*All photos used in this post are my own, unless sourced otherwise. I am writing about my personal experience being a part of this calendar, but this should not be considered an official release for the event. Look out for more upcoming stories and photos at pistons.com!
Last night was a very special one for not only me, but for a whole team of talented, beautiful women.
After a much anticipated few months of preparing for the shoot(s), hearing about what would be done with the photos, and waiting to see the end result, our 2014-15 Detroit Pistons Dancers Calendar was released during halftime at the Pistons vs. Hawks game!
Earlier this week, we got word that last night’s halftime would be dedicated towards introducing us, which included releasing our calendar photos one by one on the jumbo tron as we took center court.
Like any other game, we performed a routine during a timeout in the first quarter, but only remained on the sidelines for a few minutes. We left at the top of the second to return to the dressing room, change into our black dresses, and get ready for our moment in the spotlight.
As the end of the second quarter buzzer went off, we all became anxious, excited and somewhat nervous! The hard part was already over, but for some reason we were all big spraytaned balls of nerves.
Before we knew it, the lights went dark and a video started playing on the big screen that highlighted the last few seasons of dancing, then ended with behind the scenes footage of our shoot.
I had chills upon chills!
We lined up in alphabetical order, and I was in the middle. As soon as they introduced me (from my hometown of Rochester, MI <- ha, false.) I took the floor with THE biggest smile.
It was in this moment that I finally felt a full formal introduction as a member of this team, and all of my hard work getting to this point paid off.
Once everyone got on the floor, we waved as a group to the crowd and then proceeded upstairs to sign calendars for the remainder of the game.
Meeting fans as a group in a special setting is always a fun experience for me. Even just a quick, “hi, how are you doing tonight?” gets reactions from excitement to nervousness, and it makes me laugh a little inside knowing I did that just by engaging conversation.
The best part for me is talking to children. Young girls tend to jump right in and share stories of how they dance or cheer while boys are usually more on the shy side, needing some convincing for us to sign their free mini-basketballs they caught during the game.
As the line went by, I ignored how cold I was in my dress and how uncomfortable my feet felt standing in 4 inch heels for hours. Moments and nights like this are what stick out the most when the season is over and it’s time to move on. This year, I am making a point to take a step back from whatever I’m doing and enjoy everything I can.
Today I can’t help but think about how I got here. In all of my years of dancing I have never actually been featured in a swimsuit calendar, and I have to admit that it feels incredible to finally say I have. This job isn’t easy, and at times isn’t all glitz and glamour, but overall I know that I am extremely blessed to be in my sixth year dancing for the NBA.
Last night was just one of those little reminders.
I can’t thank the team responsible for making this calendar and event happen enough, starting with our Director, Natalie Miramontes. As a former dancer for more than one NBA team, she realizes how big of a deal making this calendar happen was for us and fought hard the entire time. Also, a big shout out to our incredible photographer, Dan Lippitt, for capturing it all and making us look our best!
To our sponsors: Iconic Salon (Hair), Sun Oasis Tanning, Venus Swimwear, Nikki Notarte (Makeup), Sean Hodgson (Set Director), and even that guy helping us through odds and ends on Media Day, Scott Hesington, it all couldn’t have come together without you!
And finally, to the Detroit Pistons Entertainment managers and staff:
THANK YOU for pushing for us to all have this monumental keepsake for the rest of our lives! Words can’t even begin to describe our appreciation for what you do for us, not only with this but season after season.
Behind the Scenes and Where To Purchase
The calendar starts with January 2014 and goes through April 2015. Now that it has been publicly released, I can share my behind the scenes video with you from our shoot.
The calendar also features QR codes that can be scanned for exclusive behind-the-scenes videos by each dancer!
Get your own for $10 at pistonsLR.com, or message me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing one from me directly, autographed by yours truly for the same price, plus the cost of shipping.
Thank you all for taking a glance at a night I will always remember with me.
We are getting ready to dive into a busy few months of games and I am sure there will be plenty more to share with you very soon.
Have a great rest of your weekend!