It"s the age-old debate: Is run a sport? The answer is, there is no a doubt, YES. Of course, run is much much more than just a sport. But when we get down to the logistics of it all, it"s difficult not to identify it together the athletic endeavor it is. Here are 10 factors why run absolutely qualifies together a sport.

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It requirements Crazy Stamina

What"s that, football players? You need to run back and forth under the field for 90 minutes? Well, dancers require to have the stamina to make it through a show of that same length—and we"re not an alleged to present the audience how difficult we"re breathing.

It"s at sight Competitive


No, we"re not playing in the super Bowl, but we could be in the race for finest Dancer. And even beyond the human being of compete dance, dancers room in consistent competition for roles and also jobs.

It shapes Our bodies


Just together you have the right to identify a serious athlete walking down the street through musculature and posture, you deserve to pick out a dancer immediately, too. Our bodies are our instruments, after ~ all.

It provides Stretching a must


Just like various other athletes—more than the majority of them!—we have to stretch like crazy to execute at ours best.

it Emphasizes strength


In quite much any type of sport, toughness is key. In dance, without strength, there"s no means we could get through an entire show.

It regularly Leads to major Injuries


With every the crazy feats dancers need to perform, it"s no surprise that we obtain injured just as often as—if not much more so than—other athletes.

It requires the ideal Equipment


A baseball player would never ever use a less-than-perfect glove; a dancer would never wear a less-than-perfect pointe shoe.

Uniforms can Be forced


Dance teamers recognize a thing or two around sporting team colors. And also ballet student who need to wear details leos for details classes recognize the power of uniformity, too.

the Takes year of cultivate


Like all experienced athletes, dancers need years and also years of study to end up being the best they deserve to be—a process that take away determination, drive, and a totality lot the work.

It needs Sacrifice and also Discipline


Like any sport, gift a dancer is much from easy. However it"s what us love to do—which renders all the blood, sweat, and also tears worth it.

Auditions rarely fail to provide on suspense. However this? This to be the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had actually made it v what feel like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. The end of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and also nine countries) who"d answer the Knicks City Dancers" open speak to for video clip submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and also Roh among them. "We to be separated into six hold rooms, whereby we retained trying to number out the math," Roh recalls. "How plenty of girls space there in total? that was referred to as back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one critical time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped she bombshell: all 20 women had actually made the last cut. They would certainly be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest execution of one of the most prestigious NBA run teams. "It to be the greatest celebration and the coolest minute of my dance career for this reason far," states McCloskey now. And also that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey photo by tress Mayer

Making the Team

A KCD audition is grueling through design. "A lot is asked of the Knicks City Dancers transparent the season the they"re contract to it is in a component of the team," claims Quezada, a six-year veteran the the formation who"s currently in her 5th season together coach. Therefore it renders perfect feeling that over the food of 4 long days, aspirants need to display a lot come the all-female KCD leadership team: head coach Quezada, assistant coach/captain Teddi Bircks, co-captains Alexis Tillman and also Brooke Fera, and also director Amanda Pierce-Martin. (Any return Knicks City Dancers likewise have to reaudition yearly if they desire to claim a slot ~ above the team.)

Between cuts, auditionees space asked to freestyle, learn combination after combination, apply technical corrections and choreographic changes, and perform full-out together one cohesive squad. Substantial interviews beat a duty too, because KCD members make plenty the media, promotional and charity appearances throughout basketball season. "We really require articulate, well-spoken dancers that come throughout with a existence that is representative of brand-new York," Quezada says. "We desire independent, chic, passionate, inspiring, ambitious women, who likewise happen come be an excellent dancers." new York City deserves—and gets—no less.

On board the Court Ship

Hayoung Roh

Photo by Tess Mayer

Like plenty of dance jobs, being a Knicks City Dancer is technically a part-time gig. In fact, McCloskey claims the team roster right now includes a few schoolteachers, nine-to-five office workers, fitness professionals, skilled dancers and also college students. Yet that "part-time" label stops working to record the soot of prepping because that the jam-packed KCD power calendar, i beg your pardon starts through the NBA preseason kickoff on October 5. Roh states that the KCD"s thrice-weekly, four-hour evening rehearsals "feel choose being shot the end of a cannon. We"re learning and taking in a lot, yet it"s been yes, really fun."

