HEAT Dancers seek fifth win in NBA Dance Team Bracket Tournament

 Miami Heat Dancer Ashely A.

MIAMI, March 28 – The Miami HEAT Dancers, four-time champions of the NBA Dance Team Bracket, will begin their quest of an unprecedented fifth title against 29 other NBA dance teams in the 2011 NBA Dance Team Bracket. The HEAT Dancers won the single-elimination tournament each year from 2006 to 2009.

The HEAT Dancers will face the Boston Celtics Dancers in the first round. First round voting will be held from Tuesday, March 29 at 2:00 p.m. EST until Wednesday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m.

The HEAT encourages all fans to vote for the HEAT Dancers. Fans can visit HEAT.com or NBA.com to access the NBA Dance Team Bracket on March 29 at 2:00 p.m. to cast their votes. Once at the Dance Team Bracket, fans may click on the HEAT logo to view special HEAT Dancer video features and photo galleries. Fans can vote multiple times per day.

The HEAT Dancers are the league’s premier dance team. SI.com’s Jimmy Traina writes on his “HotClicks” blog: “…Hot Clicks is pulling for them [the HEAT Dancers]. Ashley Z. [who is featured on the site] is reason alone they should win the tournament.”

In 2005, USA Today heralded the HEAT Dancers as “cutting edge,” “well-drilled and hip.” They have been featured on popular TV programs such as ESPN’s The Season, MTV Hits, and MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. The HEAT Dancers remain the only non-host city dance team invited to perform during the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities, wowing the audience in Houston during All-Star 2006. The HEAT Dancers were even celebrated on ESPN.com’s “Page 2.” In August 2006, Gregg Easterbrook wrote that “their allure is an indicator of a power shift — the best-looking beach babes now congregate in South Florida, not California.” Their appeal is global, having recently traveled to and performed in Spain, China, Turkey, England, Germany, the British Virgin Islands, and France.

Dancing for the HEAT also proves to be a gateway to the entertainment world, as several former HEAT Dancers have achieved stardom. Trista Rehn (2000-02) was the star of the popular ABC reality series The Bachelorette, and has appeared in a number of other TV shows including The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars and Fear Factor.

Jessica Sutta (1999-02) is a vocalist for the pop group “Pussycat Dolls” and was featured in the music videos of Will Smith, Beyoncé Knowles and Gloria Estefan. Brooke Long (2005-06) is Suitcase No. 15 Model for NBC’s hit show Deal or No Deal and Layla El (2004-06) was the winner of the “2006 WWE $250,000 Diva Search.” Johanna Gomez (2002-04), former co-host of the mun2 show fusion, currently serves as an entertainment reporter for WPLG-ABC 10. Recently, Jamie Ruiz (2003-08) stepped into the spotlight on the popular CW show Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious and now works in California as part of its Pussycat Dolls’ act.

Susie Garcia (2002-08) was one of the top 20 finalists on the 2008 season of FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” Traci Young, along with a group of former HEAT Dancers, Karelix Alicea (2002-06; 2007-08), Gina Francis (2004-08), Christina Pagan (2007-08), and Michelle Burgos (2007-08), were the all-female dance group, “Fly Khicks,” on Season 3 of the popular MTV reality dance competition series Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew. In addition, current HEAT Dancer Ashley A. was one of 10 NBA dance team members to be featured in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

The Miami HEAT is proud to have ASSIST-CARD as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2010-11 season.

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