DU Alumni / Magazine Feature / People

Former basketball player trades high tops for ballet slippers

Former women's basketball player Brooke Meyer plans a new adventure singing and dancing around the world.

The last time you may have seen Brooke Meyer (BSBA ’08), she was probably swishing baskets for the University of Denver’s women’s basketball team. The next time you see her, she’ll be on stage singing and dancing.

The former Pioneer standout has traded in her high tops for ballet slippers. But before she hits the stage, she’s looking to raise $14,250 by June 15 to join Up with People, an organization in Denver that trains young people in the performing arts to do shows and community service around the globe.

Her website, www.TravelingBrooke.com, explains what she’s up to.

“This is really outside my comfort zone,” says Meyer, who ranks third in DU women’s basketball history with 160 three-pointers and 25th in all-time scoring with 803 points.

As part of Up with People, Meyer will travel to cities in the United States, Mexico, Thailand and Japan with 100-plus other performers from around the world for six months and put in more than 200 hours of community service.

So why’s she doing this?

“I don’t want to be known just as an athlete. I’m hungry for more, and singing and dancing seemed like the next great challenge.”

To prep for her new venture, she took a class.

“I actually videotaped myself so I could go back and see how I was doing and it was painful to watch, but I eventually got better,” she says.

On the singing front, “I’m tone deaf and my co-workers [she’s working in University of California-Berkeley’s athletics department] just laugh at the thought of me singing.”

But Meyer’s up to the challenge. In fact, she’s been overcoming challenges since birth. She was a premature baby weighing in at 2 pounds, 13 ounces and was just 16 inches long. Her head was smaller than a tennis ball. So she could drink, nurses put a water-dipped cotton swab in her mouth.

And she has experience raising money. While a student, she raised hundreds for the March of Dimes to help other kids overcome tough starts.

She says her background in basketball will help make the transition easier because performing for an audience is nothing new. However, other challenges are still there.

“In dancing you need to be very fluid, on beat, and in rhythm — three things that I played basketball without,” Meyer says. “Sure, I was often in a shooter’s rhythm, but I was also picking myself up off the floor after tripping over my own feet a lot. Dancing poses enough challenges with staying on my feet.”

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