Last week, I made the trek to the Dr. Pepper Star Center in McKinney for the Dallas Stars Ice Girls’ second-to-last prep class before their July 24th auditions.
Stepping out onto the ice for the first time in a year, I was blasted with an intense cold that reminded me just how much of a difference there is between the Texas heat and the freezing practice rink. A calming feeling of “being home” overwhelmed me as my legs went from a Bambi-like state to a gentle and comfortable glide across the ice. Thank God for muscle memory! As the Ice Girls Hopefuls took center ice with one of my former teammates and dear friend, Whitney, and the other veterans, I found myself placing my right hand on my hip, standing tall and smiling- The Ice Girls’ signature pose on and off the ice. The veterans introduced themselves and explained what would take place during the ice portion of prep class.
An hour and a half flew by with the ice drills and snow plow practice, and before I knew it, we were in the room where the ladies would be stretched, run through a quick workout and learn a dance routine.
Typically during Ice Girls prep classes, the dance routines that are taught are those that have been performed at games and are chosen to be “retired” to make room for new dances in the coming season. As one of the veterans, Madi, began teaching the routine of the night, I recognized it as one of the dances I had learned the season I was on the team! This was bittersweet, as I have a bit of a soft spot for that dance, but watching the veterans teach it to the rookie hopefuls gave me a sense of pride that I can’t even begin to explain. Here’s a taste of it:
The night was topped off with some freestyle dancing. This part of prep class is extremely important because the first round of auditions includes freestyle choreography prepared by each candidate. If you are reading this and thinking about auditioning for Ice Girls as a dancer, please don’t let the freestyle round scare you! The best advice any former or current Ice Girl, as well as the directors, will give regarding freestyle is this: Prepare four to six eight-counts of a dance that complements you and your style, then take those eight-counts and practice them in front of a mirror to multiple songs. The wider the variety of songs you practice to (i.e. speed and genera), the more comfortable you will be whenever you are onstage in front of the judges’ panel during auditions.
If you are vying for a spot on this season’s team, know that you are in good hands with very experienced directors and veterans who truly care about your success and well-being on the ice, the dance floor and in all other facets of life. Becky, one of the current veterans, expressed her desire to return to DSIG for another season because she wants to be able to help lead and encourage the new rookies. “I’ve always been a rookie, and I want to know what it feels like to be a veteran,” Becky said. “I want to be a leader and mentor like the women I’ve looked up to for years!”
A Few Parting Thoughts:
Sitting next to my wonderful former coach and watching my Ice Girls sisters instruct the rookie hopefuls on ice drills and then teach one of the routines that I had performed on the platform at the AAC in front of tens of thousands of eager Stars fans reminded me of how blessed I am. I am happy to say that I have been in those rookie hopefuls’ shoes, taken the leap, landed my dream team, and then retired from professional dance having ended it on the best team I could have ever asked for. I pray the young women who make the team this season realize how truly blessed they are for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! You will not only get the privilege of dancing and skating for the best team in the NHL, but you will also make lifelong friendships!
Lastly, if you plan to audition for the 2016-2017 Dallas Stars Ice Girls, do yourself a favor and go to tonight’s prep class in McKinney.
For more details on why this last prep class is so important, click here.