Jenni

Hi, my name is Jenni Croft. I’m 25 years old and I’m originally from Wichita, Kansas. I am a former three year veteran of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2002-2005. My boyfriend moved to South Florida from Dallas about a year ago and I moved here at the beginning of May so we wouldn’t have to do the long distance relationship thing anymore. It was the best thing I could have ever done. Right when I moved here I knew I wanted to tryout for the Miami HEAT Dancers. Being a part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders organization, the best of the NFL, I thought, what would be better than to tryout to be a part of the best of the NBA, The Miami HEAT Dancers! I checked online everyday to see if they had posted the tryout dates. I even called a few times to see if they would just tell me, but I always got the same answer, “We won’t know until after basketball season.” That just made my anticipation even greater. I still checked every day! Finally I looked online and there it was: Auditions for the 2005-2006 Miami HEAT Dancers July 31st 12:00 Noon! I was pumped! I got out my planner and wrote it in. I started going to the gym and working out again at least 3-4 times a week since I hadn’t danced since I retired from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. I wanted to be in great shape for tryout day!! I wrote in my planner the audition clinics I wanted to take so I could learn the unique style of the HEAT Dancers. The first one I went to was the jazz session on July 19th. I was so nervous. I had never even been to the AmericanAirlines Arena and I didn’t even know how to get there. I looked it up on MapQuest and got exact directions so I would not get lost. Sure enough, being so nervous I took the wrong exit and turned on the wrong street but I could still see it! I somehow made my way to the arena, my heart was beating so fast because I didn’t want to be late. Parking was so funny too because I drove around the arena twice because I couldn’t find the parking garage we were supposed to park in. I finally found it, walked as fast as I could to the entrance found the table to check in at, filled in the information sheet, and turned it in with my $25 check. “Oh, I’m sorry we only take money orders or cash.” AHHHHHH! So I ran up to the next floor and found an ATM. I ran back down and gave the money to the girls and they said “Yea! You made it!” I was definitely relieved. When I walked into the room of about 40 of the beautiful girls who were auditioning I took a deep breath and thought WOW! It was a bit intimidating. Lots of very pretty and talented girls! The class was great and the current HEAT dancers were a blast to learn from. I learned so much from just watching and listening to them talk about their experiences. I couldn’t wait for the day of auditions!

What I was thinking on the day of auditions!
AUDITION DAY!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Where do I start? OK, I need to go to Walgreens to get eyelashes, panty hose, lip gloss, water, and a few snacks. Oh, and get a few of my pictures printed to hand in with my resume. OK, that’s done! Now, got to get ready! First I will take a shower, then blow dry my hair. I need to use a lot of product on my hair today because I want it to look really good! Next straighten my hair, because it gets so frizzy, and put on my make-up! Gosh, what color lipstick today? I don’t want to wear anything too dark but I want to look like I am wearing make-up. Yes! This one is perfect, Armani #11! OK, now that I’m all made up, what should I wear? I already have something picked out but is it really what I want to wear? I love this red and orange top; it is perfect! Bottoms???? Black Pants? No! Little black shorts? Maybe! Little white shorts? No, doesn’t really match! OK, little black shorts it is. Wow! I feel really skinny today. Well maybe not. I love my costume though! I’m done getting ready. I’m hungry! I think I will have……….A bagel with cream cheese and a coke! I’ve got to have a coke in the morning because it gives me energy. No way! It’s 10:45 all ready! Great, I wanted to leave no later than 10:30. RUN!!!!! “Bye Dukes” (that’s my new puppy) “Bye Russell” (that’s my boyfriend) “I love you, wish me luck!!!” OK, it takes 45 minutes to get there I will be there in perfect time! Gosh I’m so nervous. Did I get everything? I hope so! I know where I am going this time! Oh yeah, perfect parking place right by the door! Wow, how many girls are here? 1, 2, 3…55! Not too many yet! Did I wear the right thing? Do I have enough make-up on? I think I will sit here. Hmmmm! Oh my goodness, there are10 more girls, the line is out the door! There are like 300 girls here! I want to be #26 (that’s my boyfriend’s luck #)! Yes, got it! That’s a good sign! OK, here I am. I’m so sore I should probably stretch. Front row here I come. I learn better up there. Too many girls; I will just stay way back here so I have room. I got the jazz dance perfect but the hip-hop, that’s another story! Oh, my goodness we’re starting already. I’m in the 4th group!! I can do this! Just smile as big as you can and dance your heart out! I DID NOT MESS UP AT ALL!!!!! YES! Smile, they are looking! I MADE IT PAST THE FIRST CUT!!! OK, adding on to the hip-hop dance! WOW, it’s tough! Here we go again! I’m in group 1. I DID EVEN BETTER THIS TIME! Cross my fingers, close my eyes, I hope I make it to boot camp! The director said “#26.” Is that me? YES! I MADE IT!

It is the best feeling in the entire world to achieve your goals. I have been given this opportunity to go to boot camp to prove to them that I can do this, that I can look and dance like a Miami HEAT Dancer. I’m nervous yet more excited than ever because I love dancing and performing and this is what I want to do!

