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Kelli's Korner: Auditions & The Team

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
New this season, Panthers Ice Dancer Kelli will be sharing her thoughts on this upcoming season from what's going on with the dancers (including the try out proccess), to what's going on and off the ice, as well as anything else that she cares to discuss.

Kelli is trying out once again this year to become an Ice Dancer for her third season. The Fort Lauderdale native is also currently working towards earning her broadcast journalism degree.

Throughout the month of July, the ladies and I visited various shows to promote the date of auditions, but once it came down to the nitty-gritty, the week before auditions, we had show appearances nearly everyday. We visited 790 The Ticket, ESPN Radio, The LockerRoom Talk, The Andy Slater Show, WIOD, 93 Rock, The DA Show, The South Florida Today Show on NBC, The Jim and Jade in the Morning Show on MY33, the ever popular Deco Drive on WSVN and many more.

Desi, Adrianne, Judy, and Jessica on the set of The South Florida Today Show

Pamela, Kelli, and Michele on the set of Jim and Jade in the Morning

Tatiana, Desi, Judy, and Kelli on the set of Deco Drive

Judy, Kelli, Nichole, Desi, and Tatiana on the set of Deco Drive

Just like any other Panthers Ice Dancer hopeful, all the veterans and I had to re-audition for the 2008-2009 squad. This audition process was probably the most nerve-racking of any season… mostly because I knew what I’d be missing out on if I weren’t chosen to be a part of the squad for another season!

Some of the veterans stretching before round two of the preliminary auditions

Some of the veterans before final cuts to boot camp

After the preliminary audition at the Bank Atlantic Center, the girls who were invited to come back, came in the very next day to have a one-on-one interview (actually, a one-on-three) with our Director and Assistant Director, Nichole Genchi and Michele Schreifels, as well as bossman, Dennis Docil. Oh, and not to mention the cameraman and his two cameras that were in the interview room the whole time! After the interview, we immediately changed out of our business attire and into a bikini to show off our level of fitness. Following interviews and swimwear, 30 girls were invited to come to boot camp. (For more pictures of the preliminary auditions, click here. Also, be sure to check out the GrowlTV Segment .)

Boot camp was…how can I put this delicately?! Boot camp left me incredibly sore, but whooped my butt in shape real fast! (Gotta look hot for the 2009 swimsuit calendar coming out!) We had serious work out sessions, lots of new choreography to learn in a very short amount of time and cameras in our faces throughout the whole week.

Leading up to our final solo audition at the Sawgrass Mills Mall… I was surprised by how nervous I was. Even though we perform in front of thousands of fans at every game… I guess the anticipation had finally built up and the butterflies were taking over. The solo routines by the finalists were rather entertaining. The ladies choreographed their own hip-hop, tap, jazz, and ballet for the talent portion of the audition process. Since I can only sing in the shower and I can’t twirl fire-lit batons, I opted to do a dance number as well, which I choreographed to Tainted Love by the Pussycat Dolls.

Group shot of the all the girls who made it to the final audition at the Sawgrass on August 9th

After a very long week, I am tremendously proud to say that I am back on the squad as a third year veteran!! (YAAAH!!) Although this past week has been very tedious and boot camp was intense, I know it’s all very worth it. I can’t wait for the new friendships to flourish and an amazing group of young ladies to become a team. 

2008-2009 Florida Panthers Ice Dancers

To make things even more exhilarating, the team was fitted for our new uniforms this week! Maaaaan, are they cute this season…I can’t wait until our squad photoshoot! Everything’s just beginning and I’m so excited for what’s to come! Off-season is OFFICIALLY OVER!!!!!

On that note, I’d like to openly welcome the new 2008-2009 rookie Ice Dancers. Congratulations girls, you’ve worked hard and you deserve it! (Beware Panther fans: these newbies are hot!) And of course, the beautiful returning veterans…you all are amazing! <3
Lots of Love,


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