DALLAS -- While most everyone in DFW was outside enjoying the coolest three-day stretch in July in over 100 years, I was inside a huge ballroom inside the massive Hilton Anatole hotel for the 2014-15 Dallas Mavericks Dancers auditions.
The Mavs themselves have made plenty of noise in the off-season with the acquisitions of free agent forwards Chandler Parsons and Rashard Lewis and reacquiring the greatest center in Mavs history, Tyson Chandler. The team also re-signed point guard Devin Harris and the greatest player in franchise history, Dirk Nowitzki.
With all of the excitement generated by Mark Cuban and the Mavs front office, the Mavs Dancers had over 200 ladies on hand to try out for this year's team. There were so many girls who showed up to audition that the hotel's parking area that was designated for those attending the tryouts was overflowing, and the first round was delayed in order to accommodate everyone wanting to follow their dream of performing in front of 20,000 fans at American Airlines Center.
Chris Arnold, Mavs game night emcee, was the host of the day's proceedings and he took to the microphone to welcome the ladies and introduce the judges, all of whom were Mavs personnel, including fifth-year director Mallory Mills. The first round saw the ladies performing a freestyle routine of their choice to showcase their talents to the judges' panel. The ladies were lined up around the ballroom's outer perimeter and came up in groups of two with roughly 30 seconds to stand out from the group and earn an invitation to the second round.
After the judges deliberated, Arnold read off the numbers of those who would be advancing to the next round and had them congregate in the center of the room. For those who did not hear their number called, they gathered their belongings and headed for the exits, some with the hope that a first audition experience delivers and others fully aware that their dreams had come to an end.
The next two rounds raised the intensity, as the five returning five-year veterans Paige, Lauren, Emily, Sequel and Bonnie taught the ladies a choreographed routine to a snippet of Neon Jungle's Welcome to the Jungle. The veterans moved throughout the room and worked with the candidates to ensure that they were prepared to perform for the judges.
Following the day's final cut down, 53 ladies remained, and they all gathered around for instructions from Mills about what to expect for the next day when they would be returning for the final round; that will also include the 14 returning veterans who have to re-audition to keep their spot. The final round is Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Those who advance beyond the finals will go through a four-night training camp with the final squad set to be released on Thursday evening.
For further information on the Mavs Dancers, visit mavs.com.
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