Archive for the ‘Girls’ Category

I had the opportunity to meet several members of the dance team for the N BA’s Golden State Warriors, the “Warrior Girls,” when I coordinated their calender shoot in the fall of 2010 at Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, about 80 miles east of San Francisco. The shoot gave me the opportunity to meet several of the girls and to interview their coach.

Warrior Girls Dance Team Director Susan Hovey is the person responsible for putting together a group of energetic and talented young ladies who pump up the crowd and keep them entertained during Golden State Warrior basketball games at Oracle Arena. As the Dance Team Director, Hovey directs the Warrior Girls, Jr. Jam Squad and GS Lightning dance teams. “I have the most amazing dancers and talent,” says Hovey. “It’s really exciting to work with this group.”

Prior to working with the Golden State Warriors, she was the director of the Seattle SuperSonics Dance Team, Boom Squad and Junior Hip-Hop Troupe, as well as the WNBA’s Seattle Storm Adult Hip-Hop Squad. She has also danced with the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks and Phoenix Mercury, and choreographed for those teams, along with choreographing for the Portland Fire and Seattle Storm.

According to Hovey, making the Warrior Girls Dance Team is no small feat. Each July, nearly two-hundred girls are pared down to 18 who make the final squad — in just a matter of days. “The audition is a really tough process. We start on a Saturday and work from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. At the end of the day, they perform a routine for the judges. They come back the next day and perform it again. Then we have interviews. At the end of day one we cut to 50. After day two we cut it to 35 and after the interviews there are 25 girls left.” The next step in the process is a boot camp for the top 25 girls. The two-day military style boot camp is a grueling experience which shows how much grit and athleticism the candidates possess.

Over the weekend, the girls must learn another routine. “We see who works really hard, and who has a positive attitude and personality to handle the job,” says Hovey, “We’re looking for the whole package; a girl with a great personality who is also a great dancer, and who we feel we can send out on appearances to be an ambassador for the Warriors.”

Practice for the final 18 girls who make the team begins in August, along with a dance camp where 35 to 40 routines must be learned for use throughout the season. In total, the girls will eventually learn over 60 routines and perform them during 41 home games. In addition to these games, the team practices three days per week. The job involves a high level of commitment, and a constant dedication toward making every performance shine. “I am very excited for this season. I have a phenomenal team and I can’t wait to showcase their talent and entertain the fans.”