Pacemates in Vegas with ProAction Dance

Pacemates Jessica and Tamara attend a professional dance convention with Coach Michelle

August 1, 2012

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View photos from their trip to Las Vegas

Blog #1: Coach Michelle

First of all, let me start by saying "thank you" to all of the fans who voted for the 2012-13 Indiana Pacemates candiates last week. This was by far the most talented, beautiful and charismatic group of ladies that we've had audition, so your votes helped me tremendously. This season is going to absolutely incredible!

Although auditions just ended last Thursday, we jumped right into gearing up for the upcoming season. I, with two of my veterans- Jessica & Tamara- hopped on a plane to Las Vegas on Saturday for ProAction Dance, a convention for professional dance teams. Teams from various sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, AFL, IHL (among others), come together to learn timeout routines from professional choreographers. Collectively, Jessica, Tamara and I learned 9 routines and we'll teach them to the rest of the team and perform them throughout the season.

My description of the convention is very elementary, but let me tell you, it's everything BUT that. ProAction Dance is one of the most amazing experiences an NBA dancer can have. The opportunity to go to a convention like this is usually given to veterans on the team, and I was lucky enough to go from 2003-2007 as a member of the Pacemates. Once I attended, my performance level was never the same again. When you are surrounded by such great dancers, it pushes you to be a better dancer and performer. Picture this: Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird & Reggie Miller playing on the same team at the height of their careers in an NBA championship game. THAT is what ProAction is to an NBA dancer. The elite, the best...it doesn't get any better than this!

Of course I miss performing on the court, but I'm so fortunate that I'm able to be the coach of this wonderful team and be a part of all of it from a different view. I am always proud of my girls, but watching Jessica and Tamara perform at ProAction this weekend was one of the highlights thus far. They really represented their teammates, the Pacers franchise and our city well this weekend and I couldn't be more proud of them.

July brought audition clinics, auditions, and ProAction. August promises just as much activity for the Pacemates- team meetings, Salon 01 appointments, spray tanning at Sun Tan City, uniform fittings, photo shoots, an overseas trip. Don't worry...we'll keep you updated!!!

MEET YOUR 2012-13 INDIANA PACEMATES »
Veterans Jessica and Tamara are joined by 12 other talented dancers

Blog #2: Pacemate Jessica

What a difference a year makes! Last summer was the first time I had the privilege of experiencing ProAction Dance as an Indiana Pacemate. Being my first time, I was amazed at all it had to offer. Not only was it my first time in Las Vegas (don’t let that fool you…we were working hard nearly the entire time!), it was my first time learning from amazing, professional choreographers and dancing with pro and college teams from around the world. I was challenged to learn quickly, dance harder, and perform bigger than I ever had before. By the end of the trip I was exhausted, ready to teach what I had learned to the rest of the team, and excited to start the season!

Pacemate Jessica at ProAction Dance in Las Vegas

Heading to ProAction for the second time, I was prepared for what was ahead. I expected to be sore, exhausted, and challenged yet again. What I didn’t expect was the amount of talent, increase in attendance, “bigger than life” performance level, or how unbelievably great all the routines would be. I knew I would have another unforgettable year at ProAction but I was absolutely blown away by everything this year! I even had the privilege of dancing with fellow NBA dancers from the Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trailblazers. Wow! What a talented and beautiful group of women the NBA has dancing for and representing them. In my eyes, it couldn’t get much better. One of the highlights of the trip was having my teammate, Tamara, join me. What an amazing dancer, performer, and teammate she is. I’m so happy that she and I were able to experience ProAction together.

Each year I try to push myself harder and improve upon something from the year before. Whether it’s learning more difficult choreography, dancing harder, performing bigger, or striving to continually become a stronger leader for the team, I do my best to make it happen. This past weekend I grew even more as a dancer and performer. I’m ready to push the rest of the team to do the same and face this season head on. We represented Indiana well this past weekend in Vegas and are ready and excited to show you what we’ve got. Get ready Pacers fans! The Indiana Pacemates are going to blow you away!

Blog #3: Pacemate Tamara

My first experience at ProAction was everything I wanted it to be! I can't put it into words how amazing it was to be surrounded by so many great dancers and performers from other pro and college teams such as Boston Celtic Dancers, New Orleans Hornets Honeybees, Ball State Code Red, University of Memphis and many more. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to be long hours and hard work. As tired as I was I couldn’t help but gather energy from the other dancers. I can’t forget to mention the GREAT choreography that was taught to us. I knew each choreographer had a vision of what they wanted their dance to look like, so I gave it my all to give them what they wanted. Although it wasn’t a competition you wanted to represent your team well.

Pacemate Tamara with her father at ProAction Dance in Las Vegas

My absolute favorite part of the entire weekend was the showcase. After putting in long hours of learning, it gave us something to look forward to which was to display what you had learned from the amazing choreographers and most importantly represent your team! It was evident that each individual present at ProAction was born to dance. For me, the energy from the crowd, other teams and choreographers was like fuel to each one of my performances. And to top it off, my dad lives in Las Vegas and came to the showcase. It was the first time my dad saw me perform as an Indiana Pacemate. Not only did I want to show him what I do but I wanted to make him proud. After the showcase, my dad walked up to me in amazement at the level of talent in the room but he was more amazed to see me in my element. He was very happy and proud to say “That’s my daughter!”

I live to perform and try to be the best at what and I do, and I was proud to have “Pacers” across my chest and represent not only the Indiana Pacemates but the Indiana Pacers. I am very thankful that my coach gave me this opportunity to attend ProAction this year. Out of all of the opportunities that are offered to us, this is now at the top of my list and I hope that I made her happy in her decision to take me to ProAction Dance 2012!