College Dance Team Central

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Feature On Former UWM Dancer

West grad lands at Miller Park
Wausau Daily Herald

A 2006 graduate of Wausau West High School soon will take a place on the diamond of Miller Park alongside Prince Fielder and Ben Sheets.

There's no sweeping curve ball in Alison Prott's arsenal, though. Nor is there a 400-foot centerfield shot in her game. What she has are some wicked dance moves, and they've landed her on the Diamond Dancers, the dance team for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Prott, 20, a second-year education student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, made the team in late February after an all-day tryout.

"I was really, really excited," she said. "Because when (I) got there, and I was watching the girls, there was a lot of talent there."

She's taken a somewhat unlikely path to become a Diamond Dancer. She wasn't on the dance team in high school. Instead, she focused her efforts on alpine skiing and swimming.

She also took dance lessons at the Judy Peterson Dance Studio, starting when she was 5 years old. She learned tap, jazz and ballet moves there.

The dancer in her spurred her to try out for the dance team at UW-Milwaukee. She made it.

"I just thought it would be fun and something to do," she said.

Dance team moves were different than what she was used to. "It was a learning experience," Prott said. "It's more sharp, the moves are a little different. In ballet or jazz, things flow together. ... On the dance team, the moves are a lot more exact."

She took to the discipline, though, and got to perform at all of the UW-Milwaukee home basketball teams and a few of the soccer games.

It was through her friends on the UW-Milwaukee team that she learned about the Diamond Dancers tryouts. She and a few of her friends tried out together. She was the only one to get picked.

"That's a little bittersweet," Prott said.

She's just getting started on learning what being a Diamond Dancer is all about. Prott is not sure if the team will perform April 4 at the Brewers home opener against the San Francisco Giants.

Prott's responsibilities as a Diamond Dancer include doing promotional work with people tailgating before games and participating in dance routines just before games start and during the seventh-inning stretch. She'll also do "different things to get the crowd excited," she said.

For now, she's working out like a maniac, learning the dance moves and readying for her first performance.

"I'm sure the first couple of times we do it (in front of a Miller Park crowd) it will be a little nerve-wracking," she said. "But I'm used to being in front of groups of people, so it really doesn't bother me."

Keith Uhlig is a features reporter for the Wausau Daily Herald. He can be reached at 845-0651 or e-mailed at kuhlig@wdhprint.com.

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