PSPA Alumni & Celtic's Dancer
10 Things to Know About Amanda
Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California.
What age did you start dancing?
I started dancing at age 3...haven't stopped since!
"Do what you love, love what you do."
Ideal vacation spot?
I would love to travel to Italy...I've never been there!
Favorite Celtics player?
Brian Scalabrine...Go Trojans! My favorite current player is Kevin Garnett.
Who was your favorite cartoon character when growing up?
I am a HUGE Calvin and Hobbes fan. I still have all the books.
What is your favorite food?
Name five people you would invite to your celebrity dinner party:
Tina Fey, Ellen Degeneres, Elton John, Natalie Portman, Neil Patrick Harris.
What is the best concert you've ever been too?
I saw OAR this past year — the music was great and the venue was amazing!
PSPA: How many auditions had you been on before being chosen for the Celtics?
Amanda: My audition for the Celtics was the first professional dance audition that I had ever been to! That year our final auditions were run like a pageant, with big group numbers and even a swimsuit portion, which surprisingly took away a lot of the stress. It felt like I was just practicing to perform in a big show. Every year is still stressful though!
PSPA: What does your training regimen look like?
Amanda: We rehearse two or three times a week as a team, doing technique across the floor, learning routines, and practicing material for games. Staying in shape and working out on top of that is our responsibility. I am an instructor at the Bar Method Boston, and I try to take classes there three or four times a week. I also enjoy hot yoga , pilates, and just walking around the city. I don’t have a car, so some days I walk quite a few miles just getting to and from work!
PSPA: You started Song in Highschool and went on to cheerlead for USC. How was the transition from that to cheerleading for the Celtics?
Amanda: I feel like my past training has lent itself very well to dancing for the Celtics. Our team requires a strong technical background, but it is also important to have sharp, precise motions so that we can dance together as a team and pump up the crowd. My experiences on Peninsula Song and on the Trojan Dance Force at USC both combined high energy, technical routines with pom motions and cheering for teams. I think the biggest difference is performing for such a huge crowd! The TD Garden seats almost 20,000 fans and Celtics fans are probably the most loud, fun, passionate fans out there—it is truly incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever done to dance on the parquet floor.
PSPA: What is your favorite form of dance?
Amanda: I have always loved jazz and hip hop, but lately my favorite type of dance to perform is novelty! Sometimes it’s nice to not have to focus on technique or really complicated choreography and to just let loose and have fun on the court.
PSPA: Who are your choreographers and how is it working with them?
Amanda: Our choreography is mainly done by our coach, Marina Ortega. But I am so lucky that she brings in some of the best choreographers in sports entertainment to work with us, like Andy Vaca, Karl Mundt, John Peters, and Mina Ortega. I have grown so much as a dancer from learning their different styles and techniques.
PSPA: Is there anything you wish you could have done differently with your training prior to joining USC and the Celtic's teams?
Amanda: I am really happy with where my training has brought me, and I think that my skills from PSPA, Pop Warner, and high school dance teams have helped me a lot with the Celtics. I think there is always room to improve on technique. I try to get into dance classes whenever I can but it is sometimes difficult with work and practice. I wish I could take class more often!
PSPA: Right now there are many young girls aspiring to be cheerleaders either for small towns or for the big leagues. What advice would you give them to get closer to that dream?
Amanda: Take constructive criticism, never stop learning or trying to become the best that you can be. Pursue what you are most passionate about and be open to the places that your dreams can take you.