Dupo native Kristie Keys has been a hockey fan all her life and now gets to experience the game in a whole new way as a member of the St. Louis Blues’ Blue Crew.
Keys, a 23-year-old student at Lindenwood University, was at a game with a friend when they got to talking about the Blue Crew.
“It looked like something that would be so fun to do,” she said.
A few months later, she saw that auditions were being held for this year’s season.
“I sent in the filled out form and a photo,” she said. “There were different audition days for paperwork, being on the ice, etc.”
The St. Louis Blues have auditions each year for a team of spirited entertainers who participate in Blues games in a unique way.
As a Blue Crew member, Keys skates out onto the ice at Scottrade Center with other members to clear excess ice off the hockey rink.
Other Blue Crew members work their way into the crowd, talking to and pumping up fans and finding participants for contests.
She said not all Blue Crew members go out on the ice, and some just do promotional work and interact with the fans.
Blue Crew members also attend charity events in the St. Louis area and work with the community.
Keys said the audition process was long and had several different components.
“I think around 230 people tried out, and only about 35 girls and a couple guys made it,” she said.
Keys has been ice skating most of her life, so that portion of the audition wasn’t as stressful for her.
“Being on the ice is my favorite part of being a Blue Crew member,” she said. “You don’t need to be able to do triple axels or anything, but you do need to be a decent skater.”
She has high hopes for the Blues this year and looks forward to playoff season.
“I’m really hoping we win the (Stanley) Cup this year,” she said. “They’re doing well, so I think they have a good chance.”
Members of the Blue Crew have a one-season term as a part of the St. Louis Blues and can audition again each year if they want to continue to stay on.
Keys said although she loves being a part of the Blue Crew, she will not be auditioning next year because she has plans to move to Canada.
She will graduate from Lindenwood University in December when she finishes her MBA.