Audition Diary Entry #3

I honestly have to say that auditioning for the Miami HEAT Dancers was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Never have I been this nervous! Boot Camp!! Here we go, three grueling days of non-stop dancing, performing, and auditioning!

Monday, the first day of HEAT Dancer Boot Camp, was crazy! First of all I got there at 6:15pm and practice didn’t even start until 7:30pm. That’s how nervous I was. We learned a hip-hop/street dance routine that was so hard that my thighs were burning. I have been dancing since I was three years old. I danced in high school, college, and NFL every single day of my life. I thought to myself, “Why am I so tired? My thighs are not supposed to be burning!!” Oh wait! I’ve never ever danced like this before. I LOVE IT! I really wanted to make sure I was being noticed so I danced full out every single time they played the music. My hair was soaking wet, I had sweated all of my makeup off, and I was tired! I think I did well for the first night but I sure have a lot of practicing to do.

Tuesday, the second day of Boot Camp, was the day I felt a lot more confident in my abilities! We learned a jazz technique routine and we did a few across the floor combinations. Yes!! I can do this!! I was feeling pretty good; leaps and turns are definitely my forte! Then, oh no! There he is! Boot Camp workout guy!!!!! Now here comes the workout! I have to say I was not nervous for this. The summer after my freshman year in college I went to Officer Basic Training in Ft. Knox Kentucky for three months. Real Army Boot Camp, with gas chambers, sleeping and crawling in the dirt, a six mile run every morning, repelling off of buildings, and working with M16 rifles, M60 saw machine guns! No way am I nervous for this! This part is easy for me. Although I was sweating like no other, I loved every minute of it! I left practice this night feeling a lot better than I did the night before!

Wednesday, this is the final day to perfect everything we have learned. We have formations, a sideline routine, a jazz technique routine, and a hip-hop/ street dance routine for our auditions. I think I got it all! All I have to do now it smile as big as I can and dance my best. I am definitely going to give it my all because I really want to be a Miami HEAT Dancer. I always put my heart into everything I do and I know this is something I will absolutely have no problem doing that for! I’m nervous, but I know that they have a certain type of girl they are looking for and I just hope that I am that person!

Audition Diary Entry #4

Final Audition Day!
Normally, I would take the whole day off to prepare for Auditions, but there was no way I could for this. I am a Dental Assistant/Treatment Coordinator for a Dentist in Weston, Fl and we had a crazy busy day full of patients. I made a deal with my Dentist that I would work until 3:00pm and have someone fill in for me from 3:00-7:00. The girl that fills in for me saves my life all the time for things like this! So, I left work Thursday at 3:00 ran home, changed clothes and grabbed my bag I had packed the night before full of all my audition costumes, shoes, make-up, and all kinds of stuff! No, not going to Auditions for the Heat Dancers yet! I still have to go to a casting audition for a commercial today! Hoping I didn’t forget anything, I headed down to Miami Beach. I was very luck I didn’t have to wait long at the casting. I ran in, did my thing and left. Finally, after my crazy long day, I get to the AA Arena. As soon as I pulled into the parking garage I got butterflies in my tummy! I was really nervous but I was also so excited to see if I was what the HEAT Dancers are looking for. I found the dressing room and put my costume on. Not much to it; just some little black shorts and a dark teal green sparkle top. I did my make-up and hair the same way I do it every day. I wanted to make sure they saw the real me. I don’t usually wear a lot of make-up so I felt comfortable. I went into the practice room and stretched and warmed up. I felt really great about all of the dances. I thought to myself, “I could keep practicing but if I don’t know it by now I am S.O.L.!” All of a sudden the director tells all of the girls that are auditioning to line up in order. (IT’S TIME!) Now I really have a funny feeling in my tummy.

I flew my dad, Richard, down here from Kansas for his birthday for the weekend so him getting to come to my audition is just a bonus for me! My mom, Vicky, and dad are always there for me no matter where or what I am doing! My boyfriend, Russell, picked my dad up from the airport and they were sitting right there in the front row cheering me on. What else could a girl ask for? I’m in the first group so I have to do well and make the judges remember me! I did really great on the jazz/technique part of the tryout but, “I MISSED A KICK ON THE STREET DANCE ROUTINE!” Oh well! I just hope I smiled big enough to cover it up! I danced with all of my heart for this audition. Now all I can do is pray and wait!

After all the girls auditioned we went back to the dressing room to change into something nice. We waited almost 45 minutes until they finally called us back to Bongo’s to announce the 2005-2006 HEAT Dancers. I was really, really nervous. I am usually a smiley person but I felt like I didn’t know what was going to happen. They called at least 12 girls. I was looking around, counting how many they had picked, and thinking there is no way I made it! “Jennifer Croft” AHHHHHHHHH she said my name! I MADE IT! I honestly could not believe it. Now I could not stop smiling and jumping up and down! I ran over to Russell and my dad and gave them both a huge hug! My dad had tears in his eyes and said “Jenni, this is so cool!” Russell said “I never had a doubt, I am so proud of you!”
“I am a real Miami HEAT Dancer!”

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