The nineteen young women who comprise the 2006-07 Sixers Dancers are all talented, beautiful and enthusiastic about their role in energizing and entertaining the fans at the Sixers' home games. To be singled out among them and asked to represent the team at the annual NBA All-Star Game is a thrill and honor beyond description. But that is precisely what happened to Kimberly Gipson, a second year Sixers Dancer who was selected to the first ever NBA All-Star Dance Team which performed during this year's All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, NV in February.
"It was an incredible experience," said Kimmie, a 22-year-old native of Clementon, NJ. "I was just so grateful for the opportunity and humbled by the honor of being selected. I have many, many people to thank for it."
Kimmie is not just speaking about the more than three-quarters of a million fans who cast votes on NBA.com for the team selections. She also includes those special people close to home who lent their support - her teammates, Sixers Dancers Director, Debbie Apalucci, and a very special and elated cosmetic dentist, Dr. Joe Capista of Williamsburg Dental.
"I know people will find it hard to believe, but I only recently came into my confidence," explained Kimmie. "I was very insecure about my smile; I was just not happy with it and it really impacted my self-esteem. I actually tried not to smile because I didn't want to show my teeth."
But as a Sixers Dancer, Kimmie had the opportunity to receive cosmetic dental treatment from Dr. Capista, who has been the Cosmetic Dentist of the Sixers Dancers for the past three seasons.
"Kimmie is obviously a beautiful girl but she did have some issues with her top front teeth that needed to be corrected," said Dr. Capista. By reshaping her smile with porcelain veneers, Dr. Capista was able to create a truly "mega-watt" smile for Kimmie, boosting her confidence and self-esteem.
Kimmie is not alone. Last year alone, more than $15 billion was spent in the U.S. on cosmetic dental procedures, a reflection of the country's obsession with bright, white "celebrity" smiles. With more than 97% of Americans believing that a great smile is one of your most important social assets, it's no surprise. "The fact is that today, it's not just celebrities who have those incredible smiles," said Dr. Capista. "I see men and women from all walks of life who just want to give their appearance a boost and feel more self-confident when they smile. Cosmetic dentistry can do that for them."
Kimmie is a walking testimonial to that point. "What Dr. Joe did for me helped so much. Everybody says, 'There's something different about you.' It's just changed my attitude about myself and it really comes through," explained Kimmie. "I truly believe that I wouldn't have been able to represent Philadelphia in the 2007 All-Star Weekend without my new smile."