“This is extremely exciting for us because we haven't placed in 2 years,” said senior Brooke Bekeris, a four-year member of the dance team. “Our team is very excited and working hard to achieve our goals. It has been a great season for our dance team.”
And as a way to give back to the community, Brooke and other members of the dance team will be participating in the Lil’ Cougar Dance Clinic Sunday, Jan. 22, teaching dance moves to kids kindergarten through 5th grade.
The clinic, a partnership between Kennedy High School and Hiawatha Parks and Recreation, will be held from 1 to 3 pm at the Hiawatha Community Center, 101 Emmons Street. Cost for the clinic is $15 and includes pom-poms.
Brooke, who has participated in the clinic the last three years, said it can be difficult trying to keep the kids focused on learning a new dance routine, especially when they haven’t had much experience in dance, but it’s something she truly enjoys.
“Working with the kids takes away every ounce of stress,” she said. “Seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter makes it all worth it.”
Brooke participated in the Lil’ Cougar Dance Clinic when she was younger, and loved it, which has only added to her dedication.
“Being on the dance team has been an amazing experience. I have made bonds with people I probably wouldn't have if I hadn’t been on the team. The friendships I have made will last a lifetime.”
Kennedy High School Language Arts teacher, Miranda Arends has been coaching the team for 13 years. She said the Hiawatha clinic has been held the last seven years at the community center, as “a fun way for the kids to spend a Sunday afternoon.”
“The dance team plays games, teaches stretching, and then teaches a dance that is then shown to the parents at the end of the clinic. It has been well-received every year, and everyone has a great time.”
Those who attend the clinic should wear gym pants, a T-shirt, tennis shoes, and socks.
Registration can be done either online at Hiawatha-iowa.com (after Jan. 1), or in person at the Hiawatha City Hall, 101 Emmons Street. In case of bad weather, the program will be moved to Feb. 8.