Shannon the Honeybee

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Published: June 16, 2008

Thanks to some fantastic people over at Hornets HQ, we were able to organize an interview and photo shoot with Shannon the Honeybee last Wednesday. It all went down at the New Orleans Riverwalk. Enjoy…

Shannon the Honeybee

To start, can you give us a mini-bio of yourself?

I’m from Chalmette, Louisiana. I’ve been a Honeybee for three years. I go to school at the University of New Orleans and I’m a psychology major. I will be graduating in December.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I’m going to stay in New Orleans. I want to see if I can get into pharmaceutical sales. If not, I might just go back to school. We’ll see what happens.

Is it a big commitment to be part of the dance team?

Yes, it is a huge commitment. We practice at least twice a week, if not three times. We can have up to three games per week and then we also have appearances throughout the year, so it’s a very big commitment. It’s a part-time job but it’s still a lot because most of the girls have either school or a career also. It gets tough at times to balance everything, but we love what we do and we make it work.

Shannon the Honeybee

What’s the best part of being a Honeybee?

I think the games are the most exciting, just cheering on the fans and being a part of the entertainment. The Hornets do such a great job entertaining the crowd so that’s a lot of fun.

What’s the worst part?

I wouldn’t say that it’s the worst, but the workouts at practice get to be a bit tough, but it’s all for the better of the team so it’s still good.

Tell us a little about Honeybee practice.

We start at 6:30 in the evening, and do thirty minutes of cardio and thirty minutes of weight-lifting, and then from 7:30 to 10:00 we practice the dances.

I heard a rumor that sometimes you all just skip the serious stuff and have a big pillow fight at practice. Any truth to that?

[laughing] Definitely not. Practices are very serious.

What about water fights?

No.

You know you can lie to me here just to spice up the interview a bit? I don’t mind.

[laughing] No, we have fun at practice, but we definitely take it seriously

Shannon the Honeybee

Have you had any embarrassing moments as a Honeybee?

Actually, yes. It did happen at practice, I stepped on a treadmill that was already moving, and so I flew off the back of it. A lot of the girls saw it happen. They thought it was quite amusing.

Tell us about how the Hornets won over the fans in New Orleans this past season, and what was it like for you being a part of all that?

In the beginning it was great because the team came back home and it was all a novelty, but the games themselves were not nearly as exciting as they became at the end of the season. We started winning and the fans started appreciating the team more and basketball became more popular in New Orleans. Then towards the end of the season all the games were selling out and everybody was getting so much more excited… it was a great journey. I think it was all really good, too, for the people who are here working to rebuild the city. It gave them something exciting to do during their off time, and I think it was a really good economic boost for the city. The more winning we do, the happier the people are, so we have a good attitude about it.

What was your highlight from the past season?

Definitely the playoffs. That was a lot of fun.

Do you have a favorite player on the team?

I like David West. He gets really aggressive out there. I like him.

Shannon the Honeybee

Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons?

[looking puzzled] … No.

What kind of team chemistry do all the girls have? Do you hang with one another away from all the Honeybee stuff?

Yeah, we all get along. There were a lot of new girls on the team this year, but everybody bonded very early on in the season. A lot of us do hang out. A lot of the girls live in different areas — there are a lot of girls from Baton Rouge — but for the most part they stay around here after the game and we’ll all go eat or just hang out. We get along great.

Can you please describe, in great detail, the scene in the Honeybee locker room after a game?

Sometimes it gets very chaotic. After the game we’re more relaxed, we’re just ready to sit down and take a break. But during the game we’re rushing to change outfits, somebody’s missing a piece of a costume… so it gets crazy, but we make it work.

Shannon with her favorite treat: a chocolate peanut butter fudge from The Fudgery on the Riverwalk.

The auditions for next season’s Honeybee squad are being held on July 20th. What advice would you give someone trying out for the first time?

Just have fun with it. They’re looking for girls who want to have fun and be exciting, and who have a lot of enthusiasm for the games and for the team. So just be yourself and do your best.

Do they let guys try out for the Honeybees?

… No.

Bummer. I was thinking I’d be a good addition to the team. I could stand to the side and clap, then go hit the showers. What do you think?

I don’t think the costumes would look as good on you.

Shannon the Honeybee

Do you have a favorite restaurant in New Orleans?

Yeah. Tony Angello’s in Lakeview. That’s Italian.

What’s your favorite movie?

Finding Nemo! I love it.

What’s the worst pick up line a guy has ever tried on you?

I have to think about that… Probably, “I lost my phone number, can I have yours?”

I’m guessing that didn’t work.

No, it didn’t.

Shannon poses at the end of St Louis Street, where the Riverwalk meets the French Quarter.

What has been your favorite community appearance as a Honeybee?

I did a parade in Metarie, where we walked alongside of the Bookmobile and we handed out books to all the children that were there. They were all excited because it was the Hornets and everyone got a book. That was a lot of fun.

Can you tell us about someone working for the Hornets who fans might not be aware of, but who does a great job and really helps keep everything running smoothly?

Josh Richardson. He’s in charge of all the entertainment groups. He does a really great job because every time the players have to take a break, some entertainment has to be going on and he’s in charge of all that.

You know how a lot of guys have a favorite girl on the dance team? Well I was wondering if you girls have a similar thing where you have a favorite Hornets blogger?

No.

We’re all thinking of getting together and making a swimsuit calendar. Maybe I could autograph one for you and you could hang it on your fridge?

[perhaps sarcastically] Cool. Okay.

Shannon in front of the Crescent City Connection.

Who would win in a dance-off between the Honeybees and the Saintsations?

Definitely the Honeybees!

Would it even be close?

Well, we just do more dancing. They do a lot of on the sideline, routine stuff. We do more hip-hop and more technique kind of things. The Saintsations are great, but we’re better.

Was there any end of season party for the Honeybees?

Not yet. We’re having it at one of the Honeybee’s houses in two weeks. We’re just having a pool party and I think we’re going to have crawfish. It will be good to just relax and get some sun.

So you’re telling me there’s going to be a Honeybee pool party?

[laughing] Yes, but I’m not giving you the address!

Okay, final question: On a scale of one to ten, how fantastic was this interview?

I’d give it a ten, if not an eleven! Maybe even a hundred!

Shannon the Honeybee

Many thanks to the wonderful Shannon for doing this, and just as many to the legendary Brittany Cranston and Ashley Deaton for organizing the whole thing. And of course, I can’t forget photographer Matt McIntosh of Storm Surge Photography, without whom you’d be stuck with just a big bunch of words above. Thanks, Matt.

  • See more of Shannon and the rest of the Honeybees at Hornets.com.
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