This episode of Haley’s diary features the “Zombie Dance” from inception to performance
Hi Jazz Fan’s, Alex here! I am beyond thrilled that basketball season has begun and is in full swing. There is no greater feeling than dancing at EnergySolutions Arena with 18 of my favorite girls, while cheering on our Utah Jazz. Us, Jazz Dancers have been training intensively for the all of the home games ahead. When we aren’tgetting our booty’s kicked by our personal trainer GPP’s very own Neil Anderson, we are busy cramming our brains with numerous dance routines choreographed by the best of the best!
Hopefully you have been to some of the Jazz games not only to watch the Jazz, but to see the exhilarating dance routines we’ve been performing. We’ve done everything from coming back from the dead as Zombies to boxing the Jazz Bear. It has been a blast performing a different dance routine at each game. I believe we are going on 34 dances learned and counting!!! There is never a break during the season, we are always on the go!
Opening night was a blast to say the least. We were what I like to call “Zombiefied” by our talented hair and makeup stylists, known as The Garden Salon and Day Spa. Can you believe we went from Zombies back to Jazz Dancers in less than 5 minutes? Let’s just say it was pure chaos in our locker room that night!
How about the Harley Davidson Motorcycles that we used as props in our biker routine! Can you say “Bad to the bone?” hahaha I loved how we were all suited in biker gear head to toe, it really made me want a gold sparkly Harley for myself!
One of my all time favorite routines was choreographed by our Coach, Jan Whittaker. I like to call this one, GATSBY as in The Great Gatsby!!! The gold fringe dresses and the song “A little party never killed nobody” by Fergie and you’ve got me dancing out of my shoes. I’m a little obsessed!!!
Last but not least, how could I forget about boxing with the Jazz Bear? Us, Jazz Dancers threw on our boxing gloves and were ready to rumble with Bear like champs! Best believe we took him down and were the last ones standing! #floydmayweather
The Jazz basketball season is flying by, therefore I’m making the most of every moment and capturing all of the wonderful memories we’ve been making along the way. With this being my second season as a Jazz Dancer, I’m pleased to say it just keeps on getting better! I feel so thankful to have this job opportunity and work with the best people around. The Jazz have been working as hard as ever and have had a lot of close games which keeps everyone on their toes. I cannot wait to see their progress at upcoming games while cheering them on courtside. Stay tuned for some more Jazz Dancer action and as always Go Jazz GO!!!
In Haley’s first video diary she and the rest of the Jazz Dancers went to Park City for some shopping and bowling
Hey everybody!! My name is Haley, I’m 25 years old and from Farmington. And this is my first year as a Jazz Dancer! Yaya!! I want to show you all the fun things we get do, because it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life… and we haven’t even started games yet! First I’ll tell you a little bit about myself, then I’ll get into the good stuff- life as a Jazz Dancer
I grew up cheering and dancing, and it’s always been my passion. I love it!! I’ve been dancing since age 3, and started tumbling when I was 5. I was a cheerleader in junior high for 2 years, then cheered my sophomore year at Davis High School. I then decided that I wanted to dance again so was on the drill team for my junior and senior year. I am so glad to be able to say I did both the cheer and drill team in high school because I love doing both! I danced for a year up at Weber State a few years ago and now here I am, living out a life long dream of being a Jazz Dancer! These are girls I’ve always looked up to and aspired to be like, so I feel extremely privileged to be a part of them. Now I’ve been working a few jobs- I nanny, do hair, teach cheer, and work for a clothing company called La La Lovely, so I’m kind of all over the place . But I like to stay busy so it’s good for me. And of course my favorite job, being a member of the Jazz Dancers!!
I’ve always been a Jazz fan. Growing up my dad shared season tickets with another family so I went to lots of games. It was my absolute favorite thing! My favorite player was Antoine Carr, “Big Dawg”. And my dance teacher was a Jazz Dancer, so a lot of times she would take me down on the court with her and I could cheer on the Jazz right up close. It’s one of my best memories. Ever since then I wanted to become a Jazz Dancer and be just like her. So needless to say this is such an honor for me to finally be able to say I made it.
It’s been such an amazing experience so far! We started practice at the end of August and have been learning dance after dance after dance! We’ve learned about 20 dances, and had several choreographers come in to teach us routines. It’s a little overwhelming. We practice for 4 hours twice a week, so practices can get long, but hey we gotta look good for all our great fans!!!
At practice with Brayden, one of the awesome Choreographers we had come in to teach us a routine. I stole this picture from him
Matching with Val
Appearances are some of the funnest things I’ve ever done! We do a lot of golf tournaments, which I actually enjoy because my dad’s the head pro at a golf course so I’ve always loved to golf. So going to those are really fun! We normally hand out free stuff for the players participating in thetournament, or give them drinks or creamies, or sit at the “hole-in-one” holes to see if they actually get the hole in one and win a free car! So it’s nice to just sit out on the golf course for the day, and meet lots of nice people!
Karlie and I at the Utah Open at Oakridge Country Club. “Hole-in-One” hole to win a car and handing out Creamies!
Me, Whitney M., Erica, and Alex up at the Homestead golf course for the “Fore a Cure” tournament for the Hemophilia Foundation.
