotel had a DJ playing music for the people in line to get a taxi.
Tomorrow is the last day here and we all are very sad it’s coming to an end. Spending this much time together really makes you closer than you thought you’d be. I’m really going to miss a lot of these girls, but I have a feeling I’ll be seeing them real soon since my recruitment to live in L.A is getting easier and easier by the day!
The Celebrity Game
February 16, 2007
Good morning Clipper Nation!
Some of the girls woke up today at 7:15 to do The Best Damn Sports Show Period appearance. The rest of us were up at eight with more All Star Saturday Night tech rehearsal over at the Thomas & Mack arena. It was a beautiful morning so we were all very excited to get out of the hotel and breathe in some real air. Especially all the East Coast girls who are coming from a very cold climate.
After we did all of our setting, we headed over to the Mandalay Bay for the Celebrity All Star Game rehearsals. We had to set player intros and our routines, we had to have a quick bite to eat and then straight into hair and make up because we only had one hour now until the game started. Wardrobe was still sewing our costumes with seven minutes left before the game. Somehow we all managed to get our uniforms made, put on, and take pictures with less then five minutes to tip-off.
On the West Coast team we had, Bow Wow, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Kennedy, Nick Cannon, Reggie Bush, Jonathan Silverman, James Denton, Tony Potts (who won MVP), Wayne Newton, and Tamika Catchings. On the East Team there was, David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Nelly, Kevin Frazier, Donald Faison, Taye Diggs, Bobby Flay, Carrot Top, and Katie Smith. The West took it home winning 40-21.
We got to perform at halftime followed by an introduction to all 30 girls. I saw a great amount of Clippers jerseys out there, which was a great feeling of support! We performed in the fourth quarter as well and then we headed over to the Jam Session to sign autographs.
The Jam Session was very cool. It is basically an amusement park dedicated to basketball. It was in the convention center so it was huge. They had a gorgeous basketball hall of fame, and fun photo ops.
Around 7:00, when the Jam Session was over for us, we left to go to rehearsal again at the Thomas & Mack Arena. This time practicing all of our routines in our Boots and Stiletto heals. We are all exhausted and a little cranky so the people in charge are giving us a 12:00 in the afternoon call time! I can’t wait to sleep!
Making an Appearance
February 15, 2007
Hello Clipper Nation!
Somehow I feel well rested today. Lies, I feel somewhat awake, which is just as unusual. At least I wasn’t on the 4:45 am call time for a TV appearance for KTNV morning news. I got lucky and I was able to sleep until 7 in the morning for the Southwest appearance (they’re one of our big sponsors). We had to be at the airport for a terminal signing.
Southwest decorated all of the planes coming from East Coast to Las Vegas with All-Star NBA decals on it. We got to hangout in the terminals and pass out autographs and peanuts to the people waiting to board a flight. We also got to welcome travelers to Vegas, and the best part was some girls got to wave in the planes on the tarmac! Kim and Courtney (Spurs and Celtics) rode the baggage claim conveyor belt and handled luggage with some retired basketball players while the passengers on the plane waved and took pictures while taxing.
Meanwhile on the other side of town at the Mirage Hotel, the other girls were doing an appearance at the Carnegie Deli where the restaurant named a sandwich after the first ever All-Star Dance team! The girls said it was the size of their heads and long enough to feed their entire basketball team with one sandwich (see nba.com for pictures of the sandwich).
After the appearances we grabbed some lunch and at 2:00 pm went back to the hotel ballroom and finished up some dances that needed endings and had some more fittings. We left for the Thomas & Mack Arena at six. We ate dinner there and got right to work.
We had the All Star Saturday Night Tech Rehearsal with the NBAE and did a run through of the entire Saturday night line up. When we were finished with rehearsal, Courtney (Boston), Melissa (Trailblazers), and myself were able to find the one Tanning salon in Vegas that was open until 1 am! And I found my new friends!
February 14, 2007
Happy Valentine’s Day Clipper Nation!
My day started at seven in the morning with flowers from the Los Angeles Clippers family wishing me good luck for the week. It was just what I needed to start my crazy day, well, that and a coffee with an extra shot of espresso and a side of red bull.
We broke up into eastern and western conferences at rehearsal and started to learn our routines. East coast has a Jay-Z / Nelly Furtado mix, while West coast rocks it out to a Jet and Lenny Kravitz combo. All the choreography is a little bit more risqué compared to the usual NBA routines you’re used to seeing on any court in any city. Which really just means we shake and pop more than any other dance.
Our Caterer brought us chocolate hearts and valentine candy; there was a giant fluffy cupid mascot that gave us kisses too.
