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Blue Devils dance their way toward success

After the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced, the Blue Devils will be dancing all the way to the Big Dance-literally.

Duke has been smooth all year, defeating its opponents by an average of over 26 points per game on their way to the team's first undefeated regular season.

And while the team has waltzed through its schedule with relative ease, the Blue Devils enjoy shaking it up off the court almost as much as they do shaking up their opponents on it.

"We dance all the time in the locker room," sophomore Carrem Gay said. "We love dancing to songs that have their own kind of dance, like 'Chicken Noodle Soup' or 'Walk it Out.'"

ESPN cameras followed the team around Monday at practice as part of the network's "All-Access" coverage. After practice, a few cameras went into the locker room, and some of the players performed their unofficial routines.

"Remy and 'B' are the two best," freshman Joy Cheek said, referring to Gay and Bridgette Mitchell. "They are from up north so they're big on reggae. 'B' does this dance called the 'Woo-tang.' 'Te [Chante Black] knows the 'Woo-tang,' so they do it together.

"I can't do the 'Woo-tang,' and Abby and Emily [Waner]-they'll kill me-but they're funny when they try."

When told that Cheek said she was the best dancer, Mitchell took a sarcastic, yet still humble, approach.

"I'm not gonna toot my own horn, 'toot toot,'" she said.

Although the players dance in locker rooms-and sometimes on the court-just to blow off steam and stay loose, they also use the music to get ready for the game.

"When we are about to warm-up, we always ask to have music on instead of the band playing," Mitchell said. "We use it as a form to get psyched up as well.

"We listen to stuff with good beats, not the slow country music. We don't listen to that."

Even some of the coaches have gotten involved, as the players have tried to impart their dancing skills on members of the Blue Devil coaching staff.

"We taught one of our coaches and our trainer the 'Heisman,'" Mitchell said. "It was pretty funny."

On the bus coming back from Duke's non-conference tournament in Cancun, Mexico, head coach Gail Goestenkors tried to get involved too, but couldn't keep up the pace.

"Coach G raised the roof," Cheek said. "But that's so played out."

"We were like, 'Don't do that,'" Mitchell said.

"It was a little throwback," Gay said. "She has her dance move, we have our own."

The regular season has been one big dance party for Duke, but the team isn't ready to stop yet. With the ACC and NCAA Tournaments on the horizon, the dancing will continue until somebody turns the music off.

And nobody's been able to shut down the Blue Devils' party all season.


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