Road to Dancer Auditions Part III

Road to Dancer Auditions Part III

Lauren Lang
Wolves Writer

Timberwolves Dancer hopefuls have been waiting all summer for Monday August 1. For many it's an opportunity to perform their incredible talent and for others it's a chance to be one step closer to fulfilling a dream of being a dancer for a professional sports team.

The Timberwolves hosted six Dancer Audition Prep Classes for potential new talent and returning veterans to come in and experience head coach Natalie Alvarado's style of dance and brush up on their skills. Alvarado couldn't have been more thrilled with the classes' turnout, "With our last two classes last weekend we had over 150 prep class participants! This is a new record for the organization and there will be a lot of talent at auditions on the 1st of August."

Girls showed up to the last two prep classes ready to work and Alvarado put them to the test with a grueling, fast paced hip-hop routine set to M.I.A.'s "Bamboo Banga." "The girls and I were already sweating within just the second eight-count!" laughed Alvarado. "The routine was hard, fast and called for a lot of hard hitting moves! It was also the longest combo the girls learned so far and I told them that this specific routine was probably the closest in style to the audition routine."

Throughout the prep classes many fresh new faces walked through the doors and some of the veteran Timberwolves Dancers couldn't have been more impressed by the mass turnout of new talent. "I am so impressed by how many girls are here consistently," said Shannon Mlsna, who just finished her rookie year as a Dancer. "As far as I've seen there are a lot of awesome girls, a ton of new faces, people from all over the place, which is awesome and everybody seems really excited to be here."

Mlsna went on to add the importance of attending the offered prep classes, because she attended them last year before making the squad. "It's really great that there were six classes, because it showed the different variety and styles - it's not always going to be just one style."

With the Dancer hopefuls having a better understanding of their potential head coach's style it was easier for them to come into the last prep class both physically and mentally prepared. "Sunday was our last class and the dance was choreographed to a custom mash up of Rihanna's "S&M" vocals over LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" beat," explained Alvarado. "I wanted the girls to dance to a song they were more familiar with, have some fun and release any audition anxiety!"

The participants may have been familiar with the songs the choreography was set to, but some of the dance styles were foreign to them and Alvarado decided to have some fun with it. "We did a little housing footwork and this took the girls out of their comfort zones. It was very fun to watch them release and just go for it!"

Mlsna along with many of her teammates pushed themselves during prep classes knowing they will have to re-audition and fight for their spot on the team. Recent Orlando, Florida transplant Jessica Blanton made her way to the final four classes. "I missed the first two because I was driving here from Orlando, Florida, just now two weeks ago, so I've been to every class that I could go to and they're so much fun." Blanton, a former cheerleader for the USL Orlando City Soccer noted that not all leagues are the same. "Every kind of pro team is different. I've never danced for an NBA team, so I know that there is a higher demand and there's always a ton of girls."

Sunday's class finished with even more energy than it started with. After the dancers wrapped up the final steps of choreography Alvarado led groups through each of the routines that had been taught throughout the six classes. At the conclusion of each prep class more and more dancers that didn't initially plan on attending auditions left with a different plan. "It is great to know that majority of the girls who attended prep classes will be auditioning for the 2011-12 Timberwolves Dancers!" exclaimed Alvarado. "They learned everything I could possibly squeeze into these classes: some of the do's and don'ts of auditioning, how to perform, and most of all, the importance of just going out there and giving it their best!"

Take it from the head coach who has been there first hand after being a member of the Houston Rockets Power Dancers for seven years. Alvarado understands the pressure of heading into auditions, seeing as she had to re-audition each year in Houston. "Bottom line is, they have to remain confident and let their personality shine. Potential goes such a long way! They have to remind themselves how bad they want this and really understand why they want this."

Prep class attendees hope that all of their hard work and dedication pay off as they head to Timberwolves Dancer Open Auditions on Monday August 1 at the Graves | 601 Hotel. Alvarado dished some last minute advice to those auditioning, "Remember to always smile and when all else fails, 'freestyle!'"

Timberwolves Dancer Auditions are set to start promptly at 6:00pm. For more information, or if you're interested in auditioning to be a member of the 2011-12 Timberwolves Dancers check out the Dancer Audition page.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves on Twitter. Check out the 2010-11 Timberwolves Dancers with bios, photos and more of each member of the squad.