Jaclyn’s Las Vegas All Star
Well it’s Wednesday and I'm finally home from Vegas! I should be dancing at the Nets game tonight, but my flight got pushed back until yesterday afternoon, so I had to miss practice last night. I miss the ladies and can’t wait to see them!
So to recap…. I arrived in Las Vegas at midnight on Monday the 12th (Vegas time). It took me 17 hours to get there because of the weather. When I arrived, my roommate Sally from the Timberwolves was already asleep, because she had to wake up at 3:30am for a 5:00am appearance. Sadly, I missed our initial meeting with the mayor of Las Vegas due to all the travel issues, but I jumped into bed excited to meet all the ladies for our early rehearsal the next day.
Tuesday morning I woke up at 6:00am ready to dance. Sally came back from her appearance at around 7:00am so I finally got to meet her and Lindsay from the Clippers stopped by to welcome me as well. I loved them immediately! We grabbed some coffee downstairs and headed over to The Orleans Arena, which would soon feel like our new home. We had costume fittings and I met Laurie Ann Gibson (our choreographer, well known from MTV's show Making the Band). I was thrilled to meet her, especially since she's from right across the river in NYC, and we also share the same agent! Not long after fittings, we jumped right into rehearsal which lasted until about 9:00pm.
Tues, Wed, and Thurs all seem to run together at this point. We had a lot of material to learn (6 routines!) and not a lot of time to learn it. We practiced in a ballroom at the Orleans arena with mirrors lying up against the walls. We rehearsed long hours, but we were excited to meet each other and I was surprised at how quickly I knew everyone's names and their respective teams. These women truly impressed me. They were sweet, articulate, and extremely beautiful and talented. Within a day I felt like I had made 30 new best friends.
Laurie Ann called us all her Muffins. Something to the effect of "Muffins! Let’s do that again! This little muffie over here still doesn’t have it and we can't leave a muffin behind." It was hilarious at first, and then it became quite endearing.
Wednesday morning before rehearsal I had an appearance with a few of the ladies at the Carnegie Deli at The Mirage. They had made a special sandwich and named it after us "the Las Vegas All Star Dance Team Vivacious Vegas Sandwich" (or something like that!) The sandwich weighed 4 pounds! There were a lot of cameras and film crews, and the owner of the NY Carnegie Deli sent us a special message (which made me really miss home). The deli appearance was on TV in Vegas in here on the East Coast as well, and you can find it online at the NBA website. Just look for the picture of me eating a sandwich as big as my head!
Friday we woke up early and headed over to the Thomas and Mack Arena to practice our line up for the Charles Barkley race on Saturday night. After that, we headed over to the Mandalay Bay to perform at the Celebrity Game, which was so much fun! I was even happier that everyone back home got to see it on TV (thanks ESPN!) It was an honor to take the court with all the ladies who were voted to be there. We had worked so hard up until that point, and performing for the first time as an All Star made it all worthwhile. They even introduced us individually after we danced, and I got a LOT of screams and cheers - the Nets had a lot of fans out there!
After the Celebrity Game, we went back to the Thomas and Mack Center for a late-night rehearsal. And on Saturday morning, I had to be back at Jam Session with a few of the other ladies for an autograph session. The autograph session was the first time I got to interact with the fans, and it made me feel great to know how happy they were to have us there and how excited they were to see us perform. I also got to see my parents, who flew into town for the weekend! They came to the autograph signing and even managed to score some tickets to All Star Saturday Night. I was thrilled that they got to see me dance, and it felt good to have some family in Vegas.
Saturday night I came down with the flu. I had a fever and the chills, and I was coughing and sneezing like crazy. I STILL loved performing in my cute little Nets jersey dress that they made just for me, and I made sure to take note of all the people I was dancing for - P.Diddy, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Adam Sandler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Ciara, Mya, Usher, James Denton, Eva Longoria, among others. The dunk contest was so much fun....I think I gave all the guys 10's. I mean really, how can you give them less?
Sunday morning I woke up fever-free, and though I still wasn’t feeling 100%, it was definitely an improvement. We got to the arena early and started preparations. Sunday consisted of pictures and exchanging phone numbers. Hair and makeup had their hands full trying to fit all 30 women in. When we were all ready we walked around the concourse before the game signing posters for fans. How exciting!! The fans LOVED the All-Star Dance Team and made it their mission to find the dancer from their favorite team. Throughout the concourse you could hear "Where's my Jersey girl?!" or "I'm from Dallas where's my Mavs dancer???" It was very sweet!
We danced 3 times at the All-Star Game. The East Coast did a routine, then the West Coast, and then we did one all together. I had the time of my life. I loved every single lady that I met. I miss them already, and I hope for the opportunity to dance with them again one day.
I loved that at the New York, New York hotel, the Statue of Liberty was wearing an East jersey! Sadly, the West won, but its ok...the dancers represented!
For now, I'm happy to be home. I feel like I haven’t seen the Nets play in ages and I miss my home court. I also miss my teammates, but I was honored to take part in the All-Star game and the first ever All-Star Dance Team. It's an experience I'll never forget!
The Record - Nets dancer A-listed for NBA All-Star game
Journal News - Pomona's Sabol is an All-Star dancer
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