At this point all the dancers are living off of red bull, rock stars, vitamin energy water, and anything that is helping us through the day! We’re dancing hard and crashing harder. We’re napping on our 5-minute water breaks, and even just leaning against the wall and drifting off! We finished 3 out of the four routines and now we just have one more to learn. It’s now 9 O’clock and we are first headed over to the Thomas & Mack Arena for a three-hour blocking rehearsal.
Everyone was busy at work turning UNLV’s court into a Las Vegas themed extravaganza. It looks amazing! Everything is pink and extremely flamboyant. The press tables all have computers with team logo jerseys on them. I’m such a computer nerd so this was fascinating for me to see. Lame, I know, but that’s me!
The day is coming to an end and I can definitely say that the hardest day is done. With 17 hours (minus breaks for lunch and dinner) under our belts, the rest should be a piece of cake. When you hear people say “there is no time in Vegas” I now know exactly what they mean. Good thing there are no clocks, it’s the one thing saving me from knowing how long I worked before I realize it’s time for bed again.
Practice Makes Perfect
February 13, 2007
Hello Clipper Nation!
My day started at 4:30 am today. Heather from the Denver Nuggets, Gina from the Phoenix Suns, Sally from the Timberwolves, Jamie from Utah Jazz, and Erica from Memphis had an appearance for NBC 3 morning news. We danced around a little bit while the weatherman interviewed us (it was as awkward as it sounds!) We returned from the News station and went straight to our first practice.
We started practice at nine in the morning with a warm up/ breakfast/ and fitting all in one. Our costumes are going to be really cute. We have Jersey dresses with our own teams on them for when we dance with all 30 of us and we have eastern and western little outfits for the actual All-Star game night. We are performing in five inch heels and black stiletto boots; we get to keep them when we are done so I’m just fine with that idea!
Laurie Anne Gibson – the choreographer – started rehearsal with our “opening “ number. Unlike most choreographers that teach the Spirit, she makes up everything on the spot. She had her assistant Manwhey with her so for the first hour they just played with some movement by feeling the music. It took about 4 hours to get half way through a minute and 20-second dance. She stopped to talk about astrology and get to know us a little bit more. She loved that I was a Virgo but even more the fact that I care about astrology. She said she could feel my L.A energy. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing but out of 30 amazing girls she was taking notice of me!
I found myself during practice becoming very close with everyone on the Eastern Conference first. I already knew Courtney from Boston. Jackie from the Nets picked up my sarcasm right away. Sarah from New York had worked with Chellana on the Clippers when they danced for the Patriots in Massachusetts, so we had a common friend. Katherine from Miami and I were partners together in a routine so we had each other to talk to for the first 9 hours of chaos. It was hard remembering everyone’s names; all of us just gave up the first day and now call each other by our cities. Since Los Angeles has two teams they call Jessica LG and me Little Clip. We all swap stories of how things happen on our teams, like rehearsals, and court time before games.
After the first routine was finished we had an hour for dinner then three more hours of learning our conference routines before we could shower and go to bed. It’s now 2 am and I’ve been up since 3am, it’s time for bed but I only have a good 3 hours until our brutally long rehearsal tomorrow where we have to fit 4 more routines into 1 day. We’ll see what happens…bye for now!
February 12, 2007
Greetings from Las Vegas!
The excitement and reality of this trip didn’t really hit me until I actually landed in Las Vegas. The entire city is covered in All-star décor. Every taxi, every billboard, and even top to bottom hotel covers with All-Stars logos on it. The statue of Liberty draped in an Eastern jersey and the opposite side of the street is the MGM Lion proudly wearing the Western Conference.
I started to get a little nervous. My itinerary of a jam-packed schedule flashed in my head. Meanwhile I’m trying to memorize all of the key points and sponsors of all the different games we are dancing at. It may sound easy but in actuality it’s a lot of pressure!
I checked into the hotel where I met my roommate, the lovely Amanda from the Indiana Pacers. Everyone was picked at random, but we are all rooming with a member of a different conference. I have nothing against the Pacers so this match up was just fine with me!
Amanda and I instantly clicked, but now it’s time to meet the other girls in a "Meet & Greet" where the Mayor took pictures with us and the LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitor Authorities – Who are our sponsors) presented us with very nice words and gifts.
All the girls were pretty much shy at first but as soon as our choreographer, Laurie Anne Gibson (who is famous for choreographing for P.Diddy & MTV’s Making the Band 3), came flocking through the room, it pretty much broke the ice for us, and our personalities started to slowly but surely come out.
It’s a crazy demographic if you think about it. You have the big coastal girls such as Knicks, Heat, New Jersey, Clippers and Lakers… All who are outgoing for the most part. Then you have Utah, the Texas teams, and more Midwest teams that seem very quiet. I think I probably scared most of these girls right out of the gate with my loud personality, but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s 9-hour rehearsal to really start to bond with these girls. It’s going to be a wonderful week.