“They are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside… Your Spurs Silver Dancers”
If you have been a follower of my blog since mid summer time, you might remember my post about the first Spurs Silver Dancer mixer which was held this past July. If you missed it, no problem, click here to read all about it!
This past weekend was the official 25 Year Anniversary of the Spurs Silver Dancers. This group is the dancers for the NBA’s basketball team in San Antonio, Texas. Before I jump into all the fun details of the weekend, I think letting you in on how the organization started is important.
Left to Right: Rosalyn Jones (Coached 1992-2003), Katie Gibbons (Coached 2013-current day), Raquel Garcia (Coached 2003-2013)
The original founder and coach was Miss Rosalyn Jones. She told the story of how the Silver Dancers came about during the first mixer and it literally gave me chills! In 1990, Rosalyn pitched the idea to the Spurs organization about having a group of young women form a dance team to support the basketball team and bring a different type of entertainment value to the game time experience. Without much thought, the Spurs denied the idea and told her no.
Did this stop Miss Jones?
You guessed it, NO! And thank goodness she didn’t give up that easy!
The following year, Rosalyn decided to take a group of cheerleaders and dancers, ages 5-16, from a studio she owned and booked a single halftime performance. What she kept as a secret surprise was she also got a group of young women together, including herself, to dance at the tail end of her studio performance. She hand-made uniforms for all the women and choreographed an upbeat, get on your feet, type dance that engaged the Spurs fans.
As the women were running off the court, the Spurs organization instantly had a change of heart. That very evening, Rosalyn set up an appointment with the Spurs to start a dance team for the next season.
In 1992, the Spurs Silver Dancers were established and the women entertained fans through their inaugural season.
Meredith Morton Thompson, who was a dancer on the very first Silver Dancers team, describes her experience.
“When I think back to 1992, the Genesis of being selected to the Spurs Silver Dancer inaugural team, many things come to mind. First, getting to dance under the direction of Rosalyn who was fresh, edgy, and ahead of her time in so many ways, was a wonderful experience! It was something I couldn’t explain then, but I felt like we were pacesetters and the start of something great!! Secondly, I think about dancing to songs like “Proud Mary,” “Whoomp There It Is,” “Are You Going To Go My Way,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “YMCA”, and a crowd favorite “Y’all Ready For This?” (All are some of my personal favorites!) I remember Kaepa tennis shoes (one of our sponsors), big hair, beautiful uniforms, Charlie’s great pictures, and the best NBA Mascot’s awesome tricks! My Spurs Silver Dancer experience will always be a blessing as will the friendships I made while dancing! In 25 years the music has changed, the uniforms have evolved, the Spurs play in a different location from where we started, at the Hemisphere arena, however; the one thing which hasn’t changed is our love for dance, The Spurs, our City, and each other! I am blessed to have been part of the legacy SD sisters! ’92-’95 Happy 25th Anniversary!”
The Silver Dancer reunion started with practice, which was divided into groups based on the years of the seasons danced. When it was time to watch the whole show be performed together full-out, I was AMAZED at the talent and ENERGY all the ladies had. I was positive the next day we were going to put on an amazing halftime!
Photo Credit to Charles Cyr
Spurs Silver Dancer Reunion Practice: Choreography by Katie Gibbons (Current Silver Dancer Coach)
The morning of the game is when it started feeling more surreal to me. It sunk in all over again of how blessed I am to have been a part of this amazing opportunity and organization.
On game day, we were all to report to “court time” early in the morning for rehearsal to make sure everything looked clean and performance ready. Court time is a normal protocol for game days. The Silver Dancers report to the arena sometimes 4-5 hours before tip-off to be able to use the court for run through.
Heather, a 4 year veteran from the years 2008-2012, described her feelings of court time.
“Running the routine on the court before the game was EXACTLY how I remember doing it when I was on the team. Our coach, Raquel, would assign us lines (we called them cracks!) on the court. It felt like running a normal court practice, just like it was yesterday!”
Photo Credit to Tony Garcia
Mel, who was a 6 year veteran of the team from years 1994- 2000, described her court time experience.
“The practice was great. The feeling of having to be at practice hours before the game as usual and having to be quick about getting on and off the court. During the rehearsal I actually had a moment when I realized I was on the 3rd team of SSD history! It doesn’t seem that long ago, but to see a lot of my students continue their love and passion of dance and community like me made me feel some kind of happiness. My students are my teammates!”
Spurs Silver Dancers Court Time Rehearsal: Choreography by Former Coach, Raquel Garcia
After the hard work of both practices were done, it was finally time to show the Spurs fans the talent that has gone through the organization the past 25 years.
As soon as I heard “ladies line up in the tunnel, we’re about to start,” it was instant butterflies and nerves! It was incredible to feel that unique excitement again. There really isn’t a comparable feeling like the one you get before running out onto the Spurs court and it’s difficult to put into words that make sense!
Raquel, who was a 5 year veteran of the team and the coach for 10 years, described her overall experience.
“This 25 Year Anniversary of the Silver Dancers was one of the most AMAZING experiences of my life. I was extremely overwhelmed with emotion throughout the entire weekend. I would look one way and would see my teammates I had danced with from 95-2000, then look another, and see my dancers I had the honor of coaching for 10 seasons, and if that wasn’t enough, the current dancers took my breath away! The love of our Spurs, for the court, and each other was the beautiful bond we all share and will continue to share forever. I cried on and off all the way home to Houston after! Another touching moment I had was to have my own little girl there to see me dance on the court…that just doesn’t happen! Thanks to Katie and the Spurs for allowing us all to come back and share what we all love to do…Dance for our Spurs!”
It’s a rare thing to find something that you become so devoted and passionate about, and once you find it, it’s hard to let go. I am overwhelmed with happiness to have had the opportunity to share the floor with over 100 ladies that have rocked the Spurs logo and represented the prestige name of Silver Dancers over the past 25 years. This organization does so much for a young lady. I truly believe it has molded all of us into the woman we are and has created a bond among all of us that is special. Pom-poms, chaps, and hair flips will always be a couple of my favorite things.
If you would like to view the whole halftime performance CLICK HERE!
Thank you for reading and taking a trip down memory lane with me!