Practices and games have been so much fun! We have been learning new dances each practice and have some very fun themed dances coming up! The whole experience has been very rewarding. But, the most rewarding part of being a Jazz dancer has been the charity appearances. I have had the most amazing experiences with the charity functions I have been able to attend. The Jazz puts a huge focus on giving back and reaching out to the community.
The first appearance was The Taste of Utah at The Grand America Hotel at down town Salt Lake. This charity gala was for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that affects almost 30,000 children in the United States. It was our job to sell raffle tickets for prizes that were being auctioned off! It was so cool because the Jazz had donated so many things to be auctioned off. There were shoes signed by the players, jerseys and tickets for the games! One of the most coveted items was a signed basketball by legendary Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. It was so amazing to be apart of such an amazing event representing the Jazz and raising money for a disease that affects so many.
The next charity appearance was at Primary Children’s hospital. This appearnce has been a tradition for the past 30 years for the dancers, players, bear and coaches to go and visit the children and had out toys. I was.paired up with another dancer and the Bear to go around and visit room to room. We handed out small basketballs and posters to the kids. It was so much fun going with the bear because the kids LOVED him. He was getting on the beds with them, running around and scaring the hospital staff! Every child kept on saying “that silly bear! He’s crazy!” The kids were so excited to see some of their favorite players. And kept saying “Go Jazz!” It was such a rewarding way to spend my afternoon and help those kids feel a little bit better.