There are three things nobody has ever said to me.
“I like the way you move.”
“You’re toxic, I’m slipping under.”
“Richard, you’re a really good dancer.”
With that in mind, I thought, what better way to embarrass myself than to try out for the Power Dancers, a group of 25 or so unbelievably attractive girls who dance to songs with lyrics like those above.
After only one day of tryouts I discovered why I didn’t really fit in (ignoring, of course, the fact that I am less graceful than an elephant playing Twister). They’re tan; I’m pale. They glisten; I sweat. They master incredibly difficult combinations of dance moves like a Switch Russian leap while looking cute, nay beautiful; I stumble around like a drunken sailor while looking goofy at best.
One of the girls, candidate number 35 I think, said (and I’m not making this up), “You’re doing pretty well, but honestly a paraplegic toad would have a better chance of making it.”
All the girls were really nice to me and had some really cool nicknames, especially the one who introduced herself after I asked her name and phone number. She said, “Call me Never.” Then Never turned and walked away. I guess she forgot about the phone number.
Cost really wouldn’t be an issue here, because coach Meghan Huster assured me that I would need to spend no more than $150 on sports bras and other dance apparel if I made the team.
Huster, a founding member of the Power Dancers six years ago, has graduated from UTD and moved on to the grown-up world of advertising, but said she gets her relief and relaxation from coaching the team. After all, if you’ve been dancing since almost before you could walk, like many of the members, you’d miss it too.
The most striking thing about the whole process is how tough it all is. Not only do you have to be an athlete, but you have to have the quick-fire memory recall to break down into a three-minute dance, given only the cue, “And 5, 6, 7, 8.”
I consider myself in fairly good shape, or at least I used to, before we started the stretching exercises. As we stretched – to hip-hop music, of course – I could barely grab my shins while one of the girls was wrapped completely around herself so that she could look up at her back. I kid you not.
As for me, I survived the first day of cuts, but it’s not that impressive — so did everyone else.
The Mercury went to press before the tryouts ended, but I can safely say that I will be watching from the bleachers this season.
I will never again think of the Power Dancers – with the athleticism to transition from a pirouette to a fuete (don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about) – as the halftime show.
Instead, the first half of basketball games this season will be more like an opening act for the main event.