FRISCO -- The Texas Legends presented by Vera Cruz are the Dallas Mavericks affiliate in the National Basketball Association Development League, commonly referred to as the D-League. The D-League is the NBA's official minor league organization that is essentially a stepping stone for players who are working their way up to the pinnacle of pro basketball or are looking for an avenue back to the big show. Current Mavs point guard Mike James 'auditioned' for Dallas while playing in Frisco prior to getting the call up while current legends guard Delonte West is able to show NBA teams in need of a solid back-court player for the season's stretch run that he still has what it takes to play in the NBA.
Much like the Dallas Mavericks Dancers are a huge part of the entertainment experience of attending a Mavs game at American Airlines Center, the Texas Legends Dancers are an integral aspect of the fan experience at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. Where the Mavs Dancers are universally known as the "Hottest Dance Team in the NBA," the Texas Legends Dancers are literally the best dance team in the NBADL as they were honored with the selection to perform at the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. They were a big part of the festivities including dancing at the NBADL All-Star Game and performing and signing autographs at the NBA All-Star Jam Session.
Where the Texas Legends team is a gateway to the NBA for aspiring pro basketball players, many of the 19 ladies who are a part of the Texas Legends Dancers team are determined to take the next step and join the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or Dallas Mavericks Dancers. Several were on the cusp of making the NFL or NBA squads this past summer and now they are performing on a big stage in front of thousands of sports fans and honing their dance skills before the upcoming auditions. Texas Legends Dancers Director Jen Contreras is a former Mavs Dancer and has her squad performing the same routines as the Mavs Dancers. Current Mavs Dancer Kristen K. was a Legends dancer last season before getting the "call up" to the NBA.
Since the dancers are required to either be a student or have a part-time job, balancing time between studying and work and their Legends schedule can be a job in itself. They practice twice a week -- Sundays and Tuesdays -- in addition to home games and appearances in the community. Their jobs range from being a nanny to being a fraud investigator for oil and gas to teaching dance to studying family development, but they all enjoy performing for the Legends big crowds.
Gamedays have the ladies arriving and ready by 5:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. tipoff and a majority of the night is spent interacting with fans before, during and after the game. They perform on the court following the second timeout of the second quarter as well as after every stoppage of play after the third timeout in the fourth quarter. While the game is going on, they are positioned at each baseline and take time for photo opportunities and signing autographs with the fans. Following the game, fans are allowed down on the court for pictures and autographs with the players and dancers.
The 2012-13 Texas Legends Dancers are veterans Shelby H., Sydney G., Ty C., Tralana P., Krysti W., Amy B., Keely M., DeAmber H., and Dutchess G. and rookies Lindsay E., Dani S., Kass A., Jamie L., Morgan M., Courtni W., Belinda L., Ashley C., Lisa B. and Erin Z.
Prep classes for next year's team will be held this summer at Next Step Dance. The schedule will be available at nextstepperformingarts.com. Auditions will be this summer shortly after the Dallas Mavericks Dancers auditions. For further information, visit the Texas Legends Dancers Facebook page.
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