If you are a fan of basketball, dancing or both, you will want to play close attention to this interview. Stephanie Addorisio, from Stouffville Ontario, is looking for your support in the You Pick the Pak competition presented by Foot Locker. I got a chance to speak with Stephanie about the competition and what it would mean to her to win the final spot in the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak.
MB: Tell us about your dancing career. When did you start dancing and what type of dancing do you do?
SA: I started dancing when I was only 4 years old. I competed in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, HipHop and Lyrical up until the age of 16. After I stopped competing I started teaching recreational dance for the Town of Stouffville. To keep in shape and in the dance industry I attend drop in dance classes at Vybe Dance Studio in Markham.
MB: Where did you train as a dancer and what experiences have shaped the type of dancer you have become?
SA: I trained at Elite Danceworx in Markham for many years. Elite Danceworx is such an amazing place to train professionally because all the teachers are so passionate about their job. I had the best years of my life at Elite Danceworx. The long training hours and great friendships I built during those years have definitely shaped the type of dancer I have become because I am a team player and my level of skill is very technical.
MB: Do you have any experience with professional dancers/performers?
SA: I had the most amazing opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to train at Paula Morgan’s week long summer intensive. I have also taken classes with Blake McGrath and Mia Michaels who are phenomenal dancers and choreographers.
MB: Give us some insight on your Raptors Dance Pak audition.
SA: It was LONG! I got there around 9:30am, the audition started at 10. There were approximately 250 girls who attended and about 4 major cuts within the day. The last round they chose girls to immediately be part of the Dance Pak and chose 8 girls to be part of the “Pick the Pak” contest. By 5:30 I was happy the audition was over, ready to eat and extremely excited to be part of such an amazing experience.
MB: How was your experience with the photo shoot for the Pick the Pak contest?
SA: It was super cool, I felt like such a celebrity. When I entered the Practise Court there was a rack of many different options of Raptors gear. I got to take a casual sporty look, a classy look and then the famous Raptors Dance Pak dress look. I also had a video interview with Kat who is a former Raptors Dance Pak girl and is now a Raptors Host and got the opportunity to dance for all the voters to see my skill.
MB: Who have been your biggest support throughout your journey as a dancer?
SA: My family is definitely my support system, my mom has always been so amazing from travelling to competitions with me, getting me ready for every performance and also being that one person I looked for in the crowd (she was always there, and still is).
MB: What is so important about dance choreography to you as a dancer?
SA: Dance choreography is very important but I like to think what you make of the choreography you are given is what makes you an amazing dancer. Choreographers don’t just want to see you learn and execute the moves and steps properly; they want to see your personality shine. I really think at the Raptors Dance Pak audition the judges really got a taste of my personality through the choreography and that’s why I was chosen to be in this contest.
MB: What is your biggest fear?
SA: I would honestly have to say sharks, I know I am hardly ever near them but the thought of them already makes me squirm (as I am writing about them I am squirming). If I ever got the chance to swim with sharks and was having a “You Only Live Once” moment, you would see tears streaming down my face underwater.
MB: Who is your biggest celebrity influence?
SA: I wouldn’t necessarily say influence, but maybe more inspiration… I definitely would say Miley Cyrus. I love her style and attitude. If I were to ever meet her I think she would be down to earth, funny and bubbly. She seems like she has this attitude where nothing fazes her and she stays positive. I also love her charity involvement with get your good on. Getyourgoodon.org.
MB: What would winning the Pick the Pak contest mean to you?
SA: Ever since I was younger I knew I wanted to be in the Raptors Dance Pak. My cousin Danny who lives in Niagara used to always tell me he could see me dancing on the court and that when I made it on the team that I would have to supply him with unlimited amounts of tickets. Winning this contest would mean I get to live up to that promise and also live up to my own person goals of getting back out in the dance industry and performing in front of large audiences again.
MB: In a word, how do you think it would feel to perform with the Raptors Dance Pak?
SA: Oh wow I can just picture it now, because when I go to the games and walk in with the bright lights and the cheering crowd, I wouldn’t even be able to put into words how I would feel. I know I would definitely interact with the crowd and get everyone pumped up because I am a natural performer and entertainer, but initially I imagine I would be overwhelmed by the crowd. I am most excited to be part of a dance team again, I miss that relationship with many other girls who all have the same interest as you.
MB: How do you feel about Toronto sports and the Toronto Raptors?
SA: I am a Toronto sports fan all around, I l love my Leafs, my Marlies, my Jays, my Argos, my Toronto FC, my Toronto Rock and lastly and my most favourite, my Toronto Raptors. I am a Toronto girl at heart what can I say. I also love staying active so any sport or activity interests me.
MB: Leave us with one quote to best describe this experience for you.
SA: All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them – Walt Disney
I am in love with this quote because for the longest time I was nervous to get back into the spotlight and performing and the past few years I thought about auditioning for the Dance Pak but it wasn’t until this past year when one of my close friends passed away that I realized, life is too short and to take every moment as if it were your last. I don’t want to live with regrets and dance is something I have such great passion for.
Thanks for taking the time to read this interview and don’t forget to vote for me!
Fun facts about Stephanie:
All Time Favourite Raptor: Aaron Gray #34
All Time Favourite Raptors Moment: When the Raptors beat Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1996!
Favourite Musical Artist: Usher all the way, he can really get me grooving!
Describe yourself in three words: Creative, Loud, Entertaining
Hidden Talent: I Tasmanian devil tornado through my room when getting dressed!
Favourite Food: NUTELLA! On anything and everything!
Dream Job: Professional dancer or wardrobe stylist
Celebrity look-a-like: Jessica Alba
Pre dance ritual: A big deep breath, stretch, and a hardcore ab workout
Hobbies other than dance: Crafting, car singing (off key), reading, playing any summer sports, working out, ATVing and snowboarding
Not only will voting mean the world to Stephanie, but you could win tickets to a Toronto Raptors game as well as a meet and greet! You can support Stephanie by voting for her at: www.raptors.com/pickthepak and liking her fan page on Facebook. Don’t forget, vote for the Stephanie with the PH in her name.
Vote for Stephanie now!
Lets go Raptors!