We did an appearance at Knowlton Elementary in Farmington for their “Fall Festival”. Which a I loved because that’s where I live! There were bounce houses and blow up toys and prizes! We were at the basketball blow up toy where if they made a basket they got a prize! Oh and these are a few of the kids I nanny! I sure love them
Jussssst bein’ cool like the kids on the bus…
And one of my favorite appearances so far was a 19 year old boys birthday party! It was truly the neatest experience. His name is Oakley and he’s honestly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met! He has such a spunky personality and says the wittiest things! And he sure knows his sports, you can ask him any player and he can tell you where he plays, where he’s played in the past, and where he went to college! So you definitely don’t want to challenge him on that haha. Apparently he’s wanted the Jazz Dancers to come to his birthday for the past couple years, but they didn’t know how to get a hold of us. So Shriner’s Hospital finally contacted our coach and we all jumped on the opportunity to get to attend his birthday party. It was Whitney, Valerie, Katy and me who were the lucky ones that got to go and I’m so grateful for the chance I got to not only meet this kid, but make his birthday a little better.
Havin fun with Oakley the Birthday Boy!! Sure laughed a lot with this kid.
I have a secret obsession. It’s a crazy and absurd obsession that many might find weird or slightly obsessive compulsive. My obsession is with logistics! I know you are probably thinking really logistics?! I love to figure out schedules, what time I need to arrive places and plan what time I should leave places to go onto the next place. I think maybe I should have a career in something like air traffic control. I love to hear the logistics of people’s days and their “to do lists”. So I thought I would share what a day in the life of Kelsey is like on a game day. For us dancers we have pretty hectic schedules with many of us in school and all of us with jobs other than the Jazz, and logistics and schedules are KEY into have a smooth running day!
Game days, as they have been for the past couple of games, are usually on week day nights. So this means that my day starts extra early to wake up for school! I wake up at 7:30 and get ready for school. As I am getting ready I am packing my “Jazz” bag for the game that night. I run down to my kitchen, with my school bag and game bag in tow and grab a bowl of cereal and eat while reading the newspaper. It’s important to be up to date with what’s going on locally, nationally and in the world! I am out the door by 8:30 and on my way up to the University of Utah. On my way to class I always stop at the Seven Eleven for a 44 oz diet coke because I NEED my Diet Coke to wake me up and give me some energy to power through the day!
Once I am up at the U of U, I am in classes from 9:10 to 12:45. After my last class I grab something to eat and another Diet Coke (of course) and head to the library to study and do my homework for that night because I won’t have time to do it later that night. I study and do home work until 2:45. I then hike ( it literally feels like a hike) across campus to my car. From there I drive down to the ESA. We have to be in our dressing room at 3:45 but most of us get there around 3:20. Once in the dressing room I change and get into my practice clothes. From 4-5 we practice and space our dances for that night out on the court. After we are done with that we go back into the dressing room and eat dinner that the Jazz provides for us and get ready for the game. At 6 we have to be ready to go with our hair and makeup and in our sweats. Our coach goes over the game schedule for that night and then we go upstairs and greet the fans coming in! At 6:40 we go back down stairs and get into our first outfit for the game and touch up our hair and makeup and get stretched and warmed up to go! The game starts around 7:10 and ends usually around 9:30. After the game we go into the locker room and grab our bags and change out of our outfits and our coach reviews with us how the game went and how we performed. By the time we leave it usually 9:50. On the way I always get a Diet Coke (I am not even ashamed.) I am home around 10: 45 and go and immediately get ready for bed because I am exhausted by then! I always try and be asleep by 12:00 because the next day I usually have early morning class again!
That’s the logistics of my day. It’s a crazy hectic day on game days but so worth it! I feel so lucky to call this my job, because it isn’t even like a job to me!
Any athlete, no matter the sport, can agree that in order to be an athlete you have to be in your top physical shape. As a dancer, the same saying applies. Why do you think most of the NFL line men take dance classes in their off season?! For coordination and being able to move quickly! As a Jazz dancer we have to be in our top physical shape. Not only to maintain a healthy looking figure but to have a healthy body so we can perform to the best of our abilities. Games require a lot of energy to get through and take physical strength and stamina. Try sprinting, jumping up and down and dancing all while in costumes with a smile on your face!
I have been dancing for 17 years and while being a Jazz Dancer, this is the easiest for me to dance. Why?! Because I am in my best physical shape I have ever been in! We Jazz dancers have a secret weapon, our trainer, Neil Anderson from GPP Fitness. Neil has been the Jazz dancer’s trainer for a couple of years now. And his workouts WORK!
GPP Fitness is located in Centerville, Utah and the first time I went I was a little hesitant. I have always been used to going to gyms with the big, fancy machines. Whereas GPP looks like a warehouse with the old school weights, tires, rowers and an adult version of the monkey bars. But that’s GPP’s point exactly, the old stuff works. The basics give you the best results! Neil’s philosophy is not only to be the healthiest “YOU” but to be mentally healthy as well, and living an active life promotes that! And whatever your needs, if you are just starting out, training for a marathon, or a dancer, GPP can accommodate certain workouts to specifically help you meet your goal! The way that they do it is workout classes. If you can’t make it to his gym he puts his workouts for that day on his website. With links to GPP’s YouTube page to show the specific move if you don’t understand it. Because I am a student and live a busy life most days, when I don’t have practice and can’t make it to his gym I do the workouts online. The workouts can range 20 minutes to an hour. But the key is to know you are not competing with anyone else, only yourself. From doing these workouts I have seen muscles I never knew existed and my energy and stamina levels have increased immensely! I promise they can work for you too!
If you get a chance head up to GPP or check out the workouts online! This stuff works and you will see results soon!
I especially love the Jazz Fit games because of the routines we do (I loved the one with the Bear!) but because we help promote fitness. Here are some pictures of our Jazz Fit night!
Have a great week!!