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Jazz Dancer Life

Haley’s Diary: I Love My Job!

I can’t believe the season is almost over you guys!!! This year has absolutely flown by! And it’s been the funnest year of my life! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I just want to thank you all for being the greatest fans ever! Games would not be the same without you and your wonderful enthusiasm. I just want to share some pictures of my favorite moments from this year…

First of all the girls on this team are incredible. Not only are they stunningly beautiful on the outside, but they have the kindest hearts and are so loving. I feel so blessed to have met every single one of them, and they’re some of the most inspiring women I know. I made friendships to last a lifetime and am so lucky to call these girls my best friends.

IMG_0294Karlie, Whit, Me, Makenna

IMG_9932Dancing with my sweet dad

IMG_1127Dancing with my beautiful mama

DSC_1495and that exciting moment when I spot my mom while cheering up in the stands.

 I got to be a part of some amazing appearances this year that were so cool to get to participate in. From attending a little boy’s birthday party that is our biggest fan; supporting breast cancer awareness; providing children with shoes and socks who were so grateful to be getting them for Christmas; attending a fundraiser for a girl who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and my hair stylist skills came in handy and I was able to help put in pink hair extensions for all those who came out to support; doing an appearance at the airport with our awesome basketball players; dancing at a high school to support a wonderful anti-bullying program the Bear has started, and getting to hear Chris Hollyfield speak on his experiences with bullying and that we all need to help put an end to it; and helping at the Leapin’ Leaners and Low Tops event at the arena. Countless memories that I feel honored to be a part of.
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Sam, Katy, Gordon Hayward, Kait, Whitney, Makenna, and Me
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Whit and Me with Mark Eaton. We’re tall ;)
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Keva Juice runs after practice…. I think we went like 7 practices in a row. It always seems to sound good while dancing :)
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When the Jazz win!!!! Beating the Heat was probably the most exciting game ever!!
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When we beat the Lakers
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 I think you get the idea that I love my job right? Haha I hope you’ve enjoyed me being your dancer diary blogger, and that you got to see a little bit of what life is like for a Jazz Dancer. Thank you to everyone for all the support, I have the greatest family and friends a girl could ask for. I’ve met some amazing people through Jazz that have become my closest friends, and I’m so grateful for them in my life. We’ve had the funnest times already and I can’t wait for many more. I’m so blessed to have had this opportunity, and I’m so bummed this year is over! It’s one I’ll never forget :) Go Jazz!!!

Haley’s Diary: Bear Dance

Back in January I had the amazing opportunity to do a dance with the incredible Jazz Bear! It was honestly one of the highlights of the year for me. I had so much fun doing it so wanted to share some of the pictures with you…

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At the beginning of the season the Bear came up to me and told me he did dances with a couple of the dancers every year, and asked if I would be one of them. I felt so honored that he asked me! But had no idea what to expect. He told me I would need choose the music, choreograph it, and pick costumes and everything! Not gonna lie I was a little nervous, but also very excited about the opportunity!

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I was having a hard time deciding what kind of dance to do, because I wanted to make it simple enough for him to remember, but also fun to watch. It was actually my mom who suggested doing a 50’s dance. When I ran this idea by the Bear he was so awesome and began coming up with a bunch of his own ideas for it too, which helped a lot! I had chosen to do the song “You’re the one that I want” from Grease because it’s such a well known, fun song. I wanted to do a whole Grease theme, so he would be Danny and I would be Sandy :) He then had the idea to bring in a few other dancers and a few guys from the Dunk Team and Bear Crew to make it a little group dance and have a little more going on, which I absolutely loved!!!

I choreographed the dance, then met with him a few times to teach it to him and also to see what sort of tricks he could do, like all the fun moves they do in 50’s style dances, which were no problem at all for him. I was really impressed by how well he remembered it each time as well!  We’d just practice on game days a little before the game so that we could get it down the best we could. Then as it got closer to when we’d actually perform it, we practiced with everyone a few times to teach them the dance and try out all the tricks in it. I can’t thank all the people enough that helped us with this dance! They all were so willing to help and spend they’re time on it and I really appreciated it! I have some really awesome friends :) Anyways we’d planned on doing the dance in December, but things just kept happening and it kept getting pushed back haha so we ended up not doing it until January 2nd at the game vs. the Bucks.

