Pacemates Blog

Jessica R's Blog
July 15, 2008


On to the second night!

Twenty of us made it through the first tiring day of auditions. It feels like forever since I’ve last danced. I woke up this morning, my body was sore, I was worn out but excited for what the next round of auditions would bring.

Yesterday was just like any other day for me. I woke up, went to work, ate lunch…you know, the daily routine. I wasn’t nervous at all until I walked through the doors of Conseco Fieldhouse…and it hit me. I was anxious, nervous, but so excited to be back (After all, it was pretty much my second home last year).

While standing in line to register before anything started, my nerves were starting to get the best of me. Thoughts were running through my head…I hope I don’t mess up. Am I going to make it to the second night of auditions? What are the routines going to be like?

It was one thought after another. Thank goodness for all of my friends from the team last year! Just talking to them and knowing that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way put me at ease.

The night started out with us learning a short four 8-count routine to “When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls. It was really a cute routine and hard not to imagine myself already dancing at a Pacers game! Before I knew it we were auditioning, in groups of four, in front of the judges. There is just something about being on that floor. My adrenaline was pumping, and I had no choice but to just bust it out and do the best I could.

It was time for the first round of cuts. I’m sitting there practically holding my breath as the numbers of those that are staying for the second round are being announced. Once I heard my number, my body instantly relaxed. I was on to another round!

We began learning another routine. It was a jazz routine -- about 45 seconds long -- to
“Knock On Wood” by Amii Stewart. Wow! The routine was so much fun. Fast and up beat… definitely the style of the Pacemates.

When it was time to perform in front of the judges, we were put into groups of three. Talk about having the jitters. I was shaking but really excited and felt pretty confident about the routine. While I waited for my group to go I had the opportunity to watch other girls perform. Let me tell you, there were some very talented girls out there. Great job!

Before the second round of cuts was made, some of the girls were asked to perform again but this time in a group (6-9 girls). I was in one of those groups! It was almost like being at a game.

The first day of auditions was coming to a close and I could feel the anticipation in the air. Again, I held my breath until my number was called.

It might sound silly, but dance is what I do. If you are a dancer and reading this, you know what I’m talking about.

I started hearing the numbers of my friends from the team last year, and then I heard my number. I was so excited! Another night…I get to come back!

So today, here I am, going about my regular daily routine again, which helps me not be nervous. But when tonight comes and I walk through those doors at Conseco Fieldhouse the nerves will start and I will do all that I can to do my best.

Last year was such an amazing experience for me. Making kids smile at Riley Hospital just because you came to see them, photo shoots, performing in front of 1,000s of fans, and meeting so many great ladies. Plus, half way through the year Aminda, who is from Ohio, and I realized we could carpool. We meet in my hometown of Richmond and drive together to Indy. The company is great and we even practice on the way!

I hope to continue on to another year and have the opportunity to share the experience with others who love to dance as much as I do. Good luck tonight! I wish everyone the best of luck!

Editor’s Note: You can vote for Jessica as well as other candidates by clicking here. Voting ends Friday!


Pacemate hopeful Jessica P's Blog
July 15, 2008


Wow! It’s Tuesday and I barely slept all night because I was so excited... I made it to the top 20 girls!

I was nervous when I first got to Conseco Fieldhouse, but knowing I had gone to the clinic gave me a little more confidence. It was nice to see a few familiar faces, and it made me feel a lot better that I had already met the coach, Michelle, there. I stretched with a few girls I had met at the clinic, and we stood by each other as we learned the first routine.

This routine was about four 8-counts and was cute and easy to learn quickly. I was surprised by how soon we had to perform it in front of the judges, but I was confident that I was ready. We performed in groups of four, and after everyone was done Michelle announced who would be moving on to the next round.

About half of the girls stayed and I was one of them. We eagerly moved back onto the floor to learn our next routine. This one was a lot more challenging. It had a double, high kick, and straight leap, and was a lot faster than the previous routine. I was glad that the style had the same sass as the dance I learned at the clinic, so again this gave me some confidence. The dance was a lot harder to learn and execute than I was expecting, so every little bit of confidence helped.

We learned the routine at a fast pace, and I began to get tired, but I still tried to do it full-out every time we practiced. I wanted to make sure I was putting in my all, and I knew the judges were watching us even when we were only practicing.

When it was my turn to perform for the judges, I was terrified that my mind would blank and I would forget the routine I had just learned. I was the first group to perform, so I didn’t have very much time to go over it in my head and that really scared me. I did my best and ended up nailing it perfectly; I was so relieved!

I was nervous when they made the second cut, but it was the best feeling to hear my number called as one of the final 20. We all gathered around the floor, and Michelle told us what Day 2 would be like. We would perform the same routine we had just learned, along with a new hip hop dance. We filled out bios and took some photos for Pacers.com, and she explained how fans like you would determine a part our final score via online voting.

This is my dream to be a member of the Pacemates and I feel like I am so close! Please help make my dream come true and vote for me! :)

Editor’s Note: You can vote for Jessica as well as other candidates by clicking here. Voting ends Friday!


Pacemate hopeful Jessica P's Blog
July 13, 2008


Pacemates offer opportunity

Dance has always been an important part of my life. Like most dancers, I started at the young age of three, and danced competitively all the way up through high school. I was passionate about performing, especially in front of large crowds.

