Laker Girls sponsored by Carl's Jr.

Laker Girls Season Preview

Laker Girls Melissa and Julie offer a preview of the 2011-12 season.

To preview the 2011-12 season for the Laker Girls, we enlisted veteran Melissa, a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton, and rookie Julie, who owns a masters degree in public health from USC.

Q: On the reasons for excitement heading into the season:
Melissa: I feel almost more excited coming into the season than I did as a rookie because I know what to expect and look forward to, and because since there hasn't been a season to this point, it makes it more special in a sense. I can't wait to be in that atmosphere again, getting the fans hyped, and feeling all that energy in STAPLES Center.
Julie: It's actually been really cool because we had the excitement from making the team and doing all the great stuff in the community over the summer and into the fall, and now we get another round of excitement for the season coming up, getting into STAPLES Center and feeling all that energy from Lakers fans. It's almost like making the team again.

Q: On how the veterans have welcomed the rookies:
Julie: They've been absolutely amazing. I've never once felt like I was any less of a dancer or anything, but just welcomed and included.

Q: On the abrupt ending to last season:
Melissa: There was a little bit of a bitter taste, but we were told to dance as if Game 2 against Dallas was our last game, so we all tried to take it in like that. We were still very surprised that we weren't going to move on in the playoffs, but it was still a great experience being a Laker Girl for the season.

Q: On their respective favorite routines of the nine thus far learned:
Julie: I do really like "Proud Mary." It's a routine that the Laker Girls have done for years, something that I've always wanted to do. That's what the Laker Girl do as far as I was concerned, wear scrunchy sucks and dance to "Proud Mary," so it's really exciting to be apart of that.
Melissa: I really like "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce. It's funky, stylized and gets the crowd energized.

Q: On what people might not know about the Laker Girls:
Melissa: It's really a lot of hard work. We practice twice a week for three hours each time, and adding in the games, community and promotional events, it makes for a busy season. But we love what we're doing and are passionate about representing the organization.
Julie: It was really terrific to start with the D-Fenders games, and get our feet wet in a sense. Knowing how that team works, performing at their games has really helped integrate everything in advance of Lakers games.

Q:On all of the outfits for which they're responsible:
Melissa: We usually bring four or five outfits, depending also on our sponsors like Carl's Jr. and Verizon on a given night. We get e-mails that tell us what to bring, and we try not to forget … I haven't forgotten one myself just yet.
Julie: As a rookie, I double and triple check everything, from uniforms in my bag and everything, and make sure to always show up early. Always on time, always ready.

Q: On their workout routines to stay in great shape:
Julie: We all have different ranges of what works for our bodies. There are lots of cardio bar type workouts, pilates, yoga, cardio-based running and even some weight lifting. Just whatever works best for you.

Q: On what they try to eat:
Melissa: Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. At games, sometimes it's good to have a quick energy boost from something like a Cliff Bar or an energy bar. I like smoothies a lot as well with some protein.
Julie: Really just eating as much natural food as you can, trying to stay away from preservatives and artificial sweeteners; trying to cook as much as you can to control your portions and what you're intaking is key as well.