Shaquille O’Neal was back at LSU on Saturday, cutting up in Death Valley during breaks of the Tigers’ SEC West battle with Mississippi State. The LSU legend has long been a passionate supporter and active fan of the football program, making a few appearances at Tiger Stadium every year and always delivering a great performance when given the opportunity. On Saturday, Shaq lifted an LSU cheerleader like it was nothing and started bench pressing her for the fans.
The Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers will participate in events at the NBA 3X Philippines 2016 presented by Panasonic, which returns to Manila from Aug. 19-21 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. Six of the Timberwolves Dancers will represent the NBA at events throughout the weekend. Below is a list of planned appearances.
The Sixers Dancers will unveil their 2016-17 team at a reveal party on the rooftop deck of Hotel Monaco’s Status Lounge. The 17 dancer roster will include four new rookies. Sixers In-Arena Host Christian Crosby and CSN Sixers Sideline Reporter Molly Sullivan will host the Dancer reveal. Interviews will be available with Sixers Dancers Captains and rookies. Food and drink will be served for all invited guests.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the final audition for the 2016-17 Thunder Girls on Thursday at Riverwind Casino, starting at 7 p.m. A panel of judges – including Brian Bosworth, former All-American linebacker with the University of Oklahoma – will assist Thunder staff in determining the final squad. The Thunder will announce the new team at the end of the evening. Fans of all ages are invited to watch as 34 finalists compete for a spot on the dance team. Admission is free and doors open at 6 p.m. The event will also be streamed live on the Thunder Mobile App.
The Atlanta Hawks are now accepting registrations to participate in open cheer team auditions for the upcoming season. The Hawks Cheerleader team is presently made up of 30 young ladies that represent Atlanta’s NBA team off and on the court, including performing at home games and making special appearances at community events, all to enhance the fan experience. “Our audition process is always an exciting time. We aim to select a personable and diverse group that represents the city of Atlanta and the Hawks brand,” said the Atlanta Hawks’ Senior Manager of Fan Experience, Donni Frazier. “How enthusiastically they embody our True to Atlanta spirit is equally as important as their dancing abilities.”
Last year, the Milwaukee Bucks became the first NBA team named in such a suit when former dancer Lauren Herington filed a complaint on behalf of she and her team-mates alleging gross underpayment and illegally mandated out-of-pocket expenses. Soon after filing, she shared with me emails, agreements, and detailed notes that she kept during her tenure as a Bucks dancer. If her accusations are true, the team did not treat employees – described in the organization’s own internal agreement as, “high profile members of the Milwaukee Bucks community” – with the respect or compensation they were entitled to. Prior to working for the Milwaukee Bucks, Herington too was excited about being treated as a “high-profile” member of the organization. She equated being a professional cheerleader with being a “mini celebrity”. As is the case with many professional cheerleaders, she had been dancing since early childhood, and had long dreamed of a spot on an NBA squad.
Salary was not discussed in the month-long unpaid bootcamp Herington attended prior to being hired by the Bucks. This was also the case at a workshop I attended for potential Clippers dancers for another article last year, where we were told wages would be discussed only after we were hired. It was also the case for Murray, who recalled of the Warriors Girls, “They have a day where you come in, and you read the contract together, and you sign it. And that’s when I found out I was making $10 an hour. I remember just being outraged.” “There was no discussing it,” Herington said, of her experience signing after she’d already relocated to Milwaukee to work on the team. “It was, ‘If you have an issue, then you can go ahead and just leave.’ We weren’t allowed to take it home, and go through it or anything like that. It was just handed out at practice. We signed it and gave it back.” According to the agreement, she would be paid $30 per bi-weekly two- to four-hour practice; $65 per weekly 6.5 hour home game; and $50 per two- to four-hour public appearance.