All the right moves: Local women are Timberwolves Dancers
Three local women have made the journey from the Woodbury Dance Center to the hardwood floor and bright lights of Target Center.
Cottage Grove native Shannon and Woodbury natives Camille and Sheridan are current Timberwolves Dancers. The local trio makes up a fourth of the 12-member dance team.
The Timberwolves Dancers are among the elite performance teams in all of professional sports. The Timberwolves Dancers represent the Timberwolves organization at all home games and at numerous events throughout the community each season.
"Camille, Shannon and I actually danced together for years before joining the Timberwolves Dancers," said Sheridan, a Woodbury High School graduate who has been dancing competitively since she was 3 years old. "There are two wonderful things about being a Timberwolves' Dancer. First, I have had the pleasure of working with my best friends. Secondly, performing on the Target Center court is an unbelievable adrenaline rush and an absolute blast."
Sheridan was a rookie to the squad last season. Camile is a two-year veteran. Shannon's been on the team the longest of the three, for the past three years.
"It takes determination, dedication, an outgoing personality, and an open mind to be a Timberwolves Dancer," Camille said.
Camile, also a Woodbury High School grad, said dancing in front of up to 20,000 people every game is the best part of her job.
"At every game and event I try to bring the calmness and serenity to the team, as well as confidence," she said. "My teammates can always count on me to be a positive influence."
Most recently, Camille, Shannon, Sheridan and the Timberwolves Dancers put on a show at the Wolves' annual NBA draft party on Thursday at Target Center.
One of the biggest challenges the Timberwolves Dancers face is balancing a multifaceted life. In addition to being professional dancers, Camille, Shannon and Sheridan all have other jobs, are in school and have friends and families to spend time with.
Outside of her busy time commitment with the Timberwolves Dancers, Camille is wrapping up her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota and is pursuing a career working with children. She'll soon graduate with a degree in Child Psychology and minor in Public Health.
"The most challenging part is managing my busy schedule," Camille said. "I currently work a full time job, a part time coaching job after that, am taking three college courses, and have to manage Wolves events all at the same time. Prioritizing can become a little difficult at times."
Like Camille, Sheridan is juggling work, school and being a dancer for the Wolves. She's currently studying at the Carlson School of Management for International Business.
"The biggest challenge is finding a balance between Timberwolves, college, and another job," Sheridan said. "While it is all worth it, sometimes time management is my worst enemy."
It's not all work, work, work, however. The Timberwolves Dancers were able to take international trips to Japan, China and Canada this past season.
The girls didn't get to where they are now by accident. Similar to the Timberwolves players, the dancers have spent thousands of hours in the gym and have been training their entire lives.
Shannon grew up dancing at Woodbury Dance Center and continued to dance there throughout high school, studying tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical dance. She also taught at the WDC as well, calling it "her second home." Shannon attended high school at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, where she studied ballet, modern dance, hip-hop, African dance, and musical theater.
Camille competed in the styles of tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and contemporary at Woodbury Dance Center, was a member of the Woodbury Dance team and performed with a club team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before she transferred to Minnesota.
"Dancing at a studio brought me opportunities to take class from famous choreographers, such as So You Think You Can Dance's Mandy Moore, Tabatha and Napolean, and other great artists," Camille said.
Also like the Timberwolves players, the dancers need to fight for their spots on the team. The local trio will need to participate in auditions this July. They will go through a rigorous process, including a week-long boot camp, in order to try and make the 2013-14 team.
"A Timberwolves Dancer needs to have charisma, a hard work ethic, and definitely a sense of humor," Sheridan said. "I try to bring positive energy, endurance and a unending smile to every game."
Camille said her advice for those who want to be a professional team dancer is to get to know the coaches, the other team members and to be "confident and professional."
"Also keep pursuing it," Camille said. "No matter what obstacles are thrown in your way."
Editor's note: Via team policy, the Timberwolves Dancers last names are withheld from publication
You think you can dance?
The Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers, directed by manager Athenia Elie, are searching for talented and energetic women who are passionate about dance to become members of the 2013-14 team. The Timberwolves Dancers are holding open auditions on Saturday, July 20, at 3:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. registration) at the Wolves Practice Facility in Life Time Fitness at Target Center. The auditions are open to all aspiring dancers at least 18 years old (as of July 20, 2013). No previous professional dance team or cheer experience is required. After the open auditions, finalists will take part in interviews and training camp prior to the final auditions at Treasure Island Resort and Casino. Prior to the July 20 auditions, the Timberwolves Dancers will host a prep class on July 14.
For more information on the Timberwolves Dancers and this summer's open auditions and prep classes, log on to timberwolves.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.