E!'S NEW SERIES "L.A. CLIPPERS DANCE SQUAD" PREMIERES MARCH 15 AT 10PM, BRINGING FANS AN EXCLUSIVE LOOK INSIDE ONE OF THE NBA'S MOST ELITE DANCE TEAMS
The Eight One-Hour Episodes, Produced by Mandalay Sports Media, Explore the Entertaining Lives of Seven Clippers Spirit Dancers
PROMO LINK: http://www.eonline.com/videos/244969/la-clippers-dance-squad-hits-the-court-in-march
Los Angeles, CA-February 2, 2016 - "L.A. Clippers Dance Squad" gives fans an in-depth look at what it takes to be a member of an elite dance team in pro sports, on and off the court. From auditions and rehearsals to balancing personal challenges and professional ambitions, this docu-series shows what it really takes to make it to the floor of the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and dance for basketball fans while representing a high-profile, global brand. Dreams will be fulfilled and relationships will be tested when "L.A. Clippers Dance Squad" takes center court beginning Tuesday, March 15 at 10pm ET/PT, following all-new episodes of "Total Divas" only on E!
The eight one-hour episodes will chronicle the lives of seven women, all of whom begin their journey by trying out for a spot on the "Clippers Spirit" dance team. The series begins with the summer auditions, where fans will see these performers compete against hundreds of others vying for one of the team's 20 spots, and will follow them throughout their rigorous season with new Creative Director Petra Pope at the helm. Petra has an extensive resume in pro basketball, having led dance teams of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets in the past. She's now moved back to Los Angeles to revamp the Clippers' dance squad and take it to the next level.
The franchise has been reborn under new ownership and the Clippers' recent run of success with on-court stars such as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan has given the dance squad unprecedented cachet - and upped the pressure to perform. Once Petra has picked the team, the dancers' emotions, ambitions and endurance will be tested - and all the while, they'll be balancing the pressure to find love, forge ahead in their careers, and deal with family crises in the entertainment capital of the world.
Meet the Squad
HANNAH CORMIER - Lake Charles, LA
Hannah has given up all she cherishes, including her boyfriend and dancing for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, to walk away from her small town roots of Lake Charles, LA for the big-city dreams of Los Angeles. Landing a spot on the L.A. Clippers Spirit Team would launch the transformation of this sweet Southern girl into a performer worthy of the spotlight at STAPLES Center.
CANDACE WASHINGTON - Torrance, CA
Candace is an L.A. Clippers Spirit veteran of three years - and plans to make it four. She was given the squad's award for "Most Inspirational" the past two years and doesn't plan on relinquishing the title this upcoming season. Candace has a love for dance, Broadway dreams and a passion for charity work and female empowerment. The oldest of four children, she's a natural leader who also coaches a college dance team and performs at a famous Southern California theme park.
ATHENA PERAMPLE - Traverse City, MI
Athena is laser-focused on the spotlight and believes her combination of athleticism, professional dance experience - she's performed with artists such as Lil' Wayne - and abundant magnetism will make her a shoo-in for the team and an obvious choice for one of the squad's leaders. She is proud of her work ethic and has little patience for other women (or men) who can't match her intensity, whether it's on the dance floor or out in Los Angeles.
NATALIE TENERELLI - Acton, CA
After three years on Clippers Spirit squad, this Southern California native believes she's earned the right to reap all of the perks - including the opportunity to perform before the Clippers' exhibition games in China - of being one of the dance team's beloved veterans. But with new management and a surprising number of talented "rookies" trying out for the squad, Natalie's role is up in the air, and she'll be tested in ways she never expected. A former finalist on the hit series "Survivor," Natalie is no stranger to hard work or perseverance - and is more than up for the challenge.
BLAIR KIM - North Hollywood, CA
Blair is a determined professional dancer and the lead singer of an up-and-coming "girl group." She's the daughter of a police officer and an opinionated mother, Kisha, who's not afraid to share her views. Born and bred in the heart of L.A., Blair has little time for fakers and posers. She's also a hopeless flirt and fiercely protective of her best friends, and has formed a fast connection with the other new girls looking to make it onto the Clippers' dance team.
SAVANNA READ - Hendersonville, TN
Savanna is sarcastic for sport, and her direct and blunt style can come across as harsh. But this brunette has no trouble charming boys! Savanna claims that she doesn't have a hard time making friends, but is super selective about those she allows in her inner-circle. Savanna, new to Los Angeles, came in pursuit of her dream of dancing professionally and possibly becoming a choreographer. The only problem: The "L.A. Party" lifestyle may be clouding the vision of her entertainment industry dreams.
KELLIE JANESKI - Santa Clarita, CA
Kellie has been a mainstay on the squad for the past five seasons, and is looking to make her sixth year the most significant one yet. She recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University, and is eager to take on a leadership role as captain of the Clippers Spirit. Some of Kellie's teammates describe her as the glue that keeps the team together, while others feel Kellie's focus on the team "Sisterhood" clouds her judgment and prevents her from taking charge. Kellie's petite frame, bubbly laugh and sparkly smile may fool some as being timid - but she says she's ready to take a new position on team and finally call the shots.
The team wouldn't be complete without its Creative Director, Petra Pope. Petra was the manager of the Los Angeles Lakers Girls from 1983-1989. She launched the Knicks City Dancers in 1991 and spent 14 years with the Knicks prior to joining the Nets in 2005. While with the Knicks, Pope produced the first NBA merchandise fashion show and created the first revenue-generating Dance Camp in the NBA. After joining the Clippers in August 2015, Petra has made it her mission to take the team to all new heights, even if that means cutting some of the veterans.
Don't miss the series premiere of "L.A. Clippers Dance Squad" on Tuesday, March 15 at 10pm ET/PT, following all-new episodes of "Total Divas" only on E!
Mike Tollin and Jon Weinbach serve as Executive Producers for Mandalay Sports Media, and Leola Westbrook serves as an Executive Producer as well. Cash Warren is also a producer on the series.
About E! Entertainment
E! is the only global, multiplatform brand for all things pop culture. The network is currently available to 98 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. Eonline delivers breaking entertainment news and in-depth coverage on television, movies, music, celebrities, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. One of the fastest-growing, most influential digital properties, Eonline is a leader in online video and mobile and a leading entertainment brand across social. E! programming includes core franchises "E! News" and "Fashion Police," popular series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Total Divas," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," "Botched," "I Am Cait" and "WAGS," as well as the network's first original scripted series "The Royals." Additionally, E!'s "Live from the Red Carpet" signature events keep fans connected to their favorite stars on pop culture's biggest nights. E! is a network of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. For more corporate information, visit www.nbcuniversal.com.
About Mandalay Sports Media
Launched in 2012 by Peter Guber and Mike Tollin, MSM is a diversified sports content and media company that creates high-quality, sports-themed programming for all platforms. With production hubs in Los Angeles and New York City, MSM also creates, acquires and invests in businesses and assets across the media landscape. Since its founding, MSM has produced and is producing content for ESPN, Showtime, E! Channel, ABC, CBS, FOX, Netflix, The NFL, Xbox Entertainment Studios, Turner Sports, Yahoo, VICE, AOL, among others, with numerous projects in development with major television, digital, feature film and sports entities. Learn more at www.mandalaysportsmedia.com.