- Nathaniel S. Butler
- Can you do that? We can’t do that.
As anyone who keeps tabs on uniform news can tell you by now, the move to Brooklyn saw one particularly important change for the Nets franchise — the much-discussed re-branding of their dance team as the almost too appropriately named Brooklynettes.
A spectacular pun, yes, but also sort of a misnomer. As it turns out, only one of the dance team’s 20 members is actually from Brooklyn. A Brooklynite Brooklynette, if you want to go there. Or, you know, you could put it a little more gracefully.
“I like to say I’m the only Brooklyn-bred Brooklynette,” says Flatbush native Melissa Timothy-Tozer, who after a few years away recently moved back to the borough. “Having the team move here was exciting even before I was hired, and I think that finally having a Brooklyn-branded sports team really puts us on the map.”
Aside from the enviably short commute, though — her family recently moved to a house in Mill Basin, which Timothy-Tozer calls “a dream” for her parents after years in their apartment on Flatbush and Foster — being from the team’s eponymous borough doesn’t seem to garner much in the way of a hometown advantage. Timothy-Tozer resists the urge to play tour guide (or hometown snob) to her teammates — who are spread out around Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, and New Jersey — explaining diplomatically that “We’re all still getting to know the neighborhood downtown.”
So, I guess that means not handing out uninvited Brooklyn to-do lists or tossing the occasional belligerent “Brooklyn Zoo” shout-outs into routines. All of which takes a lot more restraint than we would have in her position.
But anyway, it’s safe to say she’s otherwise occupied, with a schedule that, to the uninitiated, exercise-averse blogger, sounds pretty grueling. Aside from the weeks-long audition process that whittled 400 applicants down to the current team of 20, life as a Brooklynette also involves something called a “kip-up,” Timothy-Tozer’s favorite (and, we would point out, extremely GIF-worthy) move. It consists of dancers lying flat on their backs, springing into the air, and landing standing straight up. “It’s definitely one of the most difficult moves to execute,” she added.
Still, there have to be some more general perks, right? After all, they work in a building that houses the likes of Fatty ‘Cue, Calexico, and Nathan’s all under one roof. “The vendors are really exciting, every part of Brooklyn is really represented,” Timothy-Tozer raved before adding, “You know, we’re dancers, so we mainly stick to the healthier options, a lot of salads.” And with that, any flirtation I had with a career change into the dance world (very little to begin with) screeches to an abrupt halt.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.