Yahoo Lifestyle has published a story headlined “NBA dancers reveal decades-long culture of ‘brainwashing,’ unfair pay and eating disorders” — and the story includes several comments from three former Utah Jazz dancers.
Sydney Sorenson, a member of the Jazz Dancers from 2009 to 2012, said monthly weigh-ins “messed with me the most,” and that leading up to them, “I came up with all these methods to weigh in smaller, like not eat anything solid for a week.”
“Point blank, I would say that I definitely had an eating disorder — especially the last year.”
Madison Murray, who danced for both the Jazz and the Phoenix Suns, told Yahoo her weight was a constant issue with the Utah team, and that when she arrived in Phoenix, “Right after I made the team, they told me I had to lose 10 pounds.... I never felt good enough.”
Chenelle Young, who danced for the Jazz from 2010-13 and is now directing the NBA's international dance team, said, “I don’t think everyone thinks a tiny, 90-pound girl is sexy. … So I don’t understand why [the NBA] thinks everyone needs to be that.”
Reporter Abby Haglage wrote that many of the 15 women she talked to from several team said dancing was “a part-time job with a full-time commitment,” and Sorensen was among them.
“It basically felt like they owned us,” she said.
In response to the Yahoo story, the Utah Jazz issued this statement: “The Jazz dancers are valued employees for their work as part of the game night experience and many hours spent as community ambassadors. In 2012, our organization reevaluated the program to ensure that it creates a positive and healthy work environment, adheres to the law for fair wages and aligns with our company culture of integrity. Leadership changes also resulted in our dance troupe now being under the direction of a former Jazz dancer.”
The full story is online at yahoo.com/lifestyle.