Oklahoma City, Friday, June 30, 2017 – The Oklahoma City Thunder selected its Thunder Girls dance team for the 2017-18 season on Thursday night, the team announced. The final audition took place in front of a full house at the Showplace Theatre in Riverwind Casino. This is the 10th Thunder Girls team, with the first being selected just prior to the start of the Thunder’s inaugural season in 2008.
The audition included both team veterans and newcomers. Of the 20 women selected, six are first-time Thunder Girls.
“I am extremely excited for the upcoming season with this outstanding group of talented women,” said Paige Carter, dance team manager and choreographer for the Thunder. “These ladies work so hard all season long, and I look forward to the energy they will add to the Thunder experience at Chesapeake Energy Arena and serving as great ambassadors in the community.”
A panel of judges – including Miss Oklahoma Triana Browne; National Guard Lt. Col. Craig Robinson; Joey Combs from 98.9 Kiss FM’s Joey and Heather Morning Show; and Mike Ipong from Wild 104.9’s The Wild Wake Up – assisted Thunder staff in making the final selections.
The final audition process consisted of three rounds: a question-and-answer session, a choreographed jazz/hip-hop routine and a solo freestyle dance.
Following last Saturday’s open audition, 32 women were selected as finalists for Thursday’s final audition. During the week, finalists took part in business interviews, fitness training and rehearsals to prepare for the finals.
The Thunder Girls are presented by Riverwind Casino. Members of the team make about 200 appearances each year throughout the community and have represented the Thunder at home and overseas. More information about the Thunder Girls is available at okcthunder.com. Fans can also get updates on Facebook (facebook.com/thundergirls), Twitter (@thundergirls) and Instagram (@okcthundergirls).
PHOTO ATTACHED: The 2017-18 Thunder Girls take the stage at Riverwind Casino following Thursday’s final audition. (Photo by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder Photos)
FRONT ROW (from left; first name and hometown listed): Mina* (Midwest City); Chelsie (Oklahoma City); Jaimie (Yukon); McKenzie (Mustang); Courtney (Coppell, Texas); Alyvia (Overland Park, Kansas); Lauren (Bartlesville); Sheyenne* (Yukon); Shannee* (Norman); Stephanie (Oklahoma City)
BACK ROW: Alyssa (Oklahoma City); Addie (Stillwater); Anna (Oklahoma City); Gracie* (Edmond); Alicia (Moore); DANCE TEAM MANAGER PAIGE CARTER; Kayle (Oklahoma City); Jenae* (Oklahoma City); Alexis* (Midwest City); Jennie (Owasso); Rachel (Oklahoma City)
* = rookie