After two long days of pressure-packed performances and intense interviews, 14 women were welcomed into “The Pack” – the official dance team of the Phoenix Coyotes and the first NHL spirit squad to perform routines directly on the ice; on Monday evening.
Auditions went late into the evening on Monday before a panel of judges selected the dancers who will serve on the 2007-08 squad. The tremendous talent and abilities of all who tried out for the team, made for some difficult decisions as the clock approached Tuesday morning.
“It was extremely difficult to narrow the group down to 14,” said Pack Dance Team Director and Choreographer Kari Herrick. “It was probably one of the hardest auditions I’ve been involved with, but I’m very happy with the girls we picked. We have a very strong group of dancers as well as a good group that can represent the Coyotes in the community.”
Returning members from last year’s team and those trying out for the first-time spent most of last Sunday learning and performing complex routines for the judges. Monday also featured more dancing, but added an interview session where the girls were tested on their public speaking ability and poise under pressure. Cuts were made along the way, with the final choices coming after contestants performed their own original choreography.
“It was a pretty grueling audition process,” said Herrick. “The girls were obviously exhausted after two long days of dancing. I’m sure there were plenty of sore bodies, but the girls we selected really put in a total effort.”
The hard work needed to make the squad was just a taste of things to come for this year’s team. Being a part of The Pack means practicing at least twice a week, performing at all Coyotes’ home games and serving as a goodwill ambassador for the organization out in the community.
For the 14 dancers chosen on Monday, being a member of “The Pack” is a labor of love and a few select spots on the squad remain. One last tryout will be held later this summer to cast the final four members and round out this year’s squad.
“We selected a great core group, but we’re looking to add a few more girls,” said Herrick. “We’re looking for girls who are great dancers, have plenty of personality and have an overall confidence in their ability to get out on the ice and dance and at the same time be a good presence in the community.”
This final Pack tryout is expected to take place in August. Check back at PhoenixCoyotes.com for additional details on the final tryout.
2007-08 Pack Dance Team
From left to right: Alyssa, Kia, Jaclyn, Michelle, Connie, Michelle, Brittany,
Stephanie, Rachel, Allison, Nicole, Kellie, Jamie, Celine.