Two Former ODU Dance Team Members to Dance for the Washington Wizards This Season
August 14, 2014
A few years ago, Brittany Hardin and Megan Cameron were leading cheers while Old Dominion University fans performed the school's traditional Ice Cream and Cake dance.
This basketball season, the former ODU Dynasty Dancers will have their cake and eat it, too. They both survived grueling audition process to be selected as members of the Washington Wizards dance team.
For 41 games this NBA regular season, Cameron and Hardin will dance on the floor at the Verizon Center, as fans cheer on the young, exciting Wizards team.
"Putting on my Wizard Girls outfit for the first time, making a Wizard fan's child smile for the first time, and looking around on the court knowing that this is my new dance family - I can't wait for that feeling," said Hardin, 23, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in business administration-information systems.
In order to make the team, Hardin and Cameron needed to survive five rounds of auditions, as well as a final show, before finding out August 4 that they had made the 20-dancer team.
"The level of talent was amazing. Being able to go through the audition process with wonderful and talented ladies was an incredible opportunity," said Cameron, 21, who earned a public health administration degree from ODU in 2013.
Being a dancer for a professional sports team is electric. But underneath the glamor is a tremendous amount of hard work. Hardin and Cameron said the commitment to be a Wizards Girl dancer is intense, both in terms of practices and workouts, and with many charitable appearances.
And the two ODU grads are balancing full-time jobs with their dancer commitments. Hardin, who is from Stafford, Va., works as a software engineer at Accenture. Cameron, from Laurel, Md., works as a reimbursement specialist for Maxim Healthcare, and is pursuing a dual master's degree in business administration and healthcare administration at the University of Maryland.
For Hardin, dancing is a tension release. "This upcoming season I am looking for a wonderful sisterhood and liberating environment. I've used dance as an outlet because it provides a mental escape from the troubles life tends to throw at me," she said. "I'm looking forward to the same happiness ODU provided me with whenever I stepped foot on the field and court."
Both ODU graduates are also excited to make a difference in the community.
"I was given this opportunity to entertain the crowd and that will be my main goal," Cameron said. "I am excited to get back on the court and become a fan favorite, as well as a role model to youth."
Both Cameron and Hardin feel like their experience as a Dynasty Dancer at ODU has helped prepare them for dancing for an NBA team.
"During my three years on the dance team at ODU, I learned how to initially perform in-front of a crowd, whether it was on the football field or at the Ted (Constant Convocation Center) for a basketball game," Cameron said. "I also danced at Spotlight Studio of Dance for 16 years, and that prepared me for the stiff competition, and how to stay calm, focused and continue to strive for my initial goal."
Hardin said the fellowship of being on a dance team again is something she is looking forward to as a Wizards Girl.
"I know what I've learned at ODU had mentally prepared me for what I had to overcome. Instead of just running after a spot on the Wizard Girls team, I was looking for the essentials Dynasty taught me," she said. "Things such as, gaining a sisterhood, learning from competition instead of constantly fighting it, and knowing when you wear the name 'dancer,' you are a walking role model, on and off the court."