I’ve been wanting to write about this subject for a while now. Do any of you watch the VH1 television series Hit The Floor?
Currently, it’s in the middle of the second season and is a scripted series that follows the drama behind “the hottest pro basketball team”, known as the Los Angeles Devil Girls.
As someone who just finished six years of dancing in the NBA, I was obviously intrigued by this show and wanted to share my thoughts on how true or untrue they make the job appear to be.
When I first heard about it, I was stoked! I was hoping that the stories and behind-the-scenes look of what an NBA dancer’s job entails would finally be showcased for the world to see.
I have come to the conclusion that this series does a great job of including technical dance and drama, but overall, gives an unrealistic look into what really goes on.
At first, I was very much on board with the show and loved how they made it look hard to get on a team, earn, and keep your spot on it. As episodes went on, however, I realized that the plot is more about portraying scandal than a believable storyline.
Do I still watch it? Sure. I don’t beat myself up for missing an episode, but I can’t get enough of the routines, costumes, and curiosity of what’s going on when I do catch one.
If you’re still wondering what I think does and doesn’t do a good job of sharing the truth, here’s a list to help break it down!
What’s True… and Not-So About Hit The Floor
• Difficult audition process.
The most tedious dance team audition award has to go to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and you can watch first-hand all about that experience thanks to another (actual) reality show on CMT.
Somewhere between that and a college dance team audition lies NBA Dance Team tryouts, which usually involves at least one to two main days of preliminary auditions, and then at least a week long boot camp before announcing a squad or holding a final audition.
I didn’t blog while going through auditions in Orlando, but shared my first couple of days auditioning for Detroit’s team last year.
I never finished that series, but I can tell you that every team’s process is similar in most areas, but different in others. None are easy or something you can just walk onto without serious dance training and preparation.
• Cliques and cattiness.
Actually, I have to agree with this one… to an extent.
Four out of my six years of dancing, I was lucky enough to avoid drama. My team was very close, and I still to this day call more than a handful of teammates genuine friends I miss seeing on a daily basis.
Two seasons, however, were absolutely filled with drama. Stories and quotes you wouldn’t even believe. While I don’t condone the way Jelena (the main captain) treats Ahsha (a rookie), that type of bullying definitely happens and I’m glad they capture it.
Sometimes dealing with teammates can be more stressful than making the team in the first place!
• Constant elaborate performances.
I realize NBA Dance teams are hired to appear and perform in a number of sponsored and community events, but The Devil Girls seem to only perform elaborately themed out, dramatic routines outside of the arena.
Every once in a while might be believable, but for the most part this is what you can expect to see at an NBA sponsored event… maybe even with less leg showing.
(Sorry if I just bursted your bubble about what a pool party appearance could turn into!)
• Hanging around the arena.
I believe the main character, Ahsha met her future love interest (Derek, a Devil’s player) for the first time just hanging around the arena.
Literally, he was just sitting outside by himself with his shirt off.
Players hardly even show up to the arena, unless they are there for a closed practice, to play in a game, or attend an event. As far as I know, the majority of pro basketball teams (if not all of them) have practice facilities off-site, or at least away from the main arena court.
The chances of a dancer and a player just “running into each other” just outside the arena are really slim to none.
• Hair and makeup is always done. Even at the gym.
Going off of the picture above, check out how Ahsha just so happens to be in full hair and makeup for her run outside the arena.
I have actually heard stories from dancers on other NBA dance teams saying they were required to wear full makeup and their hair down for every practice. I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. You’re there to practice and even at the off chance someone recognizes you as a dancer going to or from the facility, the job doesn’t pay well enough to require that kind of 24/7 upkeep.
Making sure your hair is free of roots, your eyebrows are trimmed, your nails look decent and your tan is present is hard enough for games and appearances!
During auditions and Boot Camp week, I always wore my hair down and at least appearance makeup, but I was so thankful for that ending after the new team was announced.
Once you make the team, the need to impress and constantly look your best at ALL times quickly dissolves.
• Invites and black tie attire for charity events.
As a dancer for six seasons, I was invited to attend a black tie event, dressed in a ball gown… once. And that was because I came as Scott’s date, not because I was a dancer.
It seems as though the ladies of Hit The Floor get to attend the best events in town, always dressed in to the tee in ball gowns.
This picture, however, highlights Jelena (left) and Kyle (right) wearing the same dress. Because, once again, they performed an extremely themed out routine while wearing them in a routine that involved a fountain.
• Lights out and two minute routines.
I have to admit that I do really enjoy the routines the series features. They are extremely creative, visual, and well-choreographed!
What bugs me is that every time they perform at a game, the lights are out and the crowd is screaming for them. Loudly, and throughout the entire performance. Here’s an example!
The only way you can have the lights out for routines during a regular NBA game is if it is during the intros, halftime, or an extremely long sponsored time out.
Regular time outs for games are anywhere from 1:30 to 2 minutes long, depending on if they are during a called time out or at a quarter break. More than likely, it would take too long to wait on the lights to go off and on and there wouldn’t be enough time for a full routine.
Not to mention, their routines (although amazing) are well over the 1:15 cut-off. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to me it’s just irritating.
• Dancers are always around the players. And that’s okay.
I believe the first episode that went through auditions even included a couple of players who stopped in to watch, in full uniforms nonetheless.
Players wouldn’t be anywhere near a dancer audition, and if they were I doubt they could just sit and observe. Or better yet, talk to the girls auditioning.
Not only are they always intermingling on and off the court, but throughout the series there are a couple of highlighted and very public dancer-player relationships.
In what world would that be okay?
Both teams that I have danced for do not mess around with this type of thing, and I’ve personally seen fellow dancers immediately let go for even publicly socializing with players.
• Dancers hang out after events with high-profile season ticket holders.
The same goes for the girls hanging with high-profile season ticket holders and team sponsors.
During the series, they are shown hanging out at events after they’ve worked them in full cocktail attire, drinking liquor, and flirting with anyone who matters in their arena.
While it’s a nice gesture for anyone hiring for an event to even offer food, I was trained not to accept eating or drinking anything in costume. Water is fine, but definitely never alcohol.
So, would I recommend watching the show?
If you record it, skip the drama, and go to the dance sections.