While renowned for its dancewear, performance wear and team custom wear, Just For Kix is also celebrated for its youth dance programs, competitions, camps and special events. Of these, student dancers and parents especially look forward to Just For Kix’s annual Outback Bowl Performance Tour, a week-long travel opportunity taking place over New Year’s Day each year. But adding to its lineup, Just For Kix has now unveiled its newest travel opportunity for dancers – the New York Experience.
The New York Experience will be this June 15-18, and is open to students aged 10 and older. Unlike other dance tours to the Big Apple, Just For Kix’s event will be a non-performing tour meant to introduce dancers and parents to a cultural experience in the city. Attendees will see shows, visit museums and enjoy sightseeing. The goal is exposure to NYC, not a full schedule of workshops or auditions. Dancers will take one dance class at Broadway Dance Center.
On the other hand, the 2018-19 Outback Bowl Performance Tour is filled with dance – both through rehearsals and presentation. Set for December 28, 2018 to January 3, 2019, dancers in the second grade and up will arrive in Tampa, FL, for a week of prepping and then performing at the beautiful Raymond James Stadium for the Outback Bowl fans.
Amanda Clough, a coordinator for Just For Kix’s Together We Dance competition and other events, shares more about the upcoming New York Experience and Outback Bowl Performance Tour.
The New York Experience
Just For Kix’s fresh New York Trip was the brainchild of Just For Kix Executive Director Cindy Clough.
On Cindy’s vision, Amanda shares, “She felt like we were in a place to expand the horizons of our young dancers and open their eyes to the arts in NYC. She wanted this to be more of an educational tour, not performance-based, so our dancers could see with their own eyes a Broadway play, learn about the Radio City Rockettes and take in some educational sightseeing around the city as well.”
Students and their adult chaperones (each dancer under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult) will spend three nights at the Paramount Hotel in Times Square. They will tick off major bucket-list sites like the iconic Empire State Building and the regal Statue of Liberty, and take the time to experience the heartfelt 9/11 Tribute Museum.
Registration is now open, and spots are filling up quickly. Students and parents curious about the Big Apple and desiring to familiarize themselves with the city should be sure to join Just For Kix for this amazing experience, especially if their young dancer is interested in training or working there some day. The trip is open to anybody, not just Just for Kix dancers. Visit www.justforkix.com for more information.
The 2018-19 Outback Bowl Performance Tour
For more than two decades, Just For Kix has hosted its annual trip to the Sunshine State over Christmas break for hundreds of student dancers. These lucky performers have the opportunity to perform at the Outback Bowl in front of 60,000 football fans!
“To have the opportunity to dance in a large-scale production in front of a massive crowd at Raymond James Stadium is in itself amazing,” Amanda says. “On top of that, the tour participants visit two theme parks, take a dinner cruise on a beautiful yacht on Tampa Bay, a day trip to Clearwater Beach and enjoy a New Year’s Eve dance party at the hotel. We have so much fun from the outdoor practices to the exciting excursions; it would be hard not to make lasting memories on this tour.”
She adds, “Seeing the kids’ faces when they walk out onto the field and their eyes light up, you know this will stay with them forever.”
The way the Outback Bowl Performance Tour works is dancers arrive in Tampa knowing the choreography thanks to videos the Just For Kix staff send out a month before the tour.
Amanda explains, “Once we get to Tampa, the dancers have around 12 hours of additional practice to bring the show together as one large-group production. We practice at a local high school football field so the performers know what yard lines to be on for their constantly moving formations. After a few days of practice on their own, we add in several high school bands from around the nation to play the music for the performance live. It’s a remarkable thing having thousands of high school band members surrounding the dancers as they work together to put on this spectacular show.”
Just For Kix manages the hundreds and hundreds of youth dancers by breaking them up into smaller groups, each with a different costume typically designed and manufactured at Just For Kix’s sister company, The TeeHive. Each smaller group takes its turn performing on the field, with the whole group coming together for a massive finale.
All of the rehearsals, performances and fun activities help deeply bond student dancers. In turn, the tour often has a big impact on dancers’ remaining school year.
“Anytime you travel with your team, even to an overnight competition or show, you open the doors for team bonding,” Amanda says. “It’s the hard work fundraising and planning to make this trip happen, the matching attire that many teams wear during the tour, experiencing new and exciting places with your team and finally watching the performance at awards ceremony and seeing what you did with your group that helps bond a team. We see groups leaving stronger than ever; they have made memories with each other that will last a lifetime.”
She continues, “Getting away from the daily grind of practice and studio time also helps participants return to the second half of the season with a refreshed attitude and excitement to get the ball rolling again.”
To learn more about the 2018-19 Outback Bowl Performance Tour, which will be seven days and six nights of pure fun, visit www.justforkix.com. Just For Kix encourages coaches and studio owners to consider the Familiarization Trip opportunity from August 9-12. They can travel to Tampa to meet with Cindy Clough and receive a firsthand experience informing them on the total performance tour in December.
By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.