Ladies Night: Shadowing ChivaGirl Brittney
As any Chivas USA fan knows, the ChivaGirls are an integral part of the game day experience. The official dance team of Chivas USA, the ChivaGirls are on hand at every home game to cheer on the team and pump up the fans. At the Sept. 10 match against the New England Revolution, first-year ChivaGirl Brittney gave cdchivasusa.com the chance to find out the work that goes into a successful performance on the day of the game.
The ChivaGirls practice three hours, twice a week, every week, preparing for their performances. “People don’t always look at what we do as a sport, they look at it as an activity or something like that, but we put a lot of hard work into what we do,” said Brittney.
Training does not stop when the practices end, either. Part of maintaining the squad’s high level of athleticism and polish is individual workouts and routine repetition. “We spend hours and hours and hours practicing,” Brittney said. “Not just at practice, but also on our own outside of practice. We always make sure the routine is good, make sure it’s clean, and make sure it’s perfected.”
Matchday starts several hours before kickoff, when the girls arrive at The Home Depot Center and spend time together before warm-ups. The squad then goes onto the field together, as a team, a fact that is just as important to the dancers as to the soccer players for whom they are cheering.
“We stretch together, we go over the routines together many times, with the music and without, with counts and everything. We make sure that it’s perfected for the game and then we go back to the locker room to get dolled up.”
As soon as the girls are ready, they head out to ChivaTown to greet fans and sign autographs. Brittney especially loves meeting young Chivas USA fans, saying that “kids are so excited to see us and so excited to get that autograph that it brings me joy.” Between these interactions, the girls perform two dance routines and have become one of the biggest attractions in ChivaTown.
After a pre-game stadium walk the ChivaGirls prepare for their halftime dance routine, practicing and mentally and physically preparing themselves for the big show. Despite all of the practice, Brittney admits to being nervous before their performances. “There are certain dances where we get nervous; we all have our favorite dances and our challenging dances. We practice before and everyone just gives inspirational words to each other. I’m pretty sure we’re all nervous before an actual performance, but once we’re on the field and once we hear that music we feel ready and all the nerves go away.”
After their halftime performance, the ChivaGirls return to the locker room where they discuss upcoming events, practices, and rehearsals.
When asked why the ChivaGirls were important to the fan experience, Brittney explained that it was their unwavering support of the team which adds to the festive atmosphere at a Chivas USA match. “I think that us as ChivaGirls, people look at us and think ‘Wow, they do really care about the team’, because we really do … So I think we really like to pull our fans in with us by encouraging them to get involved and cheer with us for the team.”
In the end, the fans, the game day experience, and the camaraderie between the ChivaGirls makes the hours of practice worth it. “Chivas is a huge organization, with a huge fan base, and I love being a part of it. I love sharing the joy and excitement, the excitement of being on the field, at the game, and when we get a goal everything is just enjoyable. I love doing it, I love being a part of it.”
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