Thunder Girls Stay Busy, Prep For Website Launch

The situations aren’t even comparable.

Last year, Thunder Girls Dance Team Manager Sabrina Ellison had just one month to hold auditions, field a team and implement routines before the regular season began.

This year, Ellison and the Thunder Girls, presented by Firelake Grand Casino, have had twice the amount of time to prepare for their second season as a professional dance team, which has put them right on schedule.

“I think having an offseason to plan everything thoughtfully and thoroughly and knowing what our organization wants for this upcoming season has made it an easier transition,” Ellison said. “And having veterans on the team, having 11 girls who are coming back and understand our program helps me as a coach to teach the new girls what is expected of them on and off the court. I think we’re definitely starting at a really good pace.”

The Thunder Girls took a sizeable step forward on Tuesday, when the dancers shuffled in and out of the University of Oklahoma to shoot photos and video for the new Thunder Girls website set to launch before the regular season starts.

The shoot, which was run by the Norman-based design firm Old Hat Creative, lasted from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m.

Old Hat Creative is creating site that will feature a page for each individual dancer, which will include a documentary-style video as well as still and moving photos. Other features will include updated photo galleries, Twitter feeds, news, an event calendar, a Thunder Girl diary and even an application that will allow the Thunder Girls to send a birthday email to those who sign up, Old Hat Creative owner/creative director Zac Logsdon said.

“I’m excited,” Ellison said. “Honestly, looking at other teams’ websites, I feel like ours is going to be one of the standout websites just from all of the components. I think it’s going to be a really good product.”

Added Krystal, a first-year dance team member, “I’m shocked that I’m going to have my own personal ‘click-on-Krystal’ page and it’ll be all about me.”

In the meantime, the Thunder Girls have been busy learning a slew of new routines through a weekend mini camp and regular evening rehearsals.

For the seven first-year Thunder Girls, such as Krystal, the adjustments have ranged from learning a new dance style and perfecting the various routines to understanding the responsibilities of a Thunder Girl away from the court.

“When we go to practice we have to compete for our spot,” Krystal said. “Even though we’re on the team we still have to compete for our spot to be on the court, so I think that’s challenging.”

Veterans like Megan have welcomed the newcomers into the mix.

“Each of them brings something new to the team, something exciting, and we’re really like a family, we’re all like sisters,” Megan said. “Mini camp was a great time because we spent the weekend together and got to go through seminars and got to learn about being a Thunder Girl and what it takes to be a Thunder Girl, too. So it was a great opportunity for them to learn from us veterans but also for us to help them out, and it helps keep us in check, too.”

Contact Chris Silva