"Versatility" have the right to be one overused buzzword in the commercial-dance realm. Because that the KCD, it"s important a way of life. Guest choreographers—Lacey Schwimmer, Mandy Moore, Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy, to surname a few—come in one in ~ a time to set numbers that selection from classic Broadway jazz come Latin combination to hard-hitting hip hop. Every season, the dancers learn, clean and perform approximately 60 complete dances. That way, any type of basketball pan who present up at all 44 home games won"t watch too numerous repeats.

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And acquire this: Each production number is staged for 16 dancers, so the on any type of given video game night four women gain time off. Keep in mind the the KCD typically rehearse in ~ studios around the city because, as Quezada says, "Madison Square Garden constantly has the most amazing things going on." all of which way that every Knicks City Dancer it s okay on the court to learn her monitor for that night"s formations just six hrs (!!) before game time. The KCD pull this off for every video game with the assist of an detailed grid-plotting system, detailed video clip footage of every dances, and, of course, the coaches" and also squad members" brilliant dancer brains. Together McCloskey says, "There"s a identify science and also precision come how every little thing works top top the court. I"ve never ever been ~ above a dance team before, therefore I"m excited to take on all of this new knowledge and skills."

Sparkling Legacy, even Brighter Future

Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey

Photo by Brooke Fera

At a time as soon as some NBA run teams are reassessing their image and purpose, the Knicks City Dancers keep strutting confidently towards the future. "We"re yes, really proud to stand for the Knicks as a group of ladies in a way that feels empowering and inspiring," Quezada says. "I think it"s really cool that a lot of other teams space going coed, however I feel like we obtain the finest of both civilizations when we do at halftime and also in "T-shirt toss" dances with the 7th Ave Squad." (That"s the Knicks" mixed-gender entertainment and hype squad, which consists of some dancers who are more breaking-focused.)

For Roh and also McCloskey, there couldn"t it is in a an ext thrilling method to dance into the post-pandemic era. "I don"t think I"ve ever danced because that 20,000 civilization at a time, and I"ve definitely never danced at Madison Square Garden before," Roh says. "When i was moving earlier to new York in may of this year, I could not have imagined the I"d be performing in person here, surrounded by such amazing, solid women. Therefore I"m simply trying come soak it all in."

Meet Chelsea McCloskey

Chelsea McCloskey

Photo by Tess Mayer

●Hometown: Exton, PA

●Training: Lionville institution of dance in Exton, PA; BFA in dance and BA in dance education and learning from Montclair State college in NJ

●Favorite KCD dance: Prince"s "It"s about That Walk." "It"s one of the classic, iconic Knicks City Dancer dances."

●When no in KCD mode, Chelsea: Teaches team fitness at 305 Fitness and also Club Pilates locations roughly NYC and NJ

●Random fact: "When i was a senior at MSU, I got MRSA from stepping top top something while dancing. Luckily, I got emergency surgery, but the doctor practically had to amputate mine foot."

●What head coach Alyssa Quezada is saying: "Chelsea is very, very great at acquisition direction and also implementing corrections, all v a laugh on she face. She catches your attention and is a happiness to watch. We constantly loved Chelsea the 3 times that she auditioned prior to this, and we"re therefore excited the this is her year to do it ~ above the team. It"s been an honor and a privilege to watch she grow and also mature together a dancer and also as a woman."

Meet Hayoung Roh

Hayoung Roh

Photo by Tess Mayer

●Hometown: Irvine, CA

●Training: public Dance facility in Bakersfield, CA; Orange County college of the arts in CA; BFA in run from NYU Tisch institution of the arts in NYC

●Favorite KCD dance: Lizzo"s "Juice." "I can"t help grooving come it, nonstop!"

●When not in KCD mode, Hayoung: Dances for a few project-based modern-day and modern companies

●Random fact: "Hayoung" means "glory come God" in Korean.

●What head coach Alyssa Quezada is saying: "Hayoung"s versatility and "it" variable were apparent right far from she reel. Us really wanted to check out what she"d bring to the room, and also she certainly did not disappoint. It to be a breath of fresh air to clock Hayoung punch it out of the park, watch without any difficulty. And she has such a sweet, humble and also grounded disposition. You want to speak to she as lot as you desire to watch she dance."