There’s absolutely no hanky panky between the Los Angeles Clippers and the beautiful young dancers who perform in front of their fans.
In fact, players and members of the Clippers Spirit team rarely even cross paths.
“We do not fraternize with the players,” says Candace Washington, a three year veteran dancer and one of seven women featured E! channel’s new reality docu-series LA CLIPPERS DANCE SQUAD.
“You would be surprised. There is literally no interaction. In previous years when I was on the team, we got to sit on the court during the 4th quarter and that was the coolest thing. But that was pretty much as close as we got.”
“We don’t really get the chance to interact or speak with them outside of congratulating them on a job well done.”
Candace — originally from Torrance, California — says most season ticket holders have a closer relationship with stars like Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan than she does.
“I am always clarifying the fact that I am not on the dance team to date anyone,” she tells me. “My goal in doing Clippers was not to do anything other than dance and have an awesome opportunity to perform at Staples Center and wherever. Dating a player is not a priority for me. It is frowned upon for sure.”
LACDS takes viewers behind the scenes to expose the what it takes to make — and stay on — of the the NBA’s premiere dance teams.
Candace revealed more about the show and herself in an exclusive interview with TheTVPage.com.
Should viewers expect more drama from the behind the scenes of being on the team or from the relationships between the girls?
To be honest, you are gonna get both. That’s the thing. While you are fighting to stay on the team, every practice is technically your audition for the next season. They can use that against you as a reason you should not be on the team again.
You have been on the squad for a few years. Do you feel there are any differences from before the cameras arrived?
It is completely different and it was overwhelming. For me personally, having been on the team for three years already, you kind of have an idea of what it is. Going into this year it was not the same. I had to really almost choose another perspective on how to experience what was going on in front of me. It felt like an audition every day.
You could not have picked a better season to do this. There is so much love for the Clippers right now. It feels like they are America’s team…
I started the team right as they started to get better. The Clipper, for a long time, weren’t a winning team. I was a Clippers fan since I was 7 years-old. I haven’t really changed my team. It just happens that my team is winning now.
Were you always a Clippers fan?
Yes. My dad was never a Lakers fan, so we became Clippers fans. I always watched the Clippers and thought that is the team I am going to be on. I remember telling my high school boyfriend once, “I am going to be a Clipper girl one day.” And just laughed at me. Now it is just awesome to be on the team.
Tell us more about you.
My family is [originally] from the south. My grandparents are all from the south — Louisiana, Mississippi. I grew up in California and I have been dancing since I was four. I started dancing professionally after high school.
So your dream in life is…
I would really love to be on Broadway. I have a degree in music and singing. I also have a degree in psychology. If Broadway happens, I will try to stay there as long as I could. And then I kind of have a plan to start using my psychology degree when I am older and done performing.
When you were taking dance lessons as a kid, was it like what we see on DANCE MOMS?
Yes and no. I kind of had a [deal] with my parents. While I was in the studio dancing three times a week, I also played softball for seven years. I was a catcher and outfielder and played third base. I got pretty good too. You can actually use dance in softball, which is kind of funny. As far as DANCE MOMS, it was like that when I was younger, but people didn’t promote their kids to be famous like they do now. It was a lot more mellow.
You work at a theme park in Anaheim, California. Do you wear a Minnie Mouse costume?
No, not at all. I perform at different theme parks in the area. I have worked at theme parks in Anaheim and Buena Park. You might have seen me on TV working for them. You never know.
Is that as fun a job as one would think?
Working for any theme park is definitely hard work. Theme parks are open for such long hours so performing at those kind of places is hard work, but it is fun.
What else would fans of the show be interested in learning about you?
I am a Christian woman. I love Jesus. I have been a Christian since I was five years-old. It is a big part of my life that I hold at the forefront. When I am doing Spirit or anything else, I try to make sure that I just show love to everyone around me. Because that is the reason I feel the way I do about all that has happened on the team and why the sisterhood we have is important. When you walk away from all that we are doing, it is the relationships that matter the most.
Is there someone special in your life right now?
Jesus Christ is my boyfriend! [laughs] I don’t have a boyfriend right now. I am not opposed to having one, but lately I have been focusing on my career.
Is it hard to date a Clippers Spirit dancer?
It is challenging because we are always working. We will literally work for 25 or 30 hours a week sometimes. I feel like if I am going to be in a relationship, I would like to be able to give it the time it needs to grow. And to be honest, lately my life has been so unpredictable so I would really need someone who understands.
Could you ever date a Lakers fan?
I think that would be fun. It would be a fun rivalry. So why not? Sure. I could date a Lakers fan. He would just have to know that if we are going to a Clippers game, he better support and then maybe I will consider going to a Lakers game.
LA CLIPPERS DANCE SQUAD premieres Tuesday March 15 on E!
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