Brooklynettes, They Go Hard
SLAMonline gets an exclusive, all-access look at the edgiest dance team in the NBA.
by Abigail Diaz
Four-hundred beautiful women, quickly dwindled down to 150, then cut to 30, and ultimately down to a lucky 19 ladies who have the honor of calling themselves the Brooklynettes. And that’s only the beginning.
On the eve of their website launch, the Brooklynettes gave SLAMonline an all-access look into their locker room, fitness regime and explained what it takes to earn—and keep—their spot on one of the hottest teams in the NYC.
SLAM: Did you see a difference between the selection process of picking a New Jersey Nets to picking a Brooklyn Net?
Siobhan (team captain): The process is pretty similar. In the fact, our selection is the same: coming in, boot camp but this year our boot camp selection was a little more intense. We are in the city, the Knicks are right over there, and you want to make sure you have the best of best.
SLAM: How’s the chemistry between the Knicks Dancers and Nets Dancers?
Adar (dance coach): [Laughs] People always ask, we’re actually friends. It’s a fun rivalry.
Kimberlee (director): Our styles are different, the type of music choices, and dance routines we do. What works here in Brooklyn is different than at the Garden.
SLAM: What about the uniforms?
Kimberlee: Initially, things have been released that these are the “official” uniforms that actually aren’t.
SLAM: Is there any uniform, where you’re like, “I don’t know if everything is going to stay in place?”
Kimberlee: David Dalrymple (the designer behind the Brooklynettes’ look) is used to working with performers. He’s done Brittney and Rihanna. He’s used to working dancers—he’ll know right away this is the fabric we need to use to execute.
Christina: Yeah, especially because the length is short—we want it to be cute but not too much.
SLAM: Obviously, you want to make sure the girls look healthy so if they’re underweight or overweight…
Kimberlee: I think it’s about being athletic. Choreography is super athletic so they need to be physically fit just to able to perform the choreography. It about being at your personal best in fitness. It’s all about being healthy and fit and Crunch is our presenting partner, so obviously they are a great resource.
SLAM: How do you Brooklynettes stay so fit?
Siobhan: This in itself is definitely a workout, but I try outside of the Nets to make sure I am eating right am constantly working on my body. I’m an athlete, a dancer. You want to make sure you hone your craft. My body is my craft!
SLAM: I hear you’re a die-hard basketball fan?
Siobhan: I am! I grew up with the Nets and watching the Knicks. I love basketball; I’m a fan of the game.
SLAM: Who’s your favorite Player on the Nets?
Siobhan: They all have their own things, but it’s been exciting to watch Brook (Lopez) now a days. Coming back from his injury, he’s such a good big man in the paint. When he’s on, he’s on!
SLAM: Any comments about the Avery Johnson dismissal?
Kimberlee: No…You know we refer to ownership to make those decisions. We are here to support the team.
SLAM: How do you approach some of the stereotypes that NBA dancers have?
Jessica (team captain): We’re just here to have a great time and entertain the crowd. People talk, it’s OK, no matter what it’s going to happen—it’s not true.
SLAM: You have certain shows…That like to put out what other NBA dancers have done.
Siobhan: Hmm…We’re just here to do our job.
SLAM: How do you approach having a love life—when a guy comes up to you, and ask what do you do?
Siobhan: I do my best—if someone asks; I say I dance for an NBA team and leave it at that.
SLAM: I hear you can now take a Brooklynette’s dance class at Crunch Fitness?
Adar: You can! It’s our choreography that we do on center court, but it caters to people that aren’t necessarily dancers—but it’s a good way to show us what you got. Before the audition we will have more classes catered for dancers specifically, to kind of get an edge at the auditions.
SLAM: Spots are always up for grabs every year. How do you approach that?
Jennifer: It definitely hits you harder at the end of the season, but we do work hard during the season as well to try to stay on the squad.
SLAM: What date do you really start thinking about audition time?
Kimberlee: Typically we’ve done our auditions in June, which has worked well because last season we started training them in July.
Adar: At our auditions, we make sure we do a technical routine.
Kimberlee: First round, we get from 400 to 150 within half an hour. We do two eight counts and we hand them a number to stay or say thank you very much.
SLAM: Obviously every spot is up for grabs every audition time?
Adar: Oh yeah, everyone re-auditions. It’s a clean slate every year.
SLAM: What is the hiring age?
Adar: 18. But if you’re 16 and over, you can come and learn our style. We will do clinics throughout the season.
(Note: Or, see if you got what it takes by taking a class with Brooklynette’s choreographers: Rhapsody James, Derek Mitchell, Tanisha Scott or Jeremine Brown.)
SLAM: Lastly, five things the fans don’t know about the Brooklynettes?
Jennifer: One, We all get along.
SLAM: Really? There is no cattiness?
Christina: Yeah, which is really unheard of for groups of performers and especially dance teams.
Siobhan: Two, I’m a cancer survivor.
Christina: Three, I’m a mechanical engineer.
Adar: Four, one of the Brooklynettes is a bone breaker.
Kimberlee: Five, body glue is used (and that’s all were going to reveal about that).
On top of their usual responsibilities Brooklynettes are also required to travel. They participate in a number of charitable causes, and a large portion of the women have at least one college degree—and some are working on their second.
If you think you have what it takes to be part of the edgiest dance team in the NBA, check out the Brooklynettes website for upcoming dance clinics and audition dates.