Timberwolves Dancers Travel to Spain
Traveling abroad is becoming more and more routine for the Timberwolves Dancers. Since 2006 they’ve booked four trips, twice to China, once to France and this summer’s two-week tour to Spain.
But this trip is a bit different. As the Dancers perform in Madrid and Zaragoza as part of the inaugural NBA 3X Tour, a 16-week event co-sponsored by the NBA and BBVA that features interactive basketball activities and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, the six girls on the trip will be representing a Timberwolves organization which has been highlighted in Spain since guard Ricky Rubio began his rookie campaign in December.
For Lizzi, Mayem, Samantha, Camille, Tiana and Amanda, this is a chance to get further in touch with Minnesota’s Spanish fans.
“It’s amazing. What the girls need to realize and what I remind them of is they’re not just representing the Timberwolves or being that next best thing to Ricky Rubio,” Dancers coach Natalie Alvarado said. “But it’s the entire NBA organization. To me, they could have invited anyone.”
Alvarado said there are a few teams whose dancers are selected for international trips each year, with the regulars being the Knicks, Nets and Clippers. To be selected shows that the Timberwolves Dancers are making their mark among other squads around the league.
In being selected, the Dancers have an opportunity to be ambassadors for the Timberwolves organization. They’ll bring four or five different routines with them and will dance twice on days they are scheduled to perform.
Aside from dancing, they’ll have the opportunity to take photos with fans, sign autographs and participate in mini NBA Jam sessions where they’ll interact with fans and throw out prizes.
Last year, the Timberwolves Dancers visited China where they had the chance to get in touch with a large growing basketball fan base. It was an opportunity to raise interest in the Timberwolves and the NBA, but it also gave the Dancers a chance to learn a bit about the Chinese culture.
Alvarado said the girls got to see parades and celebrations, and they also used their free days to visit landmarks within the country.
She said it’s a reciprocal partnership—the fans get to meet members of the NBA family, and the Dancers get to learn about a new international culture.
“It’s the cool part of the job that we got to do things like this, but we are also doing our jobs,” Alvarado said. “We’re representing the organization we work for. We want to go out there to know that our dancers and anyone involved with the Timberwolves are just so professional. And because of these trips and the feelings we left of the NBA out here in Europe, they’re going to want to pick up the phone and call us again.”
This time around, having seen Rubio ignite Target Center during his rookie season, the Dancers are curious about what basketball in Spain will be like. Could the style of play mirror that of Rubio across the board?
“I’m sure the basketball out there is amazing,” Alvarado said. “If they play like Ricky Rubio, it’s going to be fun to watch.”