With the beginning of basketball season right around the corner, Valley fans of the Phoenix Suns are excited to see their team back on the court.
None, though, can match the excitement of Brittney Dodd, a Desert Vista grad and first-time Suns Dancer, who says it’s a dream come true.
“I’ve always been a big fan,” said Dodd, 18, who has been dancing since she was a toddler. “I’ve been wanting to be a Suns Dancer ever since I was a little girl.”
In August, 162 local dancers auditioned for a spot on one of the NBA’s most prestigious dance teams. After countless photo shoots, boot camp workouts and an extensive audition process, only 16 local girls were chosen to represent the Phoenix Suns for the 2009-2010 season.
Dodd, a former cheerleader at Desert Vista and a Kimberly Lewis School of Dance alumna was thrilled when she discovered she had secured a spot on the team.
To find out if they had made it, the girls had to watch a video online. Dodd called this “one of the most stressful things I have ever been put through.”
The video consisted of each girl climbing out of a Hummer limo and introducing herself to the camera. If her segment was in the video, then she knew she had made the team.
“The video seemed like it was going on for eternity… I was the third to last to come out of the limo,” Dodd said.
All of the stress, sweat and struggle that went into the audition process ultimately was worth it.
“The first time I put on my uniform was something I’d been looking forward to for a long time,” she said.
Although the season has not yet officially started, the team has been busy practicing and promoting in preparation of the first game on Oct. 28.
Part of being a Suns Dancer is representing the basketball team and putting the Suns’ name out there. This means doing various media promotions such as commercials, public appearances and photo shoots. On Oct. 6, the Dancers will be traveling to Palm Springs, Calif, for a pre-season game at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Kari Herrick, the dance team manager, said this is the second year the Dancers will perform at the Tennis Garden and the team is excited for the first official media promotion of the season.
Being a professional dancer is not all glitz and glamour. A lot of responsibility comes with being a Suns Dancer. Dodd said her years at the Kimberly Lewis School of Dance in Ahwatukee Foothills not only taught her to be a great dancer, but also prepared her for the business aspect of dance.
“Dancing at Kimberly Lewis really prepared me for the professional industry. Kimberly kept us on our toes and treated us all like professionals,” she said.
Above all, being a Suns Dancer means having a good time and making sure the audience is entertained as well. So far, the girls have six routines down and are busy in the studio working on more. Suns fans should expect amazing and entertaining things from the girls this season.
The Dancers will perform at every home game. Visit suns.com for a full schedule of the upcoming games.
Leslie D’Ambrosio is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.