So You Think You Can Dance?

Rockets Power Dancers hold preliminary auditions

HOUSTON -- Rockets Power Dancer preliminary auditions were held Sunday, July 30 at Toyota Center, and 300 of Houston’s finest leapt, turned and tumbled the day away in hopes of becoming a finalist for the 2006-2007 Power Dancer team.

We’re tired just thinking about it!

The morning began bright and early with the line for registration extending from the Bell Street entrance all the way around the building; hundreds of dancers were anxious to turn in their applications, photographs and resumes and make their way to the Toyota Center court to begin warming up. While most applicants were Houstonians, some traveled from Beaumont, Austin, Dallas, Louisiana, and even Japan!

After a brief welcome from Rockets and Comets P.A. announcer T. Grey and Power Dancer Coach and Choreographer “Sweet Susie” Boudwin, the dancing began. 2006-07 Captain Nicole and Co-Captains Carrie B. and Carrie M. led a warm-up and stretch and Assistant Coach D’Anne Schwebel got everyone moving with the Round 1 jazz technique combination choreographed to Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair.”

The pressure was on quickly, because right after learning the routine and practicing for a few minutes, the official auditions began! Applicants performed the short routine in large groups before a panel of Rockets suiteholders, corporate partners, local TV and radio personalities, and dance experts. The judges were impressed with the talent, and 119 dancers made the cut to Round 2.

For Round 2, the incumbent 2005-2006 Power Dancers joined the Round 1 contestants (the 2005-2006 team all received a bye to head straight to the second round, and six were awarded the opportunity to head straight to the audition finals). All Power Dancers must re-earn their spots on the team every season.

The Round 2 routine, taught by Boudwin, was a fast-paced hip hop combination. Dancers performed the routine to Ciara’s “Get Up” in small groups for the judges, waited through a few call backs, then relaxed to await the news – in the end, 52 contestants were selected as finalists!

These finalists will take part in a three-week training camp before the final team is announced. Dancers will attend boot camp rehearsals at the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center, complete a professional interview at the Toyota Center, and must successfully pass a background check and drug screening before competing at the Power Dancer finals in mid-August.