When I started my freshmen year at the University of Iowa, I decided not to try out for the dance team. I wanted at least one year off to rest and see what life outside of dance was like. I really missed performing, but at the same time I knew I didn’t want to compete anymore. I thought my dancing career was over, and I was crushed.

When I realized I wanted to transfer to Indiana State for my second year, an exciting thought occurred to me: I could dance for the Indiana Pacers! I loved performing at basketball games in high school; the energy of the crowd always made me excited and it had been a dream of mine to dance for a professional team. I had thought that dream was out of reach until now.

I immediately went to Pacers.com and researched the Pacemates. My excitement grew as I realized that a lot of the girls were my age and able to balance school along with dancing. I watched some of their routines online and fell in love with their dance style, along with their cute costumes. The thought of being a member of the Pacemates made my heart race and I knew it was what I wanted to do. I mailed in an application, and planned a trip to attend the pre-audition clinic on July 1.

I wanted to be in top shape for tryouts as well as the clinic. I stretched, lifted weights and ran on my treadmill five to six days a week. Luckily, I have a room in my basement with a dance floor and big mirror so I was also able to dance and practice my technique I hadn’t used in a while. I was confident in my ability, but I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to better my chances of making the Pacemates.

When the clinic rolled around I was nervous, excited and a little terrified. I knew it was only a workshop, but I treated it as though it was a mini-tryout. I showed up 15 minutes early and already there was a group of girls waiting for the clinic to begin. All of the girls were gorgeous, and I felt a little intimidated as I signed up for registration.

We started warming up with stretches and floor routines, and I began to feel a little more comfortable. I had been working hard all summer and I hoped that it would show.

We learned a minute long routine that was full of sass and hair flips. The moves were fast and I had never danced that style, but I loved it and caught on quickly. At the end of the clinic, the coach of the Pacemates and one former member answered all of our questions. They explained what the actual tryouts would be like, and what the year would be like if we made it. I couldn’t help but imagine how different my life would be if I made it, and how amazing of an experience it would be. I left the clinic excited and with a new energy to keep working hard for the tryouts.

Tryouts are now less than a week away, and, although I’m nervous, I feel confident I am ready. What’s important is that I do my best and feel good about my audition, and hopefully I will stand out to the judges. If I end up not making it I will be a little disappointed, but I’ll be happy with myself for trying it out and pursuing my dream. All I can do now is to wait for Monday and see what happens!


Pacemates offer opportunity

Pacemate Michelle's Blog
July 11, 2008


Coaching Pacemates a dream come true

I am beside myself as I write this blog…this is a dream come true for me. My name is Michelle Bowyer and I am the new Indiana Pacemates choreographer/coordinator (I can’t believe I am actually typing my name and that title in the same sentence)! I was a member of the Pacemates for seven seasons and now have the honor of coaching the team.

Being a member of the Pacemates has been the best part of my 20s and an honor few dancers are able to achieve. I remember auditioning and thinking my dancing career would be over if I didn’t make this team. Like many of you reading this, dance has always been a part of my life -- even throughout college. I was a member of the Code Red Dance Team at Ball State University and coached them for six years after college.

My life wouldn’t be the same without dance. It’s in my blood! So of course I was ecstatic when my name was listed as a member of the 2001-2002 Pacemates (I’m on the bottom row second from the right)! I was, again, beside myself!

The way I felt the first time I made the Pacemates has not diminished. So many unbelievable opportunities have come my way just because I was a part of this team. I have modeled, done promotional events for Pacers Sports & Entertainment and learned routines from famed choreographers Shane Sparks, Tabitha & Napoleon D’Umo, and Chris Judd .

I traveled to many exciting places like Las Vegas, Miami, Palm Springs (to attend ProDance), Seattle, Ft. Hood, TX., London, Iceland, Norway, Bosnia and Kosovo (just to name a few!). I also had the opportunity to perform for the American troops at the AFE Tour.

I can’t forget to mention the rush you feel when you are out on the court in Conseco Fieldhouse with thousands of fans watching you. There is nothing like the feeling of performing. If you’re a dancer, then you know what I’m talking about.

The last seven years have been a whirlwind. It has been the time in my life that I wouldn’t trade for the world and that I will never forget.

Just as I was excited for auditions seven years ago, I am equally excited to be on the other side this season. I really like the audition routines that we choreographed (former Pacemate Mallori is going to help teach) and I can’t wait to see all of the candidates perform. Auditions are always nerve-wracking, but just remember that everyone is just as nervous as the next girl. Remember to smile, be confident and have fun! I look forward to seeing all of you dance your hearts out!


Pacemate Jessica's Blog
July 10, 2008


Pacemates audition tough but worthwhile

It’s so hard to believe one year of Pacemates is already over and tryouts are just around the corner. I’m so excited! :) Since I’ve been through tryouts once and know what to expect, I’m more nervous this year than last. It is so much fun, I can’t believe how much I would have missed had I not tried out last year.

Even though I drive an hour and 15 minutes for every rehearsal, game and appearance, it has been totally worth it! The friendships I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had and the confidence I’ve developed are all because of Pacemates.

If you’re reading this and wondering if you should tryout for Pacemates -- I highly recommend you do (click here for the application). You can’t sit and let life pass you by because you are afraid you might fail. The only way to fail is not to try! Sure, it’s a lot of hard work with a giant time commitment that sometimes consumes your life, but looking back, every moment has been worth it! I can’t wait to see everyone on Monday for tryouts. Be sure to smile big, have fun and put your all into it! It will be an experience you won’t forget! :)