A Miami Heat dancer who watched her iPhone fall into the Atlantic Ocean never thought she would see it again, much less that her phone would be returned to her in the mouth of a dolphin. And that is exactly what happened. The dancer, who goes by the stage name Teressa Cee, traveled with her teammates to the Bahamas earlier this month for a photoshoot.
In a league where top teams are worth $2 billion or more, and every franchise is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Andresen says that some weeks Herington earned about half the $7.25 hourly pay mandated by federal minimum-wage laws. “They sign players to $100 million-plus contracts. And you can’t afford $7.25 an hour to pay a cheerleader?” notes Andresen, who grew up in East Dundee. “Here’s an idea: Park one more car in the parking lot, and that should cover it.” Herington, 21, who grew up in Decatur and danced competitively in high school and one year at Millikin College, says she moved to Milwaukee for the offer to be a dancer with the Bucks organization for the 2013-14 season. “It started out to be pretty stressful and a lot of work to put into everything,” says Herington. “It never got to be a better situation.”
She says the team paid dancers $65 per home game, $30 for practices and $50 for special appearances but did not pay for additional hours of workout sessions or overtime hours. The Bucks didn’t reimburse them for uniform maintenance or the cost of salon visits, haircuts and other aspects of “image” requirements either, she says. “It was kind of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ kind of thing because it was a privilege to be there,” Herington says.
A former Milwaukee Bucks dancer has filed a federal lawsuit against the team — demanding she be paid money she is owed. It is a lawsuit that could have an impact for dancers throughout the NBA. Lauren Herington says she picked up her whole life and moved to Milwaukee after landing her dream job.
A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday, September 24th. Herington is suing the Bucks for what her lawyers call “prolific wage abuse.” “As far as we know, this is a first lawsuit of its kind against an NBA team,” Attorney Ryan Stephan said. Stephan says the Bucks are taking advantage of their dancers.
The federal lawsuit says dancers are never paid overtime, and forced to pay for their own hair, makeup and even uniform dry cleaning. “We think there are certain weeks where Ms. Herrington`s hourly rate fell to the $3/hour or $4/hour level,” Stephan said.
A former dance teacher and Utah Jazz dancer has been sentenced to jail for having sex with a 17-year-old student at the studio she owned. Amber Telford, 33, was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail for a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy who danced at the studio she owned at the time. She will then be required to perform 150 hours of community service, complete probation and register as a sex offender, according to court documents.