Even though the overall standings of the Thunder NBA team can vary season to season, the one thing that stays the same is the Thunder Girls audition for the recruitment of the new cheerleaders for the next season.
The final audition on Thursday, July 30 at 7pm at the Riverwind Casino on Norman is open to the public to watch. The best part is admission is free.
Traditionally, out of 60 girls at Saturday’s pre-audition, only 34 girls are selected for the final on Thursday. From those 34 selected girls only 18-20 girls will make the team explained Paige Carter, Thunder dance team manager and choreographer.
“They can remain with the team as long as they wish, but everyone has to try out each year, including our returning veterans.” said Carter, and all the selected Thunder Girls should be a minimum of 18 years old and be graduated from high school.
Previously the final audition, there was an open audition of three rounds, which was last Saturday. The candidates learned diverse style of dance such as, pom, hip-hop and Jazz and performed it in front of the judges for each round.
During this week, the ladies had to go business interviews, learn some choreography, a photo shoot and a dress tryout to prepare them for the final audition, said Kourtney, who has been part of the Thunder Girls for one year as well a student at the University of Oklahoma. Kourtney is one of the final 34 girls selected for the final demo.
For the final, the candidates will complete a choreographed ballet, freestyle dance and reply to one question in order to demonstrate their tact and charisma from a selected judges. The judges include people, such as Roy Williams, an OU football All-American and former NFL player; Kelli Masters, a former Miss Oklahoma; and Caroline Bennett, the 2015 Miss Black Oklahoma U.S. Ambassador. There will have also a member of the military taking part in the panel, joining by the director of Events and Entertainment and herself, declared Carter.
A unique experience
“I believe dance teams and cheerleaders are an important part of sports for many reasons: tradition, fan entertainment, leading the crowd in chants to support the home team and to add to the overall game excitement,” said Carter.
With about 200 appearances in Oklahoma and overseas each year, the Thunder Girls are the spirit of the team as well as serving as community ambassadors.
“Balancing Thunder Girls, being a full-time student at the University of Oklahoma and serving on the weekends takes extreme time management skills and diligence.” said Kourtney, “But the rewards you receive from being a Thunder Girl makes all the hard work more than worth it.”