Capital One Arena is undergoing major renovations this summer. When Wizards fans attend games this fall, the changes will go beyond new seats and interior designs.
The ‘Wizard Girls’ dance squad — will be no more. In their place will be the “Wizards Dancers,” a co-ed dance team. Last Wednesday, the Wizard Girls Twitter Account changed its name and announced its open call for auditions. They will be on August 11 at 10 a.m. in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Wizards won’t be the only NBA team with a co-ed dance team. The Raptors were the first team to announce it. They held auditions on July 8. You can watch a news report of the auditions below.
Why would the Wizards replace an all-female dance team with a co-ed group?
In an interview Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chief Revenue Officer Jim Van Stone gave to Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post, the change was part of an effort to “make sure we’re new, we’re fresh, and we just felt like it was a really good opportunity to do an extensive overhaul of that experience.”
The interactive experience with dance teams go beyond the main co-ed dance team. The Wizards will also debut a seniors dance team called “Wizdom.” And the Capitals’ Red Rockers female spirit squad will now be co-ed next season as well.
That said, Van Stone was vague in his response. The CityNews Report video from Toronto probably gave a more honest answer regarding the replacement of an all-female dance team.
All-female dance teams like the Wizard Girls and elsewhere with other sports teams aren’t just marketed for their ability to dance. Their sex appeal is also marketed because they wear small outfits. And many teams, including the Wizard Girls had annual swimsuit calendars.
Speaking about swimsuit calendars, one NFL team, namely the Washington Redskins, got in some controversy about it last May. According to Juliet Macur of The New York Times, the Redskins cheerleading squad did a photo shoot in Costa Rica in 2013 where cheerleaders had to pose topless in front of the Redskins’ male sponsors and some had to accompany them to evening functions.
None of this is meant to say that the Wizards weren’t treating the Wizard Girls dance team professionally. At the same time, a dance team doesn’t have to involve young women wearing small outfits. And plenty of men can dance very well. So this fall and winter, I definitely look forward to seeing how the new Wizards Dancers perform during those breaks.
What are your thoughts on the Wizards replacing the Wizard Girls with a co-ed team? Let us know in the comments below.