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The Girls of the Week

02/07/2012, 12:45pm CST
By Jessica Baltes

Double feature Q&A with Annalisa & Kim from the SPT!

Annalisa with her husband and her dog, Bella.

Annalisa is a two-year veteran of the Swarm Performance Team (SPT). She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a degree in elementary education and works as a teacher.

Annalisa is married and has a maltipoo named Bella. She enjoys reading, skiing, spending time with family and friends, playing board games, watching movies, going to sporting events and dancing!

Jessica Baltes from the Swarm recently caught up with Annalisa.

Jessica: The home opener was quite an exciting game! How was it for the SPT? I could see you ladies moving all over the arena!

Annalisa: We loved every minute of the game! We have been preparing and anxiously waiting for the season to begin. It was great to see the fans, perform three routines, feel the energy in the hive, and cheer on the Swarm to a victory!

Jessica: This is your second season on the SPT. How does this season compare to last season so far?

Annalisa: Each year brings new excitement! Last year, I enjoyed becoming a part of the Swarm community and this year it feels wonderful to see familiar fan faces! I love to perform and it feels great to be back on the field with nine other wonderful dancers and women. This year is off to a great start!

Jessica: Before last season, were you very familiar with lacrosse? Had you been to many Swarm games?

Annalisa: Before becoming a part of the SPT, I did attend a few Swarm games. I loved them! I feel I now know more about the game of lacrosse, and I am learning more all the time.

Jessica: The SPT participates in a number of events every season. In your time with the Swarm so far, is there a particular appearance that sticks out as a favorite?

Annalisa: I love being a part of the “Take It or Leave It” game at Treasure Island Resort and Casino which is similar to “Deal or No Deal”. We get to be the ladies to open the brief cases and it’s a lot of fun! Everyone should come and check it out! We will be helping with this game again on February 27th. I hope to see you there!

Jessica: Do you get nervous before the performances or have you gotten so used to performing in front of thousands of people that it doesn’t bother you?

Annalisa: I still get a little nervous, but it’s more of an excitement feeling than anything! I love to perform and feel the energy from the fans. We love the support we receive from all of you!

Jessica: You obviously love kids, as you work as a first grade teacher. So, the Junior SPT performance must have been fun for you! What was it like working with the kids last season and are you looking forward to that Junior SPT performance coming up on Saturday, April 28?

Annalisa: All of the children were a joy to get to know and dance with. They were excited, cute, and hard workers. They learned a full routine in two days and performed it at the end of the second day. I was so proud of all the Jr. Performers last year and I am looking forward to seeing them again this year!

Jessica: We have an exciting doubleheader weekend coming up, with Friday being “Bring Your Honey to the Hive” and Sunday being “Family/Dog Day at the Hive.” Will your “honey” (your hubby) and/or your dog Bella be coming to either of the games?

Annalisa: My “honey” will be there! I feel so blessed to have a wonderful and supportive hubby who attends every game! Bella will not be coming to the Hive this year, but I am a dog lover and look forward to seeing all of the dogs in attendance.

Jessica: With three home games coming up in a relatively small amount of time (Feb. 10, 12 and 18) is it more difficult for the SPT to get the dances down?

Annalisa: We have been working together and preparing for the season since October. We are ready and excited to share our routines with the fans. We have some really fun routines this year, and we hope everyone loves them as much as we do!

Jessica: What do fans have to look forward to from the SPT during the doubleheader weekend?

Annalisa: We will be performing three routines at each game, we have new routines to share, and we will be visiting with fans in the stands! If you don’t have your 2012 SPT calendar, we will also be selling those throughout the weekend! We are excited to see all of you this weekend for two big games!

Kim and her husband, Kris, with their children, Kyle and Kayla.

Kimberly is a first-year member of the Swarm Performance Team (SPT). She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in elementary education. She is a former teacher and a current stay at home mom.

