Former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza is joining Miami Heat basketball stars in promoting the athleticism of the dancers at Miami City Ballet.

Piazza began rehearsing Tuesday for his walk-on role in the company's May 3 production of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." He also got fitted for the taupe houndstooth suit that he'll wear as a gangster hired to shoot a dancer's rival.

The Miami Beach dance company is embracing new collaborations as it emerges from a financial restructuring. Its dancers also have joined Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in an ad campaign promoting downtown Miami's cultural scene.

Piazza says he's excited to draw more attention to the dancers and to the correlation between sports and ballet.