Shaking it up: Alumna makes thundering appearances

After a rigorous week of dance routines, graduate Lauren Wilmes was selected as a Thunder Girl.

“I knew I wanted to continue performing, entertaining, and getting to dance, so I decided to go for it,” Wilmes said. “It ended up working out, and it’s been a dream come true.”

Wilmes has been busier than ever before now that she is one of 20 Thunder Girls. In addition to this she’s also a letters major at the University of Oklahoma with future plans of attending their law school.

Wilmes’ mother, Lyn Wilmes, said she’s always been this way.

“She’s always full of life and loves being busy,” Lyn said. “She’s always been goal-oriented and wants to be involved in things.”

However, Lauren isn’t letting her busy life affect her grades or dancing. Manager and choreographer for the Thunder Girls Paige Carter said Lauren is great to work with.

“She’s a really, really hard worker, which is what it takes to be a Thunder Girl,” Carter said. “You have to have a lot of time management skills because they’re very, very busy. I don’t ever worry about her because she is self-motivating.”

Thunder Girls have three rehearsals a week, each of them being three hours long. They also have two, 30 minute boot camps each week. They also make about 200 appearances across Oklahoma a year and attend all 41 of the home games. Lauren doesn’t seem to mind it though.

“I have 19 other girls who share the same passions and dreams and goals that I do. It’s awesome to be surrounded by such positive influences,” she said. “But it is also a very hectic and busy schedule, and that is something that I’ve had to balance with school. Being a Thunder Girl is definitely worth the time and hard work that we put in.”

Lauren’s former pom coach Sandra Hurst can see why Lauren is a Thunder Girl.

“She has a charm and personality that shines through in her dancing,” Hurst said. “That determination also shines when she performs. She’s beautiful. She’s talented. All of those things work together to give that total package that they look for.”

Lauren’s mom is excited that her daughter is able to be a part of the Thunder Girls.

“The experience is more than she imagined,” she said. “She’s been able to give back to the community and Oklahoma and do great things through Thunder.”