Kit Katz of New england getting their ‘groove’ on for second year

Sorry Jonas Brothers, these girls aren’t putting their pom poms down anytime soon.

Back Row (left to right) Kazen Nelson, Reanna Golden, Anna Eisenbarth, Meadow Olsonawski, Bailey Urlacher, Carly Wolf, Jessica Eisenbarth, Corrie Urlacher, Grace Bieber, L’Kia Covert, Piper Jung, Emma Olsonawski, Kallie Dinius, Kelsey Doe, Addison Fitterer Front Row (left to right) Rayya Clevenger, Samantha Fitterer, Sarah Talbot, Ava Augare, Ali Herberholz, Megan Monke, Kenzi Bowlin, Zoie Corson, Katie Schmidt, Sophie Olsonawski, Messa Kuehl,  Not Pictured: Harlow Seymour PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald
Back Row (left to right) Kazen Nelson, Reanna Golden, Anna Eisenbarth, Meadow Olsonawski, Bailey Urlacher, Carly Wolf, Jessica Eisenbarth, Corrie Urlacher, Grace Bieber, L’Kia Covert, Piper Jung, Emma Olsonawski, Kallie Dinius, Kelsey Doe, Addison Fitterer
Front Row (left to right) Rayya Clevenger, Samantha Fitterer, Sarah Talbot, Ava Augare, Ali Herberholz, Megan Monke, Kenzi Bowlin, Zoie Corson, Katie Schmidt, Sophie Olsonawski, Messa Kuehl, Not Pictured: Harlow Seymour
PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Sorry Jonas Brothers, these girls aren’t putting their pom poms down anytime soon.

The Kit Katz dance group of New England have been practicing for over a month and are ready to burst on the scene as the 25 dancers look to show off the work they’ve put in since before Christmas.

The dance movement started last year. At the time, the newly formed New England Booster Club began having discussions on how to increase the level of participation in New England activities. Since organized sports begin in the fourth grade, the conversation centered around the ages of Kindergarten through third grade.

Donald Nordby, who dresses as the Tiger mascot, had the idea of getting some of the younger girls in the community together to perform during halftime of some of the basketball games.

The idea just snowballed from there.

Jess Eisenbarth took the lead on the dance team project. She doesn’t have much experience in the dancing world so she looked to Corrie Urlacher for assistance. Urlacher danced in high school and even taught some dance classes in New England a few years back.

The two sent out information and sign up sheets and by the time the first practice started last year they had 12 dancers.

When they first laid out the plan, they thought the best time to start this would be during the basketball season. That year they had one practice prior to the holiday break and continued after they returned to school. The Kit Kat dancers performed two times last year and hope to more than double that this year.

The team more than doubled from last season, a sign that last year was a success. Eisenbarth knew early on during that first year that they would be back again for a second.

“We didn’t know how it would go last year, we just thought we would do it and see how it went,” Eisenbarth said. “So we were quite pleasantly surprised at the turn out last year.”

In fact, according to Eisenbarth, some of the 3rd-graders have asked about raising the age limit because they want to do it again next year.

All of the dancers that came out last year returned, and they played ‘recruiter’ to their other classmates this year.

The team has been practicing once a week with the occasional second practice when the schedule fits it. Practices have been in the cafeteria of St. Mary’s.

Along with Eisenbarth, Patty Frank and Amy Herberholtz have hand made each costume.

They have added a new piece to their outfits, pom poms.

Since the group is sponsored by the New England Booster Club they are limited in funds. But the girls wanted pom poms, so they’ve started to raise the money themselves by selling spirit pom poms to the crowds of the sporting events. The pom poms, designed for the supporting crowds, are $2 and go towards the Kit Kat group.

The group is scheduled to perform during halftime of the varsity basketball games on Feb. 9, 13 and 17. The group is also trying to land a performance during the regional tournament in Dickinson later this year.

They have even been contacted by an alumnus of New England about scheduling them for a short performance during a class reunion in June. They also may hold a recital this spring.

Mr. Koppinger and the New England school busing has been a big help, according to Eisenbarth, because they transport some of the dancers to practice.

The after school program held at St. Mary’s and organized by Tara Bieber has also given their support by allowing some of the dancers to stay after practice until their parents are able to pick them up.

After putting in over a month’s worth of practicing, the team is ready to perform. Catch the Kit Kat dancers as they open their year up on Feb. 9.

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