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Lizards Dance Team to Hold Pre-Audition Clinic

December 9, 2016
Have you ever dreamed of being a dancer for a professional sports team? Well…you are in luck! Come see what it takes to be a member of the New York Lizards Dance Team at our Pre - Audition Clinic.  At the Clinic on January 14, 2017 attendees will have the opportunity to meet head coach Paula Sanders, a former Knicks City Dancer, who has performed with Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Melissa Gorga, Prince Royce and Winsin y Yandel.  Paula will give advice and provide attendees with a pre-tryout advantage by teaching the 2017 tryout routine.  

As a member of the New York Lizards Dance Team, you will perform alongside many talented women coming from various dance backgrounds.  The New York Lizards Dance Team performs at all Lizards home games, as well as attends all public appearances throughout the MLL season.

We decided to speak with Paula Sanders and some of the 2016 New York Lizards Dance Team members. Here’s what they had to say!

Paula:

What is your favorite part about being the head coach of the New York Lizards dance team?
My favorite part of coaching this team is watching the dancers grow both as performers and as individuals. I also love to see the bonds that form between the team members, I’ve seen some amazing friendships form and that to me is so special!

How does the dance team contribute to the overall experience?
I think the dance team really brings the energy and excitement to the field each and every game! I think the fans both young and old really adore the girls and look forward to watching them perform and meeting them pre-game in the fan zone.

How has your experience as a coach been different than your experience as a member on a dance team?
Being on the other end is completely different! When I was performing professionally the pressure was on me to execute my routines perfectly, hit every mark and nail every movement. I needed to be prepared for every rehearsal, game and promo both mental and physically. However, as a coach there is an entirely different set of pressures but to me they are even more great because at the end of the day the team is a reflection of me and I want to be the best possible coach for these girls. I feel that my team deserves me at my best, so I always give them 100% of my attention, my experience, and my guidance. I strive to make the work environment fair and fun but have every girl leaving a much better performer than when she first entered rehearsals. I have loved being a part of this organization and a part of these girls lives!

What are the benefits of attending the Clinic?
It is so important to attend the clinic because it prepares you for the audition! It will take the guess work out of everything for you and you can come the day of focusing on displaying you at your best, not worrying about learning choreography, etc.

What qualities and techniques do you look for in the dancers that attend the clinic and/or tryouts?
I look for the girl with the best energy in the room! The one who asks smart questions, who works really hard and who wants to improve rather than stand out! I want strong, athletic, intelligent and glamorous dancers who want to work hard and advance their professional dance career.

Dancer: Davanna Law

Why did you tryout for the Lizards dance team?
I saw the open call on Backstage while I was at work the day before the audition. At first I just scrolled past it being that I was mainly into musical theatre dance, but I had always wanted to be apart of a dance team. So I took a leap of faith and tried out.

What is your favorite part about being a member of the New York Lizards dance team?
Being able to share my passion while also encouraging others is my favorite part of being a Lizard's dancer. We get to train, perform, and show off all while cheering on the best team in the league. It's pretty awesome.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment during one of your performance?
My most embarrassing performance moment definitely happened at our very first game. A "V-sit" (a move where you jump back on your hands and your legs hit a straddle position, key being you have to catch yourself) was choreographed into one of our dances. I guess I got so excited to throw it that my hands just never seemed to reach the ground. My legs did the right thing, but since I didn't catch myself; I literally came crashing down on the ground like flattened pancake. It was certainly not my most graceful moment.

What dance experience did you have prior to joining the New York Lizards dance team?
I trained in several styles of dance ranging from hip hop to Irish step at Blue Ridge Performing Arts Academy in Virginia throughout my teen years. I moved to New York to attend college at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy where I focused on musical theatre dance and voice.

What advice would you give to prospective members who attend the clinic and/or tryouts?
To those trying out, as corny as it sounds, just have fun. Of course the choreography is important, but living your best life on the dance floor is what shines through. So pull up, show out, and whip that hair!

Dancer: Christine Hogg

Why did you tryout for the Lizards dance team?
I wanted to apply my 18 years of dance background into a professional space. I finally felt confident enough to put myself out there and audition for things, that at the time, were out of my comfort zone. I found the audition online, and figured "hey what do I have to lose!?" It was one of the best decisions I have made thus far. It is the perfect start too.

What is your favorite part about being a member of the New York Lizards dance team?
The dance family I have become a part of. My teammates are now like sisters to me, and my closest friends and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I look forward to practice and games not only for the love of dancing, but to spend time with my favorite people, doing my favorite thing.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment during one of your performance?
Hmmm yes, forgetting a move during a rapid dance and my coach noticing my "mess-up face!" Its funny how she says she always knows when we’re going to mess up due to our expressions, especially me she says! its embarrassing not feeling perfect and confident when performing on the field.

What dance experience did you have prior to joining the New York Lizards dance team?
Dancing for 18 years in various styles such as jazz, tap, modern, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, partnering, hip-hop and broadway styles.

What advice would you give to prospective members who attend the clinic and/or tryouts?
Give it your all! The more intensely you move your body the better you look. If you feel uncomfortable- good! You probably look fierce! This is what took me the longest to realize and adjust to, to break free from my skin and my boundaries. Move that body girl!

The clinic will be held on January 14th at Pearl Studios, 519 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10018 from 12-3 pm. The registration fee is $45 and can be paid by cash or a check made out to the New York Lizards. To register and get more information visit NYLizards.com/Pre-Tryout. You can also register on site. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be one step closer to being a New York Lizards dancer! We are looking forward to meeting you.