Michaela's Rookie Experience
Rookie season has been a complete whirlwind of excitement and opportunity. Only a few months ago I drove 6 hours, straight through the night from Connecticut, to audition for the Wizard Girls. It would be my first time in DC in ten years and I could only pray that the trip would be worth it. I arrived at auditions hopeful, confident and determined to achieve my dream. After making it through a fun but stressful three rounds of dance auditions, I was relieved to be called as part of the finalist group. The next two weeks I slept on friend’s couches, searched for jobs and apartments and went to Wizard Girl practices in the hopes that I would be calling DC my new home. Our final audition was a night of performance and appearances at the draft party, a true test of Wizard Girl potential, which I was so eager to possess. A few hours later my life changed drastically and my dreams came true when I was named as a member of the final Wizard Girl team.
Only a week later, I was fortunately whisked away to China for the NBA Nation Tour. The 14 hour plane ride was a bonding experience that made me feel extremely close to my five other teammates whom I had only met 3 weeks prior. We traveled to Tianjin and Beijing where we performed for NBA fans and participated in events and meet and greets. I had the most fun being a part of the dunk contest where we judged some very talented players. We represented the Wizards all around the city, while climbing the Great Wall and visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and something I never imagined I would be able to experience.
We returned from China and settled into our grueling pre season practice schedule. Coach Derric really tested our stamina and memory by teaching a new routine every practice. It was crunch time before we had the honor of performing for the USA basketball game against Brazil. Besides from our performance during auditions, this would be the first time the rookie class took the floor at the Verizon Center. We had huge expectations for ourselves as new Wizard Girls. When the night came and I took the court, standing beside my teammates with a huge smile on my face, tears swelled my eyes knowing that this was a dream come true. The arena was packed and the energy was radiating while we danced for our first official time as the 2012-2013 Wizard Girls.
The next few weeks flew by with our photo shoot and appearances. We learned new routines and practiced technique in our new heels. Often us rookies got together on weekends to practice nearly 20 dances we stored somewhere in our memory. The vets led the way and helped us go over the ins and outs of game day protocol and made us experts at applying our makeup and styling our hair.
And so the season began. On November 3rd , we took the court for our first 2012-2013 season game against the Celtics. We had practiced for months and were finally ready to showcase our new Wizard Girl team. Dancing in front of the sold out crowd truly made my adrenaline surge. The huge out pouring of energy and excitement from the fans confirmed that being a part of the Wizard Girl team is an opportunity of a lifetime and something I will never forget.
We have been going nonstop since auditions in June but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have made 19 truly amazing friends and I am lucky to be a part of such an amazing organization and team. I can’t wait to cheer on my Washington Wizards and dance alongside my new Wizard Girl family all season long.