Denver Nuggets Dancer enjoys work as a research scientist

by Aaron Lopez

With her hair in a bun and wearing little makeup, the new science teacher walked into class for the first day of school.

Professionalism was extremely important for a young teacher who also was a proud of her role with the Denver Nuggets Dancers.

“When I first got he job, I didn’t tell anybody,” she said. “I was worried the school might not be OK with it. I didn’t want to flaunt it.”

In the hallways of any high school, secrets are hard to keep. Prairie View High School was no different. Eventually, word got out about Didi, who taught AP Chemistry, Biology and Physical Science.

“For a couple months, I would look out my classroom door and people would be taking pictures with their camera phones,” Didi said. “But once we got into the swing of class, it would be normal.”

Didi is back for a fourth season with the Nuggets Dancers, but she has changed career paths slightly. In preparation to apply to medical school, she is working as a medical technician at an infertility clinic, where she does research analysis and blood work.

“I love science,” she said. “In high school, my science teacher inspired me. I wanted to major in molecular biology.”

After graduating from Central High School in Grand Junction, Didi attended the University of Colorado, where she majored in education. She also was a cheerleader at CU, though her career got off to a rough start when she broke her leg the day before her first practice.

“I went to a tumbling session with the veterans,” she explained. “I was doing some standing flips but I didn’t absorb my landings. The shock went to the fibula and I got a stress fracture.”

Didi spent nine weeks in a boot, but that didn’t slow her down. She went on to cheer for the Buffaloes throughout college, and she was a member of the Colorado Mammoth Wild Bunch before joining the Nuggets Dancers in 2011.

“Didi brings a wealth of experience to our young team,” Nuggets Dancers manager Amy Jo Wagner said. “Not only has she been on multiple professional dance teams, but she has life experience that allows her to relate to her teammates on a variety of levels.

“I enjoy working with Didi because of her compassion, attention to detail and – most of all – her sense of humor. She is a joy to work with and a huge help in teaching the new dancers.”

Didi enjoys providing comic relief for her teammates when things get stressful over the course of a long NBA season. She also has learned to relax and enjoy the moment while serving as a mentor to the rookies.

“I’ve gone through 135 Nuggets games,” Didi said. “Being on the court doesn’t give me anxiety anymore. I’m more worried about taking care of the other girls and making sure they’re comfortable and they’re learning.

“Games are a reward for putting so much time and effort in practice. When you’re standing at the national anthem, you don’t want to be worried. You want to soak it all up.”

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