First, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone. Your warm wishes and compliments on the new do seriously melt my heart. You, my friends, are wonderfully uplifting!
You might also be good luck charms because I have officially made it through Day 2: Semi-Finals of Pistons Dancers Auditions!
Dancers or not, I have noticed a spark of interest from you guys on what the entire auditions process involves. Like I mentioned in Day 1, every team is different, but the requirements of what teams are looking for and how they get there all generally revolve around the same format:
Dancing, cuts, more dancing, cuts, interviews, cuts, free-style battles, boot camp workouts, team bonding exercises, team announcement!
Before I get into the breakdown of Semi-Finals, let’s back up a little.
The first day of auditions left me physically worn out, mentally exhausted, and extremely sore! I think I have mentioned this before, but I am literally the oldest dancer trying out again from the previous season, and even have a year up on my Director. True story.
Over the last few years, I have noticed a change in my body, my stamina with routines, and my joints. This year, more than ever, I feel like I have to work harder and step it up, and that is exactly what I am doing.
I woke up yesterday morning with a stiff neck and sore legs. Like the degree of soreness that requires you to use your hands to move your legs to get out of bed kind of sore. I know some of you have been there!
As much as my body didn’t want to, I had a goal to attend my favorite group fitness class at the gym to stretch out my body and sweat some of the tightness out.
It felt great to get back to Fitness Pilates! Starting was rough, but once I got going, my body felt so much better. I finished my workout off with three miles on the treadmill and about ten minutes of stretching afterwards.
I walked out of the gym feeling like a new woman. Really. It’s amazing what a little sweat and a lot of stretches can do for the body and mind!
Besides squeezing workouts in, I have made sure to stick to eating clean as much as possible, even when dining out and on-the-go.
(Health Nut Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe)
(Chicken Cobb Salad – bacon, cheese and dressing on the side – from The Venue Bar and Grille.)
Workouts + eating clean always = healthy, happy Heather.
Prepped and ready to get to Day 2!
Pistons Dancers Auditions: Day 2 – Semi-Finals
Day two of auditions started with about half the amount of the original hopefuls. I don’t really know, but if I had to guess I would say about 45 people made it past Day 1.
Five of us were team rookies from last year competing for veteran spots!
By the way, thank you for the compliments on the outfit! I bought a few pieces throughout my last season of dancing in Orlando and had our team seamstress help assemble everything together. She did an amazing job!
Skirt: Hot Topic, Top: White Sequin Triangle Top from Venus Swimwear, Tights: Capezio tan seamless fishnets, Sequin Shoes: Gotta Flirt High Sequin Dance Sneaker, Jazz Shoes: Bloch Slip-On Booties both from Discount Dance Supply, Earrings + Bracelet: Charming Charlie, Pink Bows, Belt + Ruffle Accents: Assembled by Orlando’s team seamstress, Bunkie Tate.
(Not pictured is a pair of white sequin shorts, attached under the skirt, also made by Bunkie!)
Day 2 started with registration at 5:30 p.m. and auditions set to start at 6 sharp. I planned to get there right at 5:30, but traffic had other plans. Luckily, I arrived at 5:40 with twenty minutes to get focused and get the routine back into my body.
HUGE TIP if you ever plan to audition for any kind of team: Never, never be late. There was a girl that showed up at 6:20 p.m. and got sent directly back home. Traffic or not, always plan for the unknown and get there early. An hour early is always better than thirty minutes late, promise! It seems like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many girls show up right in the nick of time. Judges totally take punctuality into consideration when hiring a new team!
Right on time, we broke into groups of four to perform the same routine we learned the previous day twice in a row, switching front and back lines from one time to the next.
Once again, I was glad to have a low number and get my turn out of the way! I certainly did better than the day before, but messed up just a tiny part at the beginning of my first time. The second time around, I was in the front and did my best. Thank goodness for the redemption!
When everyone finished, the judges left to retaliate and gave us a break.
We were all grateful to have a little bit of recovery time.
The judging panel returned after about fifteen minutes and made cuts down to 32 Finalists. It is always nerve wrecking waiting to hear your number called, and I am not only nervous for me, but for friends auditioning with me.
The next part of Semi-Finals were interviews in front of a panel. Our judging table included our director, our choreographer, our entertainment directors (lucky for me Scott was out of town for this one!), and a few former dancers. We were called in groups of four and were each asked a few questions.
You will never guess what my question was…
Anyone want to take a stab?
“Heather, if you could be any animal, what would it be any why?”
Taken by surprise, I took a second to see if they were joking and no one said anything. So, I did what any other girl would do and answered the question!
“I would be a monkey because I think they are pretty cool. They can climb anything, hang out in trees, and throw things at each other.”
I got a few blank stares and a few chuckles. I really had no idea if that was my real question. Directly after, I got asked another:
“Heather, if you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?” This one, I knew was legit.
“I would say gullible… (laughs), but I am going to go with determined.” I think I handled it pretty well.
After the panel interview, we were taken into a small room to take a head shot and body shot for the website and were asked “Why do you want to be a Detroit Pistons Dancer?” on camera.
When everyone was done, we were asked to come back out to the floor and lined up numerically, then by height (shortest to tallest), and then broken in to groups to perform the routine again.
The first time I went was with an entire group of brunettes. They wanted us to compete against each other and fill the “brunette” spot. This is something completely new to me, but I totally understand why they did it. After my group, a group of shorter dancers, then ethnic dancers, then blondes followed.
After that, I got called out to perform the routine three more times, with them mix-and-matching groups of veteran and rookie hopefuls each time.
I, along with everyone else was exhausted! That didn’t matter though, because next up was a free-style line. One by one, we were asked to fill two counts of eight (about fifteen seconds) with whatever we want. Some girls tumbled, some girls broke it down, and I did what I feel most comfortable doing: leaps and turns.
Next, we were asked to line up again and were told there wouldn’t be any more cuts for the day. We all made it to Finals!
The top 32 will be taken down to 22 on Wednesday after a day of boot camp which includes a team workout and learning another routine. At the end of the day we are told they will pick a team of 19 and leave the final spot open for 3 girls to compete for. Fans will be able to vote for them online, and the one that the judges see most fit will earn the final 20th spot.
That is also something completely new to me!
Once again, I have to thank you all for your generous support and uplifting comments here as well as on all of my other social media pages. You guys ROCK my socks off!
I’m sure I will be back on Thursday with more to share. Happy Tuesday!