Thunder Girls 2009-10 Dance Team Announced

One by one, their names and numbers were called.

No. 27, Bonnie.

No. 1, Riane.

No. 23, Blaire.

On and on it went until 18 talented ladies came to the stage to form the 2009-10 Thunder Girls dance team.

The 19th spot on the team will be decided by the fans, who can vote for the People’s Choice Thunder Girl by logging onto THUNDER.NBA.COM beginning Wednesday morning through noon on July 27. Veteran Thunder Girl Erica and rookie hopeful Stacy are vying for the final spot.

The panel of judges consisted of four Thunder staffers and one celebrity judge, 2009 Miss Oklahoma Lauren Lunday, and together they narrowed the finalists from 40 down to 18 before a standing-room only crowd at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar in Bricktown on Tuesday night.

“We had a lot more talent this year,” Thunder Girls dance team manager and choreographer Sabrina Ellison said. “As far as our team, we walked away with a great, diverse group of women who are not only talented but will be great ambassadors to the Thunder.”

The Thunder Girls contingent included 10 veterans and eight newcomers, including Naoko, who is a dance coach from Japan pursuing her dream of dancing for the NBA.

Thunder Girl Alexis shared that sentiment.

Alexis decided to tryout for the Thunder Girls two months ago. And here she was on Tuesday, flanked by her family and members of her past pom squads.

“I was so glad I went out for it because I did, I found my spot and I made it,” she said. “It’s indescribable.”

Alexis was the fourth name announced, and it couldn’t come sooner.

“A new shockwave came over me,” she said. “Like the Thunder came over me, and I was just like, ‘wow, this is real.’”

Thunder Girl Megan, who danced last season, said she’s looking forward to welcoming the newest members of the team to the Thunder.

“It’s always a good thing,” Megan said. “Each of the girls who made it this season and is not a veteran, they are extremely talented, extremely beautiful, very poised and I think that the team as a whole will make great role models for the young ladies in Oklahoma City and the metro area, so I’m excited to see what happens this season.”