By Josh Cohen
July 21, 2017
ORLANDO – The 30 finalists for the 2017-18 Orlando Magic Dance Team selected after Friday’s first round auditions will spend the next several days striving for a spot on the team.
There’s a lot for the judges to consider. The evaluation process is very detailed and includes reviewing the following for each finalist:
- Showmanship, personality, energy, and enthusiasm
- Professionalism and maturity
- Well-spoken and can represent the Magic in a professional manner at all times
- Dance technique and style
- Ability to pick up dance choreography quickly
- Consistent positive attitude
- Strong teamwork skills
- Physical fitness and personal appearance
Leading up to Finals on Wednesday, July 26, the finalists will take part in some fun, yet challenging, assessments.
There will be a boot camp to help the judges evaluate each dancer’s fitness and conditioning levels. There also will be interview sessions which will allow representatives of the Magic to help gauge how energetic, passionate and committed each of the women are about dance and being a part of the Magic family.
They all will learn a pair of dance routines that they will perform at Finals in front of a live audience at Amway Center. The event, which starts at 7 p.m., will also stream on OrlandoMagic.com and Facebook Live.
Only 20 will be named to this season’s squad. For first-time finalists like Julia and Mileyka, the hope is that this is the beginning of a dream experience.
“I am so excited,” Julia said. “It would be absolutely amazing (to make team). I’ve danced my whole life and performing is definitely my passion.”
“I feel really honored to be a part of this,” Mileyka said. “It would be so awesome to make the team. I would love to be able to perform on the court and just feel the vibe of the crowd.”
The possibility of reliving a dream experience is on the mind of others.
“It never gets old,” said Lily, who’s been a Magic Dancer since 2014. “Every year, I come back a little more nervous only because I know what there is to lose. Every year, I gain more friends. It’s so much fun every season being on the court with the fans. So every year it means more to me.”
“I’m looking forward to getting to know all the girls, all the finalists and just dance my heart out the night of finals,” said Zuli, who was a rookie on last season’s squad. “It would be amazing (to make team again), another dream come true. This year was everything I expected plus more.”
As those who have been on the team before know, being a Magic Dancer is about much more than just dancing at Magic games. They play an integral role in the community.
“We do a lot of community events and one of my favorite things is during Thanksgiving we’re out at the Coalition for the Homeless and we’re there giving out food to those in need,” Lily said. “It’s great to be able to give back to the community right here in Central Florida. It has to be hands down my favorite thing.”
Fans will be able to vote for who they think should make this year’s squad. Check back to OrlandoMagic.com for finalist bios, pictures, video performances and the chance to vote.