Dream Team Spotlight: Captains' Corner
Sixers.com catches up with Dream Team co-captains Lauren and Nicole. Lauren is a six-year veteran and works full-time as a Third Grade teacher. Nicole is in her third season with the Dream Team and is an accountant by day.
How did you find out about the dream team?
Lauren: “A girl that I used to dance with at my studio was on the Dream Team, so I asked her about audition details, and I decided that I’d go out for it. So I showed up to audition, and I made it through every round and made the team, and here I am six years later!”
Nicole: “I danced in college for four years, and after college I knew I wanted to continue dancing, so I tried out for the Dream Team and got lucky and made it!
What do you do when you’re not dancing with the Dream Team?
“Off the court, I’m an accountant, which most people find really interesting because I sit at my desk all day and pretty much crunch numbers and do account reconciliation, projects that auditors might need, and a bunch of other tasks, and it’s just completely different than this. At my day job, I don’t get to talk and interact with people like I do here, but it’s a nice balance.
“When I’m not dancing, I’m actually a Third Grade teacher in New Jersey. It’s funny, because I’m running around all day chasing around 18 eight-year-olds, and I come to practice a little tired, but Nicole’s always there to pick me up because she’s full of energy.”
Describe your role as a captain.
“As captain, I’m definitely a leader and a mentor to the rookies on the team, as well as some of the veterans. I run practices, I work really closely with Nicole, my co-captain, and Dayna Hafetz, our coach. I think Nicole and I work really well together. We work with music selection and choreography. Any time the girls need someone to talk to or help with anything, we’re there.
“Lauren and I both try really hard to make our routines look court-ready. Which entails making sure the ladies are facing all sides, the routines are clean, and that the crowd will be engaged with them. Sometimes when you first join the team, it’s hard to pick up on the synchronicity – all standing the same way during the national anthem, making sure your movements are in sync, etc., and I think we do a good job of making sure the new girls get up to speed and are able to blend in with the rest of the team.”
What are some of the coolest things you’ve been able to do as a member of the Dream Team?
“In my six years with the squad, I traveled to two different cities in China in 2011, and this past fall we traveled to Bilbao, Spain and Manchester, England for the NBA Global Games. We’ve been featured in Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and local magazines, so different opportunities arise all the time. The NBA All-Star Game’s coming up – maybe you’ll see one of us there!”
“One of my favorite moments was in Bilbao, when we were doing a routine to Live it Up (Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull), and at the end there’s this part with clapping, and the whole crowd joined in. It was awesome because here in the United States, we generally don’t join in like that, but in Bilbao, everyone was on their feet clapping.”
What’s your favorite Sixers moment?
“My favorite moment was in my rookie year. Game Six of the first round of the 2012 Playoffs. We were playing the Chicago Bulls and had a chance to win the series with a pair of free throws. Andre Iguodala went to the line with two seconds left and knocked both down. The Bulls threw up a prayer at the buzzer and missed, and we went on to the next round against Boston!”
“I still remember my first game, rookie year. We did a dance in boots, my first dance, and my legs were literally shaking. I was so nervous, it was all just a blur.”