The ManiAACs were the NBA's first all-male dance troupe. They can be seen performing at the Dallas Mavericks home games, and in the stands pumping up the crowd at every game. In July, the Mavericks Facebook fan page announced auditions to become a member of the ManiAACs. Tarno shared the post, but soon many of his friends were encouraging him to audition. He said that he asked his wife and kids how they felt about it and his kids told them that if he made it they would brag about him at school. His wife of 10 years, Amy, told him to go for it. Tarno says, “She was my biggest supporter and motivator.”
J.J. Tarno's first audition was in Dallas on August 11, 2012. He and the other 24 guys auditioning for four open spots on the squad had to learn a dance routine and also perform a free-style dance. While Tarno was performing his free-style dance, he did the splits. Unfortunately during the splits, he tore his right hamstring and got a nasty looking bruise that covered his upper right leg. He finished the routine, but because of the injury, his wife had to drive him home that night. The injury did not discourage him though, and he came back for three more audition/rehearsals.
When Tarno got word that he had earned one of the four spots open on the ManiAACs squad of 18, he and his family were thrilled. He said, “I was stunned. I'm the second smallest waist size on the ManiAACs. I was so excited and I'm ready to get to work!” The Mavs MaaniAACs are as known for their girth as they are for being a super funny dance group that brings Maverick's fans to their feet. Guys their size should not be able to move the way they do, but it just shows that actual athleticism, stamina, and dance talent is required to be a part of the group.
Tarno says watching each of the Dallas Mavericks home games is a big perk of the job and he appreciates the free meals they will get before the games. However, one benefit of the job surprised him, “Ironically, we get a gym membership.” The smirk on his face while making that announcement, was priceless. Tarno said that the greatest part of working hard to become a member of the ManiAACs and then actually making the team, was what it taught his 7 year-old son. He explained, “I emphasized to him the importance of practicing hard to get what you want. I practiced for hours at home to get my routines down. My son got to see the results of my hard work, he saw my goal come to fruition, and now he knows if he works hard for what he wants, he can get it.”
YouTube clip of ManiAACs performing in 2010.