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Dance: Oregon dancers featured in Outback Bowl festivities

Putnam and Sprague dancers perform during the pregame and halftime shows for the New Year's Day football game

January 17, 2020 by Danielle Schneider, OSAAtoday

On New Year's Day, Oregon high school dancers dazzled audiences as part of the 2020 Outback Bowl pregame and halftime shows.

Twenty-eight dancers from Putnam and Sprague -- as well as a group from Just For Kix, a private studio in Milwaukie -- joined with more than 450 dancers from 11 states to perform before a crowd of more than 45,000 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.. 

The disco-themed pregame show featured all of the performers using black and white poms celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the Outback Bowl. Dancers took up the entire field spanning from the 10-yard line to 10-yard line as they performed their two-minute 37 second routine.

The performers remained on the field during the national anthem and fly-over. During the halftime show, dancers filled the center of the field between the 35-yard lines with more than 2,500 high school band students surrounding them and uniting as one mass band to provide the live music for the show.

This year’s show titled "Don't Stop Believing" featured such numbers as, “Eye of The Tiger”, "Living on A Prayer", "Final Countdown", “Don't Stop Believing”, “YMCA” and with a patriotic finale to "Armed Forces Salute". Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix, was the choreographer and was assisted by Ali Geraets and Annie Lindberg.

“I think this has been one of the most memorable and amazing experiences ever," Sprague sophomore Jade Brown said. "I have never felt so alive and full energy. Dancing with girls and boys who all share the same passion for such a huge event has truly made a positive impact on me and my dance team experience.”

Dancers arrived in Tampa on Dec. 28. During the week-long trip, they rehearsed for four hours each day to master the pregame and halftime choreography. The trip also included visits to Busch Gardens, Walt Disney World and Clearwater Beach as well as a dinner cruise and New Year’s Eve talent show and dance party. 

“Going to Florida was an amazing opportunity," Putnam sophomore Jordyn Mitchelldyer said. "The choreographers, coaches, and organizers were very kind and helpful, and we had a lot of fun at practices, performances and team outings."

The performance opportunity was coordinated through Just For Kix, a Minnesota-based dance company with studio locations in 14 states.

Oregon dancers get ready for their performance at the 2020 Outback Bowl.

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