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Bust a move: Knights Dance Squad hosting 2024 tryouts

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It’s not just the Newcastle Knights’ NRL and NRLW players looking forward to next season.

The club’s Red Energy Dance Squad is equally enthused about 2024, too.

And, now, you have the opportunity to join their ranks with director Alex Tsambos staging tryouts for the upcoming year at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday 12 December from 6pm.

So, if you’re enthusiastic, athletic, can confidently represent the Knights and are committed to being part of a highly-trained all-round team, then she wants you on board for a memorable journey.

“After the success of both Newcastle teams, with the men reaching the finals and the women defending their premiership, the mood throughout the place is fantastic,” Alex said.

“It’s exciting times at the club, at the moment, so I think that always creates a bit more interest for us as well.

“We usually have a good turnout each season.

“But, what’s probably been more exhilarating this year is that we were really involved with both the men’s and the women’s sides.

“The Dance Squad performed at the NRLW semi-final at McDonald Jones Stadium, in front of a huge crowd.

“In fact, there was a lot of performing in 2023, which was great.

“We did quite a few more games, showcasing two-to-three routines on the field.

“That’s always fun… the girls just love to get out there.

“The Knights also boasted a cool atmosphere this season.

“That helps to attract more people, knowing that they get the chance to perform so many times and be involved in a sport they love.”

One positive, according to Alex, is the inclusivity of the Dance Squad.

“We’re open to everyone, males and females,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.

“Although we don’t seem to get many men.

“So, it’d be nice to see some come through.

“There are also a lot of girls who have moved to the region from outside the area for university and things like that.

“It would be good to get the ones who kind of think it might not be a reach to them, but really it is.

“It’s an open audition… and very much a safe space.

“Sometimes we get girls who’ve heard about it or are a bit unsure but would like to come and try out.

“That’s great, we welcome everyone and want everyone to give it a go.

“There are a lot of girls who don’t think they can do it and they definitely can.

“They end up loving it, too, and staying for years.

“Also, we don’t just perform pop routines.

“We take on everything, from hip hop to commercial, so it’s a wide variety.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a great experience overall, personally and professionally.”

While some rival NRL organisations are phasing out such troupes as their home-game entertainment, Alex said Newcastle’s Red Energy Dance Squad played an important role in the community as well.

“I believe that we’re well past all those stereotypes,” she explained.

“I think we’ve earned a spot within the NRL in our own right, just through our talent and what we can offer.

“They’re all club ambassadors these days.

“On game days, the girls are out there in the Fan Zone.

“We also have our own group of supporters… like a lot of youngsters, male and female, who come up and say hi, grab a selfie or an autograph.

“So, they are very involved with the Knights.

“Then there’s the branding as well.

“The Dance Squad members are out there representing some really amazing Newcastle brands… and it’s to see them in the community.

“They walk around the field, stopping and speaking to fans and that’s exciting for them, too.

“Sometimes it’s hard for the supporters to gain the interaction with some of the NRL boys after the match.

“So, the girls are out there getting the photos and it’s really nice to witness.

“Honestly, this is my ninth season with the Knights.

“I guess I’ve been here longer than some of the coaches,” she added with a laugh.

“However, I can’t see any of us going anywhere anytime soon.

“It is great up here, it’s a good community and very supportive.”

Applicants can download and complete an audition form, which includes important information regarding the format of the process.

Those interested must return it to [email protected], along with a current full-length photograph, which will remain the property of the Knights, by 5pm on Monday 11 December.

For further details, contact [email protected]

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