Inferno dancers have fun while providing energy and excitement
Gracing the sidelines at every Fever game, the Inferno dance team uses any means possible to keep the fans' energy elevated. Whether it is a chant, a giveaway or a high-octane dance routine, the enthusiastic and vibrant teenagers clad in Fever colors are a must-see part of the Fever fan experience.
Ever since the Inferno's creation for the team's inaugural season in 2000, its unique style of crowd involvement entertains not only those in the stands but also the players for whom they cheer.
"The Inferno has a 100 percent impact on the crowd," said Inferno coach and choreographer Michelle Duggan, a former member of the Pacemates that cheer during Indiana Pacers games. "The season ticket holders, the crowd and even the players love the Inferno. If they were missing, we would probably have a lot of complaints that they weren't here."
Dancing as a member of the Inferno for the last three seasons, Jessica Sanders has kept her passion for dance alive by participating with the team.
The 22-year-old Pike High School graduate has been dancing since she was 10, even going to performance arts school to hone her skills. Auditioning for her fourth season when Inferno tryouts are conducted in March, Sanders loves the close knit group the team has created.
"We have so much fun as a team that it's like a big family," Sanders said. "Our fans are great. Even though it's a job, we still have a lot of fun with it."
After her time with the Inferno, Sanders has high hopes for her future. She will attend Ivy Tech in the fall and audition to be a Pacemate for the 2010-11 season. Being a Pacemate isn't Sanders' ultimate goal, however. Someday she hopes to dance professionally, perhaps on the high seas as a dancer for a cruise line.
Sanders and her teammates' efforts have been noticed – not just by Fever fans and staff. During last season's Fever run to the WNBA Finals, Duggan was approached by several WNBA franchises that were impressed by the Inferno.
"There aren't too many models of a hip-hop team like this in the WNBA," Duggan said. "I had a few calls from other franchises saying we loved your dance team and how do you do it. They just really liked the entertainment that they put on."
Gearing up for the new season, the Inferno will be conduct 2010 auditions during the evening of Monday, March 15 at Conseco Fieldhouse. Participants may register online at FeverBasketball.com and walk-up registration may be conducted the night of the audition, from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. Tryouts run until approximately 10 p.m.
Duggan is excited for the upcoming season. Using her own dance experience to lead her squad, she cited a few other things she will be looking for: "There has to be a strong commitment to the team and the schedule because we practice twice a week. There aren't any requirements for specific technique or skills – they just have to have 'the look,' lots of energy and the ability to fit in with the rest of the team."
If you've got the moves and the energy to be an Inferno dancer, click here for online registration.