Silver Dancer of the Week: Laura
Laura, the most veteran of the Silver Dancers, is 25 years old and is enjoying her 7th season on the squad, 4th as a captain. Away from the court, Laura looks just like any other business woman going about her business. But her stunning beauty and trademark curly hair has made her one of the most popular Silver Dancers with Spurs fans.
Laura works full-time as an executive assistant in one of San Antonio’s largest advertising agencies. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Fall of 2004 with her Bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing. Her job puts her in a position to learn the business from the inside rather than from a textbook, and it offers her the opportunity for career advancement in her field.
Along with her full-time job and busy dance schedule for the Spurs, Laura also finds time to teach dance lessons to kids ages 5-18 twice a week.
“Dancing for the Spurs is a huge time commitment for me,” she admits. “Between practices, appearances, games, working out, my job, and teaching dance, I am on a constant go. I absolutely love what I do, but for me to keep up with everything, it involves a lot of time management skills.”
And it likely requires a lot of understanding from her family and friends. One of the constants in her life is how much Laura loves and cherishes her family. She talks often about her parents and her two younger brothers, Robert and Franco…how supportive they are…barbequing at her dad’s house…and just spending time with them in general. They still try to get together every Sunday for dinner at mom and dad’s…an evening to spend just with those closest to her.
But with her schedule, it’s hard for her to see them as often as she probably would like.
“My family has always been my biggest fan,” Laura says. “My mom loves to dance, and my dad is a big sports fan, so even after seven years being on the squad they still make it out to a lot of the games to see me and watch our Spurs play!”
Laura is a native Spurs fan, growing up right here in San Antonio. She was raised on the south side of San Antonio, the eldest of three children in her family. The love and support she has received from her family has shaped her into the person she is today.
“My mom has been my inspiration,” Laura confesses. “I owe her my world. My dad is my hero…he has instilled a passion and dedication in me that goes with me in whatever I do. And my brothers…even though I am older, they still protect me like I was their little sis…I love them dearly.”
Laura graduated from McCollum High School in San Antonio, where she was on the dance team all four years, and served as a team captain three of her four years. After high school, it was on to UTSA to get started on her degree. How she came to be a member of the Silver Dancers was actually by luck.
“A friend of mine wanted to tryout for the Silver Dancers and she wanted me to come and tryout with her,” she recalls. “I honestly hadn’t really thought about it, so I figured I would go along and give it a shot and support my friend.
“I wasn’t really nervous about trying out. I didn’t have a lot of extensive dance training…I mean, I did a little bit of gymnastics and a little ballet growing up, but nothing consistent. Some of the girls there, and even some on the team right now, have a lot more ‘professional’ training than I do. It was pretty tough…and very competitive. I didn’t think I would make it, but the good thing was that I really didn’t have anything to lose, so I wasn’t as nervous as I maybe should have been!”
That was a long time ago now. Laura has been a member of the Silver Dancers more than twice as long as anyone else on the team. However, Laura is humble and quick to note that it’s not because she is a better dancer than the other girls on the team, but that things change constantly and that some of the girls may only be on the team for one season and then move out of town, get married, or get a job that has a conflicting schedule.
“I’ve just been fortunate enough to be on the squad for this long,” she admits. “I’ve been in a situation as a student that I could always make my schedule work with dancing. Now that I am into my career, who knows how much longer I
will be able to stay on the team.”
Laura admits that she finds a little added responsibility in being the team’s most seasoned veteran. Laura is the only current Silver Dancer that had the unique opportunity to dance alongside their current choreographer, Raquel Garcia. Laura’s first season in 1999-2000 was Raquel’s last season on the team, and Raquel came back just a few seasons ago to take over as the team’s choreographer.
“In my first season on the team, Raquel and a couple of the other more seasoned dancers were really helpful to me,” Laura remembers. “It’s been fun to dance both with, and for, Raquel in my time with the Silver Dancers. Because of everything she gave back to me and some of the other rookies that season, I try and do my best to give back to some of the rookies on this year’s squad.”
It’s not a matter of dance instruction that Laura tries to help with, because as she admits, “a lot of these ladies have a lot more training than I do.” It’s more a matter of professionalism and presentation. How to prepare for a performance. How to act during appearances. How to manage a hectic schedule.
“I try to be available to anyone on the team,” she says. “It’s something that I enjoy doing, and it’s something that I had a lot of help with when I was a rookie, so I try to be there to help others enjoy it, and give them help if they need it. Juggling school, maybe a part-time job, and dancing isn’t easy. But if I can give a few tips to managing your time or whatever, then I feel like that’s part of being a veteran on the team.”
Being a Silver Dancer has offered Laura many opportunities that she may not have had otherwise. In her rookie season, Laura and the team traveled to Milan, Italy, to perform at the Basketball World Championships. The team was there for a week, dancing during the Championships, and spending the rest of time visiting the different attractions around the country.
Besides traveling to foreign countries, she’s also been allowed certain opportunities right here in the River City. The Silver Dancers get to perform at different events or conferences that come to San Antonio, including performing as the opening act at some concerts. But some of her most memorable moments have come right on the AT&T Center floor, and right alongside our favorite Spurs players.
“In Game 1 of the 2005 NBA Finals we got to open up with Will Smith before tip-off,” she recalls. “That was incredible. He brought in his own dancers that he tours with, and we rehearsed and performed with them live, in front of 18,000 at the AT&T Center, and in front of however many millions of people watching. That was a rush!
“But I would probably say one of my favorite moments came after we won the 2003 NBA Championship. On the barges for the river parade, they split up the players -- two to a barge -- and they assigned Silver Dancers to ride in each of the barges. That particular year I was in the same barge as Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
“That was really special for me, because everyone knows what David Robinson has meant, and still means, to this city,” she continues. “So to be on the river barge with David AND Tim, that was an amazing day. All of my family and friends were at the parade…it was so much fun that day!”
And with the good, also comes the bad…or let’s call it embarrassing or awkward. In seven years, certainly Laura has tripped during a routine…or started the song dancing the wrong routine…something, right?
“I have been lucky enough in 7 years that I have never fallen down or tripped during a routine,” she says. “But one time…I think it was last season…we were doing a routine on the floor and the back of my top came undone! I caught it right away, but for the rest of the routine, while all the girls were waving and using both of their arms, I was only using one arm, because the other arm was behind my back holding my top together!”
And the most special moment she remembers, with fondness probably more than anything, was last season when all the Silver Dancers brought their fathers out to do a dance routine with them.
“That was hilarious,” Laura remembers. “The dads were all given a DVD with the routine so they could practice at home. I would go home and work with my dad on the routine. It was funny…and it was a great chance for me and all the other girls to bond with our fathers.
“Having my dad out there for a night to experience what I do and love every night, really meant a lot to me.”
When Laura is not dancing for the Spurs, she is usually dancing somewhere else. She teaches dance. She dances at family gatherings. It’s just in her blood.
Luck was with Laura was first selected to the Silver Dancers squad, but it’s her talent and beauty that Spurs fans have appreciated over the past seven years. For photos, bios, blogs, and more, visit the the Silver Dancer's section.