By Miya Jones
Q: Where are you from and what was it like for you growing up?
A: I grew up in West Philly, and my parents moved us out to the suburbs, which is the Drexel Hills area. My dad is a pastor so I grew up in a Christian home, but I had not preachy parents.
My dad is very cool. In our house he’s a dad before being a pastor. My upbringing was really nice, and my dad’s very supportive of everything I do. My mom is definitely the reason why I’m a dancer today, because she pushed me to do it and never let me quit.
I have three siblings and I’m the oldest so it’s six different personalities in my house all the time. There’s never a dull moment.
Q: How did you become a 76ers dancer?
A: I was in eighth grade, and my mom had always sent my brothers to basketball camp with the 76ers, and one summer my mom said, ‘You guys got to get out of my house,’ to my little sister, and me so she sent us to the 76ers dance camp.
From there, they wanted me to audition for their pre-pro team, which was a teenage team at the time. I danced with them for four seasons. When I was finished dancing for them it was either try to find a different dance team, or audition for the adult dance team and I did and I made it.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: I was very nervous, but I feel like I didn’t have anything to lose. I actually auditioned for the Diamond Gems, at Temple and I didn’t make it.
So, after that audition I was just like, “Whatever, I’ll just get a job at the school.” My mom pushed me to try out for the Sixers. I just went in with the mentality that this might not happen, and it’d be great if it does, but if it doesn’t I’ll be okay.
Q: So, how long have you been dancing overall?
A: I went to dance school for ballet when I was four, and then when I turned eight I didn’t want to go to dance school anymore, because it was too strict.
I also, danced on my high school and middle school team, and I danced in my church, so I’ve always been dancing. The instructor at my church was actually a 76ers dancer way back in the day, so she kind of taught me everything I know.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a dancer?
A: I would say performing. It’s a different feeling you get when you perform. I don’t want to be cliché or be like Beyoncé, but she’s right. You become a different person. You get to become who you want to be.
Q: So, what’s your major?
A: Media Studies and Production.
A: It would have to be the end of the last season. I had classes that day, and I had an appearance that morning. An appearance is basically when you show up to an event, and you smile and take pictures.
After the appearance, I ran back to class. Then, I got a text message from my coach asking, ‘Can you do this other appearance?’. So, I ran all the way to the other appearance then ran all the way back to my other class.
Then she asked, “Can you run to the center, and be there early so you can do this video shoot?” because they wanted to do an unveiling of the new uniforms and get the players’ reactions.
My roommate helped me pack up and throw stuff in my bag. I ran back did the photo shoot, and then I had to get all of my pre-game stuff together, tried to fit in dinner and fix my face, because my makeup was barely on.
Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A: Hopefully, I’ll be married with kids. Hopefully, I’ll have a successful business behind me. Not really sure what I want to do as far as the business, but I know I want to do something where I can make my own money.
I also want I have an organization for kids. Hopefully I’ll have that in the next two years, and I just want to be happy and content with life.
Q: What is one thing that you’ve never talked about in an interview or feel like people should know about you?
A: A lot of people think I’m very mean. People see me and say, ‘She’s so mean. Her face just looks mean,’ and I’m just like if you only understood what goes through my head when I’m maybe walking to class or this place. I’m on a mission.
In my head I’m going through my schedule so I don’t forget everything so I’m not being mean. Or people will say, “Oh she’s a Sixers dancer so she must be stuck up,” but I’m very humble and down to earth. I’m a very chill female. I have to try and stay focused with everything going on.
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