Current Raiderettes and prep class participants do floor exercises. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Raiderette Audition Prep Class was held this past Saturday with nearly 100 participants taking part at the Holiday Inn Oakland Airport. The ladies had the opportunity to learn more about the Raiderettes and the audition process by participating in a question and answer session with current Raiderettes and Raiderette Director Jeanette Thompson and learning a routine with choreographers Shawna Zimmerman and Laura Guillory.
The class began with floor work for a warm up and chance to understand the process of Raiderette practices and dance style. They then learned a short routine from Guillory, where they saw the style of choreography, some of the dance terminology and had an opportunity to practice alongside current Raiderettes.
"Today we just came to get a preview of what we can expect for auditions, what the routine will be like, meet the girls and see who they are, and also meet the choreographers so we can get a sense for what their style is," said participant Taneshia Dantzler. "We danced, went across the floor and did some across the floor exercises, we lept, jumped, did some 'chaines turns' and jazz walks. We got a lot of corrections, but overall I think we all did a great job."
The ladies attended the class for a variety of reasons, but many wanted extra instruction for the upcoming auditions. "Today's Raiderette Prep Class prepared me," said Jalina Porter. "I feel proper preparation prevents poor performance. I go by that professionally, academically and in the dance world, too. I'm so glad I came because it's my first time auditioning for an NFL squad and I just feel at ease now and I feel a lot more comfortable and confident going into auditions."
Jennifer Carrico wanted to get a feel for the style of dance generally used in Raiderette dance routines. "I wanted to get an idea of the choreographer's style, different choreographers have different styles, and it was kind of a fusion of jazz and hip hop, so I had a lot of fun with the class," explained Carrico. "Today was a great turn out, the choreographers were wonderful and I really appreciate the current Raiderettes and how much they're helping everyone else. It was a noncompetitive atmosphere and overall it was just a great morning."
Carrico attended the Prep Class in the hopes of getting one step closer to her dream of becoming a Raiderette. "To be a Raiderette is my biggest goal right now," said Carrico. "The girls represent confidence, poise, and are intelligent, determined women. I see them on the field on game day and they are dancing for thousands of loyal fans and I think that would be a dream come true to be a part of that and experience it for myself."
Porter echoed Carrico's desire to be a part of Football's Fabulous Females. "I'm trying to become a Raiderette because I feel that they are the premiere team in the Bay Area," said Porter. "I love their style, I love their poise, I love their confidence and they are just real tangible women. They're everyday women and well-rounded women and I feel like I could add to that."
Heading into the preliminary auditions on April 15, the Prep Class participants feel more prepared, more confident, and have an added sense of excitement. "I feel a lot more informed and comfortable and confident," said Porter. "I'm very excited to go to auditions and I know it will be a great experience."
For more information about the Raiderette Preliminary Auditions on Sunday, April 15, go to http://www.raiders.com/raiderettes/auditions.html