Dance Fever – Sophomore Ella Spoerle dances for the Indiana Fever Basketball team

15min

WHILE her peers might earn their income through serving food or tutoring children, sophomore Ella Spoerle works by dancing on a basketball court. After auditioning to be a dancer for the Indiana Fever last year, she found herself earning money while doing what she does best.
“It is honestly the most amazing feeling ever,” she said. “I love what I do so much, so it’s great to be able to share my talents with everyone and show people what I can do.”
According to counselor Stephanie Aikins, there are many benefits to working in jobs that encompass both a student’s abilities and interests.
“Doing so can help students develop those skills in a way that is useful for employment, as well as making time spent working more enjoyable,” Aikins said. “When you enjoy your work, it tends to be more fulfilling overall.”
Spoerle’s schedule commences with weekly practices on Mondays and Wednesdays, when her team learns the week’s choreography to be performed at the game. Not only does she get paid at the performances, but also at her practices. At times, she said, she also works by making appearances for the Pacers Entertainment Company.
In addition, Aikins said the experience from a current job can often help students when pursuing a future career.
“Ideally, students’ jobs may help them distinguish a potential career path in the field of interest,” she said. “Often, pursuing an ‘entry level’ job will enable students to see the potential of ‘moving up’ in the field through contacts with others in the company.”
As for Spoerle, she said holding a job she currently enjoys has encouraged her to pursue a career she holds interest in.
“I think this will encourage me to find a job I love,” she said. “Dancing for the Fever has taught me to have confidence, motivation, and to always go after my dreams.”

 

What exactly is the Indiana Fever?
Indiana Fever is the women’s version of the Pacers and it has a dance team.

How did you first get involved with the Indiana Fever?
When I was 15, I tried out for the team. My dance teacher was a Pacemate for six years, so she encouraged me to try out. I went to auditions last March and approximately 150 people were there for the 5 hour audition. They then got it down to about 20 people. I was literally so anxious and I just wanted to get it over with. I think I stayed calm by remembering that it was the experience of doing a professional audition that really mattered. I just knew that whether or not I made the team, I would have this experience under my belt.

What is your practice schedule?
It’s Mondays and Wednesdays for three hours. Sometimes, there are extra practices depending on how everything’s going. It’s a job, so I get paid to practice and I get paid to go the games, where I provide entertainment. Even appearances for the Pacers Entertainment Company come with pay.

What type of dance does the team do?
Usually hip-hop. That’s the main type because hip-hop has so many different styles. These kids on the team have so many different styles because we come from all over Indiana. It’s literally incredible to bring all the styles together.

Why do you find the experience rewarding?
I just like entertaining people. But I love when people come up and ask, “Can I have your autograph?” Little kids come up to you and act like you’re a celebrity. In the real world, though, you probably wouldn’t be a celebrity. I’m just dancing and doing what I love to do, which makes it less of a job. I forget the fact that I’m getting paid for this and and I’m listed as an employee because I’m honestly just having fun doing it.

What would you say are the requirements to be a dancer for the Indiana Fever?
They don’t really require a background in dance. They just want you to be able to be professional. And it’s all about entertainment with them. When players aren’t on the court, we go out there and keep the fans interested by enjoying the experience as a whole. We want to keep them as involved in the game as possible. But it is kind of hard because you have to be able to keep up. We learn a new dance every practice, so that’s two dance routines every week. You have to be really fast on your feet; if they say they want a certain dance when you’re out there on the court, you have to be able to just go and perform it. That’s kind of the most nerve-wracking part.

So is this a possible career choice for you?
I’ve thought about that a lot, actually. There is continuing on into the NBA and the NFL. I also can move up to the next level and try out for the Pacemates, which you have to be 18 to do. I’m only 16 now, so when I get to that point, I’ll decide what to do about college and dancing. I definitely want to keep dancing. But as far as doing it full time, I’m just not sure yet.

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