Just for Kix

Dancers warm up during a Feb. 23 dance session in the Just for Kix Workshop. The dance convention took place in the Graveraet Elementary School gymnasium. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

Sometimes a warm-up move can be as impressive as a regular dance move.

Young dancers’ dexterity was on display during the Feb. 23-24 Just for Kix Workshop, a local dance convention that took place in the Graveraet Elementary School gymnasium in Marquette.

Separated into groups, dancers in fifth grade and younger, as well as sixth grade and older, gathered to try out ballet, jazz, hip hop and other varieties.

Janna Benedict, owner of New Attitudes Dance Studios, said the convention was a group effort among local studios to offer a dance-related event in town.

The four studios involved are all from Marquette.

“We all have competition groups, so we travel, but the competition groups don’t include everybody from the dance studios, so we’re having something locally where we get to open it up to all the dancers, any dancer that would be interested in learning,” Benedict said.

Kimber Schumann, owner of Dawn Dott Dance Studios, believes in youngsters being involved in dancing.

“It’s a great way to stay active, get exercise,” Schumann said.

Choreographers on hand during the Just for Kix Workshop came from Minnesota and Wisconsin, which lent another aspect to the event.

“They get a chance to experience other choreography other than the choreography that they get in their studio,” Schumann said. “They learn new things.”

Amanda Engle, who works at Dawn Dott, went to the workshop to add to her own knowledge.

“I am attending just to experience this with the students, to get some more choreography ideas and technique experience with the kids,” Engle said.

Youngsters had the opportunity to try different moves depending on the type of dance.

Charlie Edwards, a teacher at Superior Dance Academy, said all styles were to be taught during the weekend, although some styles might be more difficult to learn depending on the dancer.

“We have ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, so everyone attending will get a broad range of styles,” Edwards said.

Typically it’s a good idea to stretch and perform other such moves before starting to exercise. So, dancers were lined up for warm-up moves before the techniques were to be taught.

One of those dancers was Brazil Rekshan, 12, of Marquette, who studies dance at New Attitudes.

Obviously, she enjoys the activity.

“It’s fun and you get to express yourself,” Brazil said.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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