They shimmy, they shake and on the court is where they shine!
“We’re dancing at Madison Square Garden, it’s the world’s most famous arena," Alyssa, co-captain, smiled, "It’s an incredible feeling!”
But for the Knicks City Dancers it’s also where their dreams take center stage.
“It’s honestly such an exhilarating feeling, you just feel the energy," Katie described.
“I feel like everything I’ve done has led me to this moment,” Michelle said.
Most have been dancing almost as long as they could walk, each finding her passion for different reasons.
“My mother put me in dance class when I was three," Michelle explained. "Her sister, who I’m actually named after was a dancer and she, unfortunately, passed away from Leukemia a few years before I was born so my mom put me in dance to sort of fulfill what she couldn’t do.”
Dance can take you so many places and for these ladies, it brought them exactly where they wanted to be. Even if it wasn’t always easy.
“I auditioned a year prior to me making the team and I didn’t make it," Divinity remembered. "And that was fine, I used it as encouragement and it pushed me to work harder.”
The commitment consists of multiple practices a week on top of performing at home games.
"As a Knicks City Dancer we focus on being at our optimal fitness level because our routines are extremely demanding on our bodies," Andrea said.
However, the part-time gig doesn’t quite pay the bills, so many have other jobs outside of the studio.
“Full time I work as a Digital Investment Supervisor,” Michelle said.
“My mom, who was a dancer, owns a dance studio so I actually teach for her,” Alyssa said.
“I nanny for my sister and she has three kids with one more on the way,” Andrea said.
While they love their on-court routines, they seem to value their connection to the community most.
“We work with the Garden of Dreams Foundation where we give back to children who need help," Divinity said. "Seeing a little girl who thought she could not be something and she looks at me and says hey you know what if she can do it, I can do it too, that's what I enjoy most."
It’s what’s kept some dancers here for five plus seasons.
"Doesn’t it become routine?" I asked Jess. "No not, at all, we’re learning new dances all the time and there’s always new opportunities so it feels like a new night every time.”
Each Knicks City Dancer brings her own individuality to the team, but I don’t think they were ready for personality and talent quite like mine!
Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi