Solar Power Diary 1

The CT SUN season is off to a great start! In addition to being the defending Eastern Conference Champs, our dance team is back and better than ever! Auditions for this seasonís Solar Power Dance Team took place over a two day period during the month of April. Held in the Mohegan Sun Convention Center, Dance Team auditions consisted of four rounds and eliminations. Multi-talented dancers from all over the tri-state area (Mass, CT, RI) all came with hopes of claiming a place on the 12 member dance team. It was both surprising and refreshing to see all of the new faces and abilities dancers brought to this audition.

A panel of 5 judgesí evaluated dancersí personalities, technique and crowd appeal. Among the diverse panel, judges included Andrea Ricci, the new Director/Choreographer of the SPDT, and also Jeanine Thomas who is the Orlando Magicís Dance Team Director. If this wasnít intimidating enough, the level of talent in the room made for a nervous atmosphere all together. However, situations such as this inspire most dancers in many ways. First, dancers get to observe other individuals who have been trained at dissimilar studios and who specialize in specific genres of dance. Also, auditions give dancers a chance to realize their personal strengths and learn to showcase them rather then focus on their weaknesses. Despite the anxiousness felt at auditions, this experience is valuable to all dancers who wish to pursue dance professionally in the future.

At the conclusion of the two day audition, the new SPDT was announced. In an emotion-filled room, the new members of the dance team congratulated each other with hugs and smiles. Meanwhile, Andrea and the panel of judges offered us each a CT SUN tee-shirt and a Sunflower as a congratulations gift. Overall, it was a great feeling to have made the team for the second season.

The new SPDT consists of five returning members (Katie, Brittany B., Javin, Michelle and Emily) while the remaining 7 (Brittany A., Maria, Tosya, Stephanie, Lauren, Terri & Danielle) were fresh faces, personalities and local talent. Sun fans will have the opportunity to meet the new team of dancers throughout this season, and Iím sure they will be as impressed as the rest of us are! Look forward to learning more about the dancerís of Solar Power on the website soon!

After auditions, it was time to become more familiar with our new Director/Choreographer, Andrea Ricci. Andrea is a fun, energetic and well focused dancer/choreographer who has a long history of impressive dance credits. An individual of this quality is exactly what we needed as a WNBA Dance Team! Already, Andrea has many great ideas and events planned for us. First off, Andrea has managed to afford the dance team with 2 additional outfits to wear during the games, besides the uniforms we wore last season. As dancers, we feel that it is always nice to have different costumes to wear, since certain costumes compliment different styles of dance and music.

This season, our costumes include fun white hip hop pants, rhinestone jerseys, and red long-sleeved tops. Soon, we should also be receiving another new uniform which will consist of navy pants and a white long sleeve shirt with the Connecticut Sun logo on the front. Our goal is to look amazing during every performance and Andrea is working hard to accomplish this task for us!

Each practice, Andrea brings new and exciting news to tell us! Just two weeks into the season, she was already able to make great connections with sponsors. For example, Capezio dance wear is one of our sponsors who provided the entire team with 2 pairs of dance shoes and tights. In addition, Elemis Spa (located at Mohegan Sun) also agreed to sponsor us this season, and has serviced all 12 dance team members by giving makeovers, which included updated hair cuts and coloring! We look great!

So far, our team has learned 4 dances. Each dance is a different style combining hip hop, jazz and technique. All of these dances are to current, trendy music which makes it fun for both the dancers and the crowd because the fans are more apt to get into our routines when they are familiar with the music. At this point, we are always prepared to perform our routines because we practice at least 2 times a week for 3 hours each rehearsal. Whatís more, the team has already performed at 2 Pre-Season games, which gave us the opportunity to showcase our diverse dances.

During pre-season, it was a great feeling to be back dancing at the Arena for our Connecticut Sunís 2005 team. We also traveled to Bridgeport for an away game since the event was held in-state. Our first pre-season game took place on May 1st against the Minnesota Lynx. Since it was a pre-season game, the crowd was not large but the excitement was still there! The Sun won this game 76 to 71, and we were able to celebrate with them on their 1st win. What a way to jump start the 2005 season?!

It has been a great experience showing the new girls what being a member of the Solar Power Dance Team is all about. The pre-season games assisted in this effort. All of the girls really enjoyed interacting with SUN fans, assisting in contestant games and dancing at the arena. All 12 of our members have performed numerous times for recitals and competitions, however, nothing can compare to the excitement the SUN players and fans bring to the Mohegan Sun Arena!

Being a part of such an amazing team is an incredible feeling. We are continuing to practice and prepare for our big opening night game, May 28th against Phoenix. We canít wait to see you there to help us cheer on our Connecticut Sun Girls. Go SPDT and go CT SUN!!!

Brittany Bonchuk & Katie Fox
Solar Power Dance Captains