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Ready to perform

November 24, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - Dancing dads, a jazz number comparable to a Broadway production, Santa Claus, cute little 3-year-olds dancing to "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"?and three months of hard work are going into the upcoming Just for Kix holiday show.

The Marshall Just for Kix program is having its winter show "Let It Shine" at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Marshall High School gym.

The show will feature 285 dancers from age 3 though seniors in high school, said Marshall JFK director Jackie Louwagie, and the dancers have all been working since September to prepare.

"They're antsy to get on the stage," Louwagie said. The show will feature 20 dances.

The opening number will be a jazz production, Louwagie said, which involves a lot of entrances and exits.

"It's kind of like a Broadway production," she said. "It's a holiday medley of old Christmas songs." The dance features all four of the jazz teams - Twinkler, Rising Stars, Starmakers and Shining Stars - which involves roughly 70 girls, Louwagie said.

"We get to do Broadway showgirls, but Christmas," said Erin Holmberg.

"You have to really show off your skills," said Katlin Gile.

Each of the jazz teams learn their parts of the routine, said Tawnni Slagel. Then there will be a massive rehearsal onstage to see how it all comes together, said Courtney Keuhl.

"It's more just for fun," Jazlyn Lenort said of the mass jazz dance.

"Everybody will show their own talent," Slagel said.

"It's meant to be fun with the audience," Keuhl said.

The father-daughter dance includes 16 couples performing to "Evolution of Dance" - from the 1950s to today's music.

"It's got probably a dozen different styles in it," Louwagie said. Some of the dances include the YMCA, the Twist, "Achy, Breaky Heart" and "Mr. Roboto." There's also a few solos, Louwagie said, including a couple to "Ice, Ice Baby" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."

"it's like a five-minute (number)," Louwagie said about the father-daughter dance. "I'm very impressed with how it all come together." She said it would be a good memory for the dancers, and it's also a way the fathers can "get out of their comfort zone"

The girls said they enjoy seeing their dads attempt the dance moves.

"It's funny because the guys don't worry about embarrassing themselves," said Sydney Meister. Meister said the men have to do "tutu steps" for a couple of the numbers.

"They're trying to embarrass us," said Gile.

Kautia Carlson-Snook said she had to coax her father to be part of the father-daughter dance. But several of them volunteered, the girls said.

The fathers got to learn Russians and other kicks for the routine, and the girls said they have to help them along.

"There's a hip hop part that's really fast," Holmberg said.

The holiday show is also a way to get the girls ready for the JFK competition season, to make sure they're prepared for the stage, Holmberg said.

"You get your flexibility," Carlson-Snook added. Gile said she's nervous for the big competition floor.

"It's a lot of work," said Emily Harmening.

And the dancers said they enjoy all aspects of the holiday show, which includes seeing the younger dancers.

"It's fun to help the little (girls)," Meister said.

"We're like their role model," Gile said.

And the audience is looking at possibly the next generation of great dancers, Holmberg said.

The girls said just performing is a thrill that never leaves them.

"You feel the crowd wants you to do your best," said Harmening. "You want to show them what you have because you have one chance."

Plus there's a lot of support from the audience, Lenort and Kuehl said.

"(You see) the smiling faces on you, and there's hundreds of them," Kuehl said.

Besides the dancers, the parents and coaches also put a lot of work into the holiday show, Slagel said.

"It encourages others to try new things," Slagel said, which includes other little girls possibly joining a dance class.



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