Avec le Corps de Ballet du Boston Celtiques

by Con Chapman

In an effort to soften their stuffy image, dancers from the Boston Ballet performed at halftime of a Boston Celtics game. 

                                                             The Boston Globe

Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Boston Celtics power forward and principal dancer

As I took my position beneath the field goal of the Boston Celtics, I felt the butterflies enter my stomach, even though my mouth was firmly closed.  I, a mere prima ballerina of the stodgy, stuffy Boston Ballet, was going to perform at the TD Garden!  I think that's its name.  It was called something else last week—the TD Banknorth Garden, and something else the week before that.  Bank mergers are so confusing!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.  Also a thing with bodacious knockers.

Did you know that Parkay Margarine was named after the Garden's famous parquet floor?  I didn't either until I noticed the similarity.  More importantly, “da Garden” is the hallowed ground where the Boston Celtics Dancers—who are also known as the Celtics Dancers—put their derrieres in the air-iere for the many fans of the team, both in person and on the TV.  Instead of dancing in front of an audience of hundreds of women and the few men they dragged along with them to the Opera House, I would be seen by millions of men while their wives were reading in bed!

“She walks in beauty, like the night, her stretch pants just a trifle tight.”

Every little girl who puts on a tutu and pointe shoes dreams of someday shaking her booty with the Celtics Dancers!  There are seventeen in all, and isn't it a remarkable coincidence that there are two Ashleys— Ashley E and Ashley M—among them!  For diversity, there's a “Jennafa”—hollaback, girlfriend!  And no dance team would be complete without an Alex, an Alexis, an Alison, a Caitlin, a Courtney and a Casey, now would it?

La danse du trois-garcons-armure

It is our hope tonight, the corps de ballet, that we will successfully execute la danse du trois-garcons-armure, commonly known among CYO basketball youth as the “Three-Man Weave.”  If we cannot master this elementary movement, how will we ever advance to une fouette pick-et-roll?

Phi Slamma Jette!

The buzzer sounds—il est trop bruyant!—and I take my position on la gauche aile, or “left wing.”  Here, I will receive the pass from la droit aile, throw to la outre femme—then repetez, repetez, repetez, until the last dancer makes a layup or, if she is truly formidable, will execute une dunque du slam, perhaps a 360 tomahawk!

Dee Brown's historic dunk

If it is me who ends up with “le rock” under “le basquet,” I will try to replicate the most famous dunk in Boston Celtics history—the “I'm-not-looking” dunk by Dee Brown that won the All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest of 1991!  Dee was a hero!  At least until he was arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank because he was black and happened to be walking on the streets of Wellesley.  I understand that this is where many bank robbers get their start, but curiously Mr. Brown was innocent of the charges.  Probably on a technicality.

I take a deep breath.  The lead ballerina pauses, poised on her toes, then says “Commencons-nous!” We are off!

Dear Reader, I would like to say that everything went parfaitment, but non.  The three-man-weave—it is more difficult than it appears!  Soon, we have twisted up le court as a croissant avec prunes!  The crowd—they laugh so cruelly!  Where is Lucky, the agile Celtics mascot, when we need him!

The buzzer sounds again and our coach—I mean artistic director—summons me.  I am being benched!

It cannot be, I say to him, for lack of hustle.

“No,” he replies, his face as icy as a cold shower.  “You—you are un porc de balle!”

A ball hog—moi?

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Dance Fever—Catch It!”