LA GRANDE'S THOMPSON BACK TO THE TRAIL BLAZERS

August 01, 2003 12:00 am
LIFETIME OF DANCE: Daisy Thompson has been dancing her whole life and has parlayed her years of hard work into her second gig as a BlazerDancer. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).
LIFETIME OF DANCE: Daisy Thompson has been dancing her whole life and has parlayed her years of hard work into her second gig as a BlazerDancer. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).

Pierre LaBossire

Observer Staff Writer

La Grande's Daisy Thompson liked dancing before Trail Blazer fans so much that she tried out for the dance team again this year.

Thompson, who has been dancing most of her 27 years, performed as one of the BlazerDancers in the 1999-2000 season. She went off to the Caribbean for the next three years, dancing in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Thompson said she wanted to be closer to home, so recently she tried out in Portland for a return to the BlazerDancers.

Just because she was on the team four seasons ago, there was nothing automatic for Thompson to make the team this year.

Every year, the Blazer-Dancers have to try out again for the team. Thompson made it through several rounds of tryouts and cuts and recently learned she made the exclusive team of 16 women. There are three women left from the 1999-2000 team.

Thompson will get to perform with her teammates, who range in age from 18 to 31, in front of 19,000-plus fans for at least 50 nights during the Blazers' season.

"It's awesome. I love to perform," she said.

Thompson said she will have no trouble firing herself up every night on the Blazers' floor. Though it's a long season lasting eight-plus months, Thompson isn't worried about getting tired or burned out.

"It's a labor of love," she said. "I get to do what I love."

Thompson began dancing as a youngster at her mother's dance studio — Beckie's Studio of Dance.

"It's been my life as long as I can remember," she said.

Since her youth, she's received much training in ballet and other formal dance. The BlazerDancers mostly perform jazz and hip-hop styles, but the classical training comes in handy for all styles of dancing, she said.

"Everything — you have to be able to do it," she said.

In addition to dancing in front of the Rose Garden crowds, Thompson will be required to make public relations trips to schools, hospitals, etc. in the Portland metropolitan area on behalf of the Blazers.

Thompson doesn't get much of an off-season. She has to move to Portland this month and she starts practice Monday.