She joined us at a recent Dallas Mavericks home game at American Airlines Center for PDC Meet the Dancers:
PDC: Talk about your dance background and what led you to the Dallas Mavericks Dancers?
LISA: I started dancing when I was two, took classes here and there, it wasn’t anything too serious until I was about seven or eight and that’s when I started with Power House of Dance. I ended up being on their “Power Squad,” a recreational team that would go out and do events that included doing some halftime performances for the Mavericks games here at the AAC. It was around that age when my love for the Dallas Mavericks Dancers and their program really stemmed from.
PDC: In addition to the recreational team, did you do any competitive dance?
LISA: I started competing at the age of 10 and went up to Next Step Dance up in Frisco and competed there as well. Then I did cheer for two years in high school and went on to the University of Arkansas where I was on the Pom Squad and made captain my last year.
PDC: And now you’re here on the Mavs Dancers? What made you pick this team when it came time for the audition season?
LISA: Honestly, from back when I was a kid and did the halftime shows and I’d see the Mavs Dancers and Mavs ManiAACs practice at the studio when I was young and I thought it would be so cool if I could be one of them someday. I also love the style of dance here and this may sound silly, but I love the color blue! But really, it’s from looking up to them when I was a kid.
PDC: What did you do to get ready for the DMD auditions?
LISA: I value my health a lot, I love to workout to the point where I’d say it’s one of my hobbies. I’m very passionate about it, so I kind of changed up my eating habits and my exercise routine to make it geared more towards leaning up with the Mavs Dancers uniforms in mind. I did it more over a year than because that stuff takes time. Then I went to pretty much every Mavs Dancers prep class to get the style down and mastered it to the best of my ability.
PDC: When the Mavs Dancers auditions arrived, were you extremely nervous or anxious knowing that this was essentially a lifetime dream?
LISA: I was very nervous, the night before I was tossing and turning and couldn’t really sleep at all. I talked to my mom and she assured me that it was o.k. and that if I went out and did my best that it was all that I could physically do and to have with it. First and foremost, this is something I’m very passionate about and have been for most of my life, so no matter what the result was, I went out and did my best and met some great people along the way, so regardless, it was going to be a win-win for me no matter if I made the team or not.
PDC: You made it through the weekend at the Hilton Anatole and advanced to DMD Training Camp. What was that like for you?
LISA: It was SO INTENSE. We went over the dances over and over and again, you’re trying to master the style and look like a veteran and like you belong on this team. I was so focused on the dances that I stayed quiet and took as many mental notes as I cold to make sure I did the best that I could do. But even on the sidelines, everyone was so encouraging and supportive of one another that I loved it. We are rooted for one another and wanted the best for each other.
PDC: How did you find out that your dream had come true?
LISA: Wow, they gave us an envelope with a note and told us not to read it until we had exited the building. Once I opened it, I didn’t even read the entire thing. I just saw “Congratulations” and then I saw another girl and we both started screaming at the same time and hugging one another.
PDC: Who was the first person you called?
LISA: I called my mom and was hugging another of the girls while I was one the phone. It was a great moment.
PDC: So you’ve made the team and the first thing on the official agenda is the swimsuit calendar shoot. What was that like?
LISA: Calendar, so I had never done anything like that before in my life. I didn’t know what to expect or really how to go about it. They did send us an email with tips and tricks to help prepare us and I tried my best to memorize it and make sure I did everything on my part for it to be the very best. I also was even more careful than normal with what I ate and how I worked out because I wanted to look my physical best and represent the organization well. The day of my shoot, I had an afternoon call time and everybody was so nice and it was really fun to get pampered. Chaz did my makeup and Maggie did my hair and it was so much run and so relaxing and then the photographers and Mallory (DMD Director Mallory Mills) made things so comfortable that it was a good experience.
PDC: Let’s get into the real reason for being on the Mavs Dancers, the game nights at American Airlines Center. What’s this like from your perspective?
