The Los Angeles Clippers’ dance squad is getting its own reality series. E! Entertainment said Monday the series that is scheduled to debut early next year will show what it’s like to be a member of the squad on and off the court. Eight one-hour episodes of “L.A. Clippers Dance Squad” are scheduled to air on the cable network. The show will take viewers through summer auditions to choose the squad and the dancers’ emotions and ambitions. Among the producers of the series is Cash Warren, husband of actress Jessica Alba and whose father Mike Warren starred at UCLA under basketball coach John Wooden. The show is produced by Mandalay Sports Media, whose co-founder is Peter Guber, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lauren Herington, a former dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks, sued the team in federal court in Wisconsin last month, charging that she had been paid well under the minimum wage during the 2013-14 season. Hers is the first suit of its kind in the N.B.A., and it could have implications both for the roughly 40 women who would qualify as members of a Bucks class action and for the broader league.
“They told us it was a full-time commitment with part-time pay,” Ms. Herington said. “If we had an issue, we’d be shown the door.”
“I know the Warriors pay dancers legally,” Ms. Vinick said, “but I don’t have any sense of whether that’s the norm in the N.B.A.” She said that after the Raiders case, several other women from N.F.L. teams that have not been sued had approached her. They considered bringing cases, too, she said, but ultimately decided not to for various reasons, including fear of alienating teammates or harming professional dancing careers. She said Ms. Herington’s case might prompt other women to come forward.
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.