With so much attention on the Broncos, you may have missed the start of the Denver Nuggets preseason. The team matches up tonight against the Phoenix Suns -- and that means the Denver Nuggets Dancers are back in action as well. Meet the sixteen-person squad below, complete with photos and text from theDenver Nuggets Dancers website
Meet Alicia Name: Alicia Michelle
Nicknames: Punky-doo, Munchkin, Alicat , Pit-bull Mouse (Because I sneeze like a mouse but have the demeanor of a pit bull)
Born: Marshall, MO
Birthday: April 16th
Occupation/Area of Study: Telcom, Computer Networking
Favorite Charity: American Diabetes Association, My father is losing a battle against Diabetes so this Charity holds close to my heart.
Advice for young dancers: Always believe in yourself and your dreams. Go to every audition, Master class, workshop or competition your heart desires. Try not to compare yourself to the others there. Look in the Mirror because you are your biggest competition.
Meet Alisha Name: Alisha
Nicknames: I was given the nickname "Leesie Bug" by my family after being talked into eating a lady bug at a very young age. I also have the nickname "Allie-Shay" my friends like to call me that to fit my sassiness.
Born: Salt Lake City, UT
Birthday: July 17th
Occupation/Area of Study: Leasing Agent
Favorite Charity: For the past several years I have volunteered and hosted fundraisers for The YWCA a shelter for women and children. I have had the opportunity to be an advocate and spread awareness of Domestic Violence through dance workshops and I also taught dance classes at the shelter.
Advice for young dancers: "Fake it till you make it!" Confidence is key in order to be a successful dancer and some days we just don't have it. By pretending like you do you will find with time how much more comfortable you'll feel with the technique, movement and performance!
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Allie Name: Allyssa Ann
Nicknames: Allie, Al pal, Al, Allie P
Born: Keenesburg, CO
Birthday: August 30th
Occupation/Area of Study: Medical Assisting
Favorite Charity: My favorite charity would have to be the Eddie's kids foundation. I think it is truly great what Eddie does for all of the underprivileged kids who cannot afford to come to all of the big sporting events in Colorado. I love to be apart of all of the events he puts on. Thanks Eddie! With that being said some of my other favorites include KSE Sports charities and Children's Hospital.
Advice for young dancers: Don't ever give up! When you hit a plateau or feel like you can't do something, remember that you CAN! You are your own worst critic, don't lose sight of your goals and passion.
Meet Ariel Name: Ariel Rose
Nicknames: Mini Me (My dad gave me this because I'm just like him, so he is Big Me); Oreo (my cousins couldn't say my name correctly when they were little)
Born: Thornton, CO
Birthday: January 2nd
Occupation/Area of Study: Field Specialist for an Oilfield Servicing Company & Personal Trainer (Health & Fitness Industry)
Favorite Charity: 1) ASPCA -- I am such an animal lover and this organization's focus is preventing cruelty to animals, but they also organize pet adoptions, work with local shelters and offer educational services to help people better care for their animals. 2) KSE Sport Equipment Drive- being active and in sports my entire life, it was a joy to help gather the donations of sports equipment to be able to help kids be more active and have the chance to find a fun sporting activity.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up, never stop asking questions and learning. Dancing for over 15 years and I am still learning things I wish I would have learn at an earlier age. I look back and wish I would listened to my heart on my dancing a lot sooner! I pushed myself and have at least made it this far to be a professional NBA dancer, so anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Becca Name: Rebecca Kay
Nicknames: Becca, Bec, Becs
Born: Born in Edina, MN. Raised in Golden, CO
Birthday: May 12th
Occupation/Area of Study: Nanny/Elementary Education
Favorite Charity: American Cancer Society
Advice for young dancers: Don't let others tear you down and always have confidence in yourself. Remember you can make any dream come true if you put the effort into it!
Meet Didi Name: Deirdre Maria
Nicknames: Didi, Speedy, Deeders, Biscuit, Beans. My favorite is Beast because when I was little, I used to prefer the Beast over Beauty!