LISA: I get the chills every time we go out on the court, no matter what. Our first time to perform was the Mavs Fan Jam and that was awesome in itself. I get nervous, but it’s good nerves, like excitement but a little anxious because were are professional dancers and want to make sure that you do your best every single time. I want to represent the team as a whole as well as Mallory because she puts so much work into this team and it means so much to us how well she directs everything, so I feel like that’s what I owe to her.
PDC: When we are doing this interview, we are about halfway through the season, do you have any favorite memories from your first season as a Mavs Dancer?
LISA: Too many to list, but the Seats for Soldiers and the Fight Cancer games stand out because they have deep meaning beyond sports. I personally have friends that have either been in the armed forces and served our country and I also know people who have suffered breast cancer and survived and some who have passed away. Those nights will hold a special place in my heart and it was nice to show them that we appreciate them. It means a lot that the Dallas Mavericks organization does give back so much. Then there’s Dirk! I’ve been watching him play since I was five year old and now I’m five feet away from him on an actual NBA court, that’s just incredible! It’s actually surreal and it’s really an honor.
PDC: What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of your first season?
LISA: That’s hard to say because everything so far has been beyond my expectations. I will say that I look forward to getting to know all of my amazing teammates even better because I’m an only child and now I feel like I have 17 sisters and it’s an incredible family to be a part of.
PDC: What are some of your favorite foods?
LISA: I’m so boring, I really love butternut squash. I love sushi, but I can’t have soy sauce and I fruits, oooh I love pineapples and strawberries. I like lean meats like chicken, fish and turkey.
PDC: Any favorite restaurants?
LISA: I love Anamia’s in Coppell and Midori Sushi in Irving.
PDC: What are some of your hobbies?
LISA: I play the piano, have for 18 years now. I also love to paint and draw. Painting does take a while, so it’s hard to find time for that. Working out and shopping, well everybody loves shopping.
PDC: Shopping? Any stores in particular?
LISA: Lululemon, it’s my favorite! The new one at Northpark is huge! I also hit up Nike, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom Rack and Macy’s, they have great sales.
PDC: Do you have any favorite movies?
LISA: How to Train Your Dragon, I love that movie, it’s definitely my favorite movie ever! Jurassic World is great. How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, love that one.
PDC: What about TV shows? Anything you like to binge-watch?
LISA: I don’t even have Netflix or Hulu or anything like that. The one show that I do actually keep up with is American Horror Story. I hate scary movies, but this is more suspense, but I do watch it with a group of people, can’t watch by myself. I also love Food Network, Cupcake Wars, really anything food related.
PDC: In addition to being a Mavs Dancer, do you have a day job?
LISA: I am a scribe at Baylor University Medical Center.
PDC: How do manage what is obviously a demanding schedule?
LISA: When I interviewed for the job at the hospital, I had just made the team, so I was able to discuss the schedule with them and they have been very accommodating with everything. Lots of communication to make sure everything is good on both sides with my job and the Mavs.
PDC: Since we’ve talked about work, we’ll end on a fun question. If you had a dream job, what would it be and why?
LISA: My dream job would be the one that I am pursuing at the moment, physician’s assistant mainly because my mom is a P.A. and I look up to her a lot and it mean a great deal if I could follow in her footsteps. She’s an incredible woman and if I could even be a tenth of the woman she is, I’ll have done something great with my life. I want to be a P.A. because I love helping people and if I get to work with kids, that will be a bonus because that’s what I really want to do because the kids that I have met are so inspirational and resilient. Their kindness radiates as they walk around the hospital with a smile on their face even if they are about to head into surgery or just got our of surgery, that is what I want to surround myself with, that kind of environment. They’re the light of this world, the future generation and they’ve already impacted me, so if I could impact them in some small way or some big way, I’d feel like a million bucks.
See pics from the Dallas Mavericks Dancers Calendar Release Party in the PHOTO GALLERY below: