Troy High grad makes Automation

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 7, 2011


Alexandra Flanagan has been dancing since she was 2 years old.

She spent between 30 and 35 hours a week perfecting her techniques at Juliana’s Academy of Dance in Madison Heights when she was a student at Troy High School. She graduated from Troy High in 2009, and has worked as a sales associate, but she put that aside to live her dream of dancing.

She has earned a spot on the Detroit Pistons’ Automotion dance team.

The group performs during timeouts during Detroit Pistons basketball games and makes public appearances at philanthropic and other events throughout the community during the season, which has more than 41 home games in the regular season.

“This is something I’ve always been dreaming about,” she said. Flanagan attended many of the dance clinics Automation has offered over the years.

The dance team members rehearse twice a week and are encouraged to work out in addition to practices. They perform at between one and four games each week.

“I left my job to give the team the full commitment it deserves,” Flanagan said.

“It’s a significant commitment,” said Rebecca Girard, dance team director. She explained that dance team members come from a variety of backgrounds: dance, gymnasts and cheer.

“In order to make it at this level, they have to have significant training,” Girard noted.

The 18 members of Automotion were selected from 100 women who auditioned. Dance team members from previous years must re-audition each year.

In addition to dance skills, athletic ability and teamwork, criteria for selection includes strong business and public relations skills, enthusiasm, confidence, poise and a strong work ethic.

“We’re really excited to be celebrating Automotion’s 15th year,” Girard said. “It’s an incredible group of ladies.”

“I’m super excited,” Flanagan said. “I can’t wait to dance on the court.”