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Nothing but ‘Nettes: Hopefuls bust moves for coveted spots on dance troupe for Bklyn Nets

Follow the leader: Brooklynettes co-captain Pamela leads the team hopefuls in a dance routine during tryouts on June 23.
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These belles want to go to the ball!

Hundreds of professional jitterbugs cut a rug at the Barclays Center on Saturday in the hopes of scoring a gig cheering on the Brooklyn Nets as part of the squad’s dance team.

But getting a coveted spot in the Brooklynettes troupe takes more than some flashy choreography, according to a judge at the two-day auditions, who said successful hopefuls must be able to capture all eyes in a room.

“Were definitely looking for someone with that star quality,” said Criscia Long, the Brooklyn Nets director of entertainment and a former captain of the New York Knicks City Dancers.

The Brooklynettes team is perennially staffed by 20 jaw-dropping dancers, but with the exception of three captains, every member must compete in annual open tryouts to stay on the squad.

This year, 13 returning Brooklynettes busted a move on the Prospect Heights arena’s hardwood to reclaim their places on the team, while a whopping 300 would-be usurpers — who organizers instructed to arrive in “glamorous, performance-ready hair and makeup” — showed up to battle the veterans.

But the newcomers’ chances of besting a returning Brooklynette, who practices year-round as part of her position with the prestigious troupe, are highly unlikely, Long said.

“Returning dancers get critiqued all year, so by the time they have to audition again, they know what they’re doing,” said the judge, who oversaw the competition as part of a panel that included choreographers and talent scouts.

Following Saturday’s elimination round, Long and her fellow judges invited 86 dancers back for a second audition on Sunday, when the hopefuls were cut to an even smaller group of 40, from which the judges will choose the new squad members.

Those women who make the cut — who judges said will be named this evening — will perform at all home Nets games during the 2018–19 season, which kicks off this fall, and travel around the world to promote the Brooklyn basketball team, Long said.

“Being on the team opens up a lot of opportunit­ies,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:41 pm, July 9, 2018
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