So if you haven’t caught on by now, I take my half birthday way too seriously. That is, I hype it up way too much and then, more often than not, I forget about it the day of. I don’t know why, but ever since I was younger I’ve had this thing in my head about having a huge half birthday bash with half a cake and half presents…the whole shebang. I think I saw it on a Mary Kate and Ashley movie or something?? Not sure. Anyway, I have yet to live out my half birthday fantasy. Maybe next year for 23 1/2. Or maybe someone will finally throw me a big half birthday surprise party. Let me just throw that one out there into the universe *cough cough*.
This year, I spent my half birthday doing all things NBA All Star. Pretty cool experience. We were lucky enough to be the host city and I wasn’t really sure what that meant until the weekend started rolling. As Clippers Spirit, we were basically on call for the entire weekend and week leading up to the main event. Normally one dancer from each of the NBA teams is selected to represent that squad at All Star. This year, all of Clippers Spirit and the Laker Girls got to perform throughout All Star weekend. Pretty big deal. And since this is my rookie season, we lucked out big time to get to have this opportunity right off the bat. We performed a collaborative routine with the Laker Girls that we started rehearsing about a week prior to the All Star game. I loved this part of the weekend. We never get a chance to interact with the Laker Girls so it was awesome to meet the girls who represent the other half of LA. Plus they all rock. And to answer your question, no we do not have any sort of beef with them and no girl fights were involved in the making of All Star weekend (sorry). Our style of dance contrasts from theirs, so it was really interesting to see how we can work together to make a routine that showcases the uniqueness and skillset of both squads. And do so on very little sleep.
Throughout the weekend, our average time spent at the Convention Center or Staples was about 12-15 hours a day *insert sweat laughing emoji here*. Honestly, it was a lot of hurry up and wait. So we definitely had our fair share of downtime (which I should really just call snack time because that’s what 80% of our free time consisted of). In the mix of all of this, Valentines Day (boo) happened as well. And, being the queen of overcommitment that I am, I performed at Posers that evening (or morning?? Our piece didn’t go on until 1:30 am because what even is sleep?). So, in addition to rehearsing for ASW I had that thrown into the mix. Nice!!! Once I pushed through the tired, that ended up being a super fun part of the week. I haven’t had much time to do much performance wise that isn’t Clippers, so being on the stage doing some new choreo (that I learned in the car on the way to tech rehearsal) felt pretty damn good.
Once my actual half birthday rolled around, it was time for the festivities to kick off. Friday we had our debut performance of All Star weekend followed by hours of rehearsal for the upcoming events. Then came Saturday which meant the Celebrity game in all of its eye candy glory. Hello Justin Bieber, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Common and Quavo. We also got to perform with a boy band called 4th Ave.
To be honest, I had never heard of them but performing with a boy band is basically my fantasy so that was a blast. As far as meeting the celebs, Jamie Foxx was super cool and hung out with us for a bit (as seen on my Instagram) while on the other side of things, we probably couldn’t pay Justin Bieber enough money to even make eye contact with us. It’s fine. I’m fine. Next, we performed one of our favorites from this year, Campaign. There is no better feeling than getting off the court knowing your team absolutely crushed it. Our coach came back to the dressing room so hype. That made all of the hours of rehearsal so worth it.
The most surreal part of the weekend was hands down Sunday. We were included in the opening with Kevin Hart, Ludacris, Queen Latifah, Adam Devine, Rob Riggle and Jamie Foxx. It was such a unique experience getting to be present during the closed rehearsals to watch the show come together. Definitely a moment when I had to basically pinch myself and be like “yo, this is your actual life.” How the heck did did I get here?? And might I just add, Fergie sounded a lot better from backstage than she does on the internet. Also saw Cardi B. What.
I will say that when it came to the actual game, spirit was whisked away to our holding area. I love sports so I was pretty bummed to not get so see the actual All Star game, but getting to see the players and just be in the environment of it all was just about enough to make up for it. Somehow, by the grace of God, I was able stay standing for a few celebratory drinks post All Star weekend AND make it to my 7:45 am shift at work the following Monday. And I held it together juuuuuust long enough to get home and lay down for a nap that lasted 15 hours and had me waking up at 8 am the next morning unsure of what century I was in.
SO. I went another year without having a bangin’ half birthday bash, but I’d say all in all, 22.5 was pretty bangin’ on its own.