Kimberly is married and is the mother of two children; Kayla, 4 ½, and Kyle, 2. She is a member of Christian Moms Fellowship (CMF), and also enjoys camping, softball and traveling in her free time.

Jessica Baltes from the Swarm recently caught up with Kim.

Jessica: This is your first year on the SPT. How do you like it so far?

Kim: I love it!! My teammates are amazing women. Our coaches are encouraging and challenge us. The Swarm fans are so dedicated. I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful team and organization.

Jessica: The Swarm just had its home opener on Jan. 28. What was your first game experience like?

Kim: I have danced professionally before, but it has been eight years. So, it was truly like being a rookie all over again. I learned a lot that first game. So much more makes sense to me after actually experiencing it rather than having just talked about it at practice. I loved getting to perform with my team for the awesome Swarm fans. I was exhausted after the game! It was a great feeling!

Jessica: Your older sister, Tami, is actually the head coach on the SPT. You followed in your sister’s footsteps getting into dance, so what’s it like having another opportunity to work with her?

Kim: I have loved working with Tami over the years. She is not only my sister and coach, but she is also my best friend and biggest supporter. She has been my coach for many years in high school, on Vikings and now on Swarm. We have a great relationship where we are able to separate when she is my coach and when she is my sister. It works great for us, and I love it!!

Jessica: You were a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders (MVC) for six years and still dance at all of the home games as a member of the Minnesota Vikings Alumni Cheerleaders. How does dancing for the SPT compare to your experience with the MVC?

Kim: It is a very similar experience. I get to be around a group of outstanding, talented, and kind women on both teams. I also get to represent the state I love, Minnesota. I love sports of all types. It is fun to get to be a part of two Minnesota professional sports teams. I love to perform, and I get to do that year round now. In the fall for the Vikings and in the winter for the Swarm…I am a lucky girl.

Jessica: Had you been to many Swarm games prior to joining the SPT this season?

Kim: I have been to several Swarm games over the years. I have had many friends on the Swarm Performance Team. It has been fun to come to games and support them. I also love the atmosphere of the Swarm games. The action is fast, the announcers are funny, and the fans are passionate.

Jessica: In your dance career thus far, have you had a most memorable moment?

Kim: In high school, my dance team won the state tournament three years in a row. My senior year, we were the last ones to perform in the entire competition, so we knew that everyone was out there watching us. We were so pumped up and excited. Tami was our coach and she always has had a way with words. She told us to not hold back and that this was our time to shine. It was the most incredible feeling to perform our best and then to be named State Champions.

Jessica: Your sister has been on both sides of dance, both as a coach and a performer. Have you ever done any coaching or is that something that you would consider doing?

Kim: Yes, I too have coached over the years. I coached a JV high school dance team, assistant coached the varsity team, and had the honor of being the assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders for three seasons. I love coaching; I hope to find ways to continue to coach in the future.

Jessica: You have a four-year-old daughter. Does she like to dance? Has she decided to follow in mom’s footsteps?

Kim: YES!! Kayla has been dancing since she was 22 months old. She loves everything about it. She loves dressing up, dancing around the living room, watching the Rockette DVD that we own, and going to dance class. I am so glad that she likes dancing as much as I do.

Jessica: Will your family be coming out to cheer you on during “Family/Dog Day at the Hive”?

Kim: Yes, they will be coming to the game. My husband, Kris, will brave it with both of the kiddos. My son, Kyle, loves puppies, so he will be extra excited about this game. I love having them at the games. They are so supportive!!

Jessica: What do Swarm fans have to look forward to from the SPT during the doubleheader weekend?

Kim: Swarm fans can look forward to more energy and excitement!! We will be performing three times at each game along with doing numerous promotions and appearances. We are also continuing to sell our team calendar. Come find us in the concourse, and support a great cause. One dollar from every calendar sold goes to support the Randy Shaver cancer foundation. See you at the game!!

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