Most women on the Dallas Mavericks Dancers squad have been cheering since they were barely old enough to be in kindergarten.
“It has been a really rewarding experience,” said Dallas Mavericks Dancer Lauren Gibler. “I’ve been a dancer since I was 3 years old so growing up dancing and being able to dance in a professional atmosphere is just really great.”
But making the team isn’t easy. You’re competing against the best dancers in the state, you must to impress the judges, survive multiple rounds of cuts, sweat through a week long training camp and perfect a unique style of dance.
“It’s not hip hop and it’s not just jazz,” said Director of the Dallas Mavericks Dancers Mallory Mills. “It’s a combination of both and cheerleading is almost involved in it too.”
Mallory Mills started dancing with the Mavs when she was eighteen. After seven years of performing on the court she’s now the director of the team. She hand picked this year’s group and knows first hand the perks that come with the job.
“Besides the calendar and being well known in the community, it’s also the dancing,” said Mills. “They do it mainly because they love to dance, and they love the hard work and the satisfaction that they get out of the hard work and dancing on the court.”
It’s not all basketball games and calendar shoots. These girls put in a lot of hard work. On top of being students and having a full-time jobs, they practice for eight hours a week and you don’t look like Dallas Mavericks Dancers without spending a lot of quality time at the gym.
“Most of us get to the gym even earlier than we do for practice, and then we’ll work out, get ready for practice, practice before practice, and then go to practice,” said Dallas Mavericks Dancer Jenna Zmolik.
Jenna Zmolik is in her fourth season as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer. New members of the team look to veterans like Zmolik and Mills to learn the art of balancing dancing, school, work and life.
“I understand what the girls are going through,” said Mills. “I understand that it does take time to adapt.”
And adapting is something the Mavericks Dancers seem to do very well. Between practice, working out, studying and a job, they always manage to have fun. Something anyone can appreciate.
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