Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder chose their official selections of 20 women who will make up the final Oklahoma City Thunder Girls Dance Squad.
Final auditions were held in front of a packed house at the Showplace Theatre in Riverwind Casino.
Out of the 20 selected, 12 return from last year’s squad, joined by 8 rookies.
In an earlier press release, Paige Carter, now in her 4th year as choreographer and manager of the dance team, stated:
“The Thunder Girls represent our team on and off the court. They’re not just great dancers, they’re also community ambassadors. We’re excited to see our new team on the court and in the community, interacting with our fans.”
And if you ask me, I’m in full agreement.
Back when they did Thunder Alley big for the playoffs, I was with some friends of mine during the 2011 Western Conference Finals. The street was so packed, you could barely move. It was almost exactly like being in a mosh pit at a heavy metal show, just without all of the additional thrashing around.
And yet, there were 4 Thunder Girls, right in the middle of it all. By the time my group was finally able to reach them, my homegirl’s kids were able to get their picture snapped with them. They were even getting all ready to get a pic snapped with me, but all I cared to get from them were their John Hancocks on the back of the first-ever Thunder playoff shirt to commemorate the occasion. (Side note: I have this tendency to view the dance team no different from the basketball team, which is why I valued their signatures.)
They were all smiles, and just being generally courteous and lively. I’m not sure if they were aware of it, but it’s almost as if their presence out there was the only thing keeping it from deteriorating into a full-fledged riot while waiting for the game to start. The size of the crowd alone, coupled with the inability to move freely was already starting to grate a few people, and tip-off was still 30 minutes away. When Ms. Carter refers to them as community ambassadors, she’s actually hitting the nail right on the head. As the crowd became increasingly anxious, their presence acted as the one calming force within it.
This is more than just a dance group. They represent our city, and our NBA team. They may not be UN ambassadors, but they’ve become ambassadors for our city and our team nonetheless.
So congratulations to the 2014-2015 OKC Thunder Girls picked to be a part of the squad. You have now been given a responsibility more serious than you may realize. Represent yourselves and the city accordingly. Oh, and be sure to: