The sweet smell of hairspray, sparkles and nervous faces lined the edge of the basketball court at the Ultimate Fieldhouse in Walnut Creek Saturday. Young girls from across the Bay Area and as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah showed up to compete for a much-coveted spot on the Golden State Warriors dance team.
Saturday’s auditions were just prelims, and those selected go on to a final interview, boot camp and audition Aug 18. But nerves were high and the energy bouncing off the contestants as they walked in through the door for what could be the biggest day of their lives infectious, to say the least.
For those who make the 32nd Warriors Dance Team for the 2016-17 NBA season, it’s safe to say, life will never be the same again.
A note from Warriors Dance Team Director Sabrina Ellison reminded everyone to “just have fun,” which helped set the tone for the day. A banner hanging above the dance floor had a photo of Stephen Curry with the words: “have fun doing what you do,” the dance team’s motto last year.
The warmup room quickly got packed to the brim with make-up, mirrors and dancers. About 120 girls auditioned for the first round, including 15 members from last year’s dance team, who were auditioning to keep their spot on the team. Many have tried out for the Raiderettes and Gold Rush dance teams as well.
The dance auditions lasted less than a minute each, and pretty soon it was down to 75 girls. Ellison reminded the aspiring dancers that she did not make the team the first time around. In spite of that, she went on to become an NBA dance team coach. After a hip-hop round, the number of contestants were narrowed down to 40.
Last year, 21 dancers ended up being part of the Warriors Dance Team.
For those interested in future auditions, Warriors Dance Team auditions are open to anyone 18 years or older. Audition prep classes are also held every year before auditions and are a great way for prospective dancers to brush up their skills, learn the Warriors dance team style and chat with Ellison.