created over 2 years ago | Tagged:
It's no secret that professional athletes rake in a lot of dough. For the quirky, freestyle athletes on the U.S. Pizza Team, the dough flows too, only much more literally. If you were one of the 22.1 million people who watched the 84th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV this year, then you may have caught a glimpse of a truly bizarre act on the parade route.
Their appearance in the parade wasn't a one-time shtick. In fact, the U.S. Pizza Team performs and competes in the art of pizza spinning all year long and boasts high-profile members from all over the nation. One of those professional pizza acrobats is team director Steve Lieber, a pizza fanatic from Florida who's managed pizza restaurants for the past 10 years.
You see, pizza spinning isn't just a hobby, it's an art. For starters, Lieber said anyone who's anyone in the world of pizza tossing today is skilled in not just pizza-making, but gymnastics and acrobatics as well. "To make the team, you need to know tricks known as 'power moves.' Really good power moves combine breakdancing, acrobatics, gymnastics and theatrics with pizza spinning, so you put on a good show. One-handed tosses, handstands and behind-the-back tricks are all good ways to get noticed," Lieber said.
"That's when you hold the pizza dough flat in your hand like a Frisbee and toss it up in a figure-eight pattern. Every pizza-spinning trick in the book -- twists, behind the back, under the leg -- are all based on the Whip. Learn that, and you're off to a solid start," he said.