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That night, I was actually really nervous for it – I’m not gonna lie. I just wanted it to go well and for everyone to love it :) We did it during the 3rd quarter break and my heart was pounding right before we went on, but luckily I had my girls there with me so it wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it’d be. As soon as the music started I immediately loosened up and felt so comfortable. The Bear totally rocked it!!!! Seriously! He remembered the dance perfectly, and did every trick the best we ever had! And it was soooo much freakin fun! I had such a blast and that’s a memory I’ll never forget. By far one of my favorite games of the year because all our hard work had paid off and it went so well, I couldn’t have asked for more. Especially from that crazy Bear, he did amazing and I’m sure people had no idea he could dance so well! Thanks again to those who helped me with this dance, I couldn’t have done it without you and you made it so much more fun to watch! And thank you Bear for such a wonderful experience!!!

Alex’s Diary: Favorite Memories

Hi Jazz Fans! I hope you are enjoying this basketball season as much as I am. I can’t even believe there is only a few more months left, this season has flown by!!! The Jazz Dancers and I have been reminiscing on many of the memories we have made during this season. It’s crazy to think that in just a few months it will be over! Where did the time go? Sometimes I feel like it goes by so fast because we are constantly busy and always working our hardest! However, I can’t really call it “work” when I’m having the time of my life while doing it, especially when my co-workers are some of my best friends!

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Top: Krissy, Whitney H., Danica, Haley, and Bri

Middle: Chelsea, Whitney M., Alex (me), Alexia, Valerie, Kait, and Karlee

Bottom: Katy and Sam

I wanted to share with you some of the dancers and my favorite memories so far during this season. I think we’d all agree that this season has really gone by way too fast, however it’s nice to know that we will always have the memories that we made to look back on. These memories date back to the beginning of tryouts, through grueling summer workouts, appearances within the community, and recent eventful Jazz games that will go down in history!

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Here are the veterans at the first day of tryouts; Nicole, Alex (me), Malorie, Sam, Valerie, Karlie, Chelsea, Angie, and Danica. That’s right! Even the returning Jazz Dancers must tryout out every year to maintain a spot on the team. I still remember the unsettling nerves in my stomach and the huge adrenaline rush when performing the tryout routine in front of the judges. This try out, as a veteran was still just as nerve wrecking as my rookie year tryout. However, it is comforting having prior teammates there who are experiencing the exact same thing! I will be honest in saying… I do not look forward to tryouts… Although it is fun meeting all of the candidates and seeing your hard work pay off after making the team. I will forever remember each tryout process and the incredible feelings of making the team!

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 Bri, Whitney, Kait, Alex (me), Katy, Chelsea, Nicole and Erica

During the summer of 2013 we were asked to make an appearance at the Color Run in Salt Lake. The Dancers and I constantly bring this appearance up because it was a BLAST to say the least! (Picture me saying that with my eyes bulging out of my head and my hands up in the air) It was that good!!! They asked us to cheer on the runners at the starting line and then perform as the runners were coming back from the finish line. We performed on a huge stage where there was a live DJ and tons of goodies being thrown out. We were ecstatic!!! Full of energy and nonstop dancing for a good four or five hours. There were hundreds and hundreds of people in the crowd which made it for an even more fun filled event!

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Whitney and Alex (me)

Hahahaha… I can’t even find the words to describe this moment…hahahaha… This was back in the summer after Whitney and I…barley…made it through one of the many grueling summer workouts. On this day we ran the infamous “Millstreet” (dun dun dun)… Gives me chills just thinking about it. The “Millstreet” workout consists of an uphill street, yes that being Millstreet, next to Bountiful High school and by “uphill” I really mean a HUGE, INCLINED, LONG DISTANCE, MOUNTAIN that we run up and down. We do this every year, however you never know when our trainer Neil Anderson is going to surprise us with it… It’s a KILLER, for you folks at home that are interested in trying it, please be aware of the following side effects for the next day after running “Millstreet”: not able to sit, stand, walk or move. Your best bet is to recover from bed, but daaaaang it sure feels good to conquer it!!!

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Top: Haley, Jan (coach), Whitney M., Alexia, Whitney H.

