Before she became a member of Diddy’s girl-group Danity Kane (from MTV’s “Making the Band 3”), Shannon Bex was grooving courtside as a Portland Trail Blazer dancer. Now, after working with renowned choreographers and touring with pop stars, she still enjoys a plain old dance class. So how did dance prepare the Bend, OR, native for the big, bad world of stardom? While it was a whirlwind summer—including lighting up the stage for a nationwide Six Flags tour, recording Season 5 of the TV show and helping promote the group’s new clothing line—Shannon finally had time to spill to DS.
DS: How did you first get into dance? Shannon Bex:I was 6 when I began formal ballet training, but I was dancing down grocery aisles before that.
DS: How has your ballet training prepared you for the pop world? SB: Ballet is so immensely challenging because there is so much strength and technique required; it’s very disciplined.
DS: Describe being a BlazerDancer. SB: We would learn choreography the day of a game, and have to perform it on the court in front of 20,000 people that night. It definitely prepared me for Danity Kane on so many levels.
DS: What made you try out for “Making the Band 3”? SB: I couldn’t see letting a singing, dancing and recording opportunity pass me by. It’s the hunger of the dancer: You always have to try to get the job.
DS: What’s a typical dance rehearsal like? SB: It’s about eight hours. We work for three hours, take a break, work another three, take a break, then bang out two hours.
DS: What’s the hardest part of practice? SB: Learning how your body works. If you need to get some water, get some water.
DS: What advice would you give aspiring professional dancers? SB: You are the first one who has to believe in yourself. Take criticism and don’t become discouraged. Learn from every situation.