Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

BLHS dancers ready to shine on trip to N.Y.

October 25, 2007

Two members of the Basehor-Linwood High School Dazzlers Dance Team are excited to be New York-bound.

Baily Kraus, a BLHS junior, and Christina Self, a BLHS sophomore, will be spending their Thanksgiving holiday performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The girls earned their parade spot by winning a special award for their hip hop duet performed at Kansas Spectacular, a dance and drill team competition conducted every January at Olathe East High School.

"We went to competition last January and won Best in Class for our duet," Self said. "Anybody that receives that award has the chance to go."

While the two nearly lifelong dancers know the importance of practice, their award-winning duet was an exception. Self's older sister, a Dazzler and parade alumna, gave them a crash choreography course just two weeks before they were set to perform the dance. Even though they cut it close, the girls said they used judges' critiques from a previous competition -- Olathe South High School's Miss Kansas Pageant -- to help polish their routine a little more before Kansas Spectacular.

"Miss Kansas is first and they critique you, so you know what to work on," Self said. "Then at Kansas Spec, you do better because you know what they're looking for."

Mike Miller and Associates will guide Kraus, Self and hundreds of other qualified dancers and cheerleaders at the parade.

Costumes and a tape of the routine they will perform will be sent to each participant, so they can learn it and practice before arriving in the Big Apple. They will spend the week practicing, sightseeing and attending special dance classes with different prestigious choreographers.

Kraus and Self, who will be making the trek to New York with their mothers, said having the chance to perform in the parade was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they didn't want to miss. While they can only imagine what the experience will be like from hearing stories from older team members, they know that besides the parade, shopping will be a highlight.

"I just know there's a lot of practicing," Self said.

"And one full day of shopping," Kraus added. "It will be fun to perform in the parade, but I'm definitely excited for the shopping."

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