Cohen: Wide Range of Training for Magic Dancers

By Josh Cohen
August 23, 2011

ORLANDO -- When a timeout is called on the court and a sizzling dance performance is required to enliven the crowd, the Orlando Magic Dancers will be grateful they spent excess time heightening their fitness with countless push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers and other strenuous and rigorous physical exercises.

The 20 dazzling dancers will be just as appreciative they spent time performing hypothetical skits to help prepare them for random appearance challenges.

While it’s obvious that any dance team will spend significant time rehearsing routines, it’s not nearly as evident they will cope with exhaustion from Adult Conditioning classes or complex communication training.

On Tuesday night – a couple of weeks after dance practices began – the Magic Dancers got an enormous dose of physical training as well as the opportunity to learn how to handle rather intricate situations.

With sweat incessantly dripping down from each determined dancer onto a football-like turf surface at the RDV Sportsplex, it was noticeable that despite it being difficult it was exceptionally rewarding.

Each entertainer is aware that being in top-notch physical shape leads to far greater success as a dancer and it’s a message that Manager Jeanine Klem-Thomas will continue to relay to her team throughout the year.

Just as essential, the dancers are becoming more informed about how to best relate to the media and fans.

After receiving a tutorial from the Magic’s Communications Department and Klem-Thomas about best practices when asked convoluted questions or when dealing with knotty circumstances, the dancers got the opportunity to act out what to do and what not to do.

Rather than just read through outlined material – which can certainly be monotonous and as a result less effective – the dancers performed parodies on all sorts of situations.

After being split into five different groups, the teams pretended they were in the middle of a dilemma. They, then, demonstrated the best way of resolving the problem, worst way and an indifferent way.

Some of the predicaments included what to do if a dancer sees inappropriate pictures on any of their teammates’ Facebook pages or if a group of fans run up for a photo or autograph after their appearance session has ended.

While funny in the way each person acted out her part, the dancers completely understand how serious all of these situations are. By preparing now, they are all well educated on best practices in case any come up.

In addition to the goal of becoming the best dance team in the NBA, these 20 entertainers also desire to be great ambassadors for the Magic and their community. With practices like this, there is no doubt they are on their way to accomplishing just that.