Ho-hum, another Sea Gals tryout.
That has to be Shelly Son’s take on Sunday’s finals for this year’s squad, right? After all, she is the oldest and longest-tenured member of the Seahawks’ dance team.
“Oh gosh, you never get past it,” Son said this week. “I think the longer you’ve been on the more apprehensive you become. It’s just you grow to either really, really love the organization, or you don’t. And you either really love what you do, or you don’t.
“Hopefully, I’ll enter my seventh year. I love every bit about it.”
The finals will take place this Sunday. The 2010 squad, which will consist of 24-32 members, will be announced at the end of the competition.
Son, who will be 33 on April 27, has learned to take nothing for granted. She did not make the squad the first time she tried out. She was released from the squad just before the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl after the 2005 season, and didn’t make the squad in 2006, either. Last year, she injured a knee and had to sit out the first half of the season.
“It’s been an interesting road, but one I wouldn’t change,” she said.
That’s why Son remains so focused when it comes to something that is so familiar.
“That first year, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Son said. “I got there and definitely was overwhelmed. But you do your best. I made it to finals, but I didn’t make the squad. But you learn what to come back with.”
Son called that first experience “kind of fluke, in general.” She then added with a laugh, “I don’t actually remember why I showed up.”
She didn’t show up again for a couple of years, until 2003. With a better idea of what was expected – in terms of appearance and dancing ability – Son made the squad.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I was so overwhelmed. You’re excited and you’re hoping for the best. And finally when you get called, it’s such an elite group of women, so you’re like, ‘Wow.’ To be a part of that is pretty spectacular.”
Son also has become the Sea Gals’ songbird. Fans heard why last season when she sang “God Bless America” prior to a game last season. She’s also the main singer in the squad’s show group that has toured Europe and the Pacific Rim to entertain troops.
Just don’t expect Son to sing her own praise.
“When I was younger, I sang terribly and I still sing better in the shower,” she said.
How bad could her singing have been? “I was horrible. Are you kidding? Holy moley,” she said. “You remember when you’re sitting in a talent show and a mom is closing her eyes, going, ‘Oh my gosh. Just stop.’?”
Son trained her voice muscles well enough that she sang with Hit Explosion for eight years before joining the Sea Gals. That group performed before and during halftime at Seahawks game in the Kingdome.