July 15, 2008

With Honeybees auditions taking place Sunday, July 20 at the New Orleans Arena, lets find out more about the annual event from Honeybees manager and choreographer, Ashley Deaton.

On the first day of auditions, the field of candidates will be cut to approximately 40 to 50 finalists. On Sunday, July 27, the Hornets will hold Honeybees finals at the House of Blues, starting at 2 p.m.

Here are six things to know about Honeybees auditions (comments are from Deaton):

1) Its not only about appearance
An ideal Honeybee is more than just a cute girl with rhythm. We look for well-rounded girls, because not only are they dancers and cheerleaders, theyre also athletes, models, role models for young girls, and spokeswomen for the organization. It is important that they represent the Hornets well on the court, in the public eye, and in the media.

2) but conditioning is critical.
Were looking for cute, energetic dancers who take care of their bodies and wear the costume well. Being outgoing and energetic is extremely important, but they must also be mature, responsible and very dedicated.

3) If you make the team, you better love bee-ing a Honeybee
They need to be hard workers because our schedule is very demanding, with games, rehearsals, appearances and photo shoots. This job is so rewarding, but it doesnt come easily. The girls work hard and truly deserve the praise and recognition that they receive. The NBA season is very long, but having a passion for dance and performing is motivation to keep enthusiasm high.

4) but Honeybees isnt a full-time job.
Honeybees are paid per game plus compensation for practices and public appearances, but they dont do it for the money.

All of the girls on the team are full-time students or have full-time jobs. This isnt their only means of income or the only thing they are involved in. They do it because they love it. Its fun and rewarding, but its also very time-consuming. An average week will require the girls to dedicate about 3-4 nights to their duties as a Honeybee. But on a busy game week, it could be as many as six or even seven nights.

5) If youre shy, you may not want to apply
The way to stand out during tryouts is to have energy and be fun to watch. Dont be shy. We always have a big variety of dance backgrounds on the team. I wouldnt say that technical ability is the most important element on this type of team, but it definitely helps.

The environment surrounding a Hornets game is high energy and fast-paced, and its the dancers job to reflect the same. At tryouts the judges take that into consideration. If youre competing with 300 other girls and you dont look like youre having fun, youre not going to stand out. Energy and showmanship are going to take you far.

6) but if you do, be ready for a few curves
During the finalist workshops, which occur the week leading up to finals, finalists undergo further evaluation by the judges. A boot camp is administered by Honeybee fitness coaches to test each girls endurance and stamina. Interviews are conducted to help the judges get to know each finalist a little better so that they can select the most outgoing, energetic and professional candidates for the position. Finalists will also learn more choreography to help prepare them for the open-to-the-public show at the House of Blues on the 27th.

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