DALLAS -- While the temperature in DFW exceeded the 100-degree mark, things were really heating up inside the massive Hilton Anatole hotel as the Dallas Mavericks Dancers, the "Hottest Dance Team in the NBA," held its annual auditions last weekend.
More than 200 women were inside the Coronado Ballroom on Saturday to chase their dream of joining the elite dance team, which is respected throughout the NBA. The day began with Ali Dee (American Airlines Center in-arena, on-court host for Mavs games and host of Mavs Insider on FOX Sports Southwest) introducing the panel of eight judges, which included Director Mallory Mills, Mavs Dancers trainer Sharif Abboud and yours truly.
The ladies all performed a freestyle routine before the judges convened to make the first cut. Those who survived were taught a routine to be performed for the judges in order to show how quickly and precisely they can pick up choreography. Following another cut, the remaining dancers were taught the second part of the routine and had one last chance to impress before Ali Dee announced the names of the 40 women advancing to Sunday's finals auditions.
On Sunday, the finals took place in the hotel's Metro Ballroom and included the 14 returning veterans from last year's squad. They joined the ladies who advanced beyond the first day. They all learned a new dance and veterans (since they're not guaranteed a spot) were placed among the new candidates. With the Mavs official DJ, DJ Whiz T playing A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie from The Great Gatsby soundtrack, the competitors came into the room in groups of three and gave it everything they had to impress the judges. The decision was so tough for the judges that many of the ladies were brought back in for a second look.
After a careful deliberation, Mallory Mills announced the names of the 34 women who would be advancing to training camp, which takes place Monday-Thursday and includes interview with Mavs personnel and intense one-on-one sessions to see who will represent the franchise in front of 20,000 fans at home games and and appearances in the community and around the world. The final roster will be announced Thursday evening.
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