Current Raiderettes answer questions from the prep class participants. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The 2013 Raiderette Auditions are around the corner and over 100 prospective members of Football's Fabulous Females participated in the annual Raiderette Audition Prep Class to prepare. Participants had the opportunity to learn technique from Raiderette choreographer Shawna Zimmerman and a routine from assistant choreographer Laura Guillory, while getting advice from current squad members on auditions, dancing, and the Raiderette experience.
Raiderette Kelly, a three-year veteran, wanted to attend the prep class to help the hopefuls have the best audition experience possible. "I wanted to help out because I took the class when I was first trying out," said Kelly. "It really gives you a taste of what our team is about. I want to guide them through this experience because it is a journey if you make it or if you don't. It's an experience and it's something you'll carry with you forever so I want to try to make it a positive experience for them."
Raiderette Michelle, who was a rookie during the 2012 season, hopes the prep class gave the participants more confidence heading into the audition process. "I just hope that they got just a little more comfortable with the style, kind of relaxed, because we're just here to have fun and it's just such a great experience," said Michelle. "I hope they can take everything that they got from today and take it to auditions."
Leah, a Raiderette hopeful from Minnesota, wanted to get a better understanding of what the Raiderettes are about as auditions approach. "I have a few friends that danced for the Raiderettes and they told me how it was a big family and a great way to meet people," said Leah. "I love dancing and volunteering so I came to check it out and had a lot of fun today."
There are many attributes that make the Raiderettes a standout squad, one of which is their dancing style. The prep class gave the participants an idea of what Raiderette choreography looks like. Kelly was at the front of the room learning the routine with the hopefuls and helping them through. "I think they understand more our style," said Kelly. "Some of these girls have probably never been to a Raiders game or seen our style. From going to the Pro Bowl and comparing our dancing to other dancing, we're very different. We have a lot more energy and a pop to our moves, so I think they understand more of our style because that's what the Raiderettes are known for is dancing really big."
The participants also had a chance to ask current Raiderettes questions about auditions and quell any fears. "I think the main thing is be yourself," said Raiderette hopeful Kelsey. "I get very nervous during interviews and they just really told us to just be yourself with pictures, while you're walking, even dancing. It was just a really comfortable atmosphere and I felt good about it."
Being a Raiderette is a goal of many of the participants and the prep class was a good way to get closer to that goal. "I'm always a person that's really social and I love girls coming together that love to dance and also like to make a difference and I really see that with my friends who have been on the team," said Leah. "They volunteer, they do stuff together, they get to travel, they get to perform and they're all really passionate people doing great things and it's a great way, being new in this city, to get involved. Many reasons but that's why I'm here today."
If you didn't have a chance to take the class, you can still participate in the audition. Raiderette Auditions will be held April 7 at the Hilton-Oakland Airport. There is still time to pre-register! Go to http://www.raiders.com/raiderettes/auditions for more information. Walk-ins are also welcome.