Middle: Makenna, Karlie, Valerie, Nicole, Bri

Bottom: Sam, Angie, Krissy, Chelsea and Alex (me)

This picture is from our Christmas Party, which I might add was also a “game night” success! During our annual Christmas party, which I always look forward to a good time, we exchange gifts with our secret sisters over dinner. This year our captain, Nicole, decided to put a twist on things and we also brought a $5 favorite item to play white elephant with! After all of the gift exchanging was done and our bellies were full of taco soup, chips, salsa, diet coke and homemade treats we decided to split up into teams and play CATCH PHRASE! We agreed on whoever reached 5 points first would win…but then our competitiveness came out and we settled on whoever reached 10 points would be the WINNER! This game brought out chaos in us all!!! Hahaha… I loved every bit of it, we were all yelling over each other, attempting to guess the correct word that the other person was explaining. Let’s just say this game was a hit and we had the best group to play it with!

alex3alex2Whitney, Kait, Valerie, Alex (me), Krissy, Alexia, Erica, and Chelsea

Can anyone guess this all-time favorite memory? …Drumroll… That’s right! JERRY SLOAN night!!! This was a historical night in Jazz history when the Jazz paid tribute to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan by raising a “1,223” banner to the Energy Solutions Arena rafters. It was such an amazing experience, standing on the court while Utah honored Jerry Sloan at halftime, first with a jersey and then the pull of a purple and white rope to reveal the banner. The crowd went wild!!! You could barely hear the congratulating speeches to Jerry Sloan from the familiar faces of John Stockton and Karl Malone. The dancers and I were so glad to be a part of the ceremony with thousands of other Jazz fans, it was truly an eventful night that we will always remember it.

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Top: Malorie, Bri, Angie, Erica, Makenna, Krissy, Kait, Katy, Nicole, and Jan (coach)

Bottom: Danica, Valerie, Alexia, Whitney M., Haley, and Chelsea

 THE JAZZ BEAT THE HEAT 94-89!!! Yes, of course this is included as a favorite memory this season! How could I forget the recent victory that the Jazz made over the Heat! The dancers were thrilled to witness this huge achievement for our Utah Jazz. I feel like it definitely shows the talent that our guys have and also gets the fans spirits up, which of course makes it much more enjoyable for the dancers. GO JAZZ GO!

As you can tell, we really have experienced some of the best events around! Which we would have only had the opportunity to experience as Jazz Dancers. That being said, I cannot express enough how grateful I am to be a part of such a wonderful professional dance team and be able to share all of these and many more memories with such amazing, talented, and genuine women! Stay tuned for more Dancer Diaries to come, and a huge thanks to our fans! We love you! #GOJAZZGO

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I wanted to give a shout out and congratulate the Jazz Dancer’s incredible captain, Nicole! She has been selected to represent our team at the 2014 NBA All-star Game, live on February 16th in the City of New Orleans. What an awesome opportunity!!! The dancers and I want to wish Nicole the best of luck, not that she will need it. Nicole is such a talented dancer and never disappoints. Not to mention she always puts her whole heart into what she is doing, while looking fierce and fabulous. We love you Nicole and are so proud of you! -Love your JD’s

Alex’s Dancer Diary ep. 2

Jazz Dancer Alex takes you behind the scenes and helps you get to know her and some of the other dancers

Haley’s Dancer Diary

Alright you guys, Jazz Season is officially underway! It has honestly flown by! To say I love my job would be a complete understatement. It’s truly been one of the greatest, funnest, most rewarding things I’ve been a part of and I am so grateful to be an America First Jazz Dancer.

Sooo if I’m being honest with you I don’t have tons to say :/ haha I mostly just have a lot of pictures I want to share with you that I think will show you better of what life is like for a Jazz Dancer on the court. I first just have to say it’s a lot of time, which I think is why the weeks pass by so quickly, because we stay extremely busy. Most weeks we have something basically every night. Obviously some weeks there are away games as well, but there’s been a couple weeks where I’ve had something Jazz related almost every night. Game Monday, practice Tuesday, game Wednesday, practice Thursday, and usually game Friday or Saturday. So it’s a dang good thing I love it right?!? :)

Funny how I said I didn’t have much to say and just wanted to show you pictures, and now I’m just rambling soooo sorry ‘bout that. I just wanna say really quick how much I love this team. They’re the most amazing girls I’ve ever met and I’m so lucky that I get to see them so often. I love that I get to form friendships with these girls who impress me on a daily basis with how kind, intelligent, strong, and beautiful they are. We have a good group of girls and I’m so blessed to call them friends. I love going to work every night just because of the people I get to spend it with. Also, the Bear Crew quickly became some of my favorite people. I wish you could meet them all because I know you’d love them too :)

 haley1 haley2Love the Stunt Team girls!!!! With Marysa….

haley3and with Jobie!!

My first game was probably the most exciting game I’ve had to far. Nothing can compare to that first moment you get to go out on the court and realize you’ve finally made it. It was a night I’ll never forget. Opening night, the first regular season game was such a rush too! It was against the Thunder and the Jazz played awesome! It was such an exciting game.

haley4Appearance at an America First Branch announcing them as our new sponsors!

haley5Very first Jazz game! With Whit on the top right, Whit, me, Bre, and Danica on the bottom.

haley6Opening night with Whit, Makenna, Karlie, and me.

So I’ve been lucky enough to have my parents attend almost every game I’ve been in. Most supportive people ever and I will never be able to thank them enough for always being there for me. Most of these pictures are just ones my mom has taken at games so I want to show you a bit of what game nights are all about for us. We usually get there around 3:30 ish because we get to practice on the court at 4:00 to finalize all the dances we’re doing that night. Once we’re done practicing we go back to our locker room and get ready for the game. Some wonderful ladies from the Garden Salon come and do our hair and make-up for most games. I have to say that I like it tons better when they come because they do my hair and make-up much better than I can myself, so it’s always a good day when we see them show up. We’re normally ready around 6:45 ish and just finish getting dressed and go over our game log for that night- which dance we’re doing at what timeout, if we’re helping with any other timeouts going on, etc. Then at 7:00 its game time baby!!! We go out on the court for player introductions, then run up in the stands for the start of the game and try to get the crowd excited! Not gonna lie you guys could be a lot louder at the start of the game, I’m just saying… haha so help us out with that alright?! ;) Then we either go help with timeouts, do suite visits, or go over the dance we’re doing first, which is usually in the second quarter. Then we go dance our little hearts out when it’s our turn, then it’s back to the locker room to get ready for our next dance. It’s usually first time out of the third quarter so we gotta change and get ready fast! After we’ve danced our second dance of the night we usually go sit in the stands and cheer on the Jazz!!! One of my favorite parts because I absolutely love basketball so I love when I get to watch the game right there with the fans! Then we have the “ball toss” time out in the fourth quarter and do a dance for that time out as well. And usually if the game is close and exciting we’ll get to do one more dance for the night! Every game is obviously different, there’s quite a few hot timeouts where we’ll go freestyle at the baskets too, which are always fun. I have to say that the games are such a blast!!! Some of them get way intense and it’s such a thrill. I leave the arena every night just thinking how surreal it still feels that I get to do this. It’s a dream come true. Here’s a few pics my mom has taken of us at games…

haley7haley8haley9Jazz Win Jazz Win Jazz Wiiiin!!!!! Exciting night vs. the Bulls!

K Jazz fans that’s all I got for now! Sorry my posts are so long, I just have so much to tell you about because we have so much fun! Hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope to see you all at the games!!! Xoxo!

Haley’s Dancer Diary ep. 2

This episode of Haley’s diary features the “Zombie Dance” from inception to performance

Alex’s Dancer Diary

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!

alex1Outside of the tunnel at ESA with Katy, Kait, Karlie, Erica, Whitney, Danica and Alexia

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!

alex2All of the Jazz Dancers ZOMBIEFIED

alex3Whitney and myself, getting into the Zombie Zone

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!

alex4A bunch of the dancers posing around one of the Harley’s

alex5Nicole (the Jazz Dancer’s amazing Captain) and myself, twinning in our leather gear

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!!!

alex6Pretending to be Daisy Buchanan, from The Great Gatsby with Erica and Chelsea

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! #floydmayweatheralex7

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!!!

 

Haley’s Dancer Diary ep. 1

In Haley’s first video diary she and the rest of the Jazz Dancers went to Park City for some shopping and bowling

Alex Jazz Dancer Video Diary ep.1

Dancer Diary: Meet Haley

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!!!

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At practice with Brayden, one of the awesome Choreographers we had come in to teach us a routine. I stole this picture from him :)

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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!

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Karlie and I at the Utah Open at Oakridge Country Club. “Hole-in-One” hole to win a car and handing out Creamies!

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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 :)

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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.

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Havin fun with Oakley the Birthday Boy!! Sure laughed a lot with this kid.