Dance of a lifetime

Published 12:01pm Sunday, December 8, 2013
Haley Kiefer and Montanna Kinney, along with Kayla Felten, not pictured, will be dancing with other Just for Kix dancers at the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Haley Kiefer and Montanna Kinney, along with Kayla Felten, not pictured, will be dancing with other Just for Kix dancers at the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Three members of Just for Kix in Adams will get a chance to perform in front of perhaps the largest crowd they’ve ever danced in front of when they dance at Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Long-time members of Just For Kix, Haley Kiefer, Montanna Kinney and Kayla Felten will all make the trip to Florida on Dec. 28 along with coach Carrie Volstad and another chaperone to take part in a long-time dream.

The three decided they wanted to take part after seeing how much fun girls had in previous years performing at the same bowl game. They will join girls from throughout the Midwest, performing both during the pregame and halftime.

This year’s theme: “Grease”

“I think it’s great,” said Volstad. “This is an opportunity that opens up to students every year, something they auction and tryout for.”

The musical predates the teens by several years, but nevertheless, it’s something they are extremely excited for.

“The music and the outfits; I’m excited to wear the outfits,” Kiefer said.

The girls dressing the part complete with era-authentic poodle skirts, fashioned with the silhouette of of a poodle.

 Dance is a way of life

Kiefer, from left, Kinney, and Felten are pictured with Tess Landherr who was also planning to go, but passed away after a car accident in February of this year. Photo provided
Kiefer, from left, Kinney, and Felten are pictured with Tess Landherr who was also planning to go, but passed away after a car accident in February of this year. Photo provided

Dance is a passion for the three girls. It’s as much a part of them as breathing and almost is a therapy of sorts.

“I started when I was little,” Kinney said. “It’s a good way to express yourself. It’s a good way to let go and have fun.”

Kiefer agreed.

“It’s my getaway, when I’m stressed out,” she said. “It’s what I do when I want to feel happy.”

For Felten it’s not only a way of dealing with the day-to-day trials but it’s also expression.

“I like how it takes the anger away,” Felten said. “It’s a way to show my emotions.”

They’re long-time dancers and while they’ve been dancing for different periods of time, they could have been dancing together for years.

The idea of performing together as seniors at the Outback Bowl was there for awhile, just by what the girls had seen from others that went.

But in the beginning there were four, not three. Tess Landherr had been danced the most out of the four friends and was planning on making the trip until a tragic car accident in February, west of Adams on Highway 56 late in February.

“I coached her the longest and she was kind of a big motivator,” Volstad said about the trip to Florida. “That was something she really wanted to do, something she was looking forward to.”

All three girls remember clearly how much Landherr wanted to go to Florida and while she may no longer be with them, the girls know she would still be there.

“I think about her all the time,” Felten said. “She loved to dance with us and she danced her heart out.”

Kiefer knows the experience would have been lively.

“It would have been interesting,” Kiefer said, laughing. “24/7 that we were there. We would have laughed constantly.”

Kinney still remembers the dancer Landherr was.

“She was an amazing dancer,” she said. “So much energy. We would have a feeling of her being there regardless.”

 A lot of work

The dancers will have a lot to do in a short amount of time. They will have just a few, short days to get the routine down and choreograph with the rest of the girls performing, which could number anywhere between 60 and 200 girls.

“You don’t really know until you get there,” Kinney said.

Still, they won’t be coming in completely cold.

“Actually they were just sent videos with choreography on them,” Volstad said. “They say, ‘these are the ones you should learn’ and then post them on Youtube so the girls can learn from there. There will be six different dances they’ll do when there.”

The schedule is packed with rehearsals, but it’s also got a good share of side actives planned including a trip to the beach, Busch Gardens, a yacht cruise and New Year’s Eve celebration and of course Disney.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for so long,” Felten said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

When it’s all done and they are on their way home Jan. 3 all the work they put into it will be worth it.

“I’m very excited because Kayla and Haley have been my friends forever and getting to do this our senior year is like going out with a bang,” Kinney said.

How to see the show

The Outback Bowl

1 p.m., Jan. 1, 2014

Big 10 vs. SEC

Dancers were be performing the pre-game show at approximately 12:25 p.m. Halftime performance following.


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