College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From The Hornets Nest To The Royal Court

Feature on former Sacramento State Hornet Girlz Dancer Laura Sieglitz

By Nick Hunte
The State Hornet

Laura Sieglitz, senior math major, began dancing when she was 3 years old. By the time she was a teenager, she knew what she wanted to be: a Sacramento Kings dancer.

Sieglitz began auditioning for the Kings when she turned 18 and finally earned a spot on the team after her fourth try last year.

"I knew even before I turned 18 that I wanted to become a Kings dancer," Sieglitz said. "If I had the chance, I would do it all over again anytime in my life."

The former Hornet Girlz Dance Team member has an extensive background in dance. In high school she attended the Natomas Charter Performing and Fine Arts Academy and majored in dance. While there, she performed in many shows, such as "Guys and Dolls" and 42nd Street."

After high school, she continued to study dance at American River College before transferring to Sacramento State in 2006, where she joined the Hornet Girlz Dance Team. Sieglitz left the team in 2008 due to a knee injury.

Sieglitz's mother, Valinda Frost, said she remembers when her daughter began dancing in preschool. She said it has been a joy to watch her daughter grow and progress as a dancer.

"I still have a videotape of her dancing to the Nutcracker Suite when she was 3 years old and she had her pink tutu stuffed in her diaper," Frost said as she laughed. "I was every bit as proud of her then as I am now."

Sieglitz first described her experience as a Kings dancer in one word: amazing. When asked to elaborate her experiences, Sieglitz just gushed.

"Everyone is so supportive. Performing on the court has been amazing, the fans are excited, fun to talk to and fun to perform in front of. I love it," Sieglitz said.

Sieglitz said that her schedule as a full-time student and a Kings dancer is demanding. She wakes up around 6:30 a.m. every day and spends four to seven hours studying in between classes.

After her school day, she heads to Arco Arena for a 5:30 p.m. practice that sometimes lasts until 11:30 p.m.

Sieglitz said that being a Kings dancer and a full-time student is a balancing act. She said that keeping her priorities straight and having a supportive family are the keys to her success.

"I have a lot going on in my life, but having a supportive family at home helps keep me going," Sieglitz said. "I always try to stay constantly busy and constantly getting things done, which ensures that I'm able to do it all."

Frost believes that Sieglitz is very motivated, sets goals for herself and works hard at achieving them.

"She never gives up," Frost said. "She might fail at times, but she will never give up until she succeeds. She is an exceptional young woman. She's definitely the one in a million."

Preschool teacher Jenica Thompson, a close friend of Sieglitz, said she is very driven and motivated as a person and feels that she can accomplish almost any goal in life.

"She pretty much tackles anything she wants to do and she has proven that with the Kings," Thompson said. "That is a pretty high goal to set for yourself and she accomplished it. I look forward to seeing the things that she wants to do in her life."

Following her graduation in December, Sieglitz plans to pursue her teacher credential through Project Pipeline to become a high school teacher. She hopes to earn a full-time teaching position by next fall.

Sieglitz said although she plans to start her teaching career next fall, she would like to continue on as a Kings dancer for at least one more season.

She said she has never felt awkward when her fellow students and professors find out she is a Kings dancer.

"Whenever students or professors find out that I'm a dancer for the Sacramento Kings, they have all been very supportive," Sieglitz said. "They all ask me questions, they want to know what it's like being a dancer. It's been a very positive experience and it's a way for me to get to know my fans more."

Frost said she enjoys watching her daughter perform at Kings games and is proud of her accomplishments as a student and a dancer.

"She dances like nobody dances," Frost said. "I get to see her perform and shine in front of all those people and I know that there's a brain that goes along with it. I couldn't be prouder."

Sieglitz said one of her favorite moments performing as a Kings dancer are the tunnel chants that the dance team does every time before they run onto the court.

"Before I go out to the floor, I start getting nervous like, 'Oh my gosh, will I forget the first move?'" Sieglitz said. "We do this chant and then we come together as a team, which gives me confidence, and we go out there and kick some butt."

Sieglitz said beyond performing for thousands of fans at games, one of her favorite parts about being a dancer is reaching out to the community.

She said the most touching moment for her as a member of the team was when the dancers participated in a run to benefit a girl battling leukemia.

"That alone was the biggest thing for me as a Sacramento Kings dancer. That touches me the most because we were able to not only be there for the fans and the Sacramento Kings basketball players, but to be there for the people who we can really make a difference with," Sieglitz said.

Nick Hunte can be reached at nhunte@statehornet.com

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