The Spurs eliminated their all-female dance team.
The Mavericks – trying to fix their predatory work environment – are taking a different approach with their dance team.
Mavs CEO Cynthia Marshall has ordered less revealing uniforms and more wholesome routines. “We want the focus to be on the dancers as artists and to highlight their skills, not be eye candy or sexualized,” she said in an interview Tuesday.
Skimpy crop tops and mini shorts will be replaced by comfortable athletic wear. Gone will be the “shake your booty” dances; Marshall wants to see professional-grade hip-hop and lyrical movements.
“Everyone should feel comfortable — both the performers and everyone in the arena,” Marshall said. “If someone brings a 10-year-old to the game, I don’t want them having to cover the kid’s eyes during performances.”
And what about that highly sought-after Dallas Mavericks Dancers calendar, with its scantily clad swimsuit photos that feature an abundance of cleavage and provocative poses? That’s dead for now.
NBA teams should initially ask themselves: What purpose should their dance team serve? There’s no single right answer, but a thoughtful explanation for how dance teams fit into the framework of a professional basketball team is necessary to determine everything else about them – how they dress, what routines they do, whether they produce a calendar.
For any reasonable answer to the question, the overly sexualized outfits and performances of dance teams around the league seem out of place.
Dallas’ response strikes me as much better than San Antonio’s. The Mavericks aren’t removing opportunities for the women dancers. They aren’t – as Marshall emphasized – blaming the women’s uniforms or dances for others’ inappropriate behavior. They’re just changing the dance team to fit a culture the organization is trying to implement.
This doesn’t come close to solving Dallas’ major issues. But it’s a step – one all teams, not just the ones facing allegations of mistreating women, should consider – in the right direction.