Three cheers for Phoenix dance duo
Being a cheerleader on an NBA team is a glamorous job. Almost every game attracts at least 20,000 fans. The crowd may jeer the home team for a poor performance but the cheerleaders are never targeted.
However, being a cheerleader is no easy task. It involves a lot of hard work and discipline, according to Phoenix Suns cheerleaders Carla and Courtney. They were part of Phoenix's four-member dance team who were in town last week for NBA Madness, the American basketball league's touring festival.
Carla says being an NBA cheerleader is a part-time job with a full-time commitment. 'The cheerleaders work out twice a week,' she says. 'We work on our dance routines and work out with a trainer. Before half-time and timeouts when we go out to perform, we will keep rehearsing all the moves. We try to stay perfect all the time. We need to keep ourselves in top shape in order to give a good performance.'
A healthy diet is essential to stay in shape, say the dancers. Carla, who is in her third year with the team, says: 'I watch my diet very carefully. I never eat deep-fried food and always try to eat more fruits and vegetables and consume more protein. Drinking lots of water is the secret to having a nice skin.'
Courtney, a second year Suns dancer, says the job of an NBA cheerleader is extremely competitive. A dancer could easily lose her job if she does not work hard enough. 'Every year we have an audition attended by hundreds of girls hoping to make the team. The audition is not only for newcomers but also for members of the team. Every time I go to an audition I feel so nervous,' she says.