Soccer's New Sizzle

By Jensen, Brittney | Dance Spirit, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Soccer's New Sizzle


Jensen, Brittney, Dance Spirit


THE LOWDOWN ON DANCING FOR SOCCER TEAMS.

Two years ago, Kimberly Peterson and Leslie Shaw-Hatchard asked themselves why basketball and football teams have professional dancers, but indoor soccer teams don't. They took matters into their own hands and approached the management of the Dallas Sidekicks (members of the Major Indoor Soccer League) about creating a dance squad for the team. Four months later, Peterson and Shaw-Hatchard became co-directors of the 10-member dance team Dallas Sidekicks Sizzle.

Both co-directors have danced for other sports teams: Shaw-Hatchard for the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Burn and Dallas Cowboys, and Peterson for the Dallas Mavericks. According to Peterson, the main difference between dancing for soccer and other sports is the audience. "The crowd at basketball games is mostly adult males," she says. "The crowd for indoor soccer is families and kids." The Sizzle's choreography, music and costumes are tailored to families. Instead of what Peterson calls "the stylized hip hop of NBA dance teams," the Sizzle do mostly jazz with some hip hop.

SOCCER FANFARE

Sizzle dancers perform at 18 home games throughout the Sidekicks' September-to-March season. All the dancers have trading cards of themselves, which they hand out at the stadium entrances before games. They perform during two time-outs and at a break between the third and fourth quarters.

Most of the games are on weekend nights, and rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons. Half the girls are in college full-time, some teach dance part-time and a few have regular nine-to-five jobs. First-year dancers are paid $50 per game and returning dancers are paid $60 per game. Dancers also receive $25 per hour for special appearances in the community, such as autograph signings.

Meredith Broussard, a second-year member of the Sizzle, is a speech pathologist and teaches jazz and hip hop at a local studio. Like most of the squad members, she grew up taking ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop classes. …

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