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Jazz Dancer Life

2013-14 Jazz Dancer Tryouts

Chenelle Jazz Dancer Video Diary ep. 3

Kelsey: Game Day Schedule

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!

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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!

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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!

Kelsey: Being Jazz Fit

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!!

♥ Kelsey

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Video: Jazz Dancers 2012-13 Photo Shoot

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Kelsey: Happy Holidays

I hope everyone’s Holidays were happy and safe! Us Jazz girls had an amazing Holiday season!

As a team we celebrated the Holidays by going to dinner for one of our practices before Christmas. We went to El Matador in Bountiful, which is a Mexican restaurant with some delicious food. We were definitely the loudest group there! We started off by eating and then got into the gift exchanging. For the gifts we each had to bring a white elephant (gag gift), and a present for our secret sister.

Our “secret sister” is a girl on the team, whose name we drew at the beginning of the season, that we secretly give gifts to, mainly their favorite treats, clothes, etc. My secret sister got me the perfect gift! It was a homemade diet coke “Christmas tree” with different earrings as the “ornaments”! It was my two favorite things, diet coke and jewelry in one! Fun fact: I drink at least 5 cans of Diet coke a day. :) We then did our white elephant gifts. We started youngest to oldest and had to go pick a present from the pile. There were the funniest gifts! I got these light foam sticks, which lit up in different colors. Some of the best ones were a “white trash” beauty kit that had Doritos for tanning, fake hair and some other hilarious things to go along with it. Some girls gave some old antiques that you wonder how they made, or purchased. There was a fake stuffed duck that looked so real it was scary! I gave a big cane that that was filled with bubble gum. We had some pretty good laughs at the gifts but mostly at the girl who was opening the gift’s reaction! After that we were given our presents from our coach, Jan. She gave us a Jazz jersey and a Jazz tee shirt- that we are now wearing to practice in before the games! It was such a fun party and a great way to start the Holidays.

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Over the Holidays I spent time with my family and caught up on some much needed sleep and relaxing! Christmas time is the biggest time of the year in my family, as I am sure for many of you as well! We have some pretty cool traditions in my family! My parents do 12 days of Christmas for my brothers and sisters and my nieces and nephews. So the 12 days before Christmas we get a present, or go to dinner as a family. It’s the perfect way to countdown to Christmas! I wish everyone had an exciting Christmas and I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous New Years! And I hope that the Jazz have a successful rest of the season! Happy New Years!!!

P.S. The very last picture in the post is from a couple weeks ago from the Jazz- Spurs game when Mo Williams scored the last second deep three pointer shot! Sam, one of the other dancers, just found it for us! I thought it was HILARIOUS because our faces capture the emotions right before Mo was about to shoot perfectly!

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Chenelle: Jazz Dancer Video Diary Ep. 2

Kelsey: Charity Appearances

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.

Chenelle: Jazz Dancer Video Diary

Kelsey: Life as a Rookie Jazz Dancer

Hi, I’m Kelsey, I’m 20 years old and from Salt Lake City.  This is my first season as a Jazz Dancer and I’m so excited to blog about my experiences.  Follow my Dancer Diary all season to see what me and the other Jazz Dancers are up to!

Being in Jazz dancer has been such an amazing experience so far and I’m really lucky to have this opportunity! We recently had our pictures taken that will be used for the season. It was somuch fun going and getting our pictures taken and being pampered with hair and makeup. But let me tell you, it was a LONG day. I know what you are thinking, how could it possibly be at all hard?! Well when you have twenty different girls with 4 outfits each, plus hair and makeup and changing locations, it can add up to be a long day! I was there from 8:30 am to 9pm! We had a couple of different themes going on with the pictures. The first was of us dancing and striking poses with the photographer trying to capture us in action. Next, we had our individual headshots and a shot of us in an outfit of our choice to show our personality. We then had our group shots. The first was an old Hollywood Broadway theme. Which was my personal favorite. We had Broadway themed props that were incorporated into the picture to make it seem like we were from the movie Chorus Line. Our last and final picture was taken at Energy SolutionsArena, on the basketball court. It was fun because we were posed with basketball and our pom poms to give it that classic NBA basketball feeling.

All the hard work paid off when I was able to perform at my first Jazz games! My first game was the Jazz vs. Portland game. I was so nervous and excited for that night! We are able to space and practice on the court 3 hours before the game. So when I arrived at the arena I went to go meet the other girls on the court to start running our dances. While we are doing that the Jazz players are on one side practicing and their opponents on the other side! Its crazy! But it got me excited and in the competitive mode to cheer on the Jazz! When it was time to perform for the opening of the game it was like an outer body experience. The music was playing and it came for us to start and all of a sudden my body just started doing the dance! It was so much fun to look into the audience and cheer on the Jazz. During halftime while we were getting ready for our next dance Ty Burrell walked by… AKA Phil Dunphy from MODREN FAMILY!!! He is from Utah and a Jazz fan, just a fun fact ;) I was able to get a picture with him and some of the other girls. He was so nice and so humble! The game was so much fun and the Jazz won! My next game was our season opener against Dallas. It was on Halloween so our dances were Halloween theme. It was really fun because we had the opportunity to dress up in our own costumes. I was a cowgirl! For our other dance we had these long white tee shirts that we wrapped around us to seem like we were asylum patients. And in the middle of the dance we untied our shirts to make the extra fabric fly around. It was so cool! We had a mix of songs with a “crazy” theme. The best part of the night was the Jazz played awesome! And we won!!! The games have been so awesome and it has been so fun!