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Ellsworth spouse becomes Rapid City Bombshell dancer

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- An Ellsworth family member recently tried out for the National Indoor Football League’s new Rapid City Flying Aces franchise’s dance team.

After several practices, the squad was whittled down to 17 members, and Tammy Robinson was officially a Rapid City Bombshell.

“These dances are some of the most difficult and challenging I’ve ever learned,” Robinson said. “They’re super fast, and we don’t have a lot of time to learn them.”

In fact, Robinson (whose husband is a member of the 34th Bomb Squadron) and her teammates were trained by members of the NFL’s Denver Broncos dance team and perform routines perfected by other major league sports dance teams.

Robinson’s try out included learning two dances in about 30 minutes before performing in front of the judges for the event. Her dancing background, which includes tap, ballet and jazz since she was about 7 years old, may have helped her pass the test.

“I love to dance,” said the Jacksonville, Fla., native. “I haven’t had much of an opportunity to do so since (my husband and I) moved here. So, when I heard about the tryouts (one day), I was there trying out (the next).”

Making the team requires more of a commitment than just showing up for games and occasional practices. Responsibilities of team members include staying in dancing shape, studying dance routines away from practices and games, and promotional engagements including selling tickets, handing out flyers and making appearances at local events.

In all, Robinson estimates she devotes between 15 and 20 hours a week to the team. Her compensation is $25 per week.

“I didn’t try out for the pay,” she said. “I saw this as a chance to meet other women in the area, stay in shape and give me something to do.”

Making the team has opened other doors for Robinson, however. Many members of the team perform in the off-season as part of the Deadwood Divas dance team, and Robinson has since assumed a position with the Flying Aces as director of marketing.

“This new position actually makes me closer to the dance team,” Robinson said. “We have a dance studio in the business office, and I’m available at any time to work with other dancers.”

The entire experience has been a positive one, she said.

“I’ve been allowed to meet numerous people from Rapid City to Spearfish,” Robinson said. “Everywhere I go, I see someone I’ve met through my marketing position. The dance team keeps me involved in a rigorous workout schedule to stay in shape, and I’ve met many new friends.”

Tammy Robinson, whose husband is a member of the 34th Bomb Squadron, autographs a Rapid City Bombshells poster for a spectator at Saturday’s season-opening game for the Rapid City Flying Aces. Robinson is a member of the Bombshells dance team, the official dance team for the Flying Aces, and is also the director of marketing for the Flying Aces.

The Rapid City Bombshells perform during a break in the action in the Rapid City Flying Aces’ 61-0 victory over Big Sky Thunder at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Saturday evening. Ellsworth family member Tammy Robinson, a member of the Bombshells dance team, did not perform Saturday but is scheduled to perform soon.