The Women Behind The Miami HEAT Dancers: Kristen, Devin, And Giada

Behind the scenes of the Miami HEAT Dancers, we’ve got an incredible group of strong and powerful women who help manage, highlight, and challenge our team on and off the court. Let’s meet the three women who help tell the story from a content perspective of our amazing HEAT Dancers.

Kristen Figarola

Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing

How important is it to help tell the story of our MHD team on and off the court?

Our Dancers are multi-dimensional, strong, bold women. They are incredibly talented Dancers, but they are so much more than what fans see on the court. It’s become extremely important – scratch that, it’s imperative that we give our Dancers the platform to speak and highlight who they are as individuals. Our Miami HEAT Dancers are a diverse team with different backgrounds, interests, and professional goals and we know that showcasing that can encourage those that look up to them to follow their own paths.

Tell us a moment this season where you felt proud.

It’s hard to pick just one moment, but the announcement of our “Advancing Through Dancing” program presented by AT&T was pretty special. “Advancing Through Dancing” is a season-long, professional development program for our Miami HEAT Dancers. It includes educational workshop series, a mentorship program, and a professional grant. It’s an AMAZING opportunity for our Dancers but also for the women of the HEAT. The Dancers were assigned to women leaders within the HEAT organization to build relationships with our Dancers and expose them to the business side of basketball. Miami HEAT Dancer Bianca is my mentee and I’m so excited to share and teach what I love and have learned through my six years at the HEAT with her.

Picture of Nikki
Picture of Tracy

Miami HEAT Dancer’s Director, Natalia Gonzalez, our Game Operations Entertainment Manager, Crystal Rogers, and VP of Creative and Digital Marketing, Jennifer Alverez, have worked hard to put this one-of-a-kind program together and to finally see it come together and see our dancer’s reaction was indescribable. We’ve always advocated for our Dancers but being able to provide these ladies with the tools to set them up for future success and opportunities takes it to another level.

During the auditions

How will you continue to inspire and encourage your team of female content creators?

It is so incredible to work with a team of strong females. Devin and Giada bring a new perspective not only to the Miami HEAT Dancers but to the Miami HEAT. We learn and work off each other to develop the best content for our followers and digital platforms. I really encourage them to speak up and share their ideas, each of them has earned their spot at the table and it’s important that I not only advocate for them, but they too realize their impact and importance in our organization. I will always support their ideas, guide them, and provide them with opportunities to lead like what has been done for me by my leaders. Giada and Devin are changing the game and I’ll always be their #1 cheerleader.

Devin Rawiszer

Digital Editorial Content Manager

What has been your experience in telling the story of the HEAT Dancers off the court?

Helping tell the story of the HEAT Dancers has been an awesome experience for me as a content creator. Not only are these women incredible dancers, but our team is made up of business owners, lawyers, students and beyond. A full squad of BOSS LADIES! These women are strong, powerful dancers and even stronger women. It’s been an honor for me to help share who they are and what makes them tick outside the walls of FTX Arena.

Miami HEAT Dancers

Is there a piece of content you’ve created this season that you’re most proud of?

A memorable piece of content would have to helping with the Dancers questionaries that live on their profiles. When thinking about certain probing questions to ask the team, I really wanted them to help these women feel comfortable with telling their stories. These questionaries sent to the women allow me and the content team to really take a deep dive into what they’re interested in, what their goals are and even what they stand for. I think we as an organization do an awesome job of giving our MHD a voice, letting them shine well beyond the hardwood.

What’s something you’ve done to take care of your mental health this year?

With someone who is no stranger to the feelings of anxiety, taking care of my mental health is very important to me. I’ve learned to manage the stress of life with meditation and movement, plugging in those moments of calm to help reset and get me through the day. Sometimes just sitting with yourself for a few minutes and taking those deep breaths can shift your day entirely.

What role do the MHD play in our much talked about, “HEAT Culture?”

When you think of HEAT Culture, you may think of our guys on the court who strive for greatness every night, but HEAT Culture doesn’t JUST apply to our players. Our MHD are just as much engrained and part of the Culture of this organization. This team is made up of strong, resilient woman and they stand for everything this organization is all about. The MHD mantra says it all: “We are the hardest working, best conditioned, most passionate, professional, confident, empowered dance team in the NBA.”

Court shot

Giada Ludert

Social Media Content Coordinator

Is there a piece of content you’ve created this season that you’re most proud of?

One of the many pieces of content that I am proud of is the reel in which I showed the followers an inside look into a Miami HEAT Dancer rehearsal. I filmed it at the very first rehearsal I watched, which was just over four hours long. I remember thinking to myself, “these Dancers are incredible!” After a long day of work or school, these women were dancing until almost midnight, and I wanted people to be able to see the amount of passion and dedication I was seeing. Of course, we can’t bring all our followers into an MHD rehearsal, but what if we brought the rehearsal to them? That’s how the idea was born.

Our MHD are incredibly talented. How do you help show their skills via social media?

By working with the Dancers very closely and keeping an open line of communication, I can come up with ideas that showcase each of their unique talents.

What’s something people may not know about you?

I graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in drama. Although it seems vastly different from what I do now, I learned how to tell a story as well as how to capture and engage an audience which is very important in my current role.

Have you ever had any female mentors that helped guide you throughout your career?

If I didn’t before, I definitely do now. I am so proud to work in an organization where I have so many strong women to look up to. I am especially honored to be able to learn from Kristen, the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing and Interactive Media every day. We work very closely together and she is always supporting me, taking the time to teach me things and encouraging me to share my thoughts and ideas. I admire her immensely.

Kristen and Giada

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