Amazing Transformations

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It’s simply breathtaking to see the Sequoia campus turn back into just an ordinary middle school and the Civic transformed into our home for the next week. As we set up our lights, risers, and dressing rooms, we stand where music and dance legends have once performed and where graduations, events, and ceremonies have been held. Very few people have the opportunity to see the venue before a show is loaded in, but it takes seeing a bare stage made into a full working “city” in order to realize just how much goes into making our set so functional and unique. The transformation of the cast is incredible as well. Add Stageteam vests, costumes, hair and makeup, and even the shyest of our kids light up and feel at home while performing! We love to see the evolution of the dances and choreography as they grow even closer to perfection, as well. One of the best parts, however, is seeing the soloists really come into their roles and owning the stage while performing.

This week is all about transformations: Put simply, we’ve managed to transform weeks of hard work into a beautiful, fun show! Finally, tons of preparation singing made for dynamic vocal recordings, hours of memorization and practicing of drama skits have evolved into interesting performances, and yards upon yards of fabric and sequins have been converted into gorgeous costumes. Add some stunning lights and crisp sound and you’ve got an awe-inspiring combination.

Next step: Add an audience!

Much appreciation to the staff and administration of Sequoia Middle School for hosting our camp this year! A HUGE thank you goes out to all of our parent volunteers who helped throughout camp, during clean up, and load in. As always a big thanks to the welcoming staff of the Civic for all of their help. Last but not least we thank our great staff, board members, seamstresses, show volunteers, lighting designer, and our fantastic crew.

Video: A little more from Week 4

This week was beyond busy! Not only was the staff preparing for a weekend of solo auditions, coordinating plans for recording week, but we had a holiday day off smack-dab in the middle of the week! Most of the staff and students were pretty thrown off when Thursday rolled around. Nevertheless, it was still a fun week! Stageteam/Turquoise dance team officially finished learning every single one of their songs, enjoyed their last crazy day, showed their spirit during their last colors day, and got ready for all of the changes that are ahead in the two following weeks. We’ve had a lot of fun these past four weeks, and can’t believe it’s already time to make all of our vocal recordings for our showcase. Time to get down to some serious business.

This short video features Stageteam highlights from all week, announcing the silver note section winners and Kids of the Week (KOW), Sapphire dance rehearsal, and one cheer class. Sorry for the lack of other classes – time really got away this week!

This week’s crazy day was Show Song Day – there were so many cute, creative outfits that were interpretations of our show songs, but this one had to be the most hilarious. Spencer dressed up as “The Dawn” for You’re the Inspiration. Too funny!

A little extra KU knowledge: Every Friday in Stageteam we draw a “Kid of the Week” from all of the Responsibility Cards earned from each section that week – they can earn them by doing well during their classes, showing a little extra effort, singing, having straight arms, showing good character, etc. The number of cards earned in each section counts toward points for the weekly running total. (The team with the most points wins the coveted Silver Note flag for the following week, gets a free treat from the snack bar, and gets to leave early the entire week following). One KOW is drawn from each section and earns 75 points for their team just for showing up to camp. From that week’s KOWs, a KOW Supreme is drawn. They earn 100 points for their team and they receive a gift card from Jamba Juice!

There’s just something about solo auditions…

It’s that time of year again! We are all so excited for this weekend’s solo auditions, as we are every year. People who have never experienced a KU solo audition weekend would probably shudder at the thought of listening to a big group of kids sing the same solos over and over all weekend. That is simply not the case for us. There’s just something about our solo auditions and our performers that make it a fun and inspiring event that people look forward to from day one.

On Friday evening you can feel the excitement in the air as he kids show up looking their best, ready to try out for songs they’ve been practicing for the past four weeks. New participants and their parents never know what to expect, but are pleasantly surprised when they show up and can feel just how supportive all of the kids, judges, and other parents are through the entire weekend. 

Why is the task of merely choosing performers to sing solos in our show so awe-inspiring? In line with our mission of developing dignity, character, and a sense of belonging, our auditions event provides a safe and supportive environment that gives kids the opportunity that they may never encounter again in their lifetime –– to perform by themselves without the fear of being mocked or made fun of even if they mess up or don’t do as well as they’d liked. All of the returning performers and judges know exactly how it feels to be so vulnerable in front a large group of their peers and are genuinely supportive and thankful for each student that auditions.

On top of that, there is something to be said about the passion and drive that KU kids have when auditioning that makes the audition fun, and even heart warming. In past years, there have been students as young as 9 or 10 years old who have literally brought the house to tears with their passionate performances. Even if they don’t get the solo, each and every participant should feel a sense of accomplishment an have an experience that they can apply to their life in the future. 

All in all, there’s just something about solo auditions: It’s a weekend full of surprises and growth. It’s a weekend full of encouragement and support. It’s a weekend full of fun and entertainment; choosing the soloists who will later perform for hundreds and hundreds of people during our showcases is simply the cherry on top. 

Video: Week 3 Rundown

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Week three was all about finishing learning dance numbers, and perfecting the pieces we already knew. Since we know a ton in Stageteam and Bronze singing classes, we incorporated more competitions and games into our activities. It’s impressive to see how much the kids are improving in their dance classes as well as making progress in their arts and crafts classes!

This video features bits from Stageteam, combined Bronze Singing classes on Crazy Hair Day, Art class, Sport Court playing ultimate frisbee, Rock Band/Wii dance, Craft Creations, lunch break, Diamond Dance rehearsal, Dance Wizards, Dance Explorers B learning African, Dance Technique, and Ruby Dance rehearsal.

Video: Move Your Feet Dance Highlights

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The annual Move Your Feet Dance-A-Thon was a great success this year! There were different dance style contests, endurance dance competition, an hourly sprit dance, and of course, lots of boogieing down! Every year the dance is great way to get to know other students better, cut loose after a week of camp, and is a positive activity for a Saturday evening. The turnout was great and all of our pledges made us exceed our financial goal! Thanks to everyone who came out to get down!