Born: Denver, Colorado
Birthday: July 6th
Occupation/Area of Study: I am a prospective student for medical school with an interest in women's health. I am currently a medical assistant at a reproductive endocrinology medical clinic.
Favorite Charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado. I have always wanted to become a Big Sister and as soon as my schedule frees up enough to apply, I am planning on helping advocate for our Colorado youth.
Advice for young dancers: Find your own style with your movements. Everyone brings something different to the table because of their own unique physique and background. You have great things to offer to don't be afraid to take risks and choreograph to put yourself out there!
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Hayley Name: Hayley Laurel
Nicknames: My dad and twin brother have always called me Halo!
Born: Littleton, CO
Birthday: May 12th
Occupation/Area of Study: Full-time student majoring in Political Science, Anthropology, and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Favorite Charity: Make A Wish Foundation. My sister is very active in this foundation and has inspired me to care immensely for this charity, as well. The Make a Wish Foundation transforms the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses into realities and is a truly incredible organization. I have been involved in some of their fundraising events, including the Annual Sporting Affair, and I hope to become more involved in the future!
Advice for young dancers: I would advise young dancers to take a wide array of classes. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone whether that means trying tap for the first time or going to a drop-in hip hop class. Every class you take can only help you improve and grow as a dancer. In addition, never forget to enjoy yourself! Dancing and performing bring me so much happiness, and hard work and goal setting should never take away from that!
Meet Kelsey C. Name: Kelsey Anne
Nicknames: Kels, kelsers, melsers
Born: Portland, Oregon
Birthday: July 11th
Occupation/Area of Study: Pilates instructor and studio manager
Favorite Charity: Kroenke Sports Charities has allowed me to be involved in many different charities over the past year, I love participating in hospital visits! I also enjoy Race for the Cure and other Susan G. Komen events.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up! I still feel like I'm improving as a dancer every single day. Put in the time, effort, and passion, and the rest will follow.
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Kelsey T. Name: Kelsey Marie
Nicknames: Everyone calls me Kels
Born: I am a Colorado native, born in Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Birthday: October 8th
Occupation/Area of Study: I am a business/marketing major. I plan on opening my own dance studio within the next 5-10 years
Favorite Charity: My favorite Charity is Sports Made Possible, because I am a sports fanatic, and I love interacting with others and helping them stay active and healthy.
Advice for young dancers: My advice for young dancers would be to keep working hard, and never let ANYONE tell you that you can't do something. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, and persistence is key. Always believe in yourself, because your confidence and passion for dance will take you very far. And most importantly, dance because you love it, and because this is what we were born to do. We live to perform and express ourselves artistically.
Meet Kimberly Name: Kimberly Ann
Nicknames: Kimbo, Kimbo Slice, Kimmy Ann (This one came from my middle name, and my family still calls me by this)
Born: Thornton, Colorado
Birthday: April 16th
Occupation/Area of Study: I have my degree in Nutrition and Fitness and Dietetics. I currently work for a fitness software company as an account manager for Martial arts and Dance Studios.
Favorite Charity: WIC -- Catholic Charities. Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is part of a federal nutrition program that supports pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding women, infants and children to live a healthier life. WIC provides nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, referrals and supplemental food vouchers. As a nutrition major, this charity is very important to me, as it provides the building blocks for children to live a healthy, long life.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up. As a dancer you will have your ups and downs. It is important to dream big, and keep working towards your goal. Anything is possible. I tried out 3 times before making the Denver Nuggets Dancers. Each time, I grew as a dancer, and never gave up. Look where I am today. I am living out my dream! Just remember that everything happens for a reason, and to never let your dreams go.
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Lynn Name: Lynn Gae
Nicknames: My family and some close friends will call me Lynnie, but that's the only nickname I've ever had. There's not much you can do with a one syllable name!
Born: New Orleans, LA
Birthday: December 20th
Occupation/Area of Study: Psychology. I want to go to graduate school for counseling psychology to eventually open my own practice catered towards children.
Favorite Charity: Jeff's Upbeat Academy is a non-profit organization I worked with in Louisiana. Upbeat provides under privileged children with the opportunity to learn about music with a focus on electronic dance, hip hop, and even the production of music. They seek to broaden the outreach started by similar non-profits that focused more on "traditional" instruments by presenting kids with another option. This is my favorite charity because it remembers Jeff Milne, a good friend to a large community in New Orleans and to me. His mission was to spread the love and joy that music gives; and this charity allows his mission to stay alive.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up on your dreams! If you work hard and keep your head high, you can do anything you want! It took me three times auditioning for professional dance teams to finally make it. Since then, I've danced for two NBA dance teams and was a captain for an AFL dance team. Life is beautiful, so keep fighting for what you want because it's all worth it!
Meet Marissa Name: Marissa Ann
Nicknames: I do not really have a specific nickname that has ever stuck for very long. Most recently my friends have started using Riss as my nickname.
Born: Galveston, Texas
Birthday: May 25th
Occupation/Area of Study: I studied Business Management at Texas A&M and now work as an Executive Recruiter.
Favorite Charity: I absolutely love animals! So if I had to pick I would say any charity that is involved with helping animals would be my favorite.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up! If you have a dream, keep working towards achieving it. Don't let being cut from one audition keep you from trying again. If I had given up the first time I got cut I wouldn't be part of this amazing team today! Hard work and dedication will pay off you just have to stick with it, even when things get tough.
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Megan Name: Megan Ashlea
Nicknames: Meg, MAC, Megs, Ash
Born: Denver, Colorado
Birthday: January 16th
Occupation/Area of Study: I am currently pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I hope to combine a degree in Engineering with an emphasis in nutrition and fitness.
Favorite Charity: My favorite charity is the American Cancer Society. Cancer is a life threatening disease that does not discriminate against age, gender, or ethnicity. It affects children, adults, men, and women. I have been honored to participate in fundraising events such as Relay For Life, Climb To Conquer Cancer, and Race for the Cure to help put an end to Cancer as there are currently 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States today.
Advice for young dancers: My advice for young dancers is to continue to work towards your dreams and follow your passion. You may not always succeed by being center in a performance, getting a new move, or being the lead in a dance but those are the times that make you stronger. Those times show your commitment and character as you continue to fight for what you want. Never give up and always leave your heart on the dance floor.
Meet Niki Name: Niki Marie
Born: Rochester, NY
Birthday: July 18th
Occupation/Area of Study: Health and Fitness
Favorite Charity: Make-A-Wish Foundation
Advice for young dancers: Believe in your ability and allow yourself to be open to new opportunities and adventures. Take a chance! You never know where it may lead you.
Continue to meet more of your 2014 Denver Nuggets Dancers. Meet Stephanie Name: Stephanie Michelle
Nicknames: Steph, Baby Steph, Goober, Peanut and Smiles.
Born: Denver, CO
Birthday: October 5th
Occupation/Area of Study: I am studying social work with a concentration on child welfare. I hope to work with at-risk youth to get them back on track.
Favorite Charity: My favorite charity would be CASA, which is an organization that advocates for the rights of children in the court system who are victims of abuse or neglect.
Advice for young dancers: Never give up on your dreams! Your hard work, dedication and passion will get you over the obstacles you face.
Meet Teinei Name: Teinei Keahiuilani
Nicknames: T, Tei, and Tein
Born: Provo, Utah
Birthday: March 11th
Occupation/Area of Study: Counselor/Mentor, and studying Social work and Psychology
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Favorite Charity: Boys and Girls Club
Advice for young dancers: Find YOURself and YOUR style and be confident about it. Don't compare yourself to the dancer next you, dance is a beautiful art because the artists are all different.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.