By Josh Cohen
Oct. 7, 2017
ORLANDO – Orlando Magic Dancer rookie Kara vividly remembers attending an audition final when she was 16. It was at that event while watching prospective Magic Dancers do what they love that she, too, wanted to chase that dream.
When she walked out onto the parquet floor of the Amway Center for the first time as a Magic Dancer prior to the team’s preseason victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Kara was overjoyed. The hard work, dedication and belief that she could turn a dream into a reality had come to fruition.
“Our first game the other day it was just so surreal and it was such a great time, so much fun,” she said. “It was exciting but so nerve-racking. Once you’re out there, though, and holding your heart and everything, you’re like okay, this is good.”
Fellow rookie Chenise, who was a Junior Magic Dancer during her youth, was also spellbound during her first in-game experience on Thursday. While absorbing all the ambiance and pageantry, the Brevard County native felt extremely grateful to perform with her new teammates.
“I just wanted to soak everything in and enjoy the moment,” she said. “It was such a blast.”
Even for those who have been on the team in prior seasons, the experience is still surreal. It never gets old or stale, says veterans Nicole F. and Cierra, and in many ways it gets even more breathtaking.
“I was counting down the days (until first game), we all were counting down the days,” said Nicole, a six-year veteran. “Even for Thursday night’s preseason game all the jitters come back, it’s super, super fun and exciting.”
“After being on it for two years, it only gets better,” Cierra said. “You become more and more grateful to keep earning back that spot to keep making those memories.”
All 20 of the 2017-18 Magic Dancers convened on Saturday hours before the Magic’s exhibition contest against the Miami Heat for a costume photo shoot. Hair stylists from Stella Luca Salon and makeup artists from MAC Cosmetics primped and prepped them for their photo shoot with the official photographer of the Magic Dancers, Michael Cairns.
The photo shoot is a great time for the dancers to bond and get to know each other better. It’s especially beneficial for the newcomers, who often seek advice from more experienced veterans.
“It’s such a thrilling experience to be able to do this huge grand photo shoot and get all dolled up,” Chenise said. “It’s just been fun getting to see everyone’s personality come out.”
“Photo shoot is such an awesome day,” Nicole added. “It’s just one of those days we get to hang out, have fun. We all have a lot of small talk on the side so we actually get to bond and get to know each other.”
While for the rookies every moment will be fresh and exhilarating, the veterans also look forward to creating new and exciting memories as this season evolves.
“This year I’m looking forward to being a more seasoned vet and to really be able to be there for a lot of the new girls and to have the experience and ability to pass down what I’ve learned,” Cierra said.