Thunder rolls out dance tryouts

Sunday, September 7th 2008, 11:44 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City's new NBA team began their search to find a dance team for the courtside. Nearly 200 women showed up Sunday to learn several hundred steps in only a matter of minutes.

"It was a good pace, and I'm pretty good. I got it pretty good now," said Riane, who tried out for the new dance team.

For the 18-year-old from Oklahoma City, it is Riane's one shot to be on a professional dance team.

"Well, at first I felt sick and then I felt calm and kind of kept to myself," Riane said.

She and the others danced their way downtown to audition for the Thunder's all new high-energy, fast paced dance team.

"I've never danced in front of thousands of people," Riane said.

She's not alone. Several of these toe-tappers have little to no professional experience.

"I have a true passion for this," Crystal Celsur said.

Celsur is different, she has the experience. She was a former honeybee for the Hornets and she knows the part-time gig is more than just slick moves and high kicks.

"We go out to like children's hospitals, we go out to Bricktown BBQ, we sign autographs," Celsur said. "We smile, we interact with our community."

But there's only room for so many and Sunday was only day one. After the first tryout, most will go home and only a few will be invited back for the finals.

In the end, only 18 or so will make the dance team that still needs a name.

"Okay, I've thought about this," Celsur said. "Honestly I like the traditional name, the classic names. I think the ‘Thunder Girls,' like the ‘Laker Girls' would be cute."

The name will come soon, but for now the Thunder will continue putting together a group with a winning attitude both on and off the court.

"I just think it's going to bring a lot of spirit to Oklahoma and Oklahoma City," Riane said. "It'll be fun...if I make it."