Last weekend was one for the books, y’all!
Alongside 150 other women, I was able to take the court to dance for the Orlando Magic again. (For those who don’t know, I used to dance for the team from 2007-2011, followed by the Detroit Pistons from 2012-2014.)
It was an alumni halftime performance to celebrate 30 years of Magic Dancers (dating back to 1989), so while it wasn’t exactly the same as the old days … it felt pretty amazing to get out there and perform, even for five minutes.
Our large group was divided into six segments, and I was a part of two of them. It was challenging but so fun to learn hip hip-style choreography again!
As expected, our entire trip home to Florida was a whirlwind. We always make as much time as we can to see family, and unfortunately, this one was so scheduled that we didn’t even venture out to meet other friends outside of our Magic family. There just wasn’t enough time to do everything! That reminds me a lot of my old schedule while dancing, too. (hehe.)
That aside, our weekend was filled with family time, rehearsals, and several hours at the Amway Arena in Downtown Orlando.
This is actually the third OMD Reunion that I have participated in, the first being ten years ago (!!!) when I was still dancing on the team. I still can’t wrap my head around how fast time has gone by. I brought my friend (and Detroit Pistons Dancers teammate) Alex along for the ride last time, and this year was extra special because I had a new little mascot by my side.
(He wasn’t too sure about the furry green guy, but at least he didn’t cry!)
Naturally, each reunion includes more kiddos to see and hang out with among our group, and it felt surreal to walk through the pre-game reception with Skyler to meet everyone. That moment was just as special for Scott, too, as he worked and performed with the organization for nine seasons. (For the newbies, this is how we actually met!)
This year’s game prep was a little different for me, as it included changing diapers and feeding Skyler before going downstairs for one final review of the routine before it was time to fix my lipstick and take center court. I wouldn’t have had it any other way! It was such a cool experience to be able to invite both Skyler and Scott, as my husband rather than another employee, down to the court to watch me dance again.
I always forget how much I love dancing until I’m in the middle of a performance. It brings so much joy to my life and getting the opportunity to do what I love next to the women who felt and still feel like sisters is an indescribable feeling. Now that we’re older and onto our own lives, everyone is juggling careers, parent life, and worlds completely outside of Orlando.
It’s always so hard to get together, and the fact that this reunion happens every five years truly warms my soul. It’s such a blast from start to finish!
(Kelly and I actually had babies on the SAME day! Skyler has a birthday twin named Gianna.)
After halftime, Scott and I spent the remainder of the game walking around saying hello many familiar faces. While our departure from the team wasn’t as planned as we thought it would be, it finally felt like we were home again. It was the first time Scott had been back onto the court since he left it in 2011, and he admitted that just sitting there with Skyler tugged on his heartstrings a little.
Being home meant that Skyler was able to hang with the family that he doesn’t usually get to see, so Scott and I had time outside of the house to catch up with our Magic friends while he spent quality time with my parents and family. Downtown Orlando has certainly changed since we moved away from the area, and it was neat to explore places all over again while being out and about.
(Holding up how many years we were on the team. I couldn’t figure out how to show four – both hands or one?)
As expected, everything ended way quicker than we wanted it to, and before we knew it, we were on a plane ride back to New York City on Monday. I think we’ll plan to stay a few extra days next time. And on that note … it’s insane to think that Skyler will be five years old then!
I’m ending this post still on a high with a huge smile on my face. I have nothing but love for my Magic family and can’t thank my coaches who are still there and worked hard to organize everything to come together. Thank you, Jeanine and Cherie!
Until the next one!