Nobody knows the Dallas Mavericks Dancers better than Mallory Mills, who was a dancer for seven years and has been the group's director for the past two. So we asked Mills to answer these burning questions.
1. What are the three most important qualities you look for in a Mavs dancer? How important are looks?
The three most important qualities I look for in a Dallas Mavericks Dancer is No. 1, of course, their dancing. No. 2 is how they carry themselves as young ladies, and No. 3 is how well they get along with the returning veterans and their fellow candidates.
Looks are important, but we are looking for all different types of girls to please the crowd. This is a professional dance team and at the end of the day we are looking for the best fit for our image, which does include appearance, dance and how they act. We are looking for the whole package.
2. How many times a week does the team practice and perform?
We practice Monday through Wednesday every week, depending on games. When the season starts, we can practice up to three times a week and possibly have three games that week. So our schedule is tough.
3. The routines are very rigorous. Do you have to deal with many injuries as the season wears on?
You know, we are all human, and there will be times that girls get sick, or twist something, but we have been very fortunate and have not had to deal with anything serious.
4. What compelled you to try out to be a Mavs dancers? And now, as the director, what do you think most of the women who try out are looking to gain from the experience?
What compelled me to try out for the Mavericks was the dancing part. I love to perform, and getting that opportunity almost every day was like a dream come true for me. You learn and grow a lot as the years go on. I think most of the girls trying out also have a passion for dance. They want to gain experience as a professional dancer, and once they make the team, they realize that it is a very vigorous schedule. But in the end, it is all worth it.
5. Do most of the dancers have other jobs?
The Dallas Mavericks Dancers are required to have other jobs or be enrolled in school.
6. After last year's NBA title run, the Mavs Dancers have gained a high profile. Any friendly competition between the Mavs Dancers and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?
No, we are two different organizations, and we are both run differently. We share a lot of the same girls as well, so it is very friendly between the two groups. We are here to represent the Dallas area the best that we can and support every team.
7. Do the dancers get to know the players much? Are they allowed to date players?
No, the dancers are not allowed to mingle with the players. We like to keep everything professional when it comes to the two groups. Of course, they say hi and will be on appearances together, but they are not allowed to date the players.
8. Much like being a professional athlete, there is only a limited amount of time someone can be a Mavs dancer. What are some of the professions former Mavs dancers have gone on to?
Lexy Hulme was on Glee and toured with the cast of Glee. She also danced in the film 500 Days of Summer. Lexy's sister, Cerissa, is in real estate. Jennie Fan works for CBS radio in Dallas. Lindsay Shoulders is TCU's pom director.
9. The dancers interact with the fans quite a bit, at the AAC and at public appearances. Certainly, most fans are adoring and respectful, but do you ever have to fend off marriage proposals and/or advances from delusional guys?
Not really. The fans are very respectful of the dancers and love to see them. I am sure we have had a few marriage proposals here and there from the guys, but it's all fun and games. The girls love getting to interact with the fans any chance they get.
10. The Mavericks are fighting to make the playoffs this year, which must seem surreal after a championship season. Are most of the dancers hard-core basketball fans?
Yes, most of the girls are basketball fans. It's important for them to follow the team and be updated about what's going on throughout the league.