Japanese Pro Cheerleader Reiko Ogasawara Joins the Detroit Pistons Dance Squad

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article displayed photos of an incorrect dancer. It has been corrected and we apologize for the error.

A professional cheerleader from Japan has fulfilled her dream of making it to the Detroit Pistons’ dance team.

Reiko Ogasawara, 34, became the first Japanese dancer to make it to the Pistons dance squad after passing the virtual audition on Dec. 3, Japan News reported. 

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Ogasawara, who has been dancing since high school in her country, is now waiting for her visa before she can travel to the United States. 

Her first professional dancing gig was with an adult cheerleading group called the Devils. She then joined the Sunrocker Girls, the dancing squad for the Japanese B-League basketball team, Sunrockers Shibuya.

In her bid to join the Pistons dance team, she resigned from the Sunrocker Girls in June and took some time off from her office job to practice.

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In November, she took part in a two-day online practice session, an experience that helped her decide to participate in the auditions.

“The novel coronavirus has made it impossible for spectators to cheer out loud, so I want to get the crowds excited through my dancing,” Ogasawara was quoted as saying. “I’ll do my best as a representative of Japan to keep up with American dancers.”

With Ogasawara making the team, there are now 20 Japanese dancers in the NBA across different teams.

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Her profile on the NBA site, which indicated her name on the team as Lindsey, noted that she dreams of visiting South Korea and considers dance choreographer Kyle Hanagami as her role model. It also revealed that she has a hidden talent as a massage therapist and can “hula hoop for a long time.”

She also revealed her own advice on the site, a tribute to the hard work she put in to advance her career.

“Be persistent if you want something don’t stop until you succeed no matter the obstacles.”

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Feature Image via Reiko Ogasawara

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