Last week the Sacramento Kings held auditions for their on-court dance team. Nearly 200 dancers came to audition for a spot on the roster to dance this upcoming season. The audition process is a rigorous and demanding experience for everyone who comes out. The Kings only pick the best of the best when it comes to the dance team, so these dancers would have to really give it their all in order to obtain one of the coveted positions.
It's always an excited time for me when auditions come around because I enjoy the shooting dance photography. I love the movement involved in dance - it's graceful, powerful, and elegant all at the same time. I am amazed at the talent that all the dancers have; there was some high level skill on display!
The audition process consists of a few different stages. The dancers have to learn both a jazz and hip-hop routine on the fly. These routines are performed in a large group and in smaller groups. The dancers are judged at different points during the audition process, and cuts are made periodically. If dancers make it through the two routines, they still have to come back and perform a solo dance showcasing their own unique skill set.
Throughout the day the judges carefully watch each auditioner. Every little thing is noticed - from dance techniques to whether or not the dancer is engaging the audience. The dancers have to be 'on' the entire time they are at the audition. There really isn't a time to rest save for the quick water breaks. It's really intense!
Because there is so much talent to choose from, the judges have to think very carefully about each dancer. The judges discuss each dancer's attributes in great detail. Included in discussions are whether or not a dancer will be a good ambassador for the Kings basketball team. Yes, dancers need to be flawless dancing on the court, but the dancers must also have the ability to interact well with fans and represent the organization with class. They are looking for the complete package.
The few dancers who are chosen to make the 2017/18 Sacramento Kings Dancers squad were given flowers when their number was announced. Those who made it onto the team were overcome with happiness and joy. The hard work and effort paid off!
Congrats to all the dancers who made the final cut! I'll be looking forward to seeing everyone out on the court during the Kings games! This will be an extremely exciting time, especially for the first year dancers. Becoming an NBA dancer is certainly life changing. Big things are to come!
A special thank you goes out to the judges led by Jenn Santich. Each year they spend the time to get all of this together in order to build the best team possible. I'm looking forward to a great season of dance!