Last week, we started a new segment here on stealthlax.com to help the fans learn a little bit about the National Lacrosse League’s premiere dance team, the Bombshells. This week, we caught up with second-year Bombshell, Abby.
Abby got her unofficial start as a dancer at the age of four, when she was brought onstage at a luau in Hawaii during a family vacation.
“I was so scared I froze on stage and stared into the crowd,” she recalls. “Thank goodness I’ve gotten over my stage fright since that day!”
A similar experience would keep most four-year olds off the dance floor for a long time. But Abby’s situation was different. When she was born, her right ankle was turned in towards her left foot. A doctor suggested using ballet to correct her ankle. It seemed destined that a young Abby was meant to dance.
"I hated [ballet] at first, but as I got older I grew to love it,” she says.
From there, Abby went on to take jazz dance classes in High School and then was part of the dance team at the University of Washington, where the Lynnwood native earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics. She also began teaching a variety of dance classes for aspiring dancers, ranging from children as young as four to adults. She shared her expertise in ballet, jazz and hip-hop dancing for four years.
She got her first taste of dancing in professional sports when she and fellow members of the UW squad tried out for the Seattle Supersonics dance team. She spent four more years dancing for the Sonics before the team left the city for Oklahoma.
After a year away from dancing, Abby got her chance to return to the professional sports dancing scene. The new professional lacrosse team in town had hired one of her fellow Sonics dancers, Sheena Shive. Abby was invited to try out and, as you would expect from someone with her dancing credentials, she made the team.
Like many of her fellow Washingtonians, Abby was new to the sport of lacrosse. Her only knowledge of the game came from a friend that played the field game in college. But as soon as she was at the Comcast Arena for her first Stealth game, she knew the sport had legs at the Comcast Arena.
“It’s such an exciting game and the fans are so into it,” she says. “The crowds may be smaller than what we had at Sonics games, but there is so much more energy in the building. And the fans are so supportive of [the Bombshells] and excited to have us here. It’s awesome.”
While Abby was with the Sonics, the team made the playoffs just once and in their last season in Seattle, went just 20-52. The championship run for the Stealth in 2010 added even more to Abby’s first lacrosse experience. “To cheer for a winning team is so much more fun,” she says.
Abby stayed busy in the offseason, juggling her full-time job as a Marketing Specialist for American Family Insurance with going to school at UW to earn her MBA. Even with that hectic schedule, she found time to keep her dance steps sharp, attending drop-in dance classes and working out regularly and makes time for herself to do some things she enjoys, like traveling and cooking.
“You really have to work to be a dancer,” she says of her offseason regimen. “Going to dance classes keeps my choreography sharp and a lot of our routines really take a lot out of you, so I need to stay in shape.”
Abby and the Bombshells are practicing at least twice a week now in preparation for the 2011 season. You will be able to see them live at Comcast Arena for every Stealth game beginning in January. Until then, here are a few more questions to help you “Get to Know” Bombshell Abby.
Who is your favorite player on the Stealth and why?
Abby: I would say either Rhys Duch or Paul Rabil. They're so entertaining to watch and they're always scoring goals!
What is your dream vacation?
Abby: I would love to travel through Europe and see all of the history and culture there. I've only been to Denmark and it really left me wanting to see more!
Favorite karaoke song?
Abby: Dream Lover by Mariah Carey! I leave all those the high notes to MC though.
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Abby: Team Edward all the way, I get the feeling that Jacob might always smell like a wet dog and that doesn't work for me!
What one place would you recommend to a friend visiting Washington for the first time?
Abby: Besides coming to a Stealth game of course, I would tell them to see a concert in the summer at the Gorge. It's so beautiful over there and I think it would really be unexpected for people who have never been to Washington before.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you bring with you?
Abby: A toothbrush for sure, probably some matches or a lighter, and a professional hunter to catch me some dinner!
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Abby: This is really random but I would choose Brittany S. Peers from Glee! She looks absolutely nothing like me and I'm really not sure how great of an actress she is but I think she's hilarious and she